The Best Military Watches – Buyer’s Guide

Best Overall

Casio GA100-1A1 Watch

Affordable and offers lifelong reliability.

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Best in Precision

Bulova Precisionist Chronograph Watch

Guarantees unparalleled precision.

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Most Functional

SUUNTO Core, Outdoor Sports Watch

Guarantees unparalleled precision.

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Best Value

Luminox Men’s 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch

Made for professional water activities.

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Military watches are famous for their reliability, versatility, and durability. That’s why they’ve become an essential part of most people’s EDC. But with so many military watch brands available, how can you choose the best one?

You’re in the right place! Because we won’t only review the best military watches in this article, but we’ll also help you determine which model is right for you.

Best Overall
Casio G-Shock Ana-Digi GA100-1A1 3-Eye Wristwatch
Bulova Men's Precisionist in Stainless Steel with 8-Hand Chronograph...
Suunto Core Classic, Outdoor Watch, All Black
Luminox Original Navy SEAL XS.3051.F Mens Watch 44mm - Military Dive...
CASIO Men's GW-9400-1CR Master of G Stainless Steel Solar Watch
Model
Casio G-Shock GA 100
Bulova Precisionist Chronograph
Suunto Core All Black Military
Luminox 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark
Casio Master of G GW-9400-1CR
Our Score
9.3
8.9
8.6
8.3
7.9
MSRP
$71.28
$501.95
$134.62
$264.18
$230.00
Material (window)
Mineral
Mineral
Mineral
Mineral
Mineral
Display
Analog-Digital
Analog
Digital
Analog
Digital
Case
Resin
Stainless steel
Composite
Polyurethane
Resin
Band Material
Resin
Stainless Steel
Elastomer
Polyurethane
Resin
Water Resistant
660 Feet
990 Feet
100 Feet
660 Feet
660 Feet
Best Overall
Casio G-Shock Ana-Digi GA100-1A1 3-Eye Wristwatch
Model
Casio G-Shock GA 100
Our Score
9.3
MSRP
$71.28
Material (window)
Mineral
Display
Analog-Digital
Case
Resin
Band Material
Resin
Water Resistant
660 Feet
More Information
Bulova Men's Precisionist in Stainless Steel with 8-Hand Chronograph...
Model
Bulova Precisionist Chronograph
Our Score
8.9
MSRP
$501.95
Material (window)
Mineral
Display
Analog
Case
Stainless steel
Band Material
Stainless Steel
Water Resistant
990 Feet
More Information
Suunto Core Classic, Outdoor Watch, All Black
Model
Suunto Core All Black Military
Our Score
8.6
MSRP
$134.62
Material (window)
Mineral
Display
Digital
Case
Composite
Band Material
Elastomer
Water Resistant
100 Feet
More Information
Luminox Original Navy SEAL XS.3051.F Mens Watch 44mm - Military Dive...
Model
Luminox 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark
Our Score
8.3
MSRP
$264.18
Material (window)
Mineral
Display
Analog
Case
Polyurethane
Band Material
Polyurethane
Water Resistant
660 Feet
More Information
CASIO Men's GW-9400-1CR Master of G Stainless Steel Solar Watch
Model
Casio Master of G GW-9400-1CR
Our Score
7.9
MSRP
$230.00
Material (window)
Mineral
Display
Digital
Case
Resin
Band Material
Resin
Water Resistant
660 Feet
More Information

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Must-have Features

Accuracy

Accuracy is one of the most important features of a tactical watch. It should remain accurate even in challenging environments and situations.

Quartz and digital watches are more accurate than self-winding ones. Still, many people continue to invest in mechanical watches because of their craftsmanship.

The Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, the body responsible for certifying the precision and accuracy of the Swiss watches, consider mechanical watches precise when they don’t drift by more than 6 seconds per day, while the quartz timepieces are considered precise when they don’t drift more than 0.07 seconds per day.

Durability

Aside from maintaining accuracy in tough environments, a high-quality military watch’s build and construction are also important. It should be shock-resistant, scratch-resistant, and can handle the most adverse conditions.

Heavy-duty military timepieces have wristbands made of stainless steel, other solid metals, or resin. Some manufacturers equip their watches with canvas or leather wristbands that are comfortable to wear but less resistant to heavy use and adverse environmental conditions.

The most durable dial windows are made of sapphire, but if you want a more budget-friendly option that’s almost as sturdy, a mineral crystal dial window is the way to go.

Navigation Features

Watch With Navigation

You’ll most likely be using your military watch for hiking, mountain climbing, or whatever extreme sports you’re into. It will be an essential gear in unfamiliar territory, so make sure it has a reliable GPS and compass.

An altimeter and a barometer are also great features if you’ll be up in high and rough terrains. More advanced models allow the user to keep track of their steps and save them for next time.

Water and Pressure Resistance

The next feature to look into is water and pressure resistance, most especially if you’re into recreational water sports like scuba diving. A military watch should continue to function properly even under high amounts of pressure and at high altitudes.

If you plan to wear your watch while swimming, snorkeling in shallow water, or sailing, it should be water-resistant up to at least 100 meters. But if you’ll be doing cliff diving, scuba diving, or other extreme water sports, your watch should be water-resistant up to 200 meters.

Analog or Digital

Suunto Core All Black Time mode

This is more of a personal preference, so it’s totally up to you. Analog watches last longer, while military digital watches provide more functionality and are more user-friendly. We reviewed both analog and digital options below so take a look.

Types of Military Watches

There are lots of types of military watches, and we listed them below to give you an idea so you can choose better.

Digital Military Watches

The Best Digital Military Watches

Digital military watches may not be as durable as analog ones, but they’re more functional and trendier. All digital military watches are constructed to withstand all sorts of tactical activity. They serve as portable multi-purpose tools. Check out our complete article here.

Tritium Watches

The Best Tritium Watches [Updated 2019]

Tritium watches are rugged watches powered with tritium gas tubes or inlays that illuminate the watch for as long as 25 years. Tritium watches also give a more steady and consistent glow than battery or solar-powered watches. Plus, you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries every now and then.

Tactical GPS Watches

A tactical GPS watch is considered essential especially if you’ll be doing a lot of hiking, mountain climbing, or camping. These watches are great tracking tools in the wild. More advanced watches let you save your steps so you can retrace them. They also measure the environment so you can get ready for any possible weather or environmental changes.

Special Forces Watches

What Watches Does the U.S. Military Use in 2019?

Special forces units are known to have the most stringent selection criteria and harshest operating conditions. Because of that, special forces watches aren’t just unique because of their multi-functionality and accuracy. The Special Forces work under the harshest conditions so their watches are known to be extremely durable.

Vintage Military Watches

The Best Vintage Military Watches

The only difference between a modern military watch and a vintage military watch is the design. Vintage military watches give a more classic look. Despite looking traditional, these watches are known for their dependability in the field.

If you’re into old school fashion, we’ve done a deep dive to find the best vintage military watches just for you.

Women’s Military Watches

Most military watches on the market have rugged designs and are bulky, so they’re a bit big and heavy for women. They’re not actually hard to find as a lot of manufacturers these days have their line of women’s watches. But to save you time, we listed the best women’s military watches in this article, so check them out.

Swiss Military Watches

Swiss military watches are some of the most expensive watches on the market. The best swiss military watch is made with precision and care and using high-quality materials as well. That’s why they’re known for being the most accurate watches in the world, tactical or not.

Our Review Of The Best Military Watches

Best Overall: Casio Watch GA100-1A1 Watch

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our best overall pick costs less than a hundred bucks and will impress you with its functionality and quality. It’s also one of the most popular tactical watches available on the market.

This G-Shock is designed to handle any type of outdoor activity and it impresses with its rugged yet elegant lines. If you want more options, check out our review of the best G-Shock military watches and our Casio G7900 review.

GA 100’s case is made of black resin and it measures 51 mm in diameter and 17 mm in thickness. Many may consider these measures bulky, but the truth is that GA 100’s lines are sleeker compared with other G-Shock watches while the timepiece is still extremely robust and resistant to shock.

Its wristband is also made of black resin and it has a width of about 16 mm. For the closure, Casio equipped this watch with a resistant and easy-to-use buckle. GA 100 has a black dial that has a combination of analog and digital elements, each of them used for different features. The current time is indicated by analog hands, while a digital display shows the current date and day of the week. The dial is protected by a mineral crystal window.

The watch boasts an anti-magnetic structure and an auto-illumination feature with afterglow.

Activating the illumination is easy with a simple twist of the arm.

Apart from this, the GA 100 has a full pre-programmed calendar, world time with 29 time zones and 48 cities, an easy home city/world time swapping option, and more.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Shock and water-resistant
  • Long battery life
  • Low profile

Cons

  • Backlight isn’t reliable in the dark

What Customers Say

“Military precision and quality. I am an ex-serviceman and wish I had a watch like this while I was deployed. Time sets automatically to different time zones. Has a rugged and stealthy look. I receive compliments all the time. Truly high quality. Honestly, I would be ok paying double for this watch. You can’t find a more high-quality watch for the price. I wouldn’t recommend this watch if your wrists are on the thin side. It’s a large size watch but extremely lightweight.”

E.Mer

“I am very happy with this watch. The tactical style is perfect for my work environment, the price is great, and it has just about every feature you could want in a timepiece.”

Kurt

Best in Precision: Bulova Precisionist Chronograph Watch

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bulova is famous for its unmatched watches with extremely precise quartz mechanisms that allow the timepiece to avoid drifting. What makes Bulova Precisionist line watches special is the unique mechanism able to oscillate eight times more than a normal system.

Bulova Precisionist Chronograph is a unique watch with a splendid design that pairs perfectly with casual and business outfits, while the outstanding features come in handy in the most unexpected situations.

The case is made of stainless steel and it has a diameter of 46.5 mm, while the thickness of the watch is 17.89 mm. The wristband of the Precisionist Chronograph matches perfectly with the case, presenting itself as a stainless steel bracelet that inspires masculinity and virility. The wristband is 24 mm wide. Bulova Precisionist features a round dial protected by a curved sapphire crystal window.

The analog display matches perfectly with the design of the watch and it is divided into various dials dedicated to the various functions. The hour and minute hands are self-illuminated while the black background highlights the white and yellow markings and hands. As the name suggests, the Precisionist is equipped with a chronograph but is equipped with other tactical features.

The watch features a tachymeter, the model being a reliable aviator watch. In addition to this, the watch is water-resistant to 990 feet, being suitable for professional marine activity.

Pros

  • Water-resistant up to 990 feet
  • Comes with a 3-year global warranty
  • Precise timing at 1/1000th of a second

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy and bulky

What Customers Say

“Every time I wear it I receive at least one compliment. I have dropped the watch on pavement and only had a couple of scratches which shows its durability. I have yet to get the watch clean and polished and it still looks shiny after 4 months of owning it. I highly doubt I’ll use all the features like the chronograph but these features distinguish it’s worthwhile displaying its sporty/ causal design.”

Robert

“Amazing watch! Just got this as a Father’s Day/Anniversary gift and love it! This is just a bit smaller than my Nixon 52-30 and a little bit lighter but 10x better looking! This is a great item and couldn’t be more happier. If you like statement pieces then don’t miss out on this one and for this price it’s a great value! And it strikes a great balance of dressy and casual at the same time with slight gold accents and the black dial. Do yourself a favor and buy it!”

Hernan C.

Best Value: Luminox Men’s 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Luminox 3051 EVO Navy Seal watch is great for water sports except for scuba diving. It’s also the perfect timepiece to use during low-light situations as it’s one of the brightest watches out there, and it also works great during the day. This watch automatically lights up in the dark, so you don’t need to press any button to check the time.

The Luminox 3051 EVO Navy Seal watch also works as a dependable countdown tool because its rotating bezel remains securely in place. Its battery lasts for 2 years and is easily replaceable.

For its affordability and accuracy, you’ll never find a better bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great luminosity
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Low-quality band

What Customers Say

“I am a big fan of Luminox products. I’ve been watching this particular model for several months, and with the very fair price offered by Amazon, I made the purchase. The immediately legible face makes getting the precise time easy. A rubber band and water resistance make the watch highly desirable and wearable anywhere. I recommend.”

Jerry Tomb

“I’ve been wearing this watch every day for the last 3-4 years. I’ve had to change the battery, and the strap only once. I’ve banged the watch on everything, metal, walls, concrete, etc and it still looks brand new. I was gifted a diesel watch about a year ago. The first day I wore it I tripped and the watch got scratches all over it. The Luminox is a tough watch. The tritium still shines as bright as the day I got it. This has been my favorite watch and I’ll continue wearing it even after the tritium does out.”

Michael

Most Functional: SUUNTO Core, Outdoor Sports Watch

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aside from a Storm Alarm, an Altimeter, a Barometer, and a compass, this Suunto Core watch also comes with a sunrise and sunset prediction. This feature helps you maximize your activities during the day.

Unlike most outdoor watches, it can handle daily use and abuse and can last up to 6 years. Plus its battery can last 1 to 2 years if you turn off unnecessary features when not in use.

However, it’s only water-resistant up to 30 meters so it can only handle minor water splashes and can’t really be submerged in water that’s 30-meters deep.

Get more in-depth details about this baby in our SUUNTO Core All Black review.

Pros

  • Made for the outdoors
  • Very functional
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Only water-resistant up to 30 meters
  • Low-quality band

What Customers Say

“At a hundred and change I like it. Wish it had a vibration alarm. Best features, storm alert, sunset sunrise, altitude. Compass, ok, but could be much better. GPS watch Sunnto alternative is nice but requires a recharge. Based on this UI, not sure I would buy a traverse, opting for handheld GPS. Good old compass works, too. Bottom line, luxury item depending on your adventure, choose wisely.”

Veridad77

“I’m a watch junkie and this is my second favorite watch for everyday use behind the classic G-Shock DW model. Durable and comfortable. The things I like most about it are the large easy to push buttons on the sides. And we can’t leave out how awesome the setup/menu system is. It’s a phenomenal watch for the price tag. Especially if you are an athlete or in active roles. Great for tactical use too. Whether that be service and law enforcement or planning hikes or outdoor outings. The backlight could be significantly brighter though. I always love the watches with adjustable backlighting. Suunto should really hop on board.”

Mr. W

Casio Master of G GW-9400-1CR

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our last pick features atomic timekeeping and impact-resistant cylindrical buttons. Like its case, these buttons are also mud-resistant, so it’s perfect for outdoor use.

The GW-9400-1CR features a sturdy, heavy-duty case made of resin and that is built to withstand the test of any tactical activity. This timepiece is designed to survive any environmental conditions.

What’s great about the Rangeman GW-9400 is that it’s solar-powered. So you can just place it by the window to keep it charged – how economical is that! Plus, you no longer have to worry about changing batteries in the field.

The Rangeman’s backlight lights up the display evenly and you can choose to set it for 1.5 sec, 3 seconds, or in auto mode. It can also last up to 5 years of regular use. Finally, it’s equipped with a solar rechargeable battery with a lifespan of about 7 months without further exposure to light.

Pros

  • Has plenty of functional features
  • Comes with a triple sensor
  • Shock-resistant
  • Low temperature resistant

Cons

  • The altimeter isn’t accurate at times
  • It’s a little heavy

What Customers Say

“I’ve had this watch in my cart forever and finally caved. Looks good and fits good on my 7″ wrist. The negative display isn’t as easy to read as the positive but that should be evident if you have read or watched any reviews. I like the subdued look. It came with a full battery charge and synced up with the atomic clock at 2 am the first night. Very satisfied customer.”

ScuzzleBuddy

“I bought this watch to use as my everyday, on-the-go, rugged watch. I did a lot of research prior to see if this would be a good fit for me and it paid off. This is my new favorite watch. I don’t see myself putting on any of my other watches unless I need to dress up a bit with like a suit and tie.”

Aaron Griffin

FAQs

What is the best military watch to buy?

We recommend the Casio G-Shock The 6900 Military as the best military watch as it portrays quality and value for money. If it doesn’t suit your taste, we have other options above that are as reliable.

What watch do the Navy SEALs use?

Luminox 3051 EVO Navy SEAL us military watch

The Navy SEALS use various military watch brands, and one of them is the Luminox Men’s 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch. This watch is perfect for night missions because of its self-illumination feature.

What watches does the US military use?

Suunto Military Watch

Like the Navy SEALs, the US military uses various watch brands. We reviewed some of the best ones above for your reference. We have a more detailed article about the US military watch standard issue this year, so check it out.

What makes a good military watch?

A good military watch never fails, like our picks above. It should work accurately all the time as it may be your only lifeline in unpleasant situations. We listed the features of the best military watch above for you.

The Best Military Watch Brands

Conclusion

Whether it’s for your EDC or for your extreme sports hobby, buying a military watch will be the wisest decision you have ever made. That’s because they’re the most versatile watches on the market. Investing in one means investing in a superior quality timepiece designed for a wide range of activities.
Military watches come in different styles and designs – vintage, rugged, swiss military, and more. They’re all reliable and made of superior quality materials so you just have to decide which brand suits your needs best.

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