9+ Best Tactical Watches of 2024

In the world of tactical gear, a high-quality watch can make all the difference. These watches are designed to withstand the toughest conditions while providing critical information like GPS coordinates, altitude, and barometric pressure.

Whether you’re a military professional, an outdoor enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates a rugged, reliable timepiece, a tactical watch is an excellent investment.

In this article, we will be reviewing some of the best tactical watches available in the market today.

Our Top Picks of The Best Tactical Watch in 2024

Best Overall

#1. Casio PRO TREK

  • Low-temperature resistant
  • Tough Solar power, Silicon band, Direction Bezel, Mineral Glass

Runner-Up

#2. SUUNTO Core

  • Built in barometer 
  • Replaceable CR2032 battery, approx. 12 month life span

Best Budget

#3. Casio ‘G-Shock’

  • Shock Resistance
  • Electro-Luminescent Backlight with Afterglow

9+ Best Tactical Watches in The Market

1. Pro-Trek PRW-3000-1CR

The Pro-Trek PRW-3000-1CR by Casio is another excellent tactical watch that stands out due to its triple sensor technology.

This technology enables the watch to measure temperature, atmospheric pressure, and direction, making it particularly useful for outdoor adventures.

The watch also features solar power, ensuring you won’t have to worry about changing batteries, and its water resistance allows for use in a variety of wet environments.

Key Features:

  • Triple sensor technology (temperature, atmospheric pressure, and direction measurements)
  • Solar-powered
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • LED backlight with afterglow
  • World time function with 31 time zones
  • Sunrise and sunset data

2. Suunto Core

Suunto Core is a fantastic tactical watch for outdoor enthusiasts, combining essential features for adventures with stylish design.

This watch comes with an altimeter, barometer, and compass, making it a helpful tool for anyone venturing into the wilderness.

The Suunto Core also includes a weather trend graph and storm alarm to keep you updated on changing conditions.

Key Features:

  • Altimeter, barometer, and compass
  • Weather trend graph and storm alarm
  • Water-resistant up to 30 meters
  • Sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations
  • Multiple watch, date, and time functions

3. Casio G-Shock

The Casio G-Shock is arguably the most iconic model in the tactical watch market. Known for its extreme durability and resistance to shocks, the G-Shock series offers a wide range of models with various features to suit different needs.

This watch provides accurate timekeeping and a robust set of features including a stopwatch, countdown timer, and multiple alarms.

The G-Shock’s rugged design and long battery life make it a favorite among both military personnel and outdoor enthusiasts.

Key Features:

  • Shock-resistant design
  • Water-resistant up to 200 meters
  • LED backlight with afterglow
  • Multi-function alarm with snooze
  • Stopwatch and countdown timer
  • Auto-calendar pre-programmed until the year 2099

4. Luminox 3051 EVO Navy SEAL

The Luminox 3051 EVO Navy SEAL is a sturdy watch designed for extreme conditions. It features Luminox’s signature illumination system, which ensures visibility in low light or complete darkness. This watch is water-resistant up to 200 meters, making it an excellent choice for divers.

Key Features:

  • Luminox self-powered illumination system
  • Water-resistant up to 200 meters
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel
  • Durable polyurethane strap
  • Swiss quartz movement

5. Panerai Luminor

The Panerai Luminor is renowned for its distinctive design and impressive features. Originally designed for the Italian Navy, this watch is equipped with a unique safety lock mechanism that makes it water-resistant up to 300 meters. Its luminous markers ensure readability in low light or underwater conditions.

Key Features:

  • Safety lock mechanism for water resistance
  • Water-resistant up to 300 meters
  • Luminous markers for readability in low light
  • Power reserve of up to 3 days
  • Anti-shock device

6. Marathon Navigator

Marathon Navigator is a lightweight, high-performance watch designed for pilots and paratroopers. It features tritium gas tubes for constant illumination and a bi-directional time zone ring.

The Navigator is water-resistant up to 60 meters, making it suitable for short periods of recreational swimming.

Key Features:

  • Tritium gas tubes for constant illumination
  • Bi-directional time zone ring
  • Water-resistant up to 60 meters
  • Lightweight high impact fibreshell case
  • Swiss made, high torque quartz movement

7. Rolex Submariner Date

The Rolex Submariner Date isn’t just a luxury wristwatch; it’s a robust tactical timepiece with a history of being used by military and professional divers.

Its corrosion-resistant Oystersteel case, waterproofness up to 300 meters, and rotatable bezel make it perfect for undersea exploration. The watch’s self-winding mechanical movement ensures precise timekeeping.

Key Features:

  • Corrosion-resistant Oystersteel case
  • Waterproof up to 300 meters
  • Rotatable bezel for tracking diving time
  • Self-winding mechanical movement
  • Date function with magnifying lens

8. Marathon TSAR

The Marathon TSAR (Tactical Search and Rescue) is a high-quality military watch designed for use by search and rescue (SAR) divers in the US Military.

With a water resistance of up to 300 meters and built to withstand extreme conditions, it also features tritium gas tubes for illumination in low-light situations.

Key Features:

  • Designed for search and rescue divers
  • Water-resistant up to 300 meters
  • Tritium gas tubes for low-light illumination
  • High torque quartz movement
  • Sapphire crystal window for scratch resistance

9. 5.11 Pathfinder

The 5.11 Pathfinder is a reliable tactical watch built to withstand harsh environments. It features a durable design with a shock-resistant case and a scratch-resistant mineral glass face. The Pathfinder also comes with a compass, making it a great companion for outdoor adventures.

Key Features:

  • Shock-resistant case
  • Scratch-resistant mineral glass face
  • Built-in compass
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • Digital display with backlight

10. 5.11 Field Watch 2.0

5.11’s Field Watch 2.0 is a blend of functionality and style. Its rugged design is complemented by practical features like a date function, luminous hands, and hour markers. This watch is water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it suitable for various outdoor activities.

Key Features:

  • Rugged design
  • Date function
  • Luminous hands and hour markers
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • Quartz movement for accurate timekeeping

Conclusion

Tactical watches are more than just timepieces; they are tools that can assist you in various situations, from outdoor adventures to military operations.

Whether you need a watch with a compass, a barometer, or one that can withstand extreme conditions, there’s a tactical watch out there for you.

Remember to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing the right tactical watch for you.

What to Consider When Buying a Tactical Watch

Tactical watches are not just ordinary timepieces; they are rugged, reliable, and loaded with features that can prove invaluable in various situations, whether you’re on an outdoor adventure, military mission, or simply going about your daily routine.

However, with the myriad of options available, choosing the right tactical watch can seem overwhelming. This article will walk you through the key factors to consider when buying a tactical watch.

Durability

The first factor to consider is durability. A tactical watch should be able to withstand harsh conditions and rough handling.

Look for watches with a strong casing, preferably made of materials like stainless steel, titanium, or resin, which are known for their strength and durability.

The watch strap should also be robust, made from materials such as rubber, leather, or nylon.

Water Resistance

Whether you’re caught in a downpour or planning to use your watch while swimming or diving, water resistance is an essential feature.

Most tactical watches offer some degree of water resistance, usually around 100 meters.

However, if you intend to use the watch for diving, you might want to look for a model with a higher water resistance rating.

Illumination

Illumination is another crucial feature in a tactical watch. You should be able to read the time easily, regardless of the lighting conditions.

Some watches use luminescent paint on the hands and markers, while others use LED backlighting.

High-end models may use tritium gas tubes, which provide constant illumination without needing exposure to light.

Battery Life

A tactical watch is only as good as its power source. Look for a watch with a long-lasting battery life. Some watches use standard batteries, while others are solar-powered, which can be a great option if you spend a lot of time outdoors. There are also kinetic watches that generate power from the wearer’s movement.

Features

Tactical watches come with a wide range of features, and the ones you need will depend on how you plan to use the watch. Some common features include:

  • Compass: A built-in compass can be invaluable for navigation, particularly if you’re hiking, camping, or involved in other outdoor activities.
  • Altimeter/Barometer: These features can provide useful information about your altitude and the atmospheric pressure – helpful data for climbers, hikers, and those interested in weather trends.
  • Chronograph: Also known as a stopwatch, this function can be handy for timing events or tasks.
  • GPS: Some high-end tactical watches include GPS functionality, allowing you to navigate and track your routes.

Brand and Price

Finally, consider the brand and price of the watch. While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option, it’s worth remembering that you often get what you pay for.

Brands like Casio, Suunto, Garmin, and Luminox have a solid reputation for producing high-quality tactical watches.

Decide on a budget that suits you, but bear in mind that investing in a reliable, durable tactical watch can save you money in the long run.

FAQs

What watch do the Navy SEALs wear?

While the United States Government doesn’t specify an official watch for the Navy SEALs, many SEALs are known to prefer the Casio G-Shock and the Luminox Navy SEAL watches due to their durability and reliability. These watches are known for being nearly indestructible and relatively inexpensive to replace, making them a favorite among the military personnel.

What watch do most military wear?

The Casio G-Shock is a popular choice among many military personnel due to its ruggedness and reliability. It’s shock-resistant, water-resistant, and comes with a range of features that can be useful in a military setting.

What watches do the army use?

The choice of watch in the army can vary greatly based on personal preference and specific needs. However, durable and reliable watches like the Casio G-Shock and the Luminox series are commonly used.

What kind of watches do the Marines use?

There isn’t an official watch for the Marines. However, watches that are durable, reliable, and have tactical features are often preferred. Brands like Casio (G-Shock series), Luminox, and Marathon are well-regarded in this regard.

What watch do CIA agents wear?

The specific watches that CIA agents wear are not publicly disclosed for security reasons. However, it is likely that they would choose a watch that is reliable, discreet, and functional.

What watch do Marine Raiders wear?

Just like other branches of the military, the choice of watch among Marine Raiders is largely based on personal preference and the specific requirements of their mission. Watches that are durable, reliable, and have tactical features, like the Casio G-Shock or the Luminox series, are likely choices.

Do Navy SEALs get Rolex watches?

There is no public record or official policy indicating that Navy SEALs are issued Rolex watches. The choice of watch is typically a personal decision based on the individual’s preferences and needs.

What watch do they wear in Swat?

The watches worn by SWAT team members can vary based on personal preference and the specific requirements of their role. However, durable, reliable, and feature-rich tactical watches like the Casio G-Shock are commonly used.

Do Navy SEALs wear Garmin watches?

While there is no official watch for the Navy SEALs, it is possible that some may choose to wear Garmin watches. Garmin offers a range of tactical watches that provide useful features such as GPS navigation, which could be beneficial in the field.

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