If you are going to be out there on an adventure, then using a regular wristwatch is not going to be the best thing to do. Not only can they get easily damaged but they won’t have many functions either. Using the best military tactical watch will not only give you durability but it will be highly useful too.

The best tactical watch isn’t just about telling the time. They will be able to survive extreme environments while giving you different functions which can all be valuable. Trying to decide what type of watch can be the best for you can be a little tricky, as there is a lot of choices out there.

That’s where we can help as we will look at all the key aspects of the watch and also explain any additional features it may have. We have also completed a list of reviews to show you which are the best tactical watches on the market. Once you have finished reading, you’ll know exactly what you need.

How To Choose a Tactical Watch – Buying Guide



Before deciding which watch to buy, it’s important to work out what type of watch is it that you want to have. You may be looking for a simpler and stylish one or you could be looking for one that has all the various features available.

If you’re going to be doing an outdoor activity then you want to make sure that you are getting a watch that is going to be able to cope with that environment. If you are camping, for example, and constantly having to deal with camping gear then a feature such as scratch resistance is vital.

All of the watches that we have featured here are going to be able to have a high amount of durability, but some offer more than others. A lot about choosing the type of watch you need is working out your personal preferences and exactly what type of features are essential.


People are using watches to tell the timeless than ever, with some simply using it as a style item. If you are looking for the best military watch though, being able to tell the time is probably going to be of vital importance along with other features.

In order to tell the time you have to decide on what is now a fundamental question in regards to reading time, and that is whether you want a watch with an analog time or if you want one with digital time, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

An analog watch is a type that we have seen for centuries, with the typical clock face that we grew up with and learned to tell the time on. This is still the type you will see on the vast majority of fashion watches but not as commonly on tactical watches.

A digital watch is where you will see the tie referenced in numbers and not hands. This is the type that you will see on phones and computer desktops. Many prefer this on tactical watches as not only do a lot of people view it as easier to read but it also takes up less space on a watch face and allows dials for different types of features.

The choice is up to you as you may prefer the look of an analog watch and find it as easy to read. There is no difference in their ability to tell time and it is just a stylistic choice depending on your own personal preferences.


If you are going to be in the great outdoors on a long hiking trip or for any other reason then it’s possible that you are going to need directional help. A compass can help with that and there are a few of these watches that have a compass ability built into them.

If you aren’t carrying a compass with you then this can be a great additional feature and one which could help you out a lot. Not many people will use them for directional purposes on land if they have other means but they can be great in emergencies.

Most compasses in watches won’t be magnetic and instead will be a digital compass that is going to be able to show you where you are. If you are on an outdoor adventure then this could end up being an invaluable feature.

Related Review: Compass Watches


If you are looking for absolute precision from your watch then it would be a good idea to look for one that has a chronometer. This is a standard that is given to watches that are particularly precise and won’t ever let you down.

The reason for that is due to the fact that any change in the elasticity of the balance spring is accounted for as this can be affected by changes in temperature. This, along with other innovations, makes a chronometer the most precise watch.

If you’re looking into a digital watch then this would be irrelevant and if you wanted a watch with a traditional face then you wouldn’t really need that level of accuracy if you are looking into a military watch, as a common analog watch is still going to be highly precise.

Design And Measurements

The design of your watch is clearly going to be very crucial in making sure that your watch is going to be able to fit in with the use that you have for it. Having a watch with a metal strap, for example, isn’t going to be a good idea on a military watch.

Having scratch resistance is an example of the type of design aspect you should be looking for, getting a good watch means that you need one that is going to be well-designed and on that is going to be able to cope in numerous different circumstances.

In terms of measurements, having numerous alarm features can be very useful in terms of setting goals or giving yourself a time limit. These will come in useful in a number of a different situations, whether that is having fun or something more serious.


The weight of a watch isn’t going to be of a huge concern but it is something that you are going to need to double-check to just ensure that you are not going to get one which feels too heavy for your wrist. Wearing a heavy watch all day could end up be highly irritating.

If you’re are buying a metal watch which has a metal strap though then you could well find that it is going to be too heavy to be comfortable all day on your wrist. Most of the watches that we have featured here have a stainless steel face and a fabric strap.

That should be more than comfortable for everyday use but there are other options out there. Getting a watch that is made out of carbon fiber will be able to give you the best level of weight but a stainless steel watch would be fine for almost everyone.


This is a highly specialized source of lighting that you are going to see on very few watches. GTLS stands for Gaseous Tritium Light Source and is where a combination of tritium and phosphors are used to create visible light.

This is a cold light source and doesn’t require any external power or solar electricity. It will be able to last for around 10 years and will enable us to see the time at any time of the day without having to press any buttons or relying on a battery.

It works by the tritium gas interacting with the phosphors and creating a reaction. It is safe but will gradually dim over time. It can be replaced though but for most people, they would prefer to go with the simplicity of an LED light.


A barometer is a measure of atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure is effectively the combined pressure that the air is pushing on objects. This is exactly the same type of pressure that happens when you are deep in water but to a much smaller scale.

Changes in atmospheric pressure aren’t really something that you can sense as a human but a barometer will be able to do that for you. The reason that a barometer is useful is that it is very good at being able to read what the weather is just about to do.

If your barometer reading is high then that is a good sign and means it is going to be clear as clouds can’t form. If it falls from a high position then that will mean that it will likely become cloudy. If the barometer falls rapidly from an already low reading then this is a good indicator that a storm is on the way.

This is going to have its uses, especially if you are doing a long hiking trip. If you know that there’s a storm coming then you will be able to better prepare for it rather than being caught out in the rain. Having and being able to read air pressure is very useful.

Triple Sensor

If a watch has a triple sensor then that means that is has a lot of functionality in terms of helping you with directions, weather, and temperature too. This can be very useful when you are out there, depending on the type of situation you are in.

Two parts of that triple sensor are features that we have already gone through in regards to the compass and the barometer. Another sensor to add to link in with the barometer though is the altitude which some watches are going to be able to show.

Temperature is another good sensor to have as this can be a case of comfort and safety. Having all these sensors can be very useful in making sure that you don’t get caught out in difficult conditions and also ensuring your safety in difficult conditions.

Water And Pressure Resistant

Water-resistance is important in any watch, even if you never plan on actually ever going in the water. There is going to be a time when you are caught out in the rain or possibly have an accident and without any water resistance your watch would simply fail.

All the watches that we have featured here though have a great level of water and pressure resistance; therefore you are never going to have to worry about them getting wet. If you are going snorkeling, then you may want to look into it a little more closely.

Even with an activity such as snorkeling, these watches we have featured would all perform well in that type of water depth. If you are choosing a military watch, then you should never have to worry about it getting wet and failing you.

Scratch Resistance

I’m sure most of us at one stage of our lives have got a new product only for it to be scratched straight away, or it could well be that you have tried to keep the cover on it to prevent its perfect finish from being badly affected.

Scratch resistance is especially important to have on a watch as this is a product that is more likely than others to come into contact with something abrasive considering that it is going to be worn on the outside of your wrist.

Most companies are going to be able to give you a good level of scratch resistance. If you are quite clumsy or simply want extra protection then it’s a good idea to look for a watch where the face of the watch sits back from the edge.  Therefore if you were to scrape your watch on the side of a wall, for example, the first contact would be with the wall of the watch and not the glass face.


A warranty can always be a useful thing to have on a product as it will give you peace of mind that you are getting a quality product and one that will be able to be replaced or repaired if something should go wrong with it.

If a product is backed by a good warranty then it is likely that it is going to be able to give you a lot of confidence that it is going to be a very well-made product. It will also help to give you peace of mind too as you won’t be as anxious about paying the price.

There is a word of warning though when it comes to product and warranties and that is the fact that you need to know exactly what is covered. Some will cover some damage or defects and others won’t, if this is something you are worried about then it is always a good idea to find out what is exactly being offered.


One of the reasons that you are going to be looking at tactical watches is that you want them to be able to be very reliable and won’t break at the first sign of shock or the first contact with water. If you are planning any activity then it’s likely its strength will be tested at some point.

Water-resistance should be a feature on every watch but shock-proofing isn’t. If you are going to be doing an intense activity then it is probably going to be a good idea to look for this option but if you are doing something more sedate then it’s not much of an issue.

All these products we have features are well-made and have a high level of durability. User reviews are a good place to check the durability of a product from those who have been wearing them for a long time. It is likely that these watches are going to be in challenging conditions, therefore reliability is important.



Q: What Is a Tactical Military Watch?


If something is labeled as tactical then it means that it is effectively military quality. To have that name it needs to be able to survive in the worst conditions and still be able to be highly functional and give you all the information you need.

There is no specific criteria for a product being a military watch but you know it was to be rugged and durable. These watched are great for anyone wanting to head out there and do any type of exciting adventure.

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Tactical And Regular Watch?


There are many different types of watches on the market that are all there for different purposes. Just as you wouldn’t plan to go on a camping trip with a Rolex you aren’t going to go to an expensive dinner wearing your military watch.

A military watch will be able to offer you ruggedness and a strength that most other watches aren’t going to have. A lot of them also offer plenty of additional features too that will ensure you are going to stay safe and protected while you are outdoors.

Q: What Are The Benefits Of Using A Tactical Military Watch?


If you are going to be using a regular wristwatch when you are in a tough environment then you could well find that it will break quickly and not be of much use. All tactical equipment should be there for you through tough conditions where it is never going to stop working.

That benefit of its toughness is going to be able to give you peace of mind and confidence. Added to that, its additional features such as the alarm settings and the sensors will be able to give you a lot of functionality and usability that you don’t get with other watches.

Q: Who Should Purchase a Tactical Military Watch?


A military watch is going to be good for anyone who is going to be doing an activity outdoors. That would well be hiking, backpacking, camping, snorkeling or fishing and many others. It is a great option for anyone who is going to be in those types of surroundings.

The reason for that is the type of environment that you are going to be surrounded by. The potential to need the likes of navigation equipment, sensors, timers and a watch that isn’t going to break easily are going to be heightened when you are doing an outdoor activity.

Q: Why Would You Want A Tactical Military Watch?


It could be that you are happy to use the clock on your phone to tell the time and you might already have the type of sensors that you can find on a military watch, or simply don’t need them. This is, of course, going to be a personal preference.

There are obvious downsides there though. Everyone knows the problems that smartphones have with battery life and you also wouldn’t want to get them out if it was raining. A watch is an extremely convenient way of getting the information you need without having to worry about battery or damaging it.

Q: Are All Tactical Watches Submergible?


A watch should never claim to be a military watch is it wasn’t submersible. That being said though, it’s always worth to double-check to see if they are making claims that they are going to be able to back up. Water-resistance though should be a non-negotiable feature of a good watch.

All the watches that we have looked at here have a very good level of waterproofing and you would have no worries about getting in a shower, putting your hands in a stream or jumping in the water. If you are going to be diving, then you simply need to check the maximum depth.

Q: What can Tactical Watches do that others can’t?


Tactical watches generally have a higher level of build quality and durability than many other watches. They will be able to handle very tough environments where other types of watch would simply fail.

Having sensors which as a barometer, altimeter, thermometer and a compass are design aspects that you are not going to see on most watches, some tactical watches are able to have these features which sets them apart from the rest of the competition.

Related Review: Altimeter Watches

Q: How do you Care for a Tactical Military Watch?


Due to how these watches are generally made, you don’t have to worry too much about caring for them as they are meant to last for a long time. When you are back from whatever adventure you have been on then it is a good idea to wipe down any dirt from them.

Using a small soft brush, such as a toothbrush, is a good way of getting out any stubborn bits of dirt and when it is fully cleaned it is then a good idea to make sure that it is fully dry before storing it somewhere that is going to keep it dry.

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These watches can be a great way to get out there with a high amount of confidence that you have a watch that is always going to be able to tell the time and give you a high degree of functions, whatever type of environment you are going to be in.

Choosing one of the best tactical watches is going to be important as you will be able to weigh up what type of features you need and what you can leave without. A lot of this will depend on the type of activities that you are going to be doing.

Once you know what type of activities you will be doing and what features you need, you’ll be able to choose the perfect watch for you. Once you have, then you are going to be able to get out there in full confidence that you have a great watch that is going to be able to suit your needs.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!