It is difficult to formulate an exact definition of what a tactical watch is. Similarly, there is no clear list of features and characteristics that a good military watch should have. Traditionally, tactical models are considered to be super-strong, durable and multifunctional models. They are able to withstand low and high temperatures, immersion under water, are not afraid of sand, dust and dirt.

Such watches are especially relevant in wartime: comfortable and multifunctional, they help to effectively carry out combat missions and navigate the terrain. In peacetime, they are used by the military, special services, police, firefighters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

What army watch is better to choose, what functions and parameters to pay first of all, we will consider in detail. Below you will also find an overview of the best tactical watches: the ranking contains the TOP 10 most popular models.

How to choose a watch for the military: a list of important features
The necessary characteristics are allocated depending on the purpose. We suggest paying attention to the parameters that will help assess how a particular option is suitable for extreme conditions.


The best army commander’s watches are mostly mechanical, often of a classic design. However, in combat, quartz (analogue or electronic) or smartwatches are better suited to perform tactical tasks. They show the exact time without winding. But mechanical military watches require constant winding, otherwise they may show the time incorrectly.


In the instructions or on the device itself, there is a marking that confirms the shock and scratch resistance. In the description of the models, some manufacturers indicate for what loads the watch is intended.

Also pay attention to the materials of the strap, case and glass. The best military watches in the world are made of polymer with carbon, sapphire or combination glass. The strap is usually rubber or silicone – durable, soft, lightweight, not afraid of moisture and dirt. American military watches also use nylon or canvas straps. The hand does not sweat in them, they dry quickly after getting into the water.

Leather or man-made straps are sometimes reinforced with a rubber lining. Then they are worn well, but outwardly they look like everyday ones. Against the background of rubber and canvas straps, metal bracelets are a less recommended option for the military. Since they have a more rigid connection with the watch case and are not so mobile in adjusting the length of the wrist circumference, for example, when putting on over a sleeve, and also, if necessary, attaching to equipment.

As for fastening, it is better with screws, it is much more durable than budget studs. More chances that the watch will not get lost while moving. Some manufacturers offer special mounting systems. For example, the Garmin QuickFit system provides for fastening the strap with latches. Even when struck or dropped, the latches will not open.


The minimum acceptable water resistance level for military gadgets is 100m, the best military watches can be water resistant to 1000m, 1500m, 2000m or even 3000m.

Medium water resistance is sufficient if tactical tasks do not involve swimming or diving under water.


The quartz movement, compared to the rest, is the least affected by the environment, it will definitely not fail even with a significant load. The minimum battery capacity is enough for 2 years, the best quartz watches last 10, 15 or 20 years without changing the battery.

Mechanical devices are affected by magnetic field radiation. Strong radiation can permanently damage the mechanism. Therefore, if you are looking for a mechanical tactical watch, we recommend choosing a model with anti-magnetic properties only.

If you choose a military smart watch, it is important that it works offline and without connecting to a smartphone. Then you can read the indicators, even if the connection is lost. Pay attention to battery capacity. Well, if it is enough for at least a few days of battery life.

The weight

Specifications should not affect the weight of the watch. For the military with heavy equipment, it is important that the gadget is a convenient addition to the equipment. Military watches weigh no more than 130 grams, there are also very light models weighing 60-80 grams.

Functionality depends primarily on the mechanism.

Wrist mechanical military watches offer a much more modest list of features compared to today’s smart devices. The list of basic functions includes:

  • torch;
  • depth sensors (depth gauge), altitude (altimeter/altimeter), pressure (barometer), temperature (thermograph), acceleration (accelerometer);
  • backlight;
  • compass;

stopwatch, timer or chronograph.

Smart watches for the military offer advanced features:

  • GPS, Glonass, Galileo – one or several satellite navigation systems;
  • the ability to download or view topographic maps online;
  • bluetooth;
  • Internet access via mobile data transfer or Wi-Fi connection, the ability to download additional applications;

ANT wireless secure data transmission protocol, also for tracking activity, sleep, health indicators, more accurate location.
For tactical tasks, a basic set of functions is sufficient, but advanced capabilities can make it easier to navigate the terrain, communicate with the military and civilians, configure and use army equipment.

Rating of the best tactical watches
The military chooses the brands CASIO, Luminox, Traser, Tawatec, Marathon. NATO military watches are represented by Hamilton, MWC, Surefire. The cost of products of these brands on average can start from $ 1,000. We suggest paying attention to devices from $100 to $2,000.

The ranking of the best tactical watches from SEKUNDA includes 10 models from three manufacturers: CASIO, Garmin, Suunto. The list includes products with a quartz movement and smart watches.

CASIO Mudmaster GWG-2000-1A1

The Mudmaster GWG2000 series was the first among all G-Shocks to use a material that is unique in terms of strength – molded carbon. To improve the characteristics of the case, resin and stainless steel were also included in the alloy. The case is not afraid of scratches, dirt, has a water resistance of 200 meters. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal. The durability of the Mudmaster GWG2000 is unrivaled and can be considered the best military wristwatch in terms of impact resistance. The weight is 106 g and the dimensions are 61.2 x 54.4. Such a massive option is best suited for a wide wrist.

Additionally, the Tough Solar function is built-in – recharging from a solar battery. One charge from the sun is enough for several more months of work. But the technology does not end there – the CASIO Mudmaster GWG-2000-1A1 also has a built-in Multiband 6 function. This is the name of the radio synchronization method, thanks to which the gadget always shows the exact time down to the second.

Triple sensor reads heading, altitude, barometric pressure and temperature. Keep in mind that the altimeter is barometric, so altitude readings are read only based on atmospheric pressure. If you need a clear height calculation, instead of quartz devices, it is better to choose military smartwatches.