Today, the features offered by the major brands are so similar that it is difficult to distinguish between sports watches and tactical military watches. Today we have come up with a list of the BEST TACTICAL MILITARY WATCHES In 2022. read on to find the best one for you and your loved ones.

What is a tactical watch?

Until a few years ago, the armed forces of the main military nations, including the United States, used digital options, but with basic characteristics (stopwatch, extension, time zone, the minimum density of 100 meters of water, etc.). They were looking for something ideal mixing precision and resistance. Therefore, it is made of plastic material, especially resin, and has achieved significant weight reduction and greater comfort.

However, with the introduction of smartwatches, the military wanted to incorporate more functions to improve the military’s tactical and strategic performance. For example, GPS location, ability to receive messages, night vision support, or good visibility.

Advantages of Tactical Watches

The enhanced functionality will significantly reduce battery performance. For employment, if it offers a GPS location, this type of service consumes a lot of battery, especially if it is activated continuously. In these cases, it is convenient to only activate the functionality when it is really needed. In this case, if the battery life was several years with the options of a traditional tactical watch, today with extra features in a few days the battery can be discharged.

There are tactical watches that include extra and additional power systems that will prevent them from running out of battery. When the first military watches for aviation pilots emerged, mechanisms were used by means of winding or automatic so that either by winding or with the simple movement they were recharged. 

Currently, there is also this option for automatic watches, but for digital ones where it has specific functions such as barometric or geolocation, there are options using solar charging. In this way, we ensure that they will not run out of battery, especially in emergency circumstances.

Differences between Military and Sports Watches

Nowadays these two types of watches are mixed very often because both can offer similar features. Since it is common to find GPS functions in sports watches to track outdoor sports activities or report sudden weather changes in navigation-type watches. To differentiate them, it is necessary to analyze how they present the information, with what intention, and how they manage the energy part. Another clear difference is that additional features often appear in military tactical watches that are rarely available in conventional or so-called civilian watches. For example, when a GPS watch allows continuous tracking activation to allow routes to be exported, it is clearly not intended for military use.

Specific functions of the Best Military Tactical Watches

Day and night vision display switching

It is common for smartwatches to offer various brightnesses or luminosities to work in dark or light environments. Imagine that we are on a night mission with the appropriate clothing. It would not help anything in our camouflage if the clock shines more than necessary to make a query since the enemy can easily discover us by the brightness of the screen or reflection of the glass. These are aspects that must be properly considered before opting for a tactical watch.

High precision timing mechanisms

Military Grid Reference Systems (MGRS) are commonly used in the military environment. This type of system provides high location precision, presenting the coordinates in a special way so that teams can be sent on special missions. 

Unlike the coordinates of a conventional GPS where the longitude and latitude are indicated, military equipment uses either a universal transverse Mercator projection (UTM) or a universal polar stereographic projection (UPS). This type of coordinate is expressed with strings of alphanumeric characters. This type of MGRS coordinate defines an area on the earth’s surface and not a specific point. MGRS character strings are exactly 15 characters long and are made up of the following components: grid zone designation,

Stealth mode activation

This feature is typical of military tactical watches. This feature disables the tactical watch in terms of position and signal, thus making it invisible to the enemy. When this option is enabled, the watch activates a special backlight that enemies cannot see with night vision devices. 

Stealth mode also provides that no radio signals are emitted. This means that the watch will disconnect all wireless connections to other connected devices as needed. At the same time, memory writes are disabled and not sent.

What should a good military tactical watch look like?

A good military tactical watch should have a good mix of features that will get you through survival or emergency situations. It must have an aesthetically good design that ensures comfort, that is discreet and consistent with clothing, if necessary with camouflage colors and above all, it must be resistant to shocks, humidity, dust, and mud.

Of course, it must also be an accurate watch, which is a feature that virtually all military watches offer. In addition to showing the correct time, it must be easy to use with functions accessible with its own buttons or with a few clicks. These buttons must have a hard touch but communicate when they have been pressed and must be designed to be used even with gloves or in situations with strong movements or vibrations such as inside a transport such as an armored vehicle or tank.

What color should a tactical watch be?

Most military watches are dark or black. There are also greenish colors and even shades of various green camouflage. They can be found with more yellowish colors that simulate situations in desert environments and also with white tones to blend in with cold snowy environments. 

As for the straps, they are usually made of rubber or rubber since they allow a better fit. In some cases, it is convenient to use more elastic or NATO-type straps with a slightly larger size to facilitate their placement on uniforms or wetsuits, depending on the mission.

Is there an ideal tactical watch?

There are watches with multiple functions, but there is not a watch destined for all types of missions. It is convenient, like other aspects of life, to select the most appropriate according to the type of mission in which it is going to be used. These tactical watches are suitable for military operations.

There are some with solar charging functions that will ensure uninterrupted operation in practically any type of situation. These watches work with both sunlight and artificial light.

There are other specific watches to be used in water dives, even with low visibility. This type of watch, in addition to being water-resistant to various atmospheres, has large indications and numbers to facilitate reading in these conditions, even in low light. Some of these watches include depth sensors that allow them to include compression and decompression tables to alert against dives that are not recommended or dangerous.

Others come with a large array of sensors like temperature measurements, compasses, barometers, and altimeters. In addition to presenting or recording these parameters, they offer advanced weather forecasting functions based on the detection of sudden changes in these parameters.

When we talk about resistance it is not enough to have a steel or titanium case as well as sapphire crystal. In a tactical watch, it is necessary to ensure that under practically all types of situations, including accidents or impacts, the watch will continue to perform its function. 

This is why there are standardized military certifications such as MIL STD810 that ensure maximum resistance of tactical watches. To obtain this certificate, these watches must have passed a series of extreme tests in conditions such as low pressure, exposure to high and low temperatures, water, humidity, resistance to fungi, rust, sand, dust, as well as high accelerations, impacts or vibrations.

Atomic clock synchronization

Atomic clocks are radio-controlled wristwatches that display the most accurate time in the world. The tactical atomic clock receives low-frequency signals at night and is perfectly synchronized, so there is no need to set the time or date. For this, there are some stations that broadcast at certain frequencies located in different locations both in Europe and on other continents.

List of the Top 10 Military Tactical Watches

Here is a good selection of watches suitable for different types of missions. The most notable properties are indicated to facilitate your decision.

Garmin Military Tactical Watch


Garmin Instinct Tactical is a complete military tool. It is MILSTD 810G certified, which is a US Army standard. It is resistant to extreme conditions. The watch weighs just 53g and has a case size of 45x45x15.3mm (ideal for a 132.224mm wrist). Its screen is monochrome, 128 x 128 pixels, and is equipped with shock-resistant reinforced glass. The bezel and case are made of polymer with fibers and the strap is made of silicone. The watch can be connected to Android phones and iPhones via Bluetooth. Access smart notifications, calendars, music controls, and connections with the Garmin Connect app. It has the ability to locate and monitor mobile phones if they are lost.

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Garmin Smartwatch -Tactix Delta – Sapphire Edition – GPS – Memory/History 32 GB – Ref: 010-02357-00

It has three modes of use: hidden, night vision (compatible with special glasses), and double grid coordinates. Preconfigured for sports activity profiles such as fitness/gym, training/planning, running, outdoor recreation, swimming, and cycling. Each profile contains features that are useful for each activity.

Battery life depends on usage. 14 hours in smart mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 40 hours straight in UltraTrac mode. Its water resistance is 10 ATM and its internal memory is 16 MB. Available in 18 colors.

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Casio G-Shock GA2100 W20BAR

It is the sportiest model because it has a synthetic resin case and bracelet. It weighs just 51g and measures approximately 8.46 x 0.47 x 1.77 inches. Withstands immersions up to 200m and its special casing resists shocks and vibrations. The built-in battery has a lifespan of about 10 years, and the mineral glass protects it from damage and scratches. In fact, it can withstand a drop of up to 10 meters.

Casio Men's Analog-Digital Quartz Watch with Resin Strap GA-2100SU-1AER

This watch does not include GPS, Bluetooth connection, or other sports functions like the previous one. This is a more modest version and can also be adapted to urban situations.

Another advantage is that the results are measured for 12 hours. This makes it ideal for trail enthusiasts and those passionate about survival activities.

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Suunto Traverse military tactical smartwatch

Suunto Traverse is primarily aimed at hikers and is of course ideal for army use as well. Because it uses GPS and GLONASS, it can triangulate your current location, speed, and destination. Like other models of the brand, the barometric pressure information is measured with Fused Alt (altitude, speed, ascent, etc.). It is MIL-STD 810G military certified and has passed 19 resistance tests.

Compatibility with Android phones and iPhones allows synchronization with the Suunto app, complementing the native functions of the watch. You’ll see workout summaries, stats, performance tips, notifications, new profile creations, and activity card views.

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Suunto TRAVERSE Black, Outdoor GPS watch SS021843000

This military survival watch has 100 hours of battery life (14 days in traditional watch mode) and is compatible with night vision goggles.

Also, you can access the trail routes in real-time as a navigation route. This is the most complete model in the Suunto Traverse collection, and also highlights the Suunto Traverse Alpha. It weighs 80g and measures 50x50x16.5mm.

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Casio G-Shock Chronograph GGB1001A9

If you are looking for a tool that is intact and can withstand extreme use, the Casio GShock GGB1001A9ER is your choice. The first thing to keep in mind is that it is made of carbon resin. Seals and prevents entry of dust, dirt, mud, and water.

Its double back cover is made of stainless steel and the top cover is made of resin with fiberglass inlays. There is no hit to transform it.

Casio Men's Quartz Watch with Plastic Strap GG-B100-1A9ER

This model can withstand 200 meters of immersion and can be connected to mobile devices via Bluetooth. Its system can be configured in 12/24 hours, it has an automatically programmable calendar up to 2099, and it is in analog or digital format. The watch weighs 92 grams and measures 55.4 x 53.1 x 19.3 mm.

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Luminox 3580 – Ultra Light Weight Tactical Watch

Inspired by the Navy Seal, the Luminox 3580 series includes six watch models that can withstand the harshest conditions. Of these, the Navy Seal-3581 chronograph is the most complete and versatile for time lovers.

Protected by hardened sapphire crystal, resistant to shocks and scratches. The remaining parts are made of stainless steel and black rubber. Withstands 200 meters of submersion and features 25 years of custom battery-powered lighting.

Luminox Analogue Watch for Unisex Adult Automatic with Rubber Strap XS.3581.EY

This is a simple model without GPS or other functions. These tactical watches can be used as aids for military missions, training, and critical time exploration.

Its additional functionality is limited to chronograph functionality. Its bezel can be rotated in one direction and it has a buckle and a small window for the date. The pressure crown prevents the entry of dust particles.

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Citizen AT0200-05E

It doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars for a watch to be excellent. In fact, there are many high-quality and affordable watches on the market and they are worth it. But every good affordable watch has hundreds of inferior affordable watches that are not well built and not worth buying.

If you’re looking for an affordable military-style chronograph with a clean, timeless design, great features, high quality, and reliability, the Citizen AW5000-16L EcoDrive

Citizen Men's Analogue Quartz Watch with Nylon Strap AW5000-16L

Citizen AT020005E Eco-Drive is priced at around $132 and has excellent performance. It has most of what you could want and need in an aviator chronograph watch but offers it at an attractive price. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why this watch is so popular.

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Casio G-Shock GD-120CM-8DR Military Camo 

This military watch is designed to meet the wishes and goals of the most demanding people in the field of sports. This is an ideal companion for timing and monitoring physical performance in terms of time and effort, maximizing processing simplification, and setting the features required for a particular workout.

Casio Watch for GD-120CM-8

This watch from the GSquad generation stands out for its elegant design combined with the latest technology. It integrates a 3-axis accelerometer and its main function is to record the number of steps per day. The

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G-Shock GD-120CM-5CR – Watch

GShock has a unique feature that allows you to pair it with your smartphone, send the data stored in the app, analyze it, and track your fitness. This process is done automatically four times a day by the same watch.

G-Shock GD-120CM-5CR - Watch

It also describes the number of calories lost in your daily, weekly, and monthly exercise regimen. Thus, thanks to the connectivity of social networks, you will not miss any of it, nor your friends. The latter allows you to broadcast your performance to your fitness partners.

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Final Thoughts On The Best Military Tactical Watches

Garmin Tactix Delta is a great Military Tactical watch with Premium GPS and Specialized Tactical Features that are Designed to Meet Military Standards.

The watch’s tactical features include a dual-position GPS coordinate data page that supports Jumpmaster activity, Night vision, waypoint projection, and Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) display, degrees/minutes/seconds, and more. A function that makes it one of the best military tactical watches.

The integrated map and navigation features of the Tactix delta Watch help you stay oriented and keep track of things. Includes a preloaded full-color TopoActive map of Europe, optimized for at-a-glance navigation and location tracking. Reception via GPS and the GLONASS satellite network provides better positioning in demanding environments than using GPS alone. You can also use the watch to create and track routes and mark locations such as campsites, vehicles, roadblocks, and other points of interest.

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