Security personnel, soldiers of fortune, boots on the ground grunts, extreme sportsmen, survivalists, and anyone who lives on the edge and pushes the boundaries of life should have a tactical watch on their wrist. These timepieces are made to stand up to the elements, survive hideous abuse, and keep perfect time even when the power is out, the government has broken down, infrastructure has collapsed, and Jar Jar Binks is the lead in the next Star Wars film. They’re waterproof, scratch resistant, and often have a few pathfinding features for escaping the wilderness in one piece.
Picking a watch for military or paramilitary use is all about your needs, but all of them need a few basic features: Foremost should be rugged scratch and shock resistance, usually a nice sapphire crystal with a quartz interior. Then you look for waterproofing and pressure fighting. We suggest aiming for higher ATM’s (atmospheres) to ensure that a jump in the ocean to save one of your mates from drowning won’t bust your watch. Finally, we try to go analog rather than digital for longevity. So that you make it out of the bush alive, we’ve got your 15 best military and tactical watches.
TIMEX T49612 EXPEDITION TRAIL SERIES
Pro: Practically unbreakable
Con: Acrylic dial window
Standard Issue: Don’t let the digital readout fool you, the Expedition is built with quartz movement that will keep it on track. Using 16 compass points, this can work for map tracking and pathfinding while a nice resin band means it shall not leave your wrist.