7 Best Military Watches: Top Picks for Tactical Use in 2024

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The best tactical smartwatch is no ordinary watch. In severe situations – whether that’s in the armed forces or extreme adventure conditions – a military grade smartwatch can switch up from being a mere accurate timepiece to a crucial hub of information and even a lifesaver.

| TL;DR From Author & Physical Therapist

Stay fully informed at all times with the Garmin Instinct 2X Solar. This rugged and reliable GPS smartwatch will keep on marching night and day with its long-lasting battery and solar powered backup, making sure you have all the stats and info to hand.

The best military smart watches are essential timepieces designed to withstand harsh conditions and environments. They are built for durability, reliability, and accuracy, making them an ideal choice for those who need a watch that can keep up with their demanding lifestyle.

So whether you are a soldier, outdoor enthusiast, or someone who simply appreciates a rugged timepiece, a military watch is an excellent investment.

👉 Quick Verdict: Best Military Watches

Time not on your hands right now? Don’t have time to read the whole article? No Problemo!

If you’re in search of the best tactical watches that can keep up with all your military adventures, check out the Garmin Instinct 2X Tactical.

My Top Recommendations

Best Performance
Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Tactical-Edition, GPS Outdoor Watch
9.5
  • Solar Powered
  • Long Battery Life
  • Jumpmaster activity, waypoint projection, dual-position GPS format and preloaded tactical activity
  • Go dark with stealth mode
  • Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo)
  • All-day health monitoring
  • Rugged GPS smartwatch is water-rated to 100 meters
  • Constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and water resistance

I’ve put together this list of military watches that are not only the best for variable reasons, but also compliant with military uniform.


These top picks are designed to meet the needs of military personnel and outdoor enthusiasts alike, with features like shock resistance, water resistance, and GPS functionality.

Whether you need a watch for tactical operations, ‘leisurely’ pursuits such as hiking with a weighted vest, or even for everyday wear, there’ll be the best military watch for you.


7 Best military Watches

There are a host of reasons a tactical smartwatch could offer the best features for your needs. From experience, I know what to look for. So without further ado, here’s my top 7, and how they score for their best qualities.

1. Best Overall Tactical Watch: Garmin Instinct Tactical 2X Solar

⭐️⭐️⭐️RATING: 9.5/10 Stars | ✅ Buy it!

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar - Tactical Edition

Harness the reliable innovation of the Garmin Instinct Tactical to tackle your next adventure with unyielding precision and endurance.

Pros

  • Exceptional resilience to environmental stressors with military-grade durability
  • Solar charging capability enhances the convenience of sustained use
  • Stealth mode and advanced navigation tools promote mission-focused operations

Cons

  • May be cumbersome for those with smaller wrists due to its robust size
  • Premium features might overwhelm casual users
  • Some health tracking features have limited availability across regions

Whenever I strap the Garmin Instinct Tactical onto my wrist, I feel geared up for whatever lies ahead. Its solid build not only looks the part, but also delivers in quality. The solar charging feature only needs 3 hours of direct sunlight to provide unlimited battery life.

Navigating through dense forests or rugged terrain becomes less daunting with the watch’s top-notch GPS and multi-band technology. It’s also compatible with night vision goggles, should you need them on your route.

Your health and wellness metrics are crucial information, and this is all analysed and displayed clearly. Its comprehensive tracking will keep you well-informed about your physical state, allowing you to push your limits with sensible assurance.

Balancing between high tactical use and daily life, this timepiece adeptly becomes a part of everything you do, and provides the info and accuracy you need to do it.


2. Best Bang for Your Buck: Suunto 9 Peak Titanium

⭐️⭐️⭐️RATING: 8.5/10 Stars | ✅ Buy it!

Suunto 9 Peak Titanium Watch

The Suunto 9 Peak Titanium is a durable and reliable GPS watch that seamlessly blends into both your athletic and daily life activities.

Pros

  • Exceptionally tough with titanium bezel and sapphire glass
  • Long battery life with quick charging features
  • Waterproof and equipped with abundant sport modes

Cons

  • Premium price may not suit all budgets
  • Step counter can sometimes record accidental movements
  • GPS connectivity issues reported by some users

Despite its toughness, the Suunto 9 Peak Titanium has a lovely lightweight design which I could barely notice when I wore it. The titanium bezel is what gives this watch its robust quality.

Its various functions provide an intuitive user interface which is a breeze to operate, even when your focus is stretched thin during your mission or activity. The touch screen responds promptly too (not like some of the temperamental ones I’ve tried before), and there are 80 different sports modes.

3. Most Premium: Longines Heritage Military L2.819.4.93.2

⭐️⭐️⭐️RATING: 9.4/10 Stars | ✅ Buy it!

Longines Heritage Military L2.819.4.93.2

The Longines Heritage Military L2.819.4.93.2 combines vintage style and modern need – a real luxury in this niche.

Pros

  • The green leather band gives the watch a unique look.
  • The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal ensures the watch face stays clear.
  • The automatic movement means you won’t have to worry about winding the watch.

Cons

  • The band may be too short for some people.
  • The watch is only water-resistant up to 30 meters, which may not be enough for some outdoor activities.
  • The fixed bezel limits the watch’s functionality.

The Longines Heritage Military L2.819.4.93.2 is a stylish and reliable military watch. The green leather band gives the watch a distinctive appearance that will stand out from other military watches.

Its scratch-resistant sapphire crystal ensures the watch face stays clear and easy to read, even in harsh conditions. Plus, the automatic movement means you won’t have to worry about winding the watch, which is especially convenient if you’re going to wear the watch regularly.

I did notice that the band may be a little short for some, or cause mild discomfort if worn for an extended period. I should also point out that the watch is only water-resistant up to 30 meters – enough for some, and pretty impressive for its looks too, but it may not be deep enough for others.

The fixed bezel limits the watch’s functionality, making it less useful for activities such as diving. However, I love this watch for its premium quality and style.

4. Most Arnold-Looking: G-Shock GA-700UC Tan

⭐️⭐️⭐️RATING: 8.2/10 Stars | ✅ Buy it!

G-Shock GA-700UC Tan

The G-Shock GA-700UC Tan is the tough guy in this list – it’s mean, and you can’t help but love it!

Pros

  • Shock-resistant and water-resistant up to 200 meters – perfect for outdoor activities and extreme sports.
  • The LED light with custom illumination duration (1.5 and 3 seconds) makes it easy to read the time in low-light conditions.
  • The watch has a great fit and comfortable to wear all day.

Cons

  • The backlight is only for the analog display, which may be inconvenient for some users.
  • Quite large and may not be suitable for people with smaller wrists.
  • The watch does not have GPS or other advanced features that some users may prefer.

This G-Shock watch is designed to resist mechanical shock and vibration, making it the ultimate tough watch. The watch is also water-resistant up to 200 meters – it’s not afraid of getting in deep.

The LED light with custom illumination duration (1.5 and 3 seconds) makes it easy to read the time in low-light conditions. The watch also has world time 31 zones (48 cities + coordinated universal time), daylight savings on/off, and 5 daily alarms with 1 snooze alarm for the days Arnie might need an extra 5.

The watch has a great fit and comfortable to wear all day. It’s a perfect accessory for any outfit from casual to sporty and everywhere in between.

5. Best Survivalist: Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3749

⭐️⭐️⭐️RATING: 7.9/10 Stars | ✅ Buy it!

Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3749 Mens Watch

The Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3749 Mens Watch is as hardcore as its creator in the wild, and a high-end military watch that can survive anything.

Pros

  • Water-resistant up to 300 meters
  • Green and orange Luminox Light Technology ensures high visibility, even in low-light conditions
  • Made of high-quality, very durable materials

Cons

  • Quite expensive, which may not be affordable for everyone
  • The size of the watch may be too large for some people, especially those with smaller wrists
  • The instructions for using the watch may be difficult to understand for some people

The Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3749 Mens Watch is designed to help you survive in any situation, and it certainly lives up to its name. It is water-resistant up to 300 meters, reaching a whole other level compared to many others.

One of the standout features of this watch is the green and orange Luminox Light Technology. The watch hands and dial ring are illuminated, which ensures that the watch is always visible, even in low-light conditions. This can be crucially helpful in light-restricted situations.

The watch is also made of high-quality materials and is very durable. The sapphire crystal glass is extremely robust and has an anti-reflective coating. The watch is also protected by a stainless steel screw-in case back and has an unidirectional rotating bezel.

However, the watch is quite expensive, which may not be affordable for everyone. Additionally, the size of the watch may be too large for some people, especially those with smaller wrists.

You’ll also need to get your head around the instructions; but once you’ve found your way around, this is a high-functioning watch that does all it can to help itself and its wearer survive anything.

6. Best Value: SUUNTO 9 Baro

⭐️⭐️⭐️RATING: 8.5/10 Stars | ✅ Buy it!

SUUNTO 9 Baro

The SUUNTO 9 Baro is my top pick for value – a watch the offers plenty for a very fair price tag.

Pros

  • Designed to last up to 120 hours of continuous exercise tracking
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • SUUNTO app enables connection to your favorite sports apps and services

Cons

  • A bit of a learning curve to configure and use.
  • Heart rate monitor seems to read inaccurately at times
  • The display is too dim under most lighting conditions, indoor or out

With over 80 sports modes, a barometer for accurate altitude info, and a wrist heart rate monitor, this durable multisport watch is built to last. It’s great for every and any activity, indoor, outdoor, and in the water.

The SUUNTO 9 Baro is a very durable, reliable GPS watch – a Scandinavian design made with ultra-durable materials, this watch will help you keep life, training, and recovery in balance.

The watch also features a touch screen and is equipped with wireless connectivity technology. Its mounting type is wrist mount, and its battery life is 120 hours. The watch comes with a battery and is made of stainless steel.

Check out the full review to learn so much more about this awesome military watch, and why it might be your favorite pick.

7. Absolute Cheapest: PALADA Men’s Digital Sports Watch

⭐️⭐️⭐️RATING: 5.1/10 Stars | ✅ Buy it!

PALADA Men's Digital Sports Watch

The PALADA Men’s Digital Sports Watch offers the best of both worlds – military reliability, and it’s affordable.

Pros

  • Fashionable sporty dial design with a military-style outlook
  • Big numbers display with light and large dial allows for easy reading, even in the dark.
  • Water-resistant to 50m/164ft

Cons

  • Not suitable for long periods underwater
  • Features of the watch are limited
  • The dial window is made of acrylic mirror, which may not be as durable as other materials.

The PALADA Men’s Digital Sports Watch is a decent option for a super active lifestyle. The watch is shock-resistant, and the senior rubber band is also comfortable to wear all day without any discomfort.

The import EL lamp is also a nice touch, allowing you to see the time clearly in the light. Features of the watch are limited to LED backlight, 1/100 second digital stopwatch, auto calendar, hourly alarm and alarm clock, and 12/24 hour formats.

However, for the price, this watch really does offer a lot in terms of value for money, is super comfy, and works very well.





Military Grade Smartwatch Considerations

best military watches

Are Military Watches Worth it?

Not everyone needs one. But they are good for 👇

  • 🥾 Mountaineers, Trekkers, Hikers
  • 🚴‍♀️ Multi-sport Athletes
  • 🌏 Rugged Travelers
  • 💗 Militiary Members

When selecting a military watch, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the best product for your needs and military regulations. Here are some key features to look for:

Durability

Military watches are designed to withstand harsh conditions and rough handling. Look for watches made with tough materials like stainless steel or titanium. Also, check for features like scratch-resistant glass and water resistance.

Functionality

Military watches come with a variety of functions, from basic timekeeping to more advanced features like GPS and compasses. Consider what features are important to you and choose a watch that meets your needs.

🧭 Read until the end for my top travel recommendations for active travelers.

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➡️ 🥾Take a look at the world’s biggest rucking event in Nijmegen.
❓ Curious about weighted vest vs rucking?

Comfort

A military watch should be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Look for watches with adjustable bands and lightweight materials to ensure a comfortable fit.

Visibility

In military situations, it’s important to be able to read your watch quickly and easily. Look for watches with large, easy-to-read dials and high-contrast displays.

Battery Life

A military watch should have a long battery life to ensure it’s always ready when you need it. Look for watches with long-lasting batteries or those that can be easily recharged.

Price

Military watches come in a wide range of prices. Consider your budget and choose a watch that offers the features you need at a price you can afford.

Final Verdict

Best Performance
Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Tactical-Edition, GPS Outdoor Watch
9.5
  • Unlimited with solar charging in 3 hours of direct sunlight (50,000 lux) per day
  • Dedicated tactical features 
  • Stealth mode to disable wireless communication and data sharing
  • Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter
  • Water-rated to 100 meters
  • Constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and water resistance

Military Grade Smartwatch FAQs

What is a top-rated military watch for durability and functionality?

The G-Shock GA-700UC Tan is a highly-rated military watch that is known for its durability and functionality. It is designed to withstand harsh conditions and is resistant to shock, water, and dust.

What are the best military watches for water?

The G-Shock GA-700UC Tan functions at 200m, but the best right here is the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3749 Mens Watch and will keep on functioning at a whopping 300m.

Which brand offers the most reliable military watches for outdoor activities?

Casio is a brand that is well-known for producing reliable military watches for outdoor activities. Their G-Shock series is designed to withstand tough conditions and is known for its durability and toughness.

Garmin Instinct Tactical gets my top vote though, with its military reliability and durability to boot.

Are there any vintage military watches that are still highly recommended today?

Yes, the Hamilton Khaki Field Watch is a vintage military watch that is still highly recommended today. It was originally designed for the US military in the 1960s and is known for its durability and accuracy.

The Longines Heritage Military L2.819.4.93.2 also looks the part and is even water resistant (30m), despite its smart and swarve appearance.

What is the standard issue military watch for the US Armed Forces?

The standard issue military watch for the US armed forces does not exist. It depends on your job requirements and any speciality that is needed.


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Your watch is a crucial part of your military kit. I hope this list of the best military watches help you pick what’s right for your everyday challenges.


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Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.

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