CAMPING & HIKING

Best Military Watch: From Tactical Applications to Outdoor Adventures

Military Watch featured
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

For just about any outdoorsman, a reliable timekeeping tool is a must. Don’t you want a tool that will not only help you tell time but offers other features like determining the weather? If you want a great combination of accuracy, versatility and toughness, getting the best military watch should be in your best interest.

Military watches are made for toughness and they offer features you would need for wilderness adventures such as a thermometer and altimeter. However, it is always difficult to choose the right military watch for your needs as there is a myriad of options on the market. Good thing for you, we are here to help you out.

Today, we will be taking a look at some military watches we believe are the best on the market. On top of that, we will discuss the important factors you must take into consideration before making your purchase. Let’s take a look at some military watches!

Product Name Weight Water Resistance Level Best UsePrice
Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive15.84 oz100 mSnorkeling and swimmingCheck price on Amazon
Suunto Core 2.26 oz30 mHunting and outdoors activitiesCheck price on Amazon
Timex Expedition Gallatin16 oz50 mSwimming and outdoor activitiesCheck price on Amazon
Casio GW-9400-1CR10.40 oz200 mRecreational scuba divingCheck price on Amazon
Luminox LM8822.MI Recon Point 5 oz200 mSwimming and military useCheck price on Amazon
MARATHON WW194013 4 oz60 mMilitary and tactical useCheck price on Amazon
Casio Master of G Mudmaster4.16 oz200 mMarine activity and underwater sportsCheck price on Amazon
Seiko SNZG15 Seiko 5 8 oz100 mSnorkeling and swimmingCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

When buying a military watch, you definitely don’t want to go into the market blindly and you need have an idea of what you are buying. Take a look at the following considerations so as to know the features you must check for in your potential military watch.

Solar Powered

Solar technology is a very important feature you must take into consideration when buying a military watch. Solar technology enables your watch’s battery to be charged by light, either from light sources, or directly from the sun.

Solar powered watches have a solar cell and a battery that is charged by the power that is created by that cell. As soon as these watches are fully charged, they can last for up to 12 months.

Durability

For people living a rugged lifestyle or are in the military, durability is a very important factor you must consider. Military styled watches ought to be built with sturdy materials that offer excellent shock resistance and abrasion.

HEAD PORTER PLUS - Military Watch

Lenses that are made of mineral glass will produce less abrasion resistance that sapphire glass. Except for facing nuclear circumstances, testing is done to give you the certainty your watch can deal with whatever is thrown at you.

Tactical Styles and Functions

When you are looking for a military watch, then you are probably looking for just a watch that tells you time and date. A military styled watch ought to come with more sophisticated features such as altimeter, barometer, and compass.

The altimeter and compass will be very important in your adventure as they will help you navigate through the outdoors, and the barometer will provide data on the atmospheric pressure. Other features you should probably consider are a moon calendar, sunset and sunrise times, and a storm alarm.

Water Resistance

When a watch is water resistant rated, it means it is impervious to water to a specific degree, determined through lab testing beforehand. Generally, a watch will be categorized by how profound it can be safely submerged in water.

Since water resistance rating is determined by a lab test, you must keep in mind that the water resistance probably will reduce over time due to wear and tear. Regardless of the water resistant rating, you are advised to test the watch once in a while so as to be sure of its present level of water resistance.

GPS

Apart from the ABC features, contemporary watches usually come with a GPS feature as well. You must know that GPS features can’t replace reliable route finding, which also depends on better judgement and the choice of route.

The functionalities of GPS and the ABC features are combined in the best military watches, to deliver excellent results and performance, when it comes to navigation. Military watches that come with a GPS feature are incorporated with time synchronization alongside location tracking system.

GPS Military Watch

You can decide to employ the GPS feature in case the ABC functionalities are slowed down by either operational or mechanical issues. The GPS will find you a way when you are lost as it is connected to a limitless list of locations even you may not know.

Readability

While this is often overlooked by buyers, it is a very important consideration you must make when buying a military styled watch. You must know whether you will be able to read the display of your watch at all times regardless of the lighting situation or weather condition.

The benefit of opting for a watch that has luminous hands and markers rather than a watch that has a backlight, is that the watch with luminous hands and markers is virtually ‘automatic. As soon as the markers and hands have sucked up enough light from

Best Products on Today’s Market

Now that you know the various features to take into consideration when shopping for a military watch, it is now time to plunge into the reviews of some of the best military watches you can find on the market. Each of their features, pros and cons, and recommended products are discussed to help you make an informed decision.

Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Watch Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Watch

Price: Approx. $176

Weight: 15.84 oz.

Dimensions: 0.4 x 0.4 x 0.8 in

Specific features: Japanese quartz movement, charges in natural sunlight or indoor light, protective mineral crystal dial window, date window, three subdials, luminous hands, buckle closure, water resistant to 100 m.

Best use: Snorkeling and swimming

Description: While the Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Watch is a watch known for its incredible functions rather than style, it is a remarkable watch nevertheless, and for the solar technology incorporated in it, it is totally great and ideal for the outdoors. Besides, it is a very affordable watch that makes it an ideal option for everyone looking to get a watch with great features at a cheap price.

Furthermore, this model, unlike most other watches that come with solar technology, can be charged with indoor light as well as natural sunlight, which is really great for avid outdoorsmen. Although the band of the watch is constructed with canvas, the bezel and case are made of stainless steel, which is widely known for its scratch and shock resistance.

While this watch is likely not the best bet for workout, training, navigation, and route finding, it is surely a suitable watch for Snorkeling, swimming, and hiking in extremely unfriendly conditions.

PROS:

  • Luminous hands
  • Water resistance up to 100 m
  • Solar powered
  • Shock resistant
  • Scratch resistant

CONS:

  • No route finding and navigation features

Related: In the event that you ever need to replace the straps on this watch, consider replacing it with the CIVO G10 Zulu Military Watch Band. It is well-made, easy to install, washable, and most importantly, long lasting.

Check the price on Amazon

Suunto Core All Black Military Watch Suunto Core All Black Military Watch

Price: Approx. $160

Weight: 2.26 oz.

Dimensions: 1.9 x 0.6 x 1.9 in

Specific features: Tracks both the weather and the sun, a weather trend graph and storm alarm along with preset sunrise/sunset times for over 400 locations, comes with an altimeter, a barometer, a compass and a weather indicator.

Best use: Hunting and outdoors activities

Description: The Suunto Core All Black Military Watch is a special watch as it comes with a feature that enables it to track the weather and the movement of the sun. This feature is really amazing and avid outdoorsmen will find it a lot useful. Besides, it provides you with a warning about the setting time of the sun, so that you would know when your time in the outdoors is up and head back home.

Furthermore, this model features a compass like majority of military watches. This feature is very useful as it can navigate you through the woods and let you find your way. Besides, this watch features an altimeter to measure the altitude, and a barometer to measure the atmospheric pressure.

In addition, the watch also comes with a weather indicator. It is a very useful and interesting feature that triggers an alarm when there is an approaching storm. The way this works is simple; the watch has a sensor that senses a drop in air pressure, and as soon as the change is detected, it indicates instantly about an approaching storm.

Additionally, the design of this watch is impressive as well. It features a toned and sleek design, which will surely capture people who prefer lightweight watches to bulky and heavy ones. And since this watch is a military watch, it is built to be easy to wear, and it doesn’t have any sharp edge that may scratch your clothes or your body.

PROS:

  • Tracks the weather and sun movement
  • Excellent design
  • Weather indicator
  • Comes with ABC features
  • Weather memory
  • High durability
  • Water resistant

CONS:

  • Fragile band
  • Poor battery life

Related: There have been series of complaints about the poor battery life of this watch, so we recommend you to purchase the Energizer CR2032 Replacement Batteries to increase the uptime of the watch. 

Check the price on Amazon

Timex Expedition Gallatin Military Watch Timex Expedition Gallatin Military Watch

Price: Approx. $52

Weight: 16 oz.

Dimensions: 4.2 x 3.5 x 3.7 in

Specific features: Rugged outdoor construction, double-layer Nato style slip-thru strap, easy-set quick-date, 50 meter water-resistance, indiglo night light

Best use: Swimming and outdoor activities

Description: If you are looking for a very rugged watch that is made just for adventures, the Timex Expedition Gallatin Military Watch is the one you are looking for. With its sturdy built, rugged look, and a durable strap, nobody would argue about it being ideal for the outdoors.

Furthermore, this watch features an easy to read analog display. Besides, this model comes with a double-layer Nato style slip-thru strap for extra durability, and its lightweight resin case also makes you feel very comfortable when you wear this watch. While we can’t really call this a stylish watch, it is a watch with extreme sturdiness and it’s suitable for Snorkeling, swimming, and any kind of professional marine activity.

Additionally, this model is water resistant up to 50 m and also shock-resistant. You do not need to worry about losing your timepiece in the outdoors as it has a buckle that makes sure that it stays on your wrist no matter what happens.

Finally, this watch features a compass that ensures you find your way through whenever you get lost in the wild, and with its Indiglo night-light, you can easily read the display of this dark regardless of the lighting settings or conditions.

PROS:

  • Water resistant up to 50 m
  • Very affordable
  • Indiglo night light
  • Extreme durability

CONS:

  • No advanced features

Related: If you are a keen outdoorsman, we recommend you to purchase the SOG Baton Q3 Multi-Tool. It fulfills your basic essentials for wilderness and urban adventure.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio GW-9400-1CR Solar Watch Casio GW-9400-1CR Solar Watch

Price: Approx. $300

Weight: 10.40 oz.

Dimensions: 4.4 x 3.9 x 3.9 in

Specific features: Solar-powered, stainless steel with multiple displays, red contrasts, and textured pushers, quartz movement with analog display, mineral crystal dial window, digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, sunrise and sunset date, time stamp, Mb6 atomic timekeeping, auto LED, and buckle closure, water resistant to 200 m

Best use: Recreational scuba diving

Description: Coming from Casio range of G-Shock series, the Casio GW-9400-1CR Solar Watch is an incredible watch with incredible durability. It is water resistant up to 200 m, and can endure a 10 meter fall, thus sturdy timepiece can easily withstand the most severe of outdoors conditions. And to further prove its suitability for the outdoors and adventures, it comes with a 10 year battery life. Besides, the resin case in scratch-resistant and the LCD display is also damage proof.

Furthermore, despite the fact that this model comes with all the sensors and features that could ever be needed by an outdoorsman, it also features the new atomic timekeeping technology from Casio, which is useful by receiving radio waves from transmission station all over the world, making sure that your watch’s time is completely accurate.

Because of its incredible reliability, excellent accuracy, and one-touch measurement taking, this watch has quickly become a favorite among rangers, military professionals and rescue crews. Many people in the world consider this watch as the best mid-range military watch you can find on the market today.

PROS:

  • Very rugged
  • Highly functional
  • Atomic timekeeping technology
  • Very reliable
  • Solar powered
  • Very accurate
  • Easy to read

CONS:

  • No real cons to speak of

Related: This watch can be charged either directly from the sun or from light sources, so we recommend you to purchase the CoolFire Solar Watch Fast Charger. It will never overheat your watch and it is compatible with every kind of solar powered watch.

Check the price on Amazon

Luminox LM8822.MI Recon Point Watch Luminox LM8822.MI Recon Point Watch

Price: Approx. $210

Weight: 5 oz.

Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.6 x 0.6 in

Specific features: Unidirectional rotating bezel with compass markings and black dial with silver-tone hands, 45 mm stainless steel case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window, quartz movement with analog display, molded rubber band with logo and buckle closure, water resistant up to 200 m

Best use: Swimming and military use

Description: While the Luminox Recon Point Man 8820 Watch is actually a watch with a quite hefty price tag, nobody can deny its apparent quality. The watch was specifically designed by Luminox, in conjunction with a former Swiss military man, Andrew Micheli, to meet specific requirements of military personnel.

It comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel and it features a black dial with silver hands. Besides, this watch comes with a rubber band with buckle closure, which makes it really comfortable on the wrist.

Furthermore, this watch is water resistant up to 200 m, which makes it suitable for various kinds of water sports apart from scuba and deep sea diving. This model is a very straightforward, modest military styled watch that is suitable for every kind of use and can withstand any condition.

If you are looking for a watch that will always get the job done with its features, this watch comes highly recommended.

PROS:

  • Straightforward design
  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Walking speed scale in miles
  • Easy to use
  • High durability

CONS:

  • Low illumination level

Related: If you are a military personnel, we assume you will find the Fox Outdoor Products Shemagh really useful. It is an excellent head garment that protects the head and the neck against the scorching desert sun. 

Check the price on Amazon

MARATHON WW194013 Military Watch MARATHON WW194013 Military Watch

Price: Approx. $260

Weight: 4 oz.

Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.3 x 1.5 in

Specific features: Self-illuminating tritium gas tubes glow with no need to be charged by an external light source, lightweight high impact fibreshell case and domed acrylic crystal, high-torque Quartz movement with battery EOL (End-of-Life) indicator

Best use: Land and underwater activities

Description: The Marathon WW194013 Military Watch is a special watch that is specially built to Government specifications. With a kind of construction that will surely facilitate professionals such as military, pilots, and law enforcers, this excellent watch can endure easily any sort of challenge that is thrown at it.

Furthermore, this mode is very durable and reliable as it is powered by Swiss ETA F06 3 jewel high-torque quartz movement. Featuring a black dial with an hour marker that that is military styled, there is no doubt that this watch was specifically made for the military. Besides, the dual color tritium hands and markers ensure this watch can be easily read in any kind of lighting condition.

In addition, with this watch featuring a case size of 13 mm thick and 43 mm wide, it is perfect for any kind of wrist. The flawless combination of high-pressure endurance and deep water resistant makes this model suitable for any rough land and underwater activity. And being priced at under $300, we are confident you will be impressed by the value you get from this watch.

PROS:

  • Simple and rugged
  • Light and comfortable on the wrist
  • Easy to adjust and set
  • Good design
  • Easy to read
  • Excellent night visibility

CONS:

  • Quite expensive
  • Small display

Related: If your watch comes with a plastic crystal, then you definitely need the Polywatch Crystal Scratch Remover. It can effectively remove the scratches on the crystal of your watch and get it shinning within a matter of minutes.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio Master of G Mudmaster Watch Casio Master of G Mudmaster Watch

Price: Approx. $636

Weight: 4.16 oz.

Dimensions: 2.3 x 2.2 x 0.7 in

Specific features: World time, summons function direct in UTC, city spare function, resin band

Best use: Marine activity and underwater sports

Description: Not for the first time on this list, we are reviewing another impressive offering from the giant watchmaker, Casio. The Casio Master of G Mudmaster Watch embodies everything you can think of a military watch, from high durability, incredible sturdiness, to advanced features such as a digital compass and a thermometer.

This incredibly military styled watch has a very rugged yet stylish built that has quite become trademarks of G-Shock watches. To further prove its high durability, this watch is shock and mud resistant, and it also features thermometer and compass to improve your situation awareness in the wild.

While the resin strap on the watch is stylish, it is also ideal for situations where it is necessary to camouflage and blend in. Besides, with usual watch functions like hourly time signals, daily alarms, low battery alert, and fully auto-calendar, this watch is incredibly versatile.

Finally, this watch is water resistant up to 200 m, which makes it ideal for several water sports and professional marine activity. While we don’t recommend this model for scuba diving, it is a great watch that will give real value for money.

PROS:

  • Rugged and versatile
  • Shock and mud resistant
  • Thermometer
  • Digital Compass
  • LED light
  • Very lightweight

CONS:

  • Very expensive
  • Quite difficult to use

Related: If you are looking for a great tool to replace the band of your watch, the Michael Josh Spring Bar Tool Set is an easy recommendation. It is great for removing and inserting spring bars straps and repairing watches.

Check the price on Amazon

Seiko SNZG15 Seiko 5 Watch Seiko SNZG15 Seiko 5 Watch

Price: Approx. $119

Weight: 8 oz.

Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.3 in

Specific features: Luminous hands, 42 mm stainless steel case with hardlex dial window, automatic self-wind movement, nylon band with buckle closure, water resistant to 100 m

Best use: Snorkeling and swimming

Description: If you looking for a watch that has everything required from a military watch, then you should opt for the Seiko SNZG15 Seiko 5 Watch. Besides, this watch comes with a lot of advanced features and it is popular amongst military personnel, hunters, and outdoors men for its incredible sturdiness, simplicity, and stylishness.

Furthermore, this incredible watch is a round watch and it comes with a black dial that has a date windows and hands that are sword-shaped. Also, it is protected from dirt and damages with its hardlex mineral dial window and 37 mm stainless steel case. In addition, the watch features an automatic movement that has an analog display, and you can easily read the display of this watch any lighting condition.

If you are looking for a military styled watch that is suitable any kind of tough activity, this is the ideal model for you. Besides, it is water resistant up to 100 m, which makes it suitable for swimming and some other water sports. However, this watch is not suitable for scuba diving and you shouldn’t even attempt using it for it.

PROS:

  • High durability
  • Excellent design
  • Easy to read
  • Can endure tough use

CONS:

  • Strap quality is not so good

Related: There have been complaints about the strap of this watch from so many buyers, so if you are looking to change the strap as well, we recommend the BARTON Top Grain Leather Watch Band. The band has a very comfortable feel and it features an incorporated quick release spring bars and a very smooth underside.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

You’ve arrived at the end of the review. Whether you are a military man or a civilian, a watch is a very important accessory of any man regardless of your job. However, if your job requires you having to engage in rough activities, it is always recommended to go for a military watch.

Green Light Military Watch

In this guide, we have reviewed several military watches we consider as the best in the business, and we also discussed some important features you need to take into consideration so as to buy the right watch for your needs. With everything discussed above, we are confident you are now knowledgeable enough to make the right decision.

Do you have experience with any of the products in this guide? We will be glad to read about it in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

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