Best Tactical Watches

Tactical Watches - Reviews & Guides For 2023

Our Top Tactical Watches

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Tactical Watch Buyers Guide

Are you looking for a highly durable watch, has longer battery life, and can withstand even the harshest of climatic conditions? You are looking for a tactical watch. Tactical watches are different from regular watches as they are built for the extreme.

The watches have a plethora of features and are highly durable and waterproof. You can use the watch anywhere on the ground or in the water that makes them fit for extreme sports enthusiasts and professionals working in the armed forces.

But, buying a tactical watch isn't that easy! You need to consider numerous factors that will impact the performance of the watch. To help you make an informed decision, we are here with this comprehensive buyer's guide.

The guide contains all the information you need to know before buying a tactical watch. So, let’s get started:

What is a tactical watch, and do you really need one?

A tactical watch is a special type of wristwatch designed for extreme sports. These watches are incredibly durable and have tons of features such as stopwatch, calendar, and much more. The watches can withstand almost anything and have better water resistance as compared to the regular wristwatches.

But another question is, do you really need a tactical watch? To help you better below, we have explained the benefits that you get with a superb tactical watch.

There are innumerable benefits of using a good tactical watch, so it is indispensable to have one if you are a sports enthusiast or in a profession that requires you to deal with the extreme conditions.

Stay informed

Tactical wrist watches feature various sensors that help you in determining the altitude and depth. Also, the watches feature a compass so you can navigate the directions with ease. You don’t need to carry a variety of items when you have a reliable tactical watch snapped around your wrist.


Now you won’t miss the training schedule as the watch lets you set reminders and alarms. The vibrating alarm buzzes softly so the watch won’t disturb anyone, and will wake you up on time so that you can cope up with your schedule.

Keeps an eye on your health

This is probably one of the top reasons why you should buy a tactical watch. These watches feature a heart rate monitor that tells you about the important information such as the heart rate and breathing rate.

Furthermore, the altimeter and other sensors will tell you if you are exceeding the limits of altitude sickness. Carrying a stethoscope in your bag isn’t a good idea but wearing a tactical watch is.

Also, some tactical watches feature a thermometer that keeps track of the temperature so you can stay in your comfort zone.


You can synchronize multiple watches together to coordinate with your team members. If you are into professional forces, then it is critical to stay informed about what your team members are doing, and that is why you need a tactical watch.

Highly durable

A good tactical watch will be highly durable, and the watch can withstand shocks and impacts without getting damaged. Moreover, the watches are waterproof and can withstand rains and water splashes.

You can even dive into the water while wearing the watch with the assurance that it won't get damaged. Incredible durability is another benefit of tactical watches that make them highly suitable for folks that are into extreme sports.

Quick navigation

Most of the branded tactical watches come with a built-in compass and GPS. You can use the watch to navigate the directions easily, as they are highly precise. With GPS, you can find out the location of your team while telling them about your exact location.

A tactical watch can be a great addition if you want to explore the remote areas where smartphones fail to work due to no cellular coverage.

Easy to use

It is easy to use tactical watches, and you can learn about its features without any fuss, provided that you get a watch according to your requirements. If you follow this guide to buy a tactical watch, then rest assured that you'll get something that's easy to operate and handy.

Considerations to make when choosing a tactical watch

Below we have explained the factors that you should check when buying a tactical watch. To get the best experience and to buy a useful watch, you should buy it by checking these factors.

These superb watches offer a plethora of features, and some of them may not be useful for you, so you can avoid the features you don’t need with the help of this buyer’s guide.

Easy to read

There is no reason to buy a tactical watch that's not easy to read. When you are in between an operation, you get very little time for other activities, so you can't spend a lot of time reading the watch.

You should go for a watch that lets you navigate through the information at a glance. From checking the time to set the alarm, every task should require a few seconds, and that's what makes a good tactical watch.

Furthermore, the watch face should always remain on, or it should turn on when you tilt your hand so that you don't have to use another hand to activate the display.

Some watches have a feature that turns on the display when you tilt your wrist because it saves battery. The dial should be big enough so that you can read everything without any problems.


A tactical watch isn’t a good watch if it misses a backlit. The only way to read the watch in the dark is backlit when there is no light in the atmosphere. Usually, all the tactical watches come with a backlit feature, and some of them even let you change the backlit color.

Go for a tactical watch that lets you turn off the backlit during the day to save the battery.

Dial size

Check the size of the dial and make sure that it looks good on your wrist. Don’t go for watches that have a giant dial as the watch will be heavy, and the dual will keep dangling on your wrist. To measure the dial size, check its diameter, and place the measuring tape on your wrist.

Use a light marker and draw a circle on your wrist to have a glimpse of how big the actual dial will be. Now erase the mark and continue with the guide to know more about other factors.


It is imperative for a tactical watch to show accurate readings. It should show accurate heart rate, altitude, and other such things that have a significant impact on your body. Furthermore, accuracy is vital, especially when you are out on the frontline, and you need GPS or compass to find the route.

There is no possible way to determine the accuracy of a watch unless you take it on the field. However, if you choose tactical watches manufactured by prominent brands, then you can rest assured about its accuracy.

You can look for watches that come with various certifications that prove the accuracy of the watch.

Strap material

The strap material will impact the comfort and durability of the watch. If the strap isn't comfortable, then you won't love to wear the watch for a prolonged time. Also, the strap should withstand every impact to keep the watch in place.

Here are some common materials used to manufacture straps for tactical watches.

Ceramic straps

If you need a watch that looks elegant, go for ceramic straps. The band is hard and gives a premium feel. Also, it resists scratches and is highly durable. However, you cannot adjust the band length easily, and that's a downside.

Leather straps

Leather straps are also very stylish, and you can even wear the tactical watch as a casual one. Leather straps are available in a myriad of color options such as black, brown, and much more. However, you need to follow a maintenance regime if you want the straps to last longer because leather wears out quickly if it remains dirty.

Rubber straps

Rubber straps are the most purchased bands with tactical watches because of their comfort and durability. The straps are washable, and water cannot do any harm to them. Further, the straps don’t get lost with time, and you can quickly clean them.

Metal straps

The metal straps fall in the luxury category. You will see metal straps in a plethora of Swiss tactical watches that are manufactured by top brands. Metal straps are comfortable and adjustable. However, they are heavy so that you will feel the weight on your hand.

Nylon straps

Nylon straps are extremely durable, all thanks to the single strap and one loop. If you want a tactical watch band that can withstand anything, go for nylon straps. Another benefit of the nylon strap is that they are lightweight so that you won't feel excess weight on your wrist.

Plastic straps

Plastic straps have excellent water resistance and are lightweight. Also, you will get a choice of numerous colors so you can buy the straps of your favorite color. However, these straps can result in sweat due to less breathability.

Water resistance

When choosing a tactical watch, water resistance is an important factor to consider. You should purchase a watch that remains functional even if you take a dip in the water.

The water resistance rating of these watches depends on the model and ATM rating. You should buy a watch, depending on your requirements. If you think that you may have to take a dip into the water, you should go for tactical watches that have excellent water resistance.

Since water resistance is an important aspect of the watch; therefore, we have explained it in detail below:

Up to 33 feet

The tactical watches that have water resistance up to 33 feet can withstand water splashes and rains. The watches are ideal for wearing in a day to day life; however, it would be great if you avoid taking the watch into a pool.

Up to 98 feet

With tactical watches that are water-resistant up to 98 feet, you can take a shower without any worries. Also, the watch will remain functional even if you submerge it underwater for some time.

Up to 328 feet

You can wear these watches during scuba diving and snorkeling. The watches are ideal for taking into a pool, due to the extreme water resistance. However, these watches can be pricey due to the high water resistance rating.

Up to 656 feet

These watches can even withstand the pressure when you dive 100 feet below the water level. The sapphire crystal watches are durable, but they are expensive as well.

Battery life

There is nothing worse than seeing your tactical watch dying due to low battery. To ensure that the battery lasts longer, you need a watch that has a powerful battery. The battery life depends on several factors, such as the features, brands, and type of tactical watch.

Usually, most of the tactical watches come with li-ion batteries that last longer, but you need to replace the batteries. But there are some tactical watches available that have a built-in charging system.

If you don't want the watch to die, you can consider buying tactical watches with a solar charging system. Also, you will find watches with a winder that lets you refill the charge, and the watch will keep working without any issues.

Another thing that you can consider is the eco mode. Some digital tactical watches have an eco mode that lets you save the battery, and the watch will work for a long time without any battery replacement.


Most of you may think about how the weight of the watch will impact its performance. Well, the weight will not impact the performance as such, but you will find it hard to wear the watch for a prolonged time.

Watches that are heavy can be irritating, so choose the weight that suits you the most. If you are using a tactical watch already, then measure its weight to ensure that you are getting the other one within the same range.

The weight also depends on the strap, such as heavy metal straps, but nylon straps are lightweight.


Needless to say, when you are buying a hundred dollars watch, it should be durable and long-lasting. To determine the durability, you need to check the material and construction of the watch. Pay attention to everything from the metal casing to the straps to ensure that the watch will last longer while withstanding the harsh conditions.

Also, check the dial glass to make sure that it is resistant to scratches. If the watch face gets damaged due to scratches, then the entire watch will become useless.

Check if the manufacturer claims that the particular tactical watch resists scratches to ensure that it is the right one for you.

Night vision

Some tactical watches come with a night vision feature that turns on automatically after sensing low light in the atmosphere. This feature is usually available in high-end watches that can be expensive.

The night vision feature is helpful for the folks that want to travel in remote areas where there is no availability of light during the night.

Military time-keeping

If you are into the military, then you should go for a tactical watch that has military time-keeping. These watches have built-in timeframes that will help you to cope up with the schedule.

International time zones

A tactical watch should have international time zones so that you can choose the time zone depending on your posting. Military personnel keep on changing their positions, and therefore the international time zone keeps them updated with the current time of the location.

Some excellent tactical watches can even have more than 35 built-in time zones.

Some advanced features to look for

Below we have listed some advanced features that you need to look for in a tactical watch.


The altimeter will keep you informed about the current altitude. You can check how many meters of feet you are above the ground, which is essential for base-jumpers, airmen, and climbers.


The tachymeter helps you measure your speed. The watch helps you in calculating the speed based on the distance you have covered in a specific timeframe.

Moon phases

If you are into marine activities, then it is critical to know about the moon phases. The watch will tell you when there will be high tides so that you can plan your route accordingly.


The barometer sensor measures the pressure of the air to help you determine if there will be any storms or changes in the weather. Most digital tactical watches feature a barometer sensor.

Radio-controlled time

The tactical watches with radio-controlled time are perfect for military and other professionals. The watch communicates with the radio signals to help you with the accurate time reading irrespective of your location.


The warranty is useful as it covers the manufacturing defects in the watch. Just like any other smart gadget, the tactical watch is also prone to some malfunctions. When you buy a tactical watch that comes with a warranty, then you can rest assured that the watch will last longer.

And the manufacturer will cover if there are any manufacturing defects. When you choose branded watches like G-Shock, Seiko, then you will get good warranties.

FAQs: Best Tactical Watch

Q: How long does the battery last?

A: The battery depends on the type of watch you have and how many features you are using. Some digital watches that have multiple sensors and backlit consume more battery, whereas some analog watches have excellent battery life.

You should consider reading customer reviews to determine the battery life of the watch.

Q: How durable are tactical watches?

A: Tactical watches are amazing when it comes to durability. These watches are built to last, and you can expect the watch to last for years without any issue.

However, when choosing a tactical watch, you should consider the material, band, and other such things that impact the durability such as a scratch-resistant watch face.

Q: Can I set the alarm with a tactical military watch?

A: Yes, you can set multiple alarms and reminders with a tactical military watch. These watches are easy to use, and you can set the alarm on the go.

Q: Who should wear a tactical watch?

A: Tactical watches are designed for everyone who loves extreme sports. If you are a hunter, police officer, athlete, firefighter, or first responder, then these watches are perfect for you. Go through the guide, and then you can buy the best tactical watch.

Q: Are tactical watches easy to use?

A: It depends on the features the watch offers. Some watches offer numerous features that using them isn’t that easy if you are getting your hands on a tactical watch for the first time. The best way to determine a watch is easy to use or not is by checking the customer reviews.

By checking these reviews, it will be easy for you to find out the features the watch offers and how easy it is to use the watch.

Q: Can I reset a tactical watch?

A: Yes, you can reset the tactical watch whenever required. Sometimes you should reset the watch to factory settings so that it works properly. Every watch has a different process of resetting, so you should refer to the instruction manual.


There are innumerable benefits of using a tactical watch, and to experience these benefits, you should buy the best watch using this buyer’s guide. When choosing a watch, keep all these factors in mind so that you can make a good decision.

Consider branded watches only so that you get the ultimate accuracy and warranty. Lastly, the watch should be of your size so that it gives you a perfect fit. / - © Copyright 2020