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Tactical Watches Buying Guide

For the world’s military and special forces operatives, knowing everything about the world around them can literally mean the difference between life and death. Having easy access to details like temperature, altitude, and GPS location can be essential for carrying out their duties. That is why you need a tough and tactical watch, generally known as military watches.

Even though technically almost any watch can provide several different functions, even so, when you use to check out Time it can be considered “tactical watch.” As much as I know, a tactical watch is a tough watch which often performs a complicated characteristic, combined with advanced features.

That because complex military operations must go off very much like clockwork, which means that being able to keep accurate time is also essential.

But this kind of precision and accuracy can be difficult to come by in the extreme environments that these people face on an everyday basis, environments that would quickly ruin a regular watch.


And so, enter tactical watches, also known as military watches. These timepieces may look unassuming, usually build with using compact designs and simple shapes, but that’s because when you’re out in the field, form, not function is what will save your life.

In addition to being built to survive extreme weather conditions and harsh treatment, they also come fully loaded with extra features that could help save someone’s life in the field, including watch with GPS tracking time, altimeters, barometers, and more.

But of course, military and police aren’t the only ones in the world who need timepieces that can stand up to harsh treatment and can deliver extra features. All manner of outdoorsmen, survivalists, hikers, and campers have begun using these watches as well.

The Best Tactical Watches

To help you along, we’ll now discuss five six of the best tactical watches out there at five very price points. Read through each recommendation below very carefully – at the end of it, you’ll know which one is right for you and why.

Let’s get started.

Casio G-Shock GWG-1000 Mudmaster

This is my number-one choice indeed right now. The G-Shock GWG-1000 Mudmaster is relatively a brand new G-Shock model that made its first appearance in the fall of 2015 and probably the most substantial G-Shock models, and is most likely that GWG-1000 series is the best tactical watch from G-Shock right know.

Since the officially released, it had received a lot of positive feedback from G-Shock enthusiasts and collectors around the world in terms of both design and features.



The GWG-1000 Mudmaster looks like the hefty Rangeman combined with an analog watch, making it the best-looking tactical style analog-digital G-Shock – one hard watch to defeat. So if you are looking for tough & tactical features on a watch, Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000 will be that watch for you.

How Much? From the Casio G-Shock site, the official retail price for GWG-1000 series is ¥80,000 excluding tax or around $750 USD. That might seem like a lot for a watch, but when you look at what the GWG-1000 does and you feel OK about paying a little more than the average watch cost, it suddenly becomes very, very reasonable. See here for live price G-Shock GWG-1000 series.

G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000-1A3JF

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G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000-1AJF

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G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000-1A9JF

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Casio G-Shock GW-9400 Rangeman Series

As I mention in another post, G-Shock GW-9400 Rangeman series one of the the best affordable G-Shock military watch available today. From a toughness, features design and style perspective, this is certainly become the best choice and perfect tough watch for professional military, law enforcement or adventurers.

The G-Shock GW-9400 Rangeman series contain Triple Sensor Version 3, that provides altimeter, barometer, and compass data within a host of additional features. The version 3 module is smaller, uses less power, is faster, and is more accurate than previous generation sensors.


Standard G-Shock GW-9400-1 Rangeman


G-Shock GW-9400DCJ – Rangeman series with camouflage theme.

DID YOU KNOW? The latest Casio ProTrek PRW-3000 and PRW-3500 also contain the version 3 module and so does the G-Shock GW-9400 series.

PRICE. The GW-9400 Rangeman Series available for around $200 – $400 USD (depending on the model) in either GW-9400-1 “Stealth Black” , GW-9400BJ, or GW-9400-3 “Army Green“. See here for recent price for all models..

Casio Men's GW-9400-1CR Master of G Stainless Steel Solar Watch

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Casio Men's GW-9400BJ-1JF G-Shock Master of G Rangeman Digital Solar Black Carbon Fiber Insert Watch

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman Master Of G Series Stylish Watch - Green/One Size

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$187.51 $394.99
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Casio Protrek PRW-3000 Series

Like G-Shock Rangeman, Casio PROTREK PRW-3000 seris is solar atomic watch and equipped with a third generation triple sensor that providing ABC features (Altimeter, Barometric pressure, and Compass) as in previous versions.

However, Casio managed to reduce the size of the sensor by more than 95% while also having it use 90% less power consumption.

These PRW-3000 series normally include with standard radio waves from six transmitters around the world which allows you to connect to the closest of 6 worldwide atomic clocks for the utmost in timekeeping precision,ensuring correct time.

All of these functions are more accurate than ever. Not only is the altimeter more accurate, but so are the timekeeping functions.




There are various PRW-3000 series available today. PRW3000-1 (dark Grey), PRW3000-1A (black), PRW3000-2 (navy), PRW3000-4 (orange) and PRW3000T-7 (with titanium band).

The newest model design features a compact case and a CORDURA® nylon fabric band for a better fit and greater durability. The Protrek PRW3000B-1, PRW3000B-3 and PRW3000B-5. * The latest series are PRW-3000-4B , PRW-3000-2BDR and PRW-3000-9B. See here for live price Protrek PRW-3000 series on Amazon.

Casio Men's Pro Trek PRW-3000-1CR Tough Solar Triple Sensor Multi-Function Watch

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$199.90 $300.00

Casio PROTREK Slim Line Series Solar Multiband 6 Triple Sensor Ver.3 Men's Watch PRW-3100Y-1JF (Japan Import)

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Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch

If you’re looking for a slightly more fully featured chronometer, this $329.99 (see here for update price on Amazon) USD option from Suunto is one of the watches actually in use by US Navy SEALs. Among watch manufacturers, Suunto is known for making one of the best tactical watches in the world.


SUUNTO CORE BLACKThe Outdoor watch with Altimeter – Barometer and Compass in a DURABLE COMPOSITE case.

Suunto Core has been around for over a decade and is now considered one of the most reliable and accurate watches on the market. With a mineral crystal glass face and a carbon fiber base, this watch is incredibly durable and water-resistant up to 100 feet. Its on-board computer includes an accurate altimeter with a range of 29,500 feet (higher than Everest), a full barometer, and an accurate compass.


It also has a logbook function, storing data about your expedition. Other intelligent features include the Storm Alarm, which automatically monitors barometric and temperature data and warns you when a storm is approaching, a sunrise and sunset time predictor, and a depth meter that provides accurate readings up to 100 feet. Click here for more detail..

SUUNTO Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010

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Core Alu Deep Black

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Luminox Recon Nav SPC (Navigation Specialist)

Just like all tactical watches using by a military, generally, the military watches are required to meet a specific standard, if they end up being use by military members. Luminox watches has been chosen as the unofficial choice of Special Ops as well as Special Forces throughout the world for being known as watches with perfect visibility at a single glance.

Well, when it is suitable for the U.S Navy SEALs, it should be good enough for everyone. The Luminox Recon Nav SPC watches are developed around the concept of providing special features for military members of a tactical recon team, which offers a few differences on the existing Recon Point Man series.


Luminox – Unofficial choice of Special Ops around the world

Luminox Recon Nav SPC features a tachymeter calibrated to measure walking speeds so distance traveled can be determined. You also have the navigational features on the Luminox Recon NAV SPC, but on the little strap-attached compass instead. These come standard on all Luminox Recon NAV SPC series.

As you can see, Luminox Recon series has much less features than a G-Shock or Suunto, but the analog design of the Nav SPC may be very attractive to those outdoorsmen who prefer a actual map from a tactical GPS watch or digital compass watch.

PRICE. The prices should be around $350 – $400USD (see here for update price) and you will be able to select between models with either Miles or Kilometers listed on the walking pace tachymeter display.

Luminox Men's 8831.KM Recon NAV Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Watch

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$369.00 $495.00

Luminox Recon Nav Spc Silicone Mens Watch 8832.MI

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Timex Men’s Black Military Chrono T49825

With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of around $199.95 USD (see here for update price), major watch manufacturer Timex’s entry in the game is one of the less expensive tactical models.

Based on watches used by military forces in the 1960s, the Timex Men T49825 Military Chrono is specifically designed for long expeditions and extended outdoor use.


Timex Black Military T49825 – Specifically designed for long expeditions and extended outdoor use.

With a BlackPVD stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant mineral crystal dial window, Timex Military watch is essentially indestructible, Its bold, high-contrast display makes it highly visible in poor light conditions, and it also includes Timex’s standard Indiglo lighting for additional visibility.

Timex Men's TW4B10300 Expedition Field Chrono Green/Black Canvas Strap Watch

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$56.94 $82.00

However, as you might imagine of a watch made for the consumer market based off a 1960s model, it doesn’t include a lot of special features, aside from a chronograph. The lack of features may make it a less attractive option for some, but ideal for those looking for simple timekeeping without a lot of frills. –> Found out more series at Timex official site here.


If you’re considering purchasing a tactical watch, know that there is quite a range in terms of materials, special features, and, of course, pricing. Determining which tactical watch is best for you will require an assessment of your personal needs and budget. I hope you will find one watch that fits you. Happy hunting! .

Update - 2019.03.28*This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.
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