BEST TACTICAL WATCHES OF 2021 (Complete Buying Guide)

Published on 17th January 2021

If you’ve ever been associated with extreme sports or the security services, you have most likely felt the need for a watch that could do more than just show the time. 

Tactical watches are exclusively made to last in conditions and match the expectations of enthusiasts in military operations or similar situations. To give you a grasp over the importance of tactical watches in the military, in any survivalist’s words, it’s their watch that makes a huge difference between who survives a catastrophe and who doesn’t!

What’s so different and vital in tactical and military watches? Let’s find that out along with the best tactical watch for you.

What Can A Tactical Watch Do?

What makes the best tactical watches stand out? The two main characters that set it apart are its durability and intelligence. The design is made to withstand extreme natural conditions and unnatural forces whereas intelligent technologies make it capable of performing a variety of functions. Some of the most important ones include:

  • GPS tracking.
  • Connectivity to phone and other devices.
  • Altimeter, barometer, gyrometer, and compass.
  • Storm alarms and other sensor-enabled alerts.

And for those involved in sports dangling between life and death, it’s a convenient gear to aid them in keeping track of their performance. A few of the highlight features include:

  • Performance tracking.
  • Data recording.
  • Health monitoring (including blood oxygen, heart rate, and more).

Now that we’ve established the ‘life and death’ importance of tactical watches, we would all agree it’s vital to know the features, ups, and downs of a watch we buy for that purpose, like the back of our hands. 

What Should You Look For In A Tactical Watch?

While choosing what feature you need in your tactical watch, always remember your purpose or you might overspend for features you don’t even need. Don’t get too worked up, we will help you through elements that you just can’t miss out on. We will help you find the best tactical watch for you. 

  • Water/ Shock/ Mud/ Pressure Resistance: While the military issues specifications that are strictly adhered to by some tactical watches, check the minimum required resistance for your purpose. Don’t settle for anything less than 50M water resistance and 10 atm pressure resistance.
  • Toughness and Rugged Makeup: Tactical watches sure are a lot about additional features and accuracy, but nothing matters if it’s not sturdy and robust enough to survive harsh conditions. Don’t compromise on this factor, even for style or budget. 
  • Luminescence: It’s best if you go for watches that are automatically illuminating in low-light conditions or consistently. Whether on military operations or in the middle of an adventure, your other hand might not always be free to press a button to flick the light on.
  • Additional Features: If you’re a search and rescue diver, you might need simply a rotating bezel, however, if you are someone who gets stationed on altitudes and stormy conditions, you would need your watch equipped with a whole set of alerts and trackers. 
  • EDC Value: A common misconception about tactical watches is that they’re not EDC (EveryDay Carry). While on the contrary, the best tactical watch is always a good EDC watch. The weight, dial, features, and ease of use should always meet everyday needs because a catastrophe only strikes once in a long while (hopefully). 

 

Best Tactical Watches For Everyday Carry 2021

Here’s our list of the best tactical watches of 2021 that you would love to have.

 

Casio Tactical G-Shock Mudmaster

Solar-Powered Tactical Watch Casio Tactical G-Shock Mudmaster
Casio Tactical G-Shock Mudmaster (Image: Amazon)

A watch that combines brand value with tons of features and packs durability along as well, G-Shock Mudmaster is a one of its kind solar-powered tactical watch. 

It’s smart enough to keep track of your statistics including step counts, strong enough to resist intense pressure and shocks, and resilient enough to last almost forever with its solar battery. All in all, finding a better tactical watch that checks all these features in this range would not be easy. Therefore, it is one of the best tactical watches to be found in this range.

Specifications Key Features
Display: Analog-Digital. Shock resistant.
Case Diameter: 51mm. 3 layers of resin embedded in the bezel..
ISO 764 compliant. Quartz movement.
Water Resistance: 200m  

Pros
  • Carbon fiber inserts and metal seal ensures mud resistance.
Cons
  • Digital features are hard to read in poor lighting.
 

Our Verdict: 4.5/5

Suunto Core Military Outdoor

best Suunto tactical watch Suunto Core Military Outdoor
Suunto Core Military Outdoor (Image: Amazon)

If you’ve got a thing for intelligent watches, this one should be your pick. It senses pressure drops to warn you of possibly approaching storms, automatically records ascents and descent sessions, and offers 5 different languages.  With countless features that will have you covered, wherever, whenever, in whatever situation, this is easily the best Suunto tactical watch out there.  

Specifications Key Features
Display: Digital. Weather trend graph.
Case Diameter: 49mm. Storm alarm.
ISO 6425 compliant. Quartz movement with rotating bezel.
Water Resistance: 100ft One-click compass, altimeter, and barometer.

Pros
  • Extreme altitude, temperature, and pressure range make it reliable in all conditions.
  • Sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations.

Cons
  • The case lacks shock resistance.
  • Calibrated for climbers, not particularly suitable for deep-sea divers.

Our Verdict: 5/5

Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire

A Garmin tactical watch speaks for itself Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire
Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire (Image: Amazon)

For what it’s worth, a Garmin tactical watch speaks for itself. Whether it’s the time you want to track, whether or pressure conditions, or your performance, it’s like a device that offers so much more than just an EDC watch. If you’re willing to spend on a companion for the apocalypse, there’s no beating Garmin’s Sapphire series. It is indeed the best tactical watch you can have!

Specifications Key Features
Display: Digital. EOL indicator.
Case Diameter: 41mm. Preloaded TOPO Maps and ski maps for over 2000 ski resorts worldwide.
ISO compliant. DLC coated bezels.
Water Resistance: 1000ft Different intelligent modes including battery saver, GPS, music, and smartwatch mode.

Pros
  • Pace guidance is enabled with training features like PacePro.
  • Additional gyroscope along with an altimeter and barometer is present.

  • An in-built ascent planner in the form of Climb Pro feature and much more is available.

Cons
  • Synchronization and connectivity to phones through Bluetooth can be unstable.

Our Verdict: 5/5

Marathon Tsar Military

Best tactical watches for women Marathon Tsar Military
Marathon Tsar Military (Image: Amazon)

Built end to end, to meet the government specifications for Search and Rescue divers and military personnel who frequently end up in adverse conditions. This watch is most revered for its design — a sleek, classy look with the internal robustness of military makeup — which makes it one of the best tactical watches for women and also the best EDC watch of 2021.

Specifications Key Features
Display: Analog. ETA F06 3 jewel high-torque Quartz movement.
Case Diameter: 41-46mm. Swiss made in La Chaux de Fonds.
ISO 6425 compliant. Unisex design ideal for both men and women.
Water Resistance: 1000ft Swiss quartz movement.

Pros
  • Self-illuminating tritium gas tubes ensure clear display in low-light conditions.
  • Interchangeable straps are available in rubber and stainless steel bracelets.

  • Excellent battery support lasts for over 3 years.

Cons
  • Needs to be kept away from the eyes, nose, and mouth due to radium’s radioactive nature.
  • More expensive than similar watches in the segment.

Our Verdict: 5/5

Luminox Master Carbon SEAL

a timeless EDC watch to own Luminox Master Carbon SEAL
Luminox Master Carbon SEAL (Image: Amazon)

This model of Luminox’s tactical watch exemplifies precision machinery. The model promises to be no less than a style statement, one of the most rugged time gears in the market, and coalesces some of the most advanced technologies to create a timeless EDC watch, however, it lacks on the military part. So, if you’re looking for a weekend warrior or EDC watch for extreme sports as well as glitzy occasions, this should be your pick. 

Specifications Key Features
Display: Analog. 6 times lighter dial due to forged Carbon case..
Case Diameter: 46mm. Luminox self-powered illumination.
ISO 6425 compliant. Swiss quartz movement.
Water Resistance: 1000ft  

Pros
  • Superluminova light promises to glow up to 25 years constantly in all light conditions.
  • Replaceable NATO Style straps are available to multiply the aesthetics and feel.

Cons
  • Compromises a bit on functionality for greater style.

Our Verdict: 4/5

Apple Watch Series 6 

Apple Watch Series 6 for all apple watch lovers
Apple Watch Series 6 (Image: Amazon)

How can we miss out on this tactical watch which is counted among the best tactical watches? An exclusive option in the list for Apple lovers. Given its intuitive features and excellent connectivity, it’s an amazing time, sport, and health gear and is perhaps the closest you can get to an Apple tactical watch. However, this is not that much of a military watch as much as it is a sports and diving watch, so choose your pick according to your purpose and preferences.

Specifications Key Features
Display: Digital. GPS and Bluetooth support.
Case Diameter: 40mm. Heart rate tracker.
ISO 19790 compliant. Performance and fitness tracker.
Water Resistance: 50m 5GHz Wi-Fi built-in.
  Fall detection.

Pros
  • Retina display is always automatically on 2.5 times brightness outdoors.
  • The feature to measure blood oxygen levels alerts you of your body capacity.

  • Choose from 7 different workout modes to track your activity and performance.

Cons
  • Water-resistance is not ideal for deep-sea diving.

Our Verdict: 4.5/5

Garmin Tactix Delta

One of the most authentic tactical watches, Garmin Tactix Delta’s design built to military specifications
Garmin Tactix Delta (Image: Amazon)

One of the most authentic tactical watches, Garmin Tactix Delta’s design is built to military specifications yet manages to pull off an effortlessly stylish look.  Thanks to the unparalleled additional features like payment, music, and phone notifications that it comes equipped with, this model comfortably stands out from the rest and offers complete value for a slightly greater amount of money. No doubt it is indeed one of the best tactical watches out there!

Specifications Key Features
Display: Touchscreen. Multi-GNSS support.
Case Diameter: 37mm. Night vision compatibility.
MIL-STD-810 compliant. ABC sensors with 3-axis electronic compass.
Water Resistance: 100m Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled.

Pros
  • A variety of useful modes like jumpmaster, stealth, and others offer great flexibility in functions.
  • Recording and storing data with an easily accessible kill switch keeps.

Cons
  • Water resistance is relatively lower than similar watches in the segment.

Our Verdict: 5/5

CONCLUSION

You can rest assured that the above list of best tactical watches is exhaustive, meaning, whatever your tactical watch needs are, you’ll find your perfect match in one of these, regardless of if you’re a first-timer or a collector. While each of these is fashionable in its own way, our final advice to you would be to go for necessity and not style or luxury. 

Tactical watches are about being at the top of your game, safe and sound. They are important investments, so make sure to be wise about your choice. Let us know in the comments below which one of these best tactical watches you liked the most. Also, check out our other top 10 watch articles for more. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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