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 extreme 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 while simultaneously going through some of the choices to pick the best one 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 as well as unnatural forces and its intelligent technologies make it capable of performing a variety of functions. Some of the most important ones include:
- GPS tracking.
- Connectivity to phones and other devices.
- Altimeter, barometer, gyrometer, and compass.
- Storm alarms and other sensor-enabled alerts.
And for those involved in extreme adventure sports where one tends to be put in situations where he/she is 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.
Don’t get confused: Tactical Watches vs Tactile Watches
As discussed before, tactical watches are ones that are durable and possess intelligent features for excellent functionality. Tactile watches, on the other hand, are a segment of timepieces built for a completely different task. ‘Tactility’ can be defined as perception through the sense of touch. Thus, tactile watches are those watches that help the person wearing it to read the time through touch. In other words, they are mainly for people who have visual impairments. They are also called ‘Braille watches’. They are usually operated by lifting up the crystal using a hinged mechanism to feel the hands for knowing the time. There are some other ways of operating one too, depending on the specific timepiece in question.
For those of you who are new to the subject of horology, terms such as these can be confusing due to the similarities in their names. It becomes important to know the real meanings behind them all, especially in this context where the definitions are radically different. Hopefully, any confusion pertaining to this has been cleared.
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 through these elements that you just can’t miss out on:
- 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 ATMs of pressure resistance.
- Toughness and Rugged Makeup: Tactical watches sure are a lot about additional features and accuracy, but nothing else matters if they’re not sturdy and robust enough to survive the harsh conditions. Don’t compromise on this factor, even for style or budget.
- Luminescence: It’s best if you go for watches that provide low-light conditions that can stay lit for long periods. 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 in high 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). 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
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 an easy ordeal.
The G-Shock is a no-brainer when it comes to tactical watches. The Mudmaster isn’t the only one that can provide this much functionality. It is one among many others. While “G-Shock” usually brings to mind extremely durable and affordable digital watches, the Mudmaster presented here also has analog features, making it a very balanced design. In fact, this easily can go down as one of the most stylish-looking G-Shocks of them all! Of course, this really is a huge watch. But its design balances out the sheer size of this beast, making it unbelievably appealing!
|Display: Analog-Digital hybrid.||Shock resistant.|
|Case Diameter: 51mm.||3 layers of resin embedded in the bezel..|
|ISO 764 compliant.||Quartz movement.|
|Water Resistance: 200m|
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
Suunto Core Military Outdoor
If you’ve got a thing for intelligent watches, this one can be your ideal pick. It senses pressure drops to warn you of possibly approaching storms, automatically records ascent and descent sessions, and offers 5 different languages. With countless features that will have you covered, wherever, whenever, in whatever situation, this is easily one of the best Suunto tactical watches out there.
|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.|
Our Verdict: 5/5
Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire
For what it’s worth, a Garmin tactical watch speaks for itself. Whether it’s the time you want to track, the weather, the pressure conditions, or your performance, it’s like a device that offers so much more. It’s not just another 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!
|Display: Digital.||EOL (End Of Life) 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.|
Our Verdict: 5/5
Marathon Tsar Military
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 any type of military-certified gear, which makes it one of the best tactical watches and also, one of the best EDC watches for 2020.
While it has a fantastic history to it and is still a current military issue, it is a very handsome-looking watch if you look at it objectively. The dial may look busy, but it’s purely functional and that makes it even more appealing as it’s a functional design done just right. That truly tends to be a rare combination in the field of design!
|Display: Analog.||ETA F06 3 jewel high-torque Quartz movement.|
|Case Diameter: 41-46mm.||Made in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland.|
|ISO 6425 compliant.||Unisex design makes it ideal for both men and women.|
|Water Resistance: 1000ft||Swiss quartz movement.|
Our Verdict: 5/5
Luminox Master Carbon SEAL
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.
|Display: Analog.||Forged Carbon Fibre case, one that is six times lighter than steel, but ten times stronger at the same time.|
|Case Diameter: 46mm.||Luminox self-powered illumination.|
|ISO 6425 compliant.||Swiss quartz movement.|
|Water Resistance: 1000ft|
Our Verdict: 4/5
Apple Watch Series 6
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 since it is more suited as an everyday, usable smartwatch., so choose it if it is in accordance with your purpose and preferences.
|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.|
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
Garmin Tactix Delta
One of the most authentic tactical watches, the 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 fantastic value for a slightly greater amount of money.
|Display: Touchscreen.||Multi-GNSS support.|
|Case Diameter: 37mm.||Night vision compatibility.|
|MIL-STD-810 compliant.||ABC (Altimeter, Barometer & Compass) sensors with 3-axis electronic compass.|
|Water Resistance: 100m||Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled.|
Our Verdict: 5/5
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 whether 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 utility and necessity rather than style or luxury, if you’re going to use your watch for professional purposes. But if you don’t require such a timepiece in a professional capacity, but still want to acquire one due to being naturally drawn towards their abilities and history, then the sky’s the limit when it comes to your choices. Buy the watch you truly love and enjoy it for the years to come! Have you ever wanted to own a dream dive watch but never bought it because of its sky-rocketing price? Don’t worry, we have covered your concern in our new article best dive watches of 2021 and they are below $1000