Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
“Watches are so named as a reminder – if you don’t watch carefully what you do with your time, it will slip away from you.” -Drew Sirtors
If we’re to do everything we want to do in life, a watch is our best companion. Smart phones tried to take the place of watches, but there’s nothing like having it wrapped around your wrist and knowing where you are on the time continuum at every moment.
For those of us who live the outdoor, military or law enforcement life, a finding the 5 best military field watches is essential.
The 5 best military field watches are rugged, durable and aim serve the purpose you set out to accomplish through more – or fewer – gadgets than the run-of-the-mill watch.
Our pick for the best military field watch is the Casio Men’s G-Shock GA-100. Please see details below. However, there are other military field watches that may fit your needs better.
Watches documented and worn by actual servicemen are noted in the reviews.
To find out more about what constitutes a military field watch and what you should look for in one, please see the buyer’s guide at the end. For now, we’ll go over the 5 best military field watches and find the perfect, customized, military field watch for you. Remember – RGG Reviews are unbiased, field-tested reviews by outdoor and tactical enthusiasts and experts.
Comparison Table For Our Top Five Best Military Field Watches:
|Casio G-Shock GA-100*||Yes||No||Yes||No|
*Other G-Shock models are included in the review and have different functionalities
Details on the 5 Best Military Field Watches
SUUNTO Core – Best for the Outdoor Enthusiast and Gadget Lover
Suunto has more than 80 years of perfecting the watch. Founded in Finland by an orienteer and outdoor enthusiast its Suunto Core model is popular with military around the world. Fitted with more gadgets than Batman’s belt, it’s sure to solve every outdoor issue you come upon. It packs in a altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass and weather tracker, which shows trends and storms, as well as sunrise and sunset times.
This is a great watch for pretty much anything you want to do outside and best of all, it’s very lightweight. You’re not feeling overloaded by it. The drawbacks are that the band wears down pretty easily (give it about a year or less) and the battery life needs to have more juice in it. Suunto should consider solar power. It’s a positive that the watch and battery can inexpensively be replaced.
No matter where you are outdoors – ascending a ski slope, camping in the deep woods or hiking – the Suunto Core will guide you in the right direction. It’s also water-resistant up to 100 feet. And yes, it’s popular with our heroes in uniform.
- Multitude of Gadgets
- Accurate compass, barometer, altimeter
- Popular with military
- The band is not as durable as watch head and may need replaced after a year
- Battery life is not the best
Timex Expedition Grid – Best Military Watch for Newbies and Best Value
Want to begin your journey into the world of military watches? Start with the Timex Expedition Grid. It’s rugged and built to last but carries some basic, important features just to get you started. First of all, it holds the holy grail of a good military watch – it’s shock-resistant. It can take a beating and a fall and keep on ticking. It is shock-resistant to I.S.O. Standards.
Though it’s not too expensive, it’s still water-resistant and it boasts a stopwatch, countdown timer, indiglo night lighting and alarm. Our biggest gripe is that the face is made of acrylic and can easily scratch. You can solve this with a watch protector (similar to a phone screen protector) or laminate by cutting it to size with a razor.
Our favorite feature is they hydration alert. For those of us who tend to be a bit forgetful in the water-drinking department, it has a HYD mode that will set alerts for you to drink your H20.
- Hydration Timer
- Easy to Read
- Face Scratches Easily
- Too Large for Some
Garmin Tactix – Best for People Who Want Their Watch to Do Everything
Fitted with a highly sensitive GPS system and a backlight that is designed not to interfere with your night vision gear, you’ll be the envy of all your military friends – especially in the dark.
It’s hard to find something that this watch doesn’t do. It tracks your coordinates, planned waypoints and has a Jumpmaster feature. According to Garmin, the jumpmaster feature follows military guidelines for calculating the high altitude release point (HARP).
It features an altimeter, barometer and compass. It is also a smartwatch so it has connectivity capabilities and of course, is water-resistant.
Our biggest gripe is that it is expensive but if you want all these great features, you have to pay. This is the Apple Watch for the military, outdoor and tactical person. It’s for the person who wants a renaissance watch.
- Multiple advanced features – GPS, night vision gear-compatible, navigation, altimeter barometer, compass, Jumpmaster feature
- Easy to Read
- Connectivity app can have glitches
Luminox 3051 Navy Seal Watch – Best for Analog Aficionados & Use in Any Outdoor Conditions
The Luminox brand is known for its light and this watch delivers with its simplicity and straightforward design. The 3051 watch provides a continual glow through any outdoor conditions. That’s why they are designed for and used by law enforcement, U.S. Navy Seals and U.S. Air Force Pilots.
This watch is perfect for someone who needs to mind the time during the night and in rain, snow or any difficult visibility situation. You don’t even have to push a button to access a backlight – the 3051 radiates with an endless glow. This analog timepiece is for you if you’re a traditionalist who refuses to give in to the digital watch world.
Although the face seems to scratch fairly easily after a few months, it can easily be solved by buying a protector. It has 12-hour and 24-hour clocks with a calendar date but no compass or excessive gadgets – but that simplicity is just what some of us need in our lives. It’s water-resistant up to 220 meters (660 feet) so you can use it for most marine activities and water sports except scuba diving. It’s a beautiful watch that will light your way wherever you go.
- 24/7 Glow
- Popular with Navy Seals and Air Force
- Face Can Scratch Easily
- Parts Are Expensive to Replace
Casio G-Shock – Most Popular with the U.S. Military, Editor’s Pick
We here at RGG Reviews have a lot of military friends. They all say that the Casio G-Shock is the most popular. It’s easy to see why. Built with unparalleled shock resistance, they can withstand any kind of pressure. This is the reason, as the company Casio says, it’s “the most durable digital and analog-digital watches in the industry, trusted by military personnel, law enforcement, surfers and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.”
G-Shock is for “gravitational shock,” which means the watch can withstand and absorb a tremendous amount of shock. It can resist dropping it from heights, intense vibrations or even magnetic fields. There is even a Triple G products that can withstand three forms of shock without any problems: 1. Dropping Shocks – absorbing and dissipating shockwaves 2. Centrifugal Gravity – force of gravity 3. Vibrations – strong vibrations of high RPM. If you’re hardcore and need Triple G capability, please see the links below.
For the sake of this review, we’ll focus more on the popular basic model, the analog and digital GA-100. It’s designed to resist mechanical shocks and vibration and comes equipped with a stopwatch, time zone clock for 29 zones and 48 cities and of course, is water-resistant. Also, the watch was built with the “Triple 10” development concept: 10-meter free fall endurance, 10-bar water resistance and 10 year battery life.
The biggest complaint is that the digital display can be difficult to read in certain lighting situations. The faint LED light doesn’t help the situation. However, there are many who don’t have a problem reading the display. Perhaps the GA-100 is in stealth mode sometimes.
The G-Shock series is our – and our military personnel’s – overall most popular and best military watch. If you need more bells and whistles than is found in the GA-100, we have provided links below to other popular Casio G-Shock watches.
- Durable and Rugged
- Shock-Resistant and Vibration-Resistant
- Analog and Digital
- Difficult to Read Digital Display in Specific Lighting Situations
- LED Light is Too Faint
Check Price of Casio G-Shock G100 on Amazon – Reviewed Product
Other Best-Selling G-Shock Watches:
Check Price on Casio G-Shock AWGM100B-1ACR – Solar Watch
Check Price on Casio G-Shock MT-G MTG100B-1A – Triple G Capability
Check Price on Casio G-Shock G9300-1 Mudman – All Conditions, For Outdoorsmen
Check Price on Casio G-Shock GW-9400-3CR Rangeman – Most Recon-Style Military Watch
Check Price on Casio G-Shock GW9200-1 Riseman Watch – For Aviators
Check Price on GWF1000-1CR Frogman – For Divers
Buyer’s Guide for Military Watches
What is a military watch?
Simply put, it’s a watch that is good enough for our armed forces in the field. That means it has to be rugged, light, and designed for outdoor activities. They must built built tough, just like our men and women in uniform.
Does the military have an official issued watch?
No. A watch is not part of any official uniform. However, any soldier can make up his mind whether he wants to wear a watch or not. It is encouraged but not required.
What are some features to look for?
All military watches should be built to withstand many different situations. They should at least be water-resistant. Other than that, focus on what is important to you – it can be shock-resistant, barometer, compass.