Best Military Watches 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

You serve and protect this country and for that you need a reliable and worthy watch for your hand. Not just any old watch with features like waterproof or alarm clock. No, You deserve the very best military watch that you can find. The watch that you choose should have all the features that you need a watch to have on the battlefield.

The military has created a MIL-SPEC specification on how a military watch should be made for analog watches, but there is no such thing for digital watches. That is why when choosing a digital military watch you need to be careful in deciding which one you will go with. On the other hand if you are here for a more fashion trendy military watch in the luxury spectrum that you can check out my other article right here.


Reviews of the Best Military Watches 2017

#1 Suunto Core Military Watch

The Suunto Core definitely has major benefits but like anything also has disadvantages. One drawback to the Suunto Core is its display screen because it is pretty dim and becomes so makes it difficult to read at night. However, because it is powered by the CR2032 battery, the watch has a long battery life. The Suunto Core includes more than the average watch with a compass, barometer and a weather indicator, which is designed to assist you with tracking potentially bad weather conditions and locate where you are in the outdoors while hiking. It’s sporty, it’s smart and it’s packed with features, but has this outdoorsy watch from Suunto got the legs for navigation? While Lacking GPS, the Suunto Core immediately takes the path of smart sports watches – but remains a solid, easy to use and highly accurate watch for skiers and hikers.

  • #1 The Suunto Core Is Waterproof

The Suunto Core is a good choice for diving and snorkeling enthusiast alike because it is waterproof and so when you dive in the water with this watch, your watch will not be destroyed. This also critical in those underwater military missions.

  • #2 Affordably Priced

The Suunto Core watch could be found on the market for around $229 more or less. This watch may seem a little bit expensive for some people, it fairly priced when you consider the features it has such as the compass, altimeter and barometer as well as an alarm and timer, making it a totally waterproof and reasonably attractive military watch.

  • #3 Advanced Military features

It includes a barometer which ties in with a storm alarm that warns of a sudden drop in air pressure. It is the final part of the Suunto Core’s central Alti Baro tab, with a compass on one side and time on the other. All these modes can be easily toggled, plus it is only a single button touch to lock to the current screen – a really useful feature.

  • #1 Lacks GPS Navigation

A major drawback to the Suunto Core watch is that it does not GPS navigation to assist with getting to certain areas while outdoors but with the built in compass feature is not really necessary since the compass works pretty well for getting around in the outdoors. The benefit of a compass compared to a GPS is that a compass will work even in areas where GPS satellites are not in sight.

  • #2 Alarm sound is too low.

The base sound on the alarm is low but with a little tweaking the sound of the alarm can be increased to meet your needs unless of course you are the kind of person who doesn’t wake up even if an earthquake occurs. Beware heavy sleepers!

My final Verdict

The Suunto Core watch offers a wide range of features that would really be valued by military men currently serving our country. It is a digital watch and it comes in many different colors such as orange and green. The watch fits nicely on the wrist and the watch band is switchable so you have more options for customization. It definitely fits the bill for a military watch based on the guidelines set in my main military watch post.

The Suunto Core is one of the most fully featured military watches available. It has a multitude of features including an altimeter, barometer, compass, storm indicator and a weather trend indicator, which would serve all the needs you would have outdoors. This watch is made in three style ranges: Suunto Core Premium, Suunto Core Classic, Suunto Core Crush. These ranges all have a wide range of color palettes, which gives you a combinations to pick from. All these features and options combines to make this watch our top military watch choice.

#2 Casio Men’s PRW2500T Military Watch

The Casio Pro Tek PRW2500 is a high performance watch designed to take on challenging environments .It features an easy one touch operation for using the Altimeter /Barometer, compass and the thermometer. It is designed with a dual lcd display layout that can easily provide information at a glance. This watch includes information like the tide and the moon making it very convenient when kayak fishing or boating. It has atomic timekeeping via time calibration radio signals, which means the time is precisely reported.

#3 G-SHOCK 6900 Military Series Watch

This watch is part of the Origin and Master series in the G –Shock line. It embodies the style of G-shocks classic, popular watches combined with the ruggedness and style of a military watch. This watch is perfect for people on a budget. It comes in fewer styles than the Sunto Core Watch but it has different versions with different dials and fixed colors.. Unlike the other watches on this list it does not have much extra features making this more suitable for someone looking for a military inspired watch. It excels in its ruggedness and durability, which G-Shock excels in its price class.

#4 Traser MIL-G Type 6 P6600

Traser was the military’s contract for making military watches back in the day. This particular military watch is the only one on the list that is officially MIL- Spec certified, meaning it is made to how the military dictates a military watch should be made. It features a unique illumination system named trigalight that is an independent lighting for the watch face from the battery. It uses tritium gas and radioactive decay to power it for 10 years. It features a scratch resistant dome of mineral crystals that shields the watch face that matches the military standard. The only minor thing that could bother you in the future is that to replace the battery you have to go to a Traser warranty center.

#5 Timex Men’s T49612 Expedition Trail Series Watch

This watch was made primarily for outdoorsy people and it is part of the Timex Trail Series. It features a digital compass in addition to the standard watch features. It is really rugged and lightweight and shock proof up to ISO standards. It would work for military members who are looking for a watch primarily for keeping time and not with any extra features. However, it is still a great budget watch.

Best Military Watches – Ultimate Buying Guide 2017

What is a Military Watch?

Men wearing a suit and tie and attending a formal business meeting do not have the same needs as you.You are a military man that needs a watch that can keep you on track,be stealthy, and last in various environments without any sign of wear.A military watch has all these features and more.There are different types of military watches and they each have their own extra set of specific set of features.Below I have listed some features that make a military watch “military” capable.

History of the Wrist Watch

“Hey man, what time is it”, a sentence most of us hear every day while walking on the streets or while browsing shopping items in a superstore. Keeping track of time has never been easier as you see every other person wearing a wrist watch, with ranges and prices varying from one extreme to another. In a few cases, the price of a wristwatch worn by a rich man might be more than the entire monthly budget of a middle-class income person. Such is the perception of wearing branded and high priced watches developed over the years. But was this always the case? Were watches always meant to be status symbol rather than a time telling device? Let us take a look at a brief history of how watches evolved over the years.

These days, meticulously crafted and highly detailed wrist watches have become more than just time telling devices. They are a bold fashion statement, a quality investment passed down through generations and a reflection of good taste and culture. Also, the wide availability of phones and tablets (both can fulfill the primary purpose of a watch) means that wrist watches have now become as much a symbol of status as something to tell time.

However, if we look at the history of watches, we are inclined to believe that the concept of a watch was not common until 16th century when Peter Henlein, a German locksmith, invented the first watch. This watch worked as a mechanical device, supported by mainspring and balance wheels to support its functionality. Another 500 years passed by and further models were invented which were mere simple modifications to the same mechanical model used by Henlein. However, the real transformation came in 20th century when ‘quartz’ watches were introduced which ran on electricity and kept time with electromagnetic pulses.

Talking specifically about the history of wristwatches, the history dates back to 16th century when Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, gifted an ‘arm watch’ to Elizabeth 1 of England. However, other studies name Patek Philipe as the creator of first wrist watch in 1868. No matter which study you rely on, a common phenomena regarding wrist watches is the fact that it was not until early 20th century when men first started wearing wrist watches because until then they were viewed as only a feminine accessory. Many men were quoted as saying that ‘they would rather wear a skirt than a wristwatch’, which highlights how disdained they felt about the concept of wearing a wristwatch.

So, how did the men eventually accept the concept of wearing a watch over their arm? As a matter of fact, the concept of men wearing a wrist watch did not develop out of fashion or a cultural trend. The need for men to keep track of time first emerged in battle field when Constant Girard developed a concept of wrist watches for German naval officers and manufactured 2,000 wrist watches in 1880. Since pocket watches were bulky and carrying them interfered with battle activities for the soldiers, wristwatches were distributed to officers and this marked the first significant commercialization of wrist watches as people started to get rid of their perception of this being a feminine accessory. A few years later, Louis Cartier developed what was known as ‘Santos’ wristwatches in response to Alberto Santos’ (a pilot) demand of being able to allow him to keep track of time while keeping both hands on the control during the flight.

Time moved on and came the era of World War I where soldiers of the Allied troops were equipped with range of models of wristwatches, often termed as military watches, in order to facilitate time keeping without using their hands, in order to maintain their focus on battle ground activities. Though these watches were large and had the crown at 12 o’clock position just like a pocket watch, the use of these watches quickly made pocket watches out of fashion. By 1930, over a decade after the end of World War I, public perception had changed and the use of wristwatches increased dramatically with only 1 pocket watch to be seen for every 50 wristwatches. The use of wrist watches during this era also provided opportunities for various companies to explore this market and one of these companies did it pretty well: Wilsdorf Davis Ltd, which was founded in 1905 and was later renamed to the famous ‘The Rolex Watch’ in 1915, a brand that probably comes first to our mind even now when thinking of watches.

In the final years of the war, numerous models came to light as companies competed more on design and features to not only improve the appearance, feel and comfort of watches but also to enhance the resistance of watch against dust and water. The features kept improving until 1926 when Rolex introduced the first ever version of a water proof wristwatch, the Oyster. Later in 1957, different models of electric watches were introduced which ran on an electrically powered mechanism and were much more advanced than the previous versions available.

To sum it up, the journey of watches has seen eras where these were scarce and used limitedly by women to periods where more and more people started appreciating the concept of watches. Currently the wide spread availability of watches caters to needs and demands of every single individual. What was created out of necessity has transformed into a status symbol with few watches now worth thousands and millions of dollars.

Features that you might find useful in a Military Watch

Some Features that you might find useful in a Military Watch

#1 Physical Characteristics (Stealth and Durability)

  • Reverse/ Inverse LCD screen for stealth – The background of the screen is black and the digits are in a lighter color.
  • Red backlight LED instead of the classic blue backlight-Red light least degrades human night vision capability compared to the other shorter wavelength colors
  • Titanium or Carbon Fiber case –Cases made from these materials are light weight and durable at the same time.
  • Low Temperature operation for artic operations –This depends on where you are stationed and will be needed if stationed in that environment
  • At least 100M Water resistance –If you are going on underwater expeditions but It is mainly useful for navy seals.
  • Large Depressed buttons with a textured surface –This is to avoid getting caught in webbing straps
    Solar Powered or Easy to change battery-What good is the watch if you cannot power it and in the field your options are limited.
  • Depth Meter –Again more useful for navy seals
  • Bezel marked with cardinal compass points-Helpful if you get lost are just need to keep on track
  • Large form factor Watch-This is needed because with gloves on small watches will not do.

#2 Timing Functions (in addition to standard time,alarm and stopwatch functions)

  • 24 Hour time format –Standard Military time Format
  • Countdown timers –This can be helpful in certain situations
  • Selectable Flashing Alarm mode –In tactical situations you are not going to want to go in guns blazing
  • World times –Convenient when changing times zones
  • Sunrise/ Sunset times-Really important to know in a military context
  • Quick Global silent setting- This would be a very useful feature which is unfortunately not available on any watch as of now.

#3 Environmental Functions (Navigation, ABC, planning and decision support)

  • Electronic Compass –More accurate readings than an analog one
  • Compass 3D mode (like more expensive Suunto sports watches)
  • Barometric Monitoring – Could be helpful when sniping
  • Altimeter –Good for keeping track of your height
  • Button to Switch between Barometric and Altimeter readings
  • Storm Alert –This uses the principle that a rapid fall in air pressure indicates bad weather
  • Temperature sensor
  • Moon Phase –Useful information to know from time to time in a military context
  • Tide phase prediction – Useful information to know from time to time in a military context
Types of Military Watches

The different types of military watches issued are almost as varied as the types of military missions that troops who wear them perform. There are three major categories of military watches that are available on the market

#1 General Service / Field Watch

This type of military watch is issued to infantry or other ground units and are often designed to be cheap and rugged at the same time. They are meant to be low price, low maintenance, mass deployment watches. Its main purpose is to provide a synchronized time which is much needed accuracy in the timing of maneuvers, from the front lines to the control center. There are so many different watches in this category to choose from.

#2 Pilot’s / Navigator’s Watch

When the military takes to the sky, timing is everything. Whether, clocking a bomb run, delivering troops to a specific location at a precise time or navigating by time and heading, a reliable and accurate timepiece is needed. In general, these watches feature more accurate movements and larger dials than their land-based counterparts and are worn by pilots and other aircrew. Pilot watches also come with their own special set of features which include a chronograph for measuring time, a highly legible dial for high readability in the vibration of an aircraft and a tachymeter for performing speed/distance calculations. This type of watch is highly collectable with classic brands such as Heuer, IWC, A Lange Sohne ,LeCoultre ,Omega, , Jaeger, and Hamilton having made great examples of this style of watch.

#3 Dive Watch

Diving watches need to be well built and they are just that. They’re the most robust – and often most expensive – military timepieces which includes models built by famed watch brands like Rolex, Omega, Tudor, Blancpain, and Eterna. Military dive watches are found on the wrists of some of the most top class members of the military, including naval special operations forces and clearance divers. Top quality construction and relative scarcity drive the value of these watches higher than all most any other military watch .There are many collectors who count this type of watch among their favorites. Fortunately, for those people who don’t have y thousands of dollars to spend on a watch, more affordable diving watches exist as well. Considering the technological advances introduced in military dive watches, owning one of these watches often means owning a piece of watchmaking history.

My thoughts on the best military watch

Overall I would like to conclude by saying that my choice for the best military watch will be different then your choice , but that is why I have created this guide and added a comparison chart with my top picks for you to make a more informed decision.In my personal opionion I would say that the Suunto Core military watch fits most of the criteria I have set above and so I have picked this as my first choice.This does not mean that the other watches are inferior but it best fits what I am looking for in a military watch.

Best Military Watches 2017 – Buyer’s Guide
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