What is a good military or tactical watch?

A type of watch that is becoming increasingly popular on our site is the military or tactical watch. It is mainly the look and appearance of military watches that make them so popular. But it’s not just looks! Military watches are often also called ‘tactical’ watches and that is because they contain very specific functions that help military professionals and police perform their duties. But what makes a watch truly military or tactical?

The name says it all!

You can often recognize a military watch by its name, for example the Khaki line from Hamilton or the Navy Seal watches from Luminox. They have been specially developed for a specific army unit.

We owe the wristwatch with a leather strap as we know it today to soldiers from the First World War. Before that time, almost all men’s watches were pocket watches. It was of course not practical in the heat of battle to have to take your watch out of your pocket first. That’s why soldiers were given cheap, mass-produced wristwatches as part of their equipment. Returning soldiers continued to wear the watch when they returned home and the wristwatch quickly replaced the pocket watch among the general public.

Watches in camouflage uniform

Military watches usually have a dark, subdued color that matches the uniform of the military unit for which the watch is intended. For example, khaki for the army and black for the Special Forces. They are also often inconspicuous watches that are still easy to read.

Hamilton Khaki field h69449961
▴ Hamilton Khaki field h69449961

Luminox Navy Seal A-3501-BO
▴ Luminox Navy Seal A-3501-BO

In addition, a good tactical watch must be able to take a beating and be resistant to water, dust and temperature changes. In addition, the timepiece must be extremely reliable. Any deviation can cause life-threatening situations.

Did you know that many watch functions that we consider normal today were created precisely because they were developed for military use? Consider, for example, the chronograph with tachymeter or the hack function.

Citizen Altichron bn4049-11e
▴ Citizen Altichron bn4049-11e

Orient M-Force RA-AC0L04L00B
▴Orient M-Force RA-AC0L04L00B

How do you recognize a military watch?

Every purpose-built tactical watch meets at least these requirements:

  • Non-reflective (camouflage) cabinet in earth colors, brushed steel or black,
  • Few external protrusions that can snag on clothing and equipment and protected (screw) crown,
  • An unobtrusive dial with high legibility of the indexes and hands,
  • High-quality lighting and/or luminous hands,
  • At least 100m (10ATM) water resistance,
  • Anti-reflective (sapphire) glass or plexiglass,
  • Shockproof and resistant to magnetism and temperature fluctuations,
  • Water-resistant strap made of metal, fabric or rubber that is easy to adjust and protected against loosening,
  • Proven military background, so really used (in the past) by military personnel.

Whether it is basically a diving watch, pilot’s watch or outdoor watch; Genuine military watches often have a long history and are extensively tested ‘in the field’. That explains the sometimes higher price of these watches.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-wind h77755533
▴ Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-wind h77755533

Bulova 98A255 Hack Watch
▴ Bulova 98A255 Hack Watch

What types of military watches are there?

Classic military pilot watches and army watches

Classic military watches can mainly be found in the collections of brands that were suppliers to the army in the past. For example Hamilton, Victorinox or Edox. These are usually ‘field’ watches or pilot watches with a retro appearance. These watches are often made with only one purpose. Navigation (compass) or calculating distance and fuel supply (chronograph with tachymeter).

Victorinox Swiss Army 241927.1
▴ Victorinox Swiss Army 241927.1

Edox Skydiver 80126-3N-NINB
▴ Edox Skydiver 80126-3N-NINB

Modern military watches with extensive functions

Modern military watches are generally a multifunctional tool that unites several qualities. Extremely water resistant, shock resistant, with navigation and ultimate accuracy. Often equipped with a solar, radio-controlled clock or GPS so that the correct time or location is always known in the field, without alerting the enemy.

G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-2000-1A3ER
▴ G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-2000-1A3ER

Garmin Instinct 010-02293-04 Solar GPS smartwatch
▴ Garmin Instinct 010-02293-04 Solar GPS smartwatch

Give your watch a military look yourself

Are you a fan of the military look, but don’t need all those features? In our collection you will also find a wide choice of ‘normal’ watches in camouflage colors. Or, you can give your own watch a makeover! With a different strap you can easily give your watch a new look.

For example, choose a NATO strap. Here too, the name says it all: this type of tire was developed for military use; lightweight, water resistant, and attached to your watch in such a way that it is almost impossible to let go. The choice of colors is wide, but for the real military look you of course choose a camouflage color or print.

Camouflage print NATO straps
▴ Camouflage print NATO straps

Camouflage printed silicone and water-resistant leather straps
▴ Camouflage print silicone and water-resistant leather straps

A silicone rubber strap in black or camouflage color for your diving watch is beautiful and practical, because this type of strap is very comfortable to wear and is water resistant.

Whether you want a fully tactical watch or just want to change the look of your everyday watch, the military look will remain on trend for a while and always available at Techzle.

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