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Best Military & Tactical Watches That Will Enhance Your Rugged Good Looks

It's time to soldier up.

Best Military & Tactical Watches That Will Enhance Your Rugged Good Looks


Looking for a tough and capable watch that’s good enough for a warzone? Here’s our guide to the best military watches on the market.

The history of watchmaking is closely tied to the history of warfare. Indeed, the first ever wristwatches first emerged during World War I, when soldiers would strap pocket watches to their wrists using specialised cases.

Watches quickly became invaluable tools for fighting men, essential for timing attacks as well as for navigation. WWII saw the development of pilot’s watches, with large dials and oversized crowns designed to be used through thick gloves, as well as the first field watches.

These days, military-inspired watch designs are some of the most popular in modern watchmaking – and while phones and smartwatches might be more accurate than your average quartz or mechanical watch, modern soldiers still rely on watches when they’re out in the field.

Whether you’re a LARPer or a real man of action, here’s our guide to the best military and tactical watches on the market today.

Our research & why you should trust us

Our research process for selecting these best military watches is based on our previous experience trying on and owning these watches for ourselves. We have over 15 years of experience in the luxury watch space.

  • We have tried on every single one of these watches and rigorously tested their functions, features and wearability, and we regularly update this article.
  • There’s no product placement in this article – this is our pure, unadulterated opinion informed by years of experience writing about watches.
  • Some of these watches on this list are watches we own ourselves – we’ve put our money where our mouths are.
  • While this list (as well as DMARGE’s broader editorial focus for watches) focuses on luxury watches, we’ve provided a diverse mix of price points, materials, case sizes, aesthetics and brands in order to provide a thorough cross-section of the military and military-inspired watches on the market.
  • All of the watches included are manufactured by reputable, established brands that have been in the watch business for many years. No dodgy microbrands here!
  • We regularly attend watch fairs in person such as Watches & Wonders as well as visit boutiques both officially and off the clock in order to stay up-to-date on the watch industry.

Military watch FAQs

How do I pick a men's watch?

Aesthetics, complications, quality and brand aside, the most important thing to consider when buying a new watch is that you choose one that's the right size. If you have a smaller wrist, go for timepieces with smaller diameters or thinner cases. Measure the circumference of your wrist. If it is between six to seven inches, choose a watch with a case diameter of 38-42 mm wide, for example.

How is a men's watch supposed to fit?

If your watch leaves imprints on your skin, it is too tight. Ideally, it should be loose enough to slide more than two inches down your wrist when your arm is perpendicular to the ground.

How many watches should a man own?

Most men only own one watch, but fashion experts say you should have three – an everyday watch, a workout watch, and a dress watch for special occasions.

What watches do soldiers actually wear?

While there's a wide variety of watches in service with militaries around the world, most modern soldiers wear Casio G-Shocks, as they're cheap, tough and reliable.