View Full Version : "tactical" watches

August 20, 2009, 12:42 AM
In several gun magazines I have seen some pretty slick watches.



Although these watches are pretty sweet they are also pretty pricey. Does anyone know of a watch with a similar look and quality (waterproof, durable, preferably black, etc) but with a kinder price tag. I know you usually get what you pay for but I was hoping there might be an exception.

Any suggestions??

August 20, 2009, 12:59 AM
Looks like you're paying for the website designer on those babies ;)

August 20, 2009, 06:13 AM
Yep, nice looking but you can get a very similar look in a cheapo Timex and not care when it gets beat up.

August 20, 2009, 06:21 AM

August 20, 2009, 08:52 AM
Just because they market something as used Special Forces does not mean it is used by Special Forces. The Fist watch I think it hast to be charged from a 110 outlet no spec ops guy will use a watch that has to be charged or I would not (not too many 110 outlets in the desert). Most use Casio G shock. Now every oil, watch, ar15 acc is used by Special Forces soon Wal-Mart will be selling the flat screen HD TV used by special forces.

August 20, 2009, 09:37 AM
I'd be embarrassed to wear a watch that said SPECIAL FORCES or some such nonsense. Way too mall ninja for me. :D

August 20, 2009, 09:44 AM
This is what I wear for a duty watch. Never a problem, keeps perfect time, it is rugged and takes a beating. I've had it for several years and it's been great. Bought mine through Quartermaster Uniforms for around $70.
Rubber Strap

Self-Illumination System glows for over 25 years

Black Dial

Screw Down Crown Rotating Bezel

Hardened Mineral Crystal

High Quality Swiss Component Movement

Water Resistant to 200 meters

Gift Boxed

3 Year Battery

1 Year Warranty

$89.95 MSRP

August 20, 2009, 10:31 AM
I have had the Navy SEAL watch by Luminox since G.I. Jane. :)

August 20, 2009, 10:40 AM
I think I'm gonna start selling boxer shorts. I'm gonna call them tactical shorts and tripple the price.

I will also have a line of Sniper Shorts too.

August 20, 2009, 01:06 PM
Casio G-Shock Mudman

I don't know if it's "Tactical", but it's tough and has some handy features.
Time zones, stopwatch, illumination, multiple alarms, etc.

Around $70 on Amazon

August 20, 2009, 08:43 PM
I'd rather keep my Omega Seamaster...

August 20, 2009, 08:48 PM
Casio "Illuminator" --$20

Dr. Strangelove
August 20, 2009, 09:21 PM
Seiko "Orange Monster" - 'bout $200.00 when you find it on sale....

It's a diving watch, waterproof to 200m, and a huge hunkin' piece o' stainless steel. Mine's the orange/stainless one.



If you destroy this beast, you're probably dead....

Just to clarify, I bought this one as a diving watch, not a tactical watch. It's got the secondary clasp that allows you to wear it over a wetsuit, it's really a great watch.

(Typed on my "Special Forces" keyboard - hey, it's black.... with my "black ops" optical laser mouse as backup:))

August 20, 2009, 11:29 PM
Dang, that thing looks like it would stop bullets.

Who was that superhero who deflected incoming bullets with his wrists..... Dr.... somebody (it's ok, your secret is safe here).

August 21, 2009, 02:11 AM
http://roguewarriorwatches.com/That is just sad. I used to have a lot of respect for Richard Marcinko.

Who was that superhero who deflected incoming bullets with his wrists.

That would be "Wonder Woman".

August 21, 2009, 02:41 AM
Casio G-Shock

Wore one of these bad boys for 16 months in Iraq, and it still keeps perfect time. I beat it badly though, so I only wear it for work and the range. Plus, the backlight is awesome. Just bright enough.

August 21, 2009, 04:51 AM
I've had one of these for over 10 years now:


Luminox Model 3001. You can find them for around $ 200.00 or less.

Capt. Charlie
August 21, 2009, 12:22 PM
You might consider a Casio Pathfinder (http://www.casio.com/products/Timepiece/Pathfinder/PAG40B-2V/). It's digital rather than the analog models you seem to like, but it's rugged, has a large bold display that's easy to see in low light, and has more bells & whistles than any gadget guru could ever hope for :D.


Seriously, I've had mine for over 10 yrs. and I love it. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and little things like its digital, flux gate compass, altimeter, and barometer (to hint of incoming weather) have been a lot of help on several occasions.

Te Anau
August 21, 2009, 01:30 PM
I gotta say that those Uzi watches look pretty cool for the $$$ :cool:

August 22, 2009, 10:31 AM
The Seiko Dive Watches can also be used as a cosh.

I've had mine since the mid-80s or so. When my eyes first started going bad on me, the large dial was kinda neat.

The radium paint on the dials and hands are kinda dim.

Better stuff is available now.


August 22, 2009, 06:48 PM
I'd be embarrassed to wear a watch that said SPECIAL FORCES or some such nonsense. Way too mall ninja for me

I agree 100%. I always thought the all black watches with a metal bracelet looked cool and would make a nice work watch but all the mall ninja logos ruined them for me so I never bought one. I'm just not a "tacti-cool " dude I guess. Then I found a Bulova Marine Star in all black and I had to have it.

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/610/206676736.th.jpg (http://img21.imageshack.us/i/206676736.jpg/)

I bought it at JCPenney for $99 ( clearance ) and I couldn't be happier. And yeah, that JCP was at the mall....

August 22, 2009, 07:44 PM
I hear chicks dig tactical watches. They tell them which guys to avoid.

Seriously, unless you are actually part of a special forces team they look goofy. Even if you are on one of those teams it's something to be worn on the job, like the bullet proof vest, thigh holster, etc. Personally, before I wore a "tactical" watch (or anything else that could be termed "tactical) I'd just go ahead and get a big "L" tattooed on my forehead. It would send the same message.

That Casio Pathfinder is not tactical but again it's a watch made for a specific purpose. Unless you are actually hiking, or on your way to or from doing so, it just looks dorky.

If you want a good watch for all occasions that will hold up to just get a nice stainless steel Citizen or Pulsar with a stainless bracelet. Titanium would do nicely too. Something with a simple dial and maybe a date window. They are classy, durable, practical, and will last a lifetime with minimal care.

Oh, if you do get one with a metal bracelet be sure to go get the band sized properly at the jewelers for $5.

August 23, 2009, 09:31 AM
I don't like digital watches, they glow too bright when lit. Also, I only need my watch to tell time, that's another reason I like the Uzi - it's got a date and a dial (KISS!), and just enough tritium inserts to tell the time without looking like you have a flashlight on your wrist.

If you want to be tactical, remember that the human eye can see a match light at a mile in the dark. How easy is it going to be for someone to see your Indiglo digital when you check the time?

Uncle Billy
August 23, 2009, 10:04 AM
You want to impress everyone with a mall ninja wristwatch? That's fine, as long as your intended targets aren't older than 13 or 14 (chronologically or developmentally). At Walmart there are racks of watches for $12 that would work.

If you want a real good watch that is rugged, simple, accurate and reliable, then try this:


It meets virtually any wrist-carried timekeeping needs, and because it's of a very high quality and is universally recognized as such it impresses folks with how discriminating you are. You ought to be with me when mine gets spotted by someone who looks at my watch for clues as to who I am, and sees I'm wearing this.

$5420.00 at Amazon.com; rarely on sale anywhere.

Why wear a costume when you can wear genuine status?

There are watches that keep time as accurately and are as rugged, for a hell of a lot less $$. But a real Rolex (and a few other makers' products) are pretty impressive to those who know what they are. Of course if you want to really cheap it out, find one of those guys in Battery Park in NYC with the $20 illegal knockoffs, and hope no one notices that the second hand steps from second to second while a real Rolex second hand is in a much smoother motion.

Or just buy one because you like well made, high quality things and to heck with what anyone thinks.

August 23, 2009, 12:04 PM
I like the UZI and the Timex. I'm not looking to impress anyone, just kinda like the "tactical" look of these watches. But i agree I wouldn't want a "Special-Forces-Trained-Killer" labeled watch either.

August 23, 2009, 06:45 PM
I bought a Casio G-Shock Mudman a few weeks ago and it's a great. Comes in black and OD. Costs about $65 if you shop around on the web. Got mine through Buy.com.

Thomas Carey
December 14, 2009, 03:25 PM
I have met a lot of people at gun shows who have a Luminox watch. In fact it seems if they own one they have at least three. The most anyone I have met has had is seven. They are all Swiss and darn tough.

The battery life seems to be as good as anything. I have asked owners about that and it seems they get at least 4 years of battery life if not longer on models without a chronograph.

A brand that is newer that I really like is one that is actually assembled in the U.S. which is Lum-Tec. If you google the name you will find a lot of happy owners.

Personally I tend to go with watches with auto movements. My favorite always seem to have Seiko movements.

Presently I have a Seiko Premier with a 6R20 and its the most accurate mechanical movement watch I have had to date. Though it has no lume which I do miss and its really more a dress or general use type watch.

For hard use it's hard to beat a quartz watch and Luminox for many get the nod.

December 14, 2009, 05:09 PM
I think I'm gonna start selling boxer shorts. I'm gonna call them tactical shorts and tripple the price.

You should use the line " this is my gun, this is my weapon" somewhere in the ad campaign.

December 14, 2009, 06:39 PM
any casio G shock bt I like the solar powered ones that set themselves using the atomic clock in Fort Collins, Colorado.
I got two. the first quit after 15 hard years.

Thomas Carey
December 14, 2009, 06:47 PM
15 years is quite a good run. The G shock really is quite popular with a lot of people.

Lawyer Daggit
December 14, 2009, 06:55 PM
Rolex submariner or Omega sea master are the 'classic pro's watch'. These offer a good level of illumination, are tough, water proof and reliable.

Alternatively most forces types around here who are less well healed seem to wear the Casio G shock series.

Basically any watch that is reliable and tough and offers good illumination would serve nicely without attracting the mal ninja / "L'' moniker.

I must say I kind of like the idea of the Seiko divers watch / improvised weapon. Seems to me in the event of a sky jacking just ask the lady next to her to slip off her panty hose, pop the seiko watch into one of the legs with a few coins for good measure and one has a very effective improvised cosh that is just about weighted perfectly to introduce some bad dude to 72 virgins.

December 14, 2009, 09:55 PM
Tactical watches? Most "tactical types" I know, as in folks who are actually or formerly employed as such, wear either Casio G-Shocks or the Seiko divers.

Of the two, I prefer the Seiko divers. Of the Seiko divers, I prefer the Black Monsters.

December 15, 2009, 02:36 AM
I've been happy with my Marathon.

It's been through a motorcycle wreck, 2.5 deployments and a divorce. It looks better than I do.

Of all the times I've taken fire, I dont think my watch has been the cause of it, even though it's not black.

Fortunatly for me, the watch now has an office job on this deployment.


Diamond LawDawg
December 15, 2009, 06:08 AM
Casio G force..black in color 28 years as P.O.from patrol,vice,narcotics and back...never failed to keep time LMAO:D

December 17, 2009, 08:29 AM
There have been some very good recommendations here. I would add Suunto into the mix as well. I don’t have a ton of experience with a lot of watches but I am happy with mine.


December 17, 2009, 11:27 AM
I have the Casio G Shock Atomic / Solar and was quite pleased with it for about the first year. After that, it will not hold a charge for anything. I can spend the entire day out in the sun and the first time I hit the indiglo on it, it is already running out of juice.

December 17, 2009, 12:45 PM
"$5420.00 at Amazon.com; rarely on sale anywhere."
And all it does is tell the time -

December 17, 2009, 02:43 PM
The Rolex is a nice, well made watch, the Sub made for diving, but these days more of a fashion statement (I'm rich) than a rugged go anywhere watch.

For most usage the G Shock will take the most abuse and keep working.

If you are diving, get a watch made for diving. If you are going to get beat up, get a G shock. The reason is, the divers watch is made to withstand even pressure. If it gets whacked, the case can be distorted and no longer resist pressure. Water gets in, $5000.00 gone.

Tempus Fugit

December 17, 2009, 04:37 PM
Eh. If I'm dropping that kind of cash on a watch, I'll go Omega or Breitling.

I really don't wear a watch anymore. I use my cell phone for the time and date.

December 17, 2009, 05:06 PM
Casio G-Shock has worked well for me. Depends on wants and needs.

December 24, 2009, 08:40 PM

Value priced and built like a tank, No watch pins to break.


December 24, 2009, 09:44 PM
There is tritium and then there is everything else. I have an older Breitling and it glows alot better than a newer one that I have, but neither one are tritium. If you think you will need to see the time in the dark, the tritium is the way to go. It is like comparing tritium gun sights to those with paint on "glow in the dark" paints, which work less well to some extent either reasonable or all the way to useless, stops glowing in 5 minutes type stuff. SOme of the stuff they put on watches now is supposedly better, hight tech glow stuff, still it does not have a radioactive power source and dims eventually. You can find old radium watch dials from the 50's and they still glow better than the glow paint junk, event though they have turned brown and ugly. Might as well also insist on waterproof too. if you want a mechanical watch for not alot of money, some of the Russian Vostok watches on ebay are pretty decent and keep reasonably good time. They just are not as pretty with polished innards that no one sees. They make dive watches that are automatic winding for like 58$ or less on ebay. I still use a quartz Breitling dive rated for my everyday beater watch though. Not flawless, but pretty good.

old bear
December 24, 2009, 11:10 PM
If you really want to impress someone with your watch get an Omega or a Rolex; now if you want a watch that is reliable and affordable get a Timex, Casio, or Seiko dive watch. I have the Black dial “orange monster” it’s a great watch but to heavy for day to day use.

Bill DeShivs
December 25, 2009, 03:20 AM
Rolex and Tudor were the original "tactical" watches, and are probably still the best.
Some of the Swiss Army watches are very nice, for not a lot of money.

December 27, 2009, 12:02 AM
Well, as a "mid road" watch somewhere between Timex and Rolex, you might consider Tag Heuer.

They have some pretty rugged "dive style" watches that run around $800 or so. Screw-down crowns keep them waterproof.

I don't use mine for diving, because a dive computer does the job so much better (and it's connected to your tank, so it shows remaining bottom time.)
But, my wife forgot to take her Tag off, and it survived a 90ft dive just fine.

Saphire crystals are very hard to scratch, stainless bands have double-clasp fasteners, etc.

Very well made Swiss watch, without the snob appeal of the Rolex.

December 27, 2009, 12:41 AM
Let's go Timex vs. Casio. I have owned both and I think that I prefer the Timex. Hard choice.

December 27, 2009, 02:28 AM
For one of the most disturbingly overbuilt watches ever, consider the Sinn UX, the Bell & Ross Hydromax, or the Technomarine Abyss.

They're filled with a silicone oil and rated to 12,000 meters of water resistance. Sinn's UX (personally the best-of-breed here) is built from U-Boat steel (Rockwell 67C, harder than most knives), and Sinn even makes a GSG-9 edition for those who simply must have an explicit tactical tie-in.

The Bell & Ross Hydromax is pretty neat. The company is relatively young, but it's built a reputation for building very no-nonsense, purpose-driven watches. They don't really do jewelry, though lately they've started adding a little gold and polish to some of their models (not the Hydromax).

Technomarine's version, the Abyss, has a bubble in the oil, which they consider a feature and not a defect (it gives the oil some room to expand and contract as the temperature changes). It's pretty surreal to watch it moving around, and every time I see someone inspecting one, the bubble seems to hypnotize them for a few seconds (this is unlikely to be useful in a real tactical setting, but some people might consider it a plus in a social one).

Of the three, the Technomarine has the least aggressive testing behind it (Bell & Ross, for example, actually built a pressure chamber to test theirs, and is very proud of that), and the least "ooh"-factor among the watch-collector crowd. On the other hand, a Sinn will set you back $1900-ish, a Hydromax $2400-ish, and the Abyss sells for a bit under $300 on Amazon. The difference is a very nice rifle and some ammo to feed it, or even a box of .380ACP from Cheaper Than Dirt (maybe two if you're lucky).

December 27, 2009, 03:06 PM
The "Special Ops" "Predator" is the watch that suits my image, demeanor, and every other aggressive personality disorder I may harbor. At least that is what the advertising seems to imply. Cool advertising using well made-up male models with $200 haircuts and back packs filled with foam (no indentation at the shoulders). Claims of "true" water resistance - not waterproof - of 300-600 feet equals the water resistance claim of my $49 Casio, which I bought on sale for $29. Of course the 3,300 feet claim for the "Xtreme Ops Seal Team" divers watch means that the watch will tick at that depth while the SEAL wearing it will have long been reduced to fish food. I usually have a good laugh at these types of "tactical" claims but this time I laughed even more because my son, who recently completed 10 years of active duty military service, was on hand to humorously interpret the advertising claims.

My nine years of military service were spent with plain Seikos and two Rolexes. By the way, the Rolexes never kept accurate time for more than a week. A fake gold Rolex I bought for $25 kept better time. Now I hike, recreate, shoot, work, swim, etc. with an analog Casio that seems impervious to nearly anything destructive. The only drawback to the Casio is its non-tactical designation.

December 27, 2009, 03:49 PM
Of course the 3,300 feet claim for the "Xtreme Ops Seal Team" divers watch means that the watch will tick at that depth while the SEAL wearing it will have long been reduced to fish food.

Not to take the wind out of this very appealing sail, but "water resistance" claims are usually done with with atmospheres, and the "N feet" claims are usually N feet of air used for the pressure test.

If you really want to nerd out, consult ISO standard 2281, but Zeno has a handy translation table (http://www.zeno-watch.ch/en/ServiceOverview/WaterResistance/body_waterresistance.html).

For example, a "500 meter water resistant watch" translates to being able to resist SCUBA diving at 50 meters for two hours of continuous pressure. The 1000-meter/3,300-foot claim goes to 100 meters for two hours, which is... actually not too unrealistic.

Serious dive watches, including like the ones I mentioned earlier, follow a different standard, ISO 6425, and their numbers are "meters of water". In fact, they get an extra 25%-overpressure test to account for differences in water density. If you're buying one of these, you'll know.

And the Sinn UX is still Tougher Than You. :p

December 27, 2009, 04:09 PM
I like my S&W watch http://www.outdoorsportgifts.com/images/360820.jpg and only cost me $25+tax.

Of course if you want to really cheap it out, find one of those guys in Battery Park in NYC with the $20 illegal knockoffs, and hope no one notices that the second hand steps from second to second while a real Rolex second hand is in a much smoother motion.

Hey, you leave my Rorex alone:mad::p

December 28, 2009, 07:41 AM
I got Omega X-33 for all of my tactical needs... :D excellent readability, serious backlight when needed, UTC time with separate alarms, rotating bezel and strong Luminovas. And the alarms are LOUD.

Also have a 5.11 HRT watch but nowadays can only use the Horus Vision ballistic calculator on it. The Chinese crap-ching movement said up its contract right at warranty end. The calculator is brilliant but everything about the hardware is utter tinsel, for which, shame on 5.11.

Double Naught Spy
December 28, 2009, 08:09 AM
I like the Timex Ironman series of watches. The last two I have purchased were under $40. I simply run them tell the 5 year battery runs out and replace the whole watch.

December 28, 2009, 09:24 AM
IDK about tactical, but if you want a good ooking watch with quality internal works(Read will keep good time) for a VERY reasonable price then try here:
Yes, I buy my watches and sheets from overstock.com.

Rolex's actually have terrible internal works, some of the worst around. By non-aesthetic standards they are some of the worst watches available. Thing is most women don't care at all about function, at least those you might try to impress with a watch, so they still have a wondrous effect.

December 28, 2009, 06:11 PM
I have the Casio G Shock Atomic / Solar and was quite pleased with it for about the first year. After that, it will not hold a charge for anything. I can spend the entire day out in the sun and the first time I hit the indiglo on it, it is already running out of juice.

Yours might be defective, mine has had no issues for years and years, the only time it even gets to medium power is in the winter if I am wearing long sleeve shirts in the office. Make sure the auto-light-on is off (that is where if you turn you arm the light comes on) and make sure it can see light a little. If you normally wear long sleeve shirts and jackets so that the watch seldom sees the light, it is not the watch for you. The only problem I have now is that in my new house my watch does not sync in the place I normally keep it. at night. So once a week or so I put it in an W. facing window overnight.

Bill DeShivs
December 28, 2009, 08:36 PM
"Rolex's actually have terrible internal works, some of the worst around. By non-aesthetic standards they are some of the worst watches available."

That's funny! Rolex automatic movements are probably the finest movements made. Now if you don't know the difference between a quartz and automatic, I can understand the statement.
Quartz watches keep better time than any mechanical watch. Of the mechanicals, the Rolex is near (or at) the top. And your Rolex's batteries won't run down.

Shadi Khalil
December 28, 2009, 09:08 PM
I rock a swatch watch.

December 28, 2009, 09:45 PM
And your Rolex's batteries won't run down.
Neither did my Timex Automatic, too bad it's dead:(

January 4, 2010, 10:15 PM
I wear a Tag Heuer Classic 2000. It's incredibly accurate, waterproof, rugged and looks great

January 5, 2010, 11:46 AM
I've worn my Rol' Sub for over 25 years............. and yes I have a demo knife and a blue sapphire ring too! ;)


January 11, 2010, 08:03 PM
I wear my watch to tell what time it its..... not a whole lot more. Date and a few extras are nice but seriously, 5K + for a watch ? No thanks. I'll stick with my $60 G Shock and spend the rest on some decent guns or gear.

January 11, 2010, 10:24 PM
Don't know if anyone remembers a show back in the 80s that tested products but they did a show on the G-shock watch. Dropped it out of a helicopter, played hocky with it etc and it came through no problem. They then bought a $12 Timex and did all the same tests with it and it did not malfunction either.

January 11, 2010, 10:30 PM
Life has been good to me.Still here after 45 years ;)


Two Kimbers (the all black one and SEIKO are my daily tools) the (two/tone and OMEGA SEAMASTER see day light now and then) The OMEGA was a gift from girlfriend when I turned 40 :D

Be Safe,