Ranking the 10 Best Tactical Watches of 2021

Matt Lewis
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If you’re interested in tactical watches, but don’t know where to start, you’re in good company. When I first set out on my journey into the world of tactical timepieces, I felt exactly the same way.

Mainly, I wanted a watch that kept me from dying in the great outdoors, sea, or urban jungle. Needless to say, there’s a LOT of very confusing information, and we mean a lot (a LOT).

To help you out, we spent hundreds of hours reading through thousands of reviews to find the best tactical watches on the market. We selected 10 watches that were rated highest in functionality, style, and affordability.

If you’re in the market for a new watch, we’re confident these will meet your expectations. Best of all, you can read through our list below identifying the features you need and want, alongside the price you can afford.

Keep reading and we promise you’ll be out there practicing your knots and reading your compass while the unprepared sulk behind their smart phones.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What watch do Navy SEALs prefer?

Navy SEALs are a group of highly trained personnel specifically designed to conduct specialized maritime and ground military operations. This elite group is said to favor some of the world's best tactical watches, including Luminox, Suunto, and Orient.

However, there's one watch on the market that stands out from these three brands that we'll discuss shortly.

The military-grade Casio Rangeman GW9400-1 CR is favored by these prestigious covert service agents. What makes the Rangeman worth its salt? It's because it offers the best of benefits that any covert service agent would need in exchange for its steep price tag.

What is the best tactical watch?

The word tactical means it is a tool that is designed for use in times of war or other military action. Similar to how the word “tactical” is used in relation to firearms and gear. Tactical watches are watches that are built to last for military use. Most people that own tactical watches wear them for the purposes of style; many folks find them to be more than just watches. Many people that purchase tactical watches do so for the following reasons:

They can be used in combat to measure your speed while doing missions and long-term progression.

Because they are designed to survive just as long as you do.

Since they’re built to be hardy and last a long time they make for a much better and more reliable watch than entry-level consumer watches.

Tactical watches are built with more functions to enhance your training regime.

What watch do special forces wear?

This is a common question with a difficult answer. In the search for the best tactical watch, you’ll find many different brands that are used by military and covert services the world over.

Over the years, as technology has rapidly improved, so too has the hardware that these elite units utilize. Military-grade equipment often needs to be robust, reliable, and above all have a longer lifespan than consumer-oriented gear. There are two basic types of watches that tend to dominate the military-spec market, these are:

What is the toughest watch in the world?

This is a question with a very complicated answer. While some may attempt to measure the toughness of a watch simply in terms of its resistance to scratches and marks, there are many failsafe ways of measuring a watch’s toughness.

Many of the qualifications of toughness vary from watch to watch, but there are some general standards for determining a watch’s toughness.


Here are the tactical watches you should consider as your quest for the best tactical watch continues. This guide aims to give you an overview of the key considerations you should take into account when making your choice. And we hope to help you narrow down your choices so you can make a more informed buying decision.

Here are the 10 best tactical watches you should consider:

Our Recommendation