9 Best Tritium Watches for Men (2019 Review & Buying Guide)
Best Tritium Watches

9 Best Tritium Watches for Men Reviewed

This guide was updated on March 8th, 2019

A new feature available for military watches is taking hold of the market.

This new feature is known as tritium.

Tritium allows your watch to become illuminated using a special type of gas causing a chemical reaction.

It’s a way to light up your watch that won’t run out for decades, making it the perfect option for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors or finds themselves in low-light situations often (at night etc).

Watch Preview
#1 Choice
Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch
YELANG V1210 Eco-Drive Movement T100 Tritium Sapphire Mirror Men Business Sport Watch Wristwatch
Seiko Men's SNZG15 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch with Nylon Strap
Reason
Best overall tritium watch choice
Elegant military-style business watch
The economic choice
Case Diameter
44 millimeters
44 millimeters
42 millimeters
Water Resistance
660 feet
330 feet
330 feet
Customer Rating
#1 Choice
Watch Preview
Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch
Reason
Best overall tritium watch choice
Case Diameter
44 millimeters
Water Resistance
660 feet
Customer Rating
More Details
Watch Preview
YELANG V1210 Eco-Drive Movement T100 Tritium Sapphire Mirror Men Business Sport Watch Wristwatch
Reason
Elegant military-style business watch
Case Diameter
44 millimeters
Water Resistance
330 feet
Customer Rating
More Details
Watch Preview
Seiko Men's SNZG15 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch with Nylon Strap
Reason
The economic choice
Case Diameter
42 millimeters
Water Resistance
330 feet
Customer Rating
More Details

Don't have time to read my whole review? In my opinion, the Luminox 3051 is the top timepiece in this category.

What are Tritium Watches?

Well, they’re normal watches, but the tritium light technology makes all the differences. Often, you’ll see watches with a green or sometimes blue lit-up dial, but many of those watches are using electrical energy that can wear out over time.

Tritium, on the other hand, takes much longer to decay and therefore seems to be a better light source when it comes to watches for low-light.

Tritium is a radioactive gas that glows in the dark. It’s an isotope of hydrogen that emits electrons. Once those electrons connect with phosphorus, it produces a fluorescent light that lasts up to 20 years.

As a cold light source, tritium is automatic and doesn’t require an external energy source like a battery or solar power in order to operate. 

Tritium gas in a tube

The luminescent gas was first discovered by Ernst Rutherford, Paul Hartek, and ML Oliphant in 1934. Before it was used in tritium dial watches, it was manufactured for industrial purposes.

Simple design for the costWhat’s more is that when you put tritium into a glass tube, you’ll find it has even more illumination. So, that’s what watchmakers did. As you’ll see when we get into the full tritium watches review, they’re all watches with tritium glass tubes.

That is probably enough about the science behind it. Taking into consideration brightness, cost, and water resistance, here’s my review on the top nine tritium light watches.

T100 Tritium Watches

There are two types of tritium watches, T25 and T100. The numbers refer to the number of millicuries in the tritium tubes within the watch.

When it comes to illuminated watches, T100 is going to be your best bet in terms of brightness. 

You’ll see a noticeable difference when choosing T100 and they’ll last up to 50 years which is said to be double that of T25 tritium tube watches.

In short, T100 tritium light watches will be the brightest tritium watch options out there.

Tissot PRS 516 Automatic Men's Watch T100

Being scratch resistant with a sapphire crystal face and having a lightweight feel with the black rubber strap, this watch has some special features, too.

Including a chronograph, which is basically a built-in stopwatch, it also not only shows the date but also the day of the week, too.

Both of which are features that many other styles don’t have. Water resistant up to 100 meters with a two-year warranty, it’ll do the job well.

The only thing is, it’s really expensive. It also doesn’t have quartz movement which most people seem to prefer.

Instead, it features automatic movement which works with your body. But if you don’t wear it every day, you may prefer another option.

PROS

  • A stylish black ceramic bezel and black carbon dial with white accents
  • Easy fold over clasp
  • 80-hour power reserve

CONS

  • High price
  • Automatic movement (you have to wear it almost every day)
  • Simple design for the cost

Isobrite ISO100 Ultra Bright T100 by Armourlite

Also with a two-year warranty and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, this watch is different in that it’s made of a polycarbonate material, has a silicone strap, and adds an extra 100 meters to its water resistance.

Isobrite ISO100 Ultra Bright 200m Dive/Tactical T100 Tritium Watch by Armourlite
71 Customer Reviews
Isobrite ISO100 Ultra Bright 200m Dive/Tactical T100 Tritium Watch by Armourlite
  • T100 makes this watch up to 4 times brighter than a Luminox or Traser
  • T100 illumination lasts up to 50 years, which is double the life of a standard T25 tritium watch
  • T100 represents the latest technology in tritium watches and makes seeing the time in the dark much easier on the eyes

Plus, quartz movement versus automatic could be a game-changer for you.

It should also be mentioned that Armourlite is a well-known watch brand. Sometimes, having a brand you can trust will make all the difference.

PROS

  • Water resistant up to 200 meters
  • Swiss Quartz movement
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • The busy exterior may be hard to read
  • Expensive
  • Polycarbonate material is lightweight but looks cheap

YELANG V1210 Eco-Drive Movement T100 Sapphire Mirror for Men

As the name suggests, this is perfect for the businessman who’s also sporty.

YELANG V1210 Eco-Drive Movement T100 Tritium Sapphire Mirror Men Business Sport Watch Wristwatch
1 Customer Reviews

Because it’s stylish enough to wear to the office while also durable for your evening soccer game with the pals, its stainless-steel case and band really set this watch apart.

To be honest, men's tritium light watches are hardly ever this good-looking.

So, if you’re going for looks over everything, this is the one you should consider buying.

PROS

  • Chronograph dials for the hour, minute, and 24-hour
  • Affordable
  • Stylish enough to wear at work, durable enough for an active lifestyle

CONS

  • Stainless steel can feel heavy
  • Can seem busy and difficult to read
  • Only waterproof up to 100 meters

Cheap Tritium Timepieces Under $200

The following tritium light watches are going to be your most affordable options.

But beware, you usually get what you pay for in this category. But still, I think these are some great options for those who are on a budget. And let’s be real, most of us want to save money.

Both of these cheaper tritium watches have a nylon strap that seems uncomfortable, but you can always wear it on the outside of your sleeve.

Problem solved.

Marathon WW194013 Swiss Made Military Issue Milspec Navigator

If you’re in the market for a true tritium military watch, look no further.

Marathon Watch WW194013 Navigator Swiss Made Military Issue Pilot's Watch. ETA F06 Movement, Date...
73 Customer Reviews
Marathon Watch WW194013 Navigator Swiss Made Military Issue Pilot's Watch. ETA F06 Movement, Date...
  • MIL-SPEC: Built to Government specifications for use by military personnel. Nato Stock Number 6645-01-544-9475 engraved on case back
  • TRITIUM GAS TUBES: Self illuminating tritium gas tubes glow with no need to be charged by an external light source.
  • PILOT'S WATCH: Designed for pilots and paratroopers. Features a lightweight high impact fibreshell case and domed acrylic crystal.

Made with military specifications in mind, this has all the bells and whistles. However, to be honest, it does not offer much more.

Made with an acrylic crystal that’s resistant to pressure changes, it has different color options and shows you the date. Only having the ability to go underwater 60 meters can be a deal-breaker.

PROS

  • Made in Switzerland with Swiss quartz movement
  • Meets strict military specifications
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Only water resistant up to 60 meters
  • Uncomfortable nylon strap

Seiko Men's SNZG15 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch

Unlike the quartz movement you’re getting with the Marathon brand watch, this Seiko is an automatic watch under $500. It’s up to you what you prefer.

Seiko Men's SNZG15 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch with Nylon Strap
394 Customer Reviews
Seiko Men's SNZG15 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch with Nylon Strap
  • Round watch featuring logoed dial with Arabic numeral indices, luminous hands, and day/date window at 3 o'clock
  • 42 mm stainless steel case with hardlex dial window
  • Automatic self-wind movement with analog display

But, where this watch comes out ahead is if you see any diving in your future. Customers like it because it’s water resistant up to 100 meters.

Showing both the date and day of the week and being extremely lightweight, this will be another fantastic choice for a tritium tactical watch.

PROS

  • Shows day of the week and date
  • Lightweight, 2.72 ounces
  • Water resistant up to 100 meters

CONS

  • Automatic movement (you have to wear it often)
  • Only one color option
  • Uncomfortable nylon strap

Tritium Timepieces Under $500

Now, we’re jumping up in cost a little bit, and you can really see the difference.

With more features and higher quality materials, both these watches are water resistant up to 200 meters.

However, you’ll see that they’re very different from one another.

GPW German Military Titanium Automatic Watch

Pretty much your classic military watch, this product shows the date and has a durable, rubber band.

On Sale
German Military Titanium Automatic Watch. GPW Date. 200M W/R. Sapphire Crystal. Black Rubber Strap.
34 Customer Reviews
German Military Titanium Automatic Watch. GPW Date. 200M W/R. Sapphire Crystal. Black Rubber Strap.
  • Lightweight Titanium Military Watch available. The watch weighs only 57GR. (2 OZ) without strap. Manufactured by Arctos Praezionsuhren e.K. in Germany (Tradition since 1923) with a 2 year manufacturer...
  • Precision Automatic movement (24 Jewels). Functions without a battery; Powers automatically with the movement of your arm. The watch should be wound if not worn for 24 hours or longer. Electromagnetic...
  • Extra strong sapphire crystal with anti reflection coating (as required by the German Armed Forces; Much harder than mineral crystal and almost impossible to scratch).

It is made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and is water resistant up to 200 meters.

Plus, this military tritium watch was designed by German Special Forces.

PROS

  • 2-year warranty
  • Lightweight, 2 ounces without the strap
  • Military-grade German watch

CONS

  • Automatic movement (needs to be wound if not used for 24 hours)
  • Simplistic design

Luminox Atacama Field Day Black Carbon Fiber Dial Brown Leather Mens Watch 1925

Here’s another one you can wear as both a field watch and with a nice suit.

Luminox Atacama Field Day Black Carbon Fiber Dial Brown Leather Mens Watch 1925
77 Customer Reviews
Luminox Atacama Field Day Black Carbon Fiber Dial Brown Leather Mens Watch 1925
  • Series:Atacama Field Day/Date
  • Style:Casual
  • Case:Brushed black ion plated stainless steel

The scratch resistant sapphire crystal, stainless steel case, and the leather strap all work together to create a good-looking, yet very functional watch. 

The watch itself is water resistant up to 200 meters, but it’s unclear whether the leather strap is good for diving

But, since it’s made by one of the most well-known tritium watch brands, you should have a good experience with this Luminox product.

PROS

  • Swiss quartz movement
  • Stylish casual option
  • Shows day of the week and date

CONS

  • The leather strap can be uncomfortable, especially in warm weather
  • Not necessarily military-grade

Best Tritium Divers Watches

When it comes to tritium dive watches, probably the most important factor is water resistance and how much pressure it can take.

Both of these watches can reach depths of up to 200 meters, and anything less won’t be ideal if you’re a true diver.

Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch

As previously mentioned, Luminox is well-trusted in the world of tritium watch brands, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at the specs.

On Sale
Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch
538 Customer Reviews
Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch
  • Luminous black watch featuring notched unidirectional bezel, contrast white markers, and date display at 3 o'clock position
  • 44 mm Polyurethane case with mineral dial window
  • Swiss quartz movement with analog display

Claiming a light source of over 100 times that of its competitors, it seems great for deep dives where things get dark. 

This black watch has great contrast with its white numbers on the dial. For some people, it can have a little too much going on.

Apparently, it’s the watch of choice for Navy SEALS so you can’t really go wrong there.

PROS

  • Swiss quartz movement
  • Trusted brand
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Busy design that could be hard to read
  • No chronograph
  • Polyurethane case and band may not last as long

Seiko Prospex Divers Solar Mens Black Silicone Watch SNE441

Another great tritium watch for diving, it has a stainless steel case, black silicone band, and scratch-resistant hardlex crystal.

On Sale
Seiko Prospex Divers Solar Mens Black Silicone Watch SNE441
36 Customer Reviews
Seiko Prospex Divers Solar Mens Black Silicone Watch SNE441
  • Black Dial
  • Water Resistance to 666 ft. (200m), (20 BAR)
  • Unidirectional Rotating Bezel

It’s a little bit expensive, but when it comes to something so water resistant, it could be worth the cost if you’re an avid diver.

PROS

  • Three-year warranty, one-year international warranty
  • Solar quartz movement
  • 10-month power reserve

CONS

  • Quite pricey
  • May not have all the features you’d like
  • Stainless steel can be heavy

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Tritium Watch for You

So, now that you know more about the specifications of each watch along with some of their pros and cons, it’s time to choose the one for you.

Since these are all premium tritium watches, it’ll be all those other factors that help make the final decision.

Most often, the deciding factor will come down to price, so we’ll start there. You may also be tempted to trust a brand’s reputation at face value, which is fair enough but shouldn’t be your only consideration. You’ll want to think about style and features, too.

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into each of these factors to make sure you’re choosing the best tritium watch.

Price

The first thing you need to do is stay within your budget. To be frank, none of these watches are particularly cheap.

That said, you do get a lot of amazing features by spending the extra cash. As we’ve already mentioned and something you’ve probably heard a million times, you get what you pay for. This situation isn’t any different.

Sure, right out of the box you might think you got a steal. When you’re looking to buy another watch just a year or two later, you’ll be kicking yourself for taking the cheapest option.

Style

Most tritium watches are going to be rugged and military-style watches. In fact, those are the styles I prefer. But I’m not everyone. Some people have office jobs or they want to wear the same watch in the field as they do when they go out to dinner with their wife.

It’s essential that you decide what you’re really looking for in a watch. Do you want a rubber or silicone strap that might clash with a suit?

Or would a leather band seem totally out of place in the middle of training or going for a dive?

Thinking about how you plan to wear your watch will help decide on the style that fits.

Features

When talking features, again, you’ll want to really consider what activities you participate in most. Here are a few things to think about before making a purchase.

If you’re constantly in need of a stopwatch, make sure to choose a watch with a chronograph. If you always forget what day it is, maybe you need a watch that tells you more than the date.

If you spend most of your time in a suit and tie, a bulky, military-style watch might be the wrong choice.

If you’re a diver, your watch needs to be water resistant up to at least 200 meters. 

Once you realize the reasons you want a tritium watch in the first place, your decision will become a whole lot clearer.

Brand Names

If you’re like most people, you’re more likely to buy something when you recognize the brand name. And there’s a reason for that. When a brand continues to make quality products, you begin to trust that any additional products they make will also be of high quality.

While this is often true, it’s important to do your own research in addition to just having an affinity for a certain name. But if you’ve narrowed it down and the choice is between a top brand and a name you’ve never heard of, go with the brand.

Some of the top brands in tritium watches are Luminox, Smith & Wesson, Armourlite, and Seiko.

Verdict

From this list, if you just want the bare minimum that’ll give you what you need without any fancy extras, then the Seiko 5 SNZG15 is going to be the one for you. At just over $100, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal for a tritium watch. Just remember, you get what you pay for at this price point.

If you love the idea of a versatile tritium watch that can function in the business-setting and the outdoors, the best option would be the completely stainless steel YELANG V1210. It is really not that expensive either. With its quartz movement and sleek design, it’s really an overall showstopper.

But, for the ultimate military-style tritium watch, it has to be the Luminox 3051. This watch has everything you need in a tritium watch. From deep water resistance and a lightweight feel to its Swiss quartz movement for accurate timekeeping and production by a trusted brand. You really can’t go wrong with this fully-loaded timepiece.

The best thing about all of these tritium watches is that you’ll be able to see them no matter how dark it is around you. Whether you’re camping with your family, on a military mission, or diving with sharks, any of these tritium watches will stay glowing strong.

At the end of the day, only you will know which watch will be best for you. But after seeing the different styles, prices, and features that come with tritium watches, you should be able to spot which one is your perfect match.

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