Toughest Watches for Military Personnel & Outdoor Enthusiasts

NanaDC watch reviews

In the wise words of John F. Kennedy's father, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

The toughest watches live up to the quote.

Their rough and rugged designs help tough watches remain in one piece amidst extreme conditions like unstable weather, accident-prone areas, you name it.

If you shop strategically, you may stumble upon a watch that boasts strong durability and abundant features that may be the ultimate companion for life.

Garmin Instinct Tactical GPS Rugged Watch - Best Overall

The Garmin Instinct Tactical watch combines excellent toughness and high-performance features. Hence, it is the best overall touch watch among the rest.

First, it satisfies US Military Standard 810G. As a result, thermal, shock, and water-resistance abilities are at top-tier levels.

On Sale
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical Specific Features, Constructed to U.S. Military...
2,866 Customer Reviews
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical Specific Features, Constructed to U.S. Military...
  • Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments. Fits wrists with a circumference of...
  • Constructed to U. S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100...
  • Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, Plus multiple global navigation satellite systems...

Besides a built-in GPS, the Garmin watch offers additional navigation tools such as GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and Galileo. These help the watch track challenging locations.

It also allows compatibility with both Apple and Android smartphones because of the Garmin connect online app. A heart rate tracker and activity profiles improve the watch experience.

Long-lasting battery life means one less thing to worry about with the Garmin timepiece. It can last up to 16 hours in GPS mode, 14 days in smartwatch mode, and 40 hours in battery saving mode.

  • Thermal and shock-resistant
  • Water-resistant of up to 100 meters
  • GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo systems can navigate more difficult environments
  • Smartphone compatibility suggests user-friendly abilities
  • Superior battery life provides longevity
  • None

Casio G-Shock GA 100-1A1 Watch - Best Value

The Casio G-Shock series is another set of watches that deliver the toughest designs that combat rough edges and rocky adventure trails. Indeed, the GA 100-1A1 model does not disappoint, making it the best value watch for the money.

On Sale
Casio G-Shock Ana-Digi GA100-1A1 3-Eye Wristwatch
6,856 Customer Reviews
Casio G-Shock Ana-Digi GA100-1A1 3-Eye Wristwatch
  • Water Resistance Depth: 200.00
  • Case Diameter: 51 Millimeters
  • Band Size: Mens-Standard

Because it is a G-Shock watch, it contains one of the best shock-resistance ratings trusted by military personnel, tourists, or those who want to go on an escapade.

The G-Shock timepiece comes with a dual-time display. It gives you the option to view the time readings through the classic analog display or a convenient digital format.

A water-resistance depth of 200 meters allows for it to be immersed underwater for extended periods. Accuracy is another calling card thanks to a reliable quartz movement, which gives exact time readings.

The Casio watch also does not feel heavy on the wrist because of a lightweight composition of 2.5 ounces.

  • Strong shock-resistance ratings
  • Dual-time display; you can choose between analog or digital
  • Superior 200-meter water-resistant depth
  • Precise and accurate quartz movement
  • Lightweight size of 2.5 ounces feels comfortable on the wrist
  • Resin case may not be as strong compared to stainless steel or brass

Timex Expedition Gallatin Solar-Powered Watch - Best Budget Pick

Some of the toughest watches go for expensive price tags because of their premium materials and meticulous construction. Thankfully, the Timex Expedition Gallatin timepiece is the cheapest option on the list.

Timex Men's TW2U30300 Expedition Gallatin Solar Black Fabric Slip-Thru Strap Watch,Black/Orange
1,206 Customer Reviews
Timex Men's TW2U30300 Expedition Gallatin Solar Black Fabric Slip-Thru Strap Watch,Black/Orange
  • Adjustable black 22mm fabric double-layer strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference
  • Charged by any light with a two-month power reserve
  • Black dial with date window at 3 o'clock; Partial Arabic numerals

As mentioned in the product name, it employs solar energy, meaning any type of light can be used for charging. [R] Also, the watch boasts of a 4-month power reserve.

Visibility won't be a problem due to the watch's black dial, easy-to-read analog display, luminescent hands, Arabic numerals, and hour line markers. A date-display can be found at the 3 o'clock position.

Minute markers fill up the outer dial. Combined with a solar-powered quartz display, the watch provides exact and accurate timekeeping results.

A waterproof nylon strap surrounds the watch face for guaranteed comfort on the wrist. Capping off the features is a water-resistant depth of 50 meters and a resin case.

  • Solar-powered energy does not require batteries
  • Premium 4-hour reserve
  • Easy-to-read dial and analog display
  • Luminous hands can glow in the dark
  • Accurate and reliable quartz movement
  • Sweat and waterproof nylon strap
  • Resin case may be easily breakable

Citizen Casual 'Military' Watch

Citizen is a solid provider of tough watches. The Casual Military watch can hold its own among the toughest timepieces.

One unique feature that separates Citizen watches from other brands is the Eco-Drive technology, which can convert any type of light into energy. The energy collected by the power cell enables the watch to run nonstop.

On Sale
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Weekender Garrison Field Watch, in Stainless Steel with Olive Green Nylon...
1,571 Customer Reviews
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Weekender Garrison Field Watch, in Stainless Steel with Olive Green Nylon...
  • Men's luxury timepieces with technical advancements and a sporty style
  • 12/24 Hour Time, Analog Day/Date
  • Black Stainless Steel

Protection is one other priority of the Citizen timepiece. A rust-resistant stainless steel case and scratch-resistant mineral crystal enclose the watch face. The buckle clasp ensures the watch does not slip off the wrist.

It may be a tough watch against potential damage, but it also gives comfort and care for the skin. A nylon strap possesses respectable hypoallergenic properties, so there is no need to be concerned about developing allergies.

Chronograph sub-dials present the day of the week and 12/24 hour display. Finally, Arabic numbers and luminescent hands contribute to the easy readability of the dial and analog display.

  • Eco-Drive technology lets the watch run continuously
  • Stainless steel casing is rust-resistant
  • Mineral crystal is scratch-resistant
  • Nylon strap provides comfort for the wrist
  • Chronograph sub-dials enhance the user experience
  • Easy-to-read dial and analog display
  • 43 mm case size may be too chunky for some

Casio G-Shock GST-S110-1ACR Watch

Another G-Shock timepiece that exemplifies toughness and high functionality is the GST-S110-1ACR model.

Instead of the usual one alarm, the G-Shock watch comes with 5 daily alarms. Hourly time signals can be useful when trying to keep track of the current hours.

On Sale
Casio Men's GST-S110-1ACR G Shock Analog-Digital Display Quartz Black Watch
734 Customer Reviews
Casio Men's GST-S110-1ACR G Shock Analog-Digital Display Quartz Black Watch
  • Tough solar powered, shock resistant, 200-meter water resistance, neobrite, double led light, world...
  • Hourly time signal, hand shift feature, battery level indicator, power saving, full auto-calendar...
  • Quartz Movement

Durability is at its finest with its elite shock-resistance abilities and 200-meter water-resistant depth. A full auto LED light can illuminate the dual analog and digital display when in either dark spots or nighttime environments. [R]

The buckle clasp delivers a tight but comfortable grip for the wrist. Precision and accuracy are taken care of by the reliable quartz movement.

A battery level indicator and power-saving mode are beneficial for keeping track of the battery lifespan.

  • Hourly time signals can track the top of the hour
  • Superior shock-resistance
  • Water-resistant of up to 200 meters
  • Buckle clasp can be easily fastened and unfastened
  • Quartz-powered movement gives the watch accurate results
  • 59.1 mm case diameter may be too large for some

Luminox 3001 Quartz Navy Watch

The Luminox 3001 Navy watch epitomizes toughness. Its features and rugged composition can easily keep up with other tough watches.

A self-powered illumination system, which is made up of borosilicate gas capsules, can glow 100 times brighter than other LED watches.

On Sale
Luminox Men's 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch
491 Customer Reviews
Luminox Men's 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch
  • Quartz Movement, Case material: Carbon reinforced PC
  • Case Bezel: Rotating 1-Way Diver, Case Back: Caseback with Screws, Crown: Double-Security Gasket
  • Case diameter: 43 mm

The dive watch has a built-in rotating bezel, which measures time spent underwater. Speaking of, a 200-meter water-resistant depth can withstand immense water pressure.

A polyurethane case and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass are integral watch parts for durability and utmost protection.

The watch dial offers easy readability because of an anti-reflective coating, simple analog display, 12/24 hour Arabic numerals, and luminescent hands.

  • Self-powered illumination system can light up 100 times brighter than other watches
  • Built-in unidirectional bezel measures elapsed time underwater
  • 200-meter water-resistance can withstand water pressure
  • Scratch-resistant and anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Easy-to-read dial, analog display, and luminescent hands
  • None

Suunto Traverse Alpha Watch

The Suunto Traverse Alpha watch applies premium materials and extra outdoor features that will attract most watch fans and adventurers.

For starters, the Finland-based timepiece underwent testing to see whether it passed military standards (MIL STG 819G). [R] Therefore, expect top-tier durability and performance.

Suunto Traverse Watch
909 Customer Reviews
Suunto Traverse Watch
  • Features a rugged, knurled stainless steel bezel, durable water repellent nylon strap, and a premium...
  • Suunto's automatic shot detection technology keeps track of when and where you shoot, mapping the...
  • Gps tracks your path, helping you find your way back using the automatic breadcrumb trail,Compatible...

Its digital dial is composed of a sapphire crystal, which guarantees immunity against scratches and cracks. A nylon textile guarantees maximum comfort and lightweight qualities for the wrist.

Should the environment start getting dark and murky, the built-in flashlight illuminates your current surroundings. Also, GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo settings guide you on the way to the trail and back.

One other cool feature it offers is its compatibility with smartphones, Apple, and Android devices with the Suunto Movescount mobile app. Bluetooth connectivity also results in sufficient radio communication.

  • Satisfies military standards (MIL STG 819G)
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Comfortable, lightweight, and sweatproof nylon crystal
  • The flashlight can be useful in dark environments
  • Navigation tools help you locate out-of-coverage areas
  • Smartphone compatibility thanks to the Movescount mobile app
  • None

Marathon Military Field Army Watch

You cannot have a list of tough watches without a Marathon watch. The Military Field Army timepiece offers a blend of style, ruggedness, and functionality.

The Arabic numbers and luminous hands use Maraglo photoluminescent paint, allowing the watch parts to have 'glow in the dark' abilities. Minute markers that surround the outer dial give exact and correct time readings.

MARATHON 34mm General Purpose Quartz (GPQ) Military Field Watch with MaraGlo (Black - US Government)
20 Customer Reviews
MARATHON 34mm General Purpose Quartz (GPQ) Military Field Watch with MaraGlo (Black - US Government)
  • MOVEMENT: High Torque quartz ETA FØ6 Movement
  • CASE: Black Composite, 316L Stainless Steel case-back - CRYSTAL TYPE: Sapphire

It is another solar-powered watch, meaning a light source fully charges the timepiece. A black nylon strap matches the minimalist black logoed dial.

Since it is a field watch, durable materials like a fibreshell case and sapphire crystal protect the watch face. High accuracy ratings are made possible by a 3-jewel high torque Swiss Quartz watch movement.

Capping off the Marathon watch features are a 3 ATM water-resistance rating, a case diameter of 34 mm, and a strap width of 16 mm.

  • Easy-to-read dial and analog display
  • Maraglo photoluminescent paint provide great luminescence
  • Solar-powered energy provides a reliable battery lifespan
  • Comfortable and sweat-proof nylon strap
  • Fibreshell case can withstand high impact (falls, crashes, etc.)
  • Sapphire crystal resists scratches
  • Superior and accurate Swiss quartz watch movement
  • 34 mm case diameter may be too small for some

Casio Pro-Trek PRG-270-1 Multifunction Watch

The last timepiece featured on the watch is the Casio Pro-Trek model.

It consists of a triple sensor, which includes features such as an altimeter, barometer, and digital compass. These built-in devices are responsible for tracking altitude, atmospheric pressure, and exact location, respectively.

On Sale
Casio Men's Pro Trek PRG-270-1 Tough Solar Triple Sensor Multifunction Digital Sport Watch
1,782 Customer Reviews
Casio Men's Pro Trek PRG-270-1 Tough Solar Triple Sensor Multifunction Digital Sport Watch
  • Tough Solar Power,100M Water Resistant,Low Temperature Resistant (-10 C / 14 F),Module 3415,Approx....
  • Accuracy: +/- 15 seconds per month ,Full Auto Calendar (Pre-programmed until the year 2099),5 Daily...
  • Full Auto LED (Super Illuminator) Backlight with Afterglow,Countdown Timer Measuring unit: 1 second...

The solar-powered watch can last up to 9 months at full capacity without additional charging from any light source. A world time feature provides access to 31 different time zones across 48 different cities worldwide.

The Pro-Trek watch even offers a city name display above the digital time display. A rugged case design made out of stainless steel resists anything the outside world brings. These include scratches, rust, etc.

The timepiece does not stop here. A Full Auto LED Backlight will brighten the digital display to improve readability at night or in poorly-lit areas.

Lastly, large buttons surrounding the watch exterior enable a user-friendly experience. These are properly labeled per function and easy-to-find.

  • Altimeter, compass, and barometer provide supplementary data (altitude, air pressure, location)
  • Battery lifespan of up to 9 months
  • World time feature lets you access 31 different time zones
  • Rugged and rust-resistant stainless steel casing
  • LED backlight provides easy readability in dark areas
  • Plastic band may not be as strong compared to silicone and stainless steel

What Are the Features of Tough Watches?

These timepieces live up to their "tough" label thanks to their strong shock-resistant qualities. Just ask the creators of the Casio G-Shock series.

features of tough watches

The toughest watches can handle hard falls, accidental drops, immense water pressure, and other forms of impact.

If you are thinking about going for a hike or trail, you need to purchase a tough watch because these were designed for those who want to pursue an active lifestyle.

Besides shock-resistance, reliable and top-tier timekeeping are additional assets to tough watches.

Whether it employs an atomic, automatic, or quartz movement, the watch is also tough against inconsistent and wrong time readings.

Since a tough watch is designed for outdoor enthusiasts, battery life should be at limitless supply. Luckily, most timepieces are solar-powered. Therefore, exposure to sunlight or artificial lighting will keep the tough watch going.

What Are the Similarities and Differences Between a Tough Watch and a Tactical Military Watch?

Both tough and tactical military watches possess maximum longevity. One other similarity is they include add-ons such as a built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass.

difference between tactical watch and military watch

The differences lie in the fact that tactical watches have slightly more features than the tough watch. Some tactical watches might even have smartwatch abilities like smart notifications, Bluetooth connectivity, GPS settings, etc.

In the case of tough watches, their primary functions are to maintain consistent timekeeping and provide superior durability.

The use of premium materials like stainless steel casing and scratch-resistant crystal dial windows are common among many tough watches.

One common denominator among tough and tactical timepieces is that these can be considered watches for the military. The roughness and ruggedness of both types of watches should be enough to pass ISO standards.


I hope you had an enjoyable time reading over the toughest watches that are some of the best options.

Before finalizing your preferred watch choice, carefully weigh in the different features each watch contains and your budget range. These will help determine which one suits you the most.

I also encourage you to read supplementary reviews online so you can narrow down your options. For more questions or inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2023-02-05.