10 Best Budget Military Watches in 2023
Ladies and gentlemen, whether you’re a military personnel or an outdoor enthusiast, there’s one accessory you can’t do without—a rugged, reliable, and feature-packed watch. Now, we’re not just talking about any old timepiece. We’re talking about watches that can endure the toughest of terrains, the harshest of climates, and the most grueling of missions. Watches that do more than just tell the time—they become your trusted partner in the field. Intrigued? Buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the world of top-notch military and field watches that are ticking all the right boxes!
Military watches are watches that are made for the military and are known for being tough, durable, and robust. They are built to handle all kinds of harsh conditions and can vary in design and function. Some common features of military watches include good legibility, a robust and sporty design, 12-hour and 24-hour markers, and useful functions such as a compass, barometer, altimeter, and chronograph function. Military watches may also have a good level of water resistance, usually at least 100m. Field watches, which are sporty and durable, are also closely associated with the military and are often used by the military. Military-style watches are popular among the everyday carry (EDC) community for their features, legibility, durability, and aesthetics. There are three main styles of military watches: field watches, pilot watches (also known as Flieger watches), and heavy-duty digital watches. Also, check out our guides on The Best Skeleton Watches , Best Moonphase Watches, and Exploring Different Types of Watches.
The Best Military and Field Watches
1. Bertucci Titanium Performance Field Watch: Your Trusty Companion in the Field
Here’s the deal – if you’re looking for a field watch that effortlessly balances tradition and innovation, look no further than the Bertucci A-2T Original Classic. This isn’t just any watch, it’s a testament to Bertucci’s dedication to crafting superior timepieces.
Crafted from high-performance titanium, the A-2T debuted in 2004 and immediately made waves. Its rugged 40mm case is a game-changer, providing durability and corrosion resistance that’s second to none, without weighing you down.
Now, let’s talk about reliability. With a dependable Japanese quartz movement at its heart and a water resistance rating of 200m, the A-2T isn’t fazed by a little rough and tumble. Its an R-Type hardened mineral crystal? That’s just icing on the cake.
What about visibility, you ask? Well, Bertucci’s got you covered. The A-2T’s hands and markers are treated with high-performance Swiss Super Luminous material, which glows intensely for hours after exposure to sunlight or indoor lighting. No button push is required – it’s all about efficiency here.
And, let’s not forget the comfort aspect. The A-2T comes with a military-spec #97 Forest Nylon B-Type Heavy-Duty Nylon Webbing Band. Not only does it offer long-lasting durability, but it also adjusts to fit all wrist sizes.
So, whether you’re on a military mission or an outdoor adventure, the Bertucci A-2T Original Classic stands ready. This watch doesn’t just tell time – it tells a story of tradition, innovation, and unwavering commitment to quality. Trust us, you won’t want to leave home without it.
2. Bulova Military Heritage Hack: A Rugged Timepiece with Vintage Vibes
Strap in and let’s talk about a watch that’s been turning heads since its release – the Bulova Hack Watch Archive Series.
Now, if you’re a fan of military watches from the 60s and 70s, you’re in for a treat. This piece isn’t just inspired by those classic designs, it’s practically a near-replica. But don’t get it twisted – with a contemporary automatic movement and a couple of modern amenities, the Bulova Hack Watch is more than capable of keeping up with the times.
This is a no-frills, infantryman’s watch, built for function over flash. The dial is as straightforward as they come – no subdials, no date window, just pure, unadulterated time-telling. It sports two sets of Arabic numerals – an outer 12-hour set and an inner 24-hour set, catering to your military time needs. The outer numerals are lume-painted for visibility in the dark, while the red inner numerals keep things clear in well-lit conditions.
The case? It’s stainless steel – tough as nails and ready for anything. At 38mm in diameter and 13.45mm thick, it’s compact yet has a substantial presence on the wrist. The brushed, matte finish gives it a workmanlike charm that’s versatile enough for both casual and formal occasions.
Waterproof to 30 meters, this watch is more than ready for a dip in the pool or an unexpected downpour. The double-domed mineral crystal is scratch-resistant, so no worries about everyday wear and tear.
The Bulova Hack Watch comes powered by a Miyota Caliber 82S0 movement, with a commendable 42-hour power reserve. And true to its name, the watch features a hacking function, allowing you to stop the second’s hand for precise time setting.
Rounding off the package is the classic NATO strap in olive green leather, offering both comfort and durability.
In a nutshell, the Bulova Hack Watch Archive Series embodies the military-inspired aesthetic with modern reliability. It’s a watch that serves its purpose and does so with an unassuming style that’s all its own. Trust us, you’ll want this timepiece in your arsenal.
3. Luminox Navy SEAL Series: Precision, Toughness, and Official Seal of Approval
Gather round, watch enthusiasts, let’s delve into a real heavy-hitter in the realm of military and field watches – the Luminox Navy SEAL Series. This isn’t just a military-inspired timepiece; it’s officially licensed by the United States Department of the Navy, built to their exacting standards and specifications.
For over a quarter of a century, Luminox has been in partnership with the world’s toughest maritime forces, fine-tuning and refining a watch that is both robust and practical enough to be considered “first-line gear” for elite units.
So, what sets this watch apart? Let’s break it down. The Luminox Navy SEAL watch boasts an impressive 200 meters water resistance, making it a reliable companion for any underwater adventure. The extremely robust hardened mineral glass and the unidirectional rotating bezel ensure durability and utility in the harshest environments. Its CARBONOX™ case and screw-on case back offer an unbeatable combination of lightweight comfort and superior strength.
But the real game-changer? The Luminox Light Technology (LLT). This self-powered illumination system, which features on the dial ring, bezel dot, and hands, employs tiny micro gas light sources that are always visible under any circumstances. No button-pressing, no battery dependence, just a constant glow that lasts up to 25 years.
Housed in a 43mm case and paired with a comfortable, durable rubber strap, the watch is equally functional and stylish. And for those who value precision, the watch is powered by Swiss Quartz movement.
The Luminox Navy SEAL Series isn’t just a watch – it’s a statement of durability, precision, and functionality. It’s a timepiece that was born from the collaboration with the SEALs, has been field-tested in the toughest conditions, and has come out glowing – literally. This is a watch that’s more than ready for your next mission.
4. Seiko 5 SNK805 Automatic: Unbeatable Value and Uncompromising Functionality
Listen up, watch enthusiasts! When it comes to budget automatic watches, the Seiko 5 series simply can’t be beaten. This is not just a watch; it’s a testament to Seiko’s history, commitment to reliable automatic movement, and exceptional value for money.
The Seiko 5 line, easily identifiable by its shield-shaped “5” logo, has an interesting backstory. The “5” signifies five key requirements each watch in this series must meet – namely, Diaflex Mainspring, Diashock system, Automatic Winding, Day/date Indication, and Water Resistance. These are Seiko’s guarantees that you’re getting a product that meets a baseline of quality.
Take, for instance, the SNK805 model. This is a field watch with a definite military aesthetic. The dial is dark olive green, with white Arabic numerals, ensuring easy time reading. The diamond-shaped hands are filled with Seiko’s Lumi Brite, ensuring visibility in dark conditions, while the lollipop-style seconds hand, complete with a red tip, enhances legibility.
And let’s talk size. The watch measures 37mm across with a lug-to-lug of 43mm, and an 11mm thickness – it’s neither too thin nor too bulky. The stainless-steel case, in a matte finish, features a recessed crown at the 4 o’clock position, designed to prevent digging into your wrist.
And here’s a fun feature – the SNK805 comes with a screw-down, see-through case back, letting you take a peek at the inner workings of the watch. It features Seiko’s own Hardlex crystal, offering solid protection, and a water resistance of 30m, good enough for daily use.
The watch uses the 7S26 movement, a reliable workhorse that beats at 21,600bph, featuring bi-directional winding and a power reserve of about 40 hours. It doesn’t have hacking or hand-winding, but it does its job well and reliably.
And the icing on the cake? This fantastic piece costs around $120 brand new, cheaper than many fashion watches and packed with way more value. Be cautious of online fakes, though – if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Seiko 5 SNK805 is a versatile watch that stands up to everyday situations (bar formal events). If the stock strap isn’t your style, you have the option to switch it out with a nato/zulu. All in all, this watch is a robust, reliable, and affordable option that doesn’t skimp on functionality or style.
5. Hamilton Khaki Field Auto: Rugged Elegance Meets Unmatched Endurance
The Hamilton Khaki Field Auto, with its combination of toughness and reliability, makes a compelling case as a top pick for military and field use. First off, this watch is designed to stand up to the challenges of diverse environments, whether you’re scaling peaks, navigating dense forests, or exploring urban terrains.
What really sets it apart, though, is its H-10 automatic caliber. This isn’t your everyday timekeeping mechanism—it’s designed to keep the watch running for up to an impressive 80 hours on a single wind. That means you can rely on it to keep ticking even when you’re days away from the comforts of civilization.
The watch also boasts a robust stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal known for its scratch resistance, and a water resistance rating up to 100 meters. And it doesn’t skimp on the details either, featuring contrasting snail and pearled patterns for a sophisticated look.
Ultimately, it’s this blend of performance, endurance, and style that makes the Hamilton Khaki Field Auto a go-to choice for those who need a timepiece that can handle the rigors of fieldwork.
6. Marathon Military Navigator: The Ultimate Companion for High-altitude Professionals
Alright, let’s talk about a watch that is truly designed for the high-stakes environments of pilots, parachutists, and law enforcement. The Marathon Military Navigator Pilot is an ultra-precise timepiece developed in strict accordance with MIL-PRF-46374G military specifications. This isn’t just a watch; it’s a vital tool for those who encounter challenges both professionally and in everyday life.
The story starts back in 1986 when Marathon Watch Company was approached by the Kelly Air Force Base. They needed a watch that could withstand the rigors of high altitude, and extreme pressure changes, and still provide an easy-to-read timepiece for a pilot. And boy, did Marathon deliver with the Military Navigator Pilot.
Let’s talk specifics. This watch is built from a specialized fibershell case that’s designed to be sweat and shock resistant, and lightweight for ultimate comfort. It comes with a 20-millimeter nylon strap, made in compliance with MIL-S-46383B, Type III specifications. Plus, the Military Navigator Pilot’s Quartz now boasts a Sapphire Crystal for added durability.
This watch is crafted in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, ensuring the highest levels of quality and precision in manufacturing. It’s powered by a high torque, 3 jewel ETA FØ6 quartz movement, guaranteeing highly accurate timekeeping. The ETA FØ6 movement maintains an accuracy to -0.3/+0.5 seconds per day and also features an End of Life (EOL) indicator that conveniently informs you when a battery change is needed.
But what about low-light situations? Fear not! The Military Navigator Pilot’s Quartz utilizes self-contained Tritium gas tubes for constant visibility. Tritium tubes are self-illuminating, meaning they won’t lose brightness over time like traditional photo-luminescent paint.
The Marathon Military Navigator Pilot’s Quartz is a perfect blend of military-grade durability and Swiss craftsmanship. It’s an exceptionally accurate timepiece that won’t let you down when you need it most. So, whether you’re soaring through the skies, serving in law enforcement, or just navigating your everyday life, this watch has got your back.
7. Casio G-Shock: The Ultimate Tough Watch for Military and Field Use
Let’s chat about a watch that’s more than just a timepiece. It’s a tool, a companion, and a statement of resilience. The Casio G-Shock, ladies, and gents, is a top pick for military and field use, and here’s why.
The Casio G-Shock is not just water-resistant, it’s water-resistant up to 200 meters. Whether you’re in a downpour or diving underwater, this watch has got you covered. It also features a Super Illuminator LED Light with Afterglow, giving you clear visibility in any lighting condition. Choose an illumination duration of 1.5 or 3 seconds, and you’re good to go.
It’s also a perfect companion for globe-trotters with its World Time feature, covering 31 time zones, 48 cities plus UTC, with a daylight saving on/off option. It’s even got 4 Daily Alarms, 1 Snooze Alarm, and an Hourly Time Signal to keep you punctual, no matter where you are.
What’s more, this watch is as versatile as it is practical. Men or women, young or old, everyone can rock this watch! It’s a perfect fit for any outfit, from casual to sporty. It’s not just comfortable to wear all day, but it’s also bound to bring in compliments for its rugged good looks.
The quality of the Casio G-Shock is undeniable. With a variety of styles and color options, G-SHOCK watches stand out not just for their tough design, but also for their technical sophistication.
Now, let’s talk about what makes it truly “G-Shock”. It’s designed to resist mechanical shock and vibration, hence the name “Gravitational Shock”. This watch was built with a “Triple 10” development concept, meaning it was designed to endure a 10-meter free-fall, be water-resistant up to 10-bar, and have a 10-year battery life.
So, whether you’re serving in the military, venturing in the field, or just navigating through life’s everyday challenges, the Casio G-Shock is a watch that won’t let you down. It’s reliable, it’s tough, and it’s ready for action. Now that’s a watch worth having on your wrist.
8. Suunto Core: The Quintessential Outdoor Sports Watch for Field Use
Folks, let’s talk about a watch that’s more than just a timepiece. It’s your trail partner, your weather forecaster, and your survival tool all wrapped into one. I present to you, the Suunto Core, a classic outdoor sports watch that’s become a top pick for military and field operations.
Suunto is a Finnish company with over 80 years of heritage in precision craftsmanship, accuracy, and pioneering innovation. Known for its sports and dive watches, compasses, and precision instruments, Suunto’s watches are prized for their advanced features and durability, making them a favorite amongst military personnel.
Suunto Core is loaded with intelligent features tailored for the great outdoors. It’s got a Storm Alarm to alert you of approaching bad weather, an Altimeter to keep track of your elevation, a Barometer to monitor air pressure, and a Compass to guide your way. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or camping, this watch ensures you’re well-informed of the conditions around you.
This watch isn’t just about outdoor survival, it’s also about smart living. It comes with dual times, a date display, and an alarm. It even predicts sunrise and sunset times, helping you maximize your daylight hours. And for the water lovers, it packs a depth meter accurate up to 30 feet.
Durable and versatile, Suunto sports watches are perfect for a range of outdoor sports, from running and swimming to cycling and hiking. With a unique blend of Scandinavian design and ultra-durable materials, these watches are designed to keep your life, training, and recovery balanced.
The Suunto Core’s style quotient is high too. With designs available in both a composite case or a stainless steel case, you’re sure to find a model that suits your style.
9. Laco Augsburg: Excellent entry into the world of military pilot watches
The Laco Augsburg is an excellent entry into the world of pilot watches. One of the original five brands to produce watches for the German Air Force during WWII, Laco has a genuine backstory that validates its designs. The Augsburg model, featuring a type A style dial, large leaf-style hands, and a hacking movement, preserves this rich history while ensuring modern functionality. Available in three sizes from 37 mm to 43 mm, this watch offers legibility, historical richness, and modern mechanics at a reasonable price point.
10. Timex Expedition Scout Solar: A Trailblazer in the Field Watch Category
Well, folks, if you’re seeking a watch that’s a trailblazer in the field watch category, look no further. The Timex Expedition Solar is the name on everyone’s lips and for good reason.
What makes this watch stand out? Its power source, for starters. The Expedition Solar technology harnesses power from any light source, including indoor lighting. Imagine a watch that keeps ticking, no matter where your adventures take you, with a power reserve that lasts for months between charges. That’s Timex Expedition Solar for you.
When it comes to design and materials, this watch doesn’t skimp on quality either. The classic analog design is coupled with a durable natural leather strap, a strong resin case, a tactical top ring, and a dial – all well-built to withstand any adventure. And the adjustable black stitched 20mm leather strap can accommodate up to an 8-inch wrist circumference, ensuring a snug fit for everyone.
Functionality meets practicality in the Timex Expedition Solar. The black dial comes with full Arabic numerals and a handy date window at 3 o’clock. The luminous hands ensure you can check the time in low light conditions, and the black 40mm brass case with mineral crystal adds a touch of sophistication.
This watch isn’t afraid of a little water either. With a water resistance rating of 50 meters, it’s ready to handle anything from rainstorms to river crossings. It’s suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, but remember, it’s not designed for diving or snorkeling.
In a nutshell, the Timex Expedition Solar brings together superior solar technology, quality materials, and water resistance – all critical features for a military and field watch. Add to this its stylish design, and you’ve got a watch that’s as ready for adventure as you are. And that, my friends, is why it’s a top pick.
What are military watches?
Military watches are watches that are made for the military and are known for being tough, durable, and robust. They are built to handle all kinds of harsh conditions and can vary in design and function. Some common features of military watches include good legibility, a robust and sporty design, 12-hour and 24-hour markers, and useful functions such as a compass, barometer, altimeter, and chronograph function. Military watches may also have a good level of water resistance, usually at least 100m.
What is the difference between military watches and field watches?
Field watches are also a type of watch that is built to be sporty and durable, and these have also been closely associated with the military, and are commonly used by the military. With that said, field watches can be military watches, but not all military watches are field watches.
What are the different styles of military watches?
There are three main styles of military watches: field watches, pilot watches (also known as Flieger watches), and heavy-duty digital watches. Field watches are usually presented with a slim case and large, easy-to-read indices and are commonly seen with 12 and 24 hour numeral markings. Pilot watches, also known as Flieger watches, are inspired by WWII aircraft gauges and are characterized by a triangle at the 12 o’clock mark and a large face. Heavy-duty digital watches are shockproof, waterproof, and nearly bombproof and are often used in modern military applications.
Are military watches suitable for everyday wear?
Military watches can be suitable for everyday wear, depending on the specific style and features of the watch. Some military watches have a classic and timeless design that can easily be dressed up or down, while others may have more of a sporty or tactical look. It’s important to consider the features and functions of the watch and whether they are suitable for your everyday needs.
What is a good water resistance level for a military watch?
A good water resistance level for a military watch is usually at least 100m. This level of water resistance is suitable for handling water splashes and swimming, but may not be suitable for diving. If you need a watch that can withstand deeper water, you may want to look for a watch with a higher water resistance rating. It’s important to note that water resistance ratings are not permanent and can degrade over time, so it’s important to have your watch checked regularly to ensure that it is still providing the level of protection that you need.