The Navy Seals don’t have an official watch of choice but they have some brand preferences, such as G-Shock, Seiko and Suunto. This is because they’re designed for divers, are reliable and, most importantly, rugged.
A Navy Seal’s watch shouldn’t be shiny or draw attention to itself. It must be functional and not too expensive. It’s rare to see a Seal in a Rolex or Omega.
It used to be the tradition for Seals to be issued with a Rolex Submariner, but this became too costly. Coupled with the rise of cheaper waterproof options, now you’ll only see it in James Bond films. Timex had a stint as the timepiece of choice but then along came G-Shock.
Let’s have a look at some of the popular Navy Seal watch choices.
Casio G-Shock DW-6900
The 6900 model, like the 5600, was originally introduced in 1995 and quickly became one of the most famous and iconic cases. G-SHOCK is releasing several new Limited Edition watches to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the company’s founding. In the early 90s this quickly became the watch of choice for Navy Seals. G-Shock, as a consequence, became famous for this all over the world.
The watch itself is shock and waterproof (up to 200m). It will stay illuminated for a short time once the backlight button has been released. It’s incredibly versatile and cost-effective.
This G-Shock has now been discontinued, but you can easily get your hands on a secondhand one online. But the DW6900 is still on the market at the moment for around $95 and offers the same five-buttons and bezel. This is also worn by Seals as well as the army and police.
It’s water-resistant to 200m and has the same afterglow as it’s predecessor. It has an added world time function. Again, it’s not expensive so if you somehow manage to destroy it, you can easily replace it.
On the whole, there’s little negative comment about the G-Shock range. Maybe the wristband is a little small for some people, but it can be changed so not much to worry about.
Garmin Tactix Delta
Another advanced GPS watch ideal for Navy SEALs is the Garmin Tactix Delta. The watch features an extremely tough casing that is further protected by a DLC-coated steel bezel. For optimal durability and abrasion resistance, the lens is comprised of Sapphire glass. Garmin’s QuickFit technology is compatible with the watch, which comes with a silicone strap. As a result, changing the strap is simple and quick. Garmin offers a wide variety of silicone and nylon straps.
The Garmin Tactix Delta has a built-in GPS (as well as GLONASS and Galileo) and a number of tactical/military functions. It displays your current location’s coordinates in MGRS format and assists navigation by offering directions to waypoints or pre-planned routes. The watch also has a tactical mode, which displays your location, map, and other data that may be useful The jumpmaster (parachuting) mode is another sophisticated tactical function, in which the watch navigates you to the intended landing zone after you leap.
The watch can also monitor your activities using GPS; when the watch has been linked with your smartphone, you can get detailed information about each action via the Garmin Connect app (available as a web or mobile app) (Bluetooth connection).
In addition to tactical modes, the Garmin Tactix Delta watch also has modes for jogging, swimming, and other activities. When you sync it with your smartphone, it displays your phone’s notifications as well. The watch also has a wrist-based heart rate monitor, a compass, an altimeter, a barometer, a thermometer, a hunt/fish calendar, and information on the sun and moon. A variant of the watch with a ballistic calculator and/or solar charging lenses is also available.
GA 100 Military Series
This is another awesome choice. It was specifically designed for tactical use. It has a matte black finish, for a subtle but sleek look. It’s shock and water-resistant as you’d expect and has a digital 24-hour display.
There have been a few complaints regarding the illumination being too low but this is done with purpose. If you’re on a tactical mission, you don’t want your watch giving you away in the dark.
The features mirror that of G-Shock and on the whole is equally cost-effective.
Seiko SKX007K Automatic
Seiko is fantastic at producing dive watches and the SKX007K is a firm favourite. Seikos have been seen on the wrist of Navy Seals for some time, largely due to their quality. They’re a little heavier on the price, especially compared to your typical Casio, but they look great on the wrist.
The 007 is popular for reasons you can probably guess and it’s perfect for anyone wanting a rugged timepiece.
It’s analogue, as opposed to digital and it’s a kinetic watch. This means it’s powered by the movement of your wrist, rather than a battery. Other reviews online have compared this watch to the Omega or Rolex. If you have the money to spend, it’s worthwhile.
The Resco Patriot was designed by Navy Seals so the features are precisely what a Seal would want or need. It’s water-resistant to 200m, shock-resistant and even has an anti-magnetic case of stainless steel with a rotating bezel.
The special thing about the Patriot is that it only comes out in limited numbers every year.
They’ve been field-tested by real operatives who’ve provided excellent feedback. In the prototyping phase, the Patriot was issued to a few select Seals during Hell Week. Only one-quarter of recruits actually make it through this week, but all the Patriots survived.
If you want a watch that comes with a special story and proven functionality, this is a great choice.
Timex is another very well-trusted brand and the best thing is they come at very reasonable prices. The Ironman is no different, a sturdy timepiece that comes in black, or blackout.
It is water-resistant up to 100m, a little less in comparison to the others on this list. The backlight is bright and you can use it by pressing a button, which is handy in the dark.
The Ironman is really intended for use as a sports watch rather than military. It’s a happy coincidence that Navy folk find it useful.
Suunto Core Military
The Suunto Core is a clever stopwatch on your wrist. If you’re a fan of a smartwatch, this is going to tickle your fancy.
It has a durable and water-resistant case. The design is dynamic and modern but offers all the classic reliability you might’ve come to expect from a Suunto.
This military-grade timepiece does have a couple of grumbles, like sticky buttons, and it’s a shame that it doesn’t come with GPS, but it makes up for it in other departments, namely the study and water-resistant materials.
Suunto X-Lander Military
The Suunto X-Lander Military watch features a military-inspired appearance, high toughness, and useful functionality.
The watch’s core is guarded by a robust aluminium casing, and the strap is constructed of long-lasting rubber. Altimeter, thermometer, barometer, and compass are all included in the watch. The 7-segment display provides an excellent overview and incorporates an electroluminescent backlight for low-light visibility. The backlight, however, is not customizable and can only be activated by pressing the backlight button. Other watches, such as the Suunto Core Military, include a programmable backlight that can be activated by pressing the backlight button or any other button.
Compared to the Suunto Core Military above, the Suunto X-Lander has a chronometer and laps function, but it lacks dual time, button lock, altitude graph, sunrise/sunset timings, storm alert, and automated alti/baro changeover. The Suunto Core Military has many of the same features as the above model. The Suunto X-Lander is a fantastic military watch in general. The highly durable casing, which is virtually unbreakable.
Essentially, for a civilian wanting a military look, you want to go for something waterproof and shock-resistant with a chunky design. G-Shock and Casio are the current leaders in this particular niche market.
If you want to look more into rugged watches, check out our article here.
If you’re interested to know what makes a good military watch, we also have an article you’ll love to read
Last Updated on May 29, 2021