The Navy SEALs don’t have an official watch of choice. But they do have brand preferences, such as G-Shock, Seiko and Suunto. Those watch preferences are from the brand’s designs (for divers, primarily), their reliability, and, most importantly, their toughness.
Any military serviceperson expects their wristwatch to be functional and affordable. They will also prefer a watch that does not draw attention to itself with embellishments, shiny, or simply unnecessary features. It is rare to see a Navy or military personnel in a Rolex, Omega, or a Garmin Lily for example.
It was tradition for Navy SEALs to be issued with a Rolex Submariner, but this became too costly. And when you couple this with the rise of cheaper and waterproof watches, you are now hard-pressed to find a SEAL in something fancy. You might still see it in James Bond films.
Timex had a stint as the timepiece of choice but then along came G-Shock. Casio continues to develop quality digital and analog time-keeping technology, while building tough yet affordable watches. There are also a few smartwatches that can easily draw the attention of a Navy SEAL. Their appeal is through toughness, but also GPS and mapping features, or sport tracking features.
Navy SEAL Approved Watches
Casio G-Shock DW-6900BB-1
The 6900 model, like the 5600, was originally introduced in 1995. It is now 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, consequently, became famous around the world.
The DW-6900BB model is based off this original 6900 design, but makes it all matte and a little cleaner looking, and better able to withstand shock or impact. And Casio didn’t add a huge price jump with the new G-Shock either, only increasing the price by about $20 from the older 6900 Series.
There are several tactical features on this G-Shock which add to its Navy Seal appeal. The water resistance can withstand depths of up to 200m, the battery life is an impressive two years, and for Casio, this is a lighter watch at only 67g. And with its black matte finish, it will seamlessly blend in with your wrist, your uniform, or your work clothes, no matter the job. There are other colour options, but if you’re after a Navy-esque wrist piece, then matte black will be the stealthiest option.
Garmin tactix® Delta
For an advanced GPS watch that is ideal for Navy SEALs, browse the Garmin tactix® Delta Series. These GPS sport watches are available with enhancements too, like Solar power, an Applied Ballistics Calculator, or as the Sapphire Edition. In any tactix model, the watch features Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated steel bezel material. 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.
Overall, the tactix is large, tough, and official military grade. It has a MIL-STD-810 rating and is approved for professional use in all branches of US military. Need we say more?
We will add more because this multisport, SEAL-worthy watch truly is worth the heftier price tag.
The Garmin Tactix Delta has a built-in GPS (as well as GLONASS and Galileo) and several 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, another sophisticated tactical function, navigates you to your intended landing zone.
The watch can also monitor your activities using GPS; the watch will give you detailed information about each action via the Garmin Connect app.
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.
Casio G-Shock GA100MB-1A
There are several great durable watches in G-Shock’s GA100 lineup. But the GA100MB-1A is an excellent lighter option from the series that has all the wonderful features that we’ve come to expect from Casio’s military-grade watches. Also, in matte black and with the LED/Afterglow display, this watch can withstand several conditions and keep going as long as a Navy Seal can (two-year battery life!).
The digital/analogue watch comes with 200m water resistance, magnet resistance, and shock resistance. And while the stealth design includes all-matte black casing, bezel, strap, and background, there are subtle coloured accents to help you read the data more efficiently.
Seiko SKX007K Automatic
Seiko is fantastic at producing dive watches and the SKX007K is a firm favourite. These watches are common to see on the wrist of Navy SEALs and have been for some time. This is largely due to their quality which also makes them a little heavier on the price, especially compared to your typical Casio.
The 007 is popular for reasons you can probably guess and it’s perfect for anyone wanting a rugged timepiece. The 007 is analogue and 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 with 200m water resistance, rugged stainless-steel bezel and case, and luminous display.
Suunto 9 Peak
The Suunto 9 comes in two sizes: the Peak at mm, and the Baro at mm. However, if you’re looking to engage in Navy SEAL sorts of activities on land or in the water, the smaller of the two is likely to feel more comfortable. Suunto offers quality smartwatches at an affordable price, with the Peak staying under $1000.
The Peak is a lightweight yet rugged tool protected by sapphire glass and grade 5 titanium that can withstand depths of up to 100m. And as this is a GPS smartwatch, there are dozens of other features that make the 9 Peak suitable for all types of outdoor adventure. These include over 80 sport modes to track, intelligent battery modes and long battery life, health monitoring tools, and access to the following satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, and BEIDOU.
Suunto Core ALPHA Stealth
The Core APLHA is Suunto’s military-inspired watch and epitomizes ‘stealth.’ This Core model‘s all-black design, with plenty of comfort in the strap, gives it a sleek look. Suunto further enhances the watch’s covert design with a red backlight and numbers which are visible when wearing night-vision goggles.
When comparing the Core to other watches, it falls short on water resistance, but it is evaluated to military standards. It has up to 30m of water resistance, so it is still a suitable option for those who want Navy-grade durability, yet who probably won’t be doing any deep-sea diving. The Suunto 9 Peak is also one of the lowest-priced watches from the brand.
The Resco Patriot, designed by Navy SEALs, offers many tactical features that any adventure or job may 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 their field-testing, performed by real operatives who provide excellent real-world feedback. The Patriot, while it is in prototype phase, is 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 with four model variations: Pvd Aqua Font, Stainless Aqua Font, Pvd Stealth, or Stainless Stealth.
Another well-trusted brand is Timex which come at very reasonable prices. The Ironman is no different, a sturdy timepiece that comes in a wide array of size and colour options. These will dictate the price of the Ironman watch, but prices still don’t exceed $50 USD.
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. Rather than using the Ironman as a military watch, consider using it as a sports watch . It’s a happy coincidence that Navy folk find it useful, too, though.
Summary of Navy SEALs Inspired Watches
In terms of price, there is a huge range of different quality watches and smartwatches. But just keep in mind that adding smart technology and GPS to a watch is what adds to the increase. So first determine if you need a smartwatch at all, and if not, Casio, Seiko, or Timex are all affordable yet quality options you could find on a SEAL.
And if smartwatches are on your radar while shopping, Garmin and Suunto have plenty more than what we show here; they have plenty more ruggedly designed smartwatches with reliable GPS and health monitoring.
Last Updated on December 9, 2022
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