The best tactical watches in the UK 2023

Less cumbersome than a military watch and more advanced than a multisport watch, the tactical watch will suit all outdoor activities. Nature lovers, sportsmen, adventurers or survivalists, there is something for everyone. Especially if you buy the Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical, the best of all. Durable and stylish, this tactical watch is ultra versatile.

Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition 1

Best value for money

Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition

The best tactical watch in 2021

Garmin gives you style, precision and versatility in one watch. This model is the perfect choice for those looking for a complete and ultra-reliable tactical watch for outdoor activities.

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In this Tactical Edition version, the Garmin Instinct attracts sportsmen, hikers, adventurers and survivalists. Offering good resistance to shock, heat and water, this model meets the American 810G standard. You can submerge it to a depth of 100 m! In addition, this tactical watch has what it takes to face almost any situation in the wilderness thanks to its fiber-reinforced polymer case, its high-contrast anti-scratch screen.

Note the silicone strap with 2 independent removable loops, which ensures excellent wearing comfort for this watch with integrated mapping and navigation. Weighing only 52 g, it is a unisex accessory. Finally, the 16-hour autonomy in GPS mode proves the great capacity of the battery.

Tonshen 2

Best value for money


The best entry-level tactical watch

Waterproof to 50 m, robust and functional, this tactical watch will please sportsmen and amateurs of camping and hiking. Its stainless steel and soft rubber dial will not scratch easily.

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This is a tactical watch with analog time display via fluorescent hands. This makes the watch easy to use in the dark. Its sporty design combines all the qualities of a watch dedicated to outdoor activities, for work or leisure. In addition, it is very simple to use despite its many features.

Extremely durable and resistant, the Tonshen has a Hardlex glass that protects the stainless steel and rubber dial while remaining legible. In addition, the watch has a quartz movement of great precision. And it remains waterproof up to 50 m. On the other hand, its weight of 100 g comes to recall its tariff positioning.

Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical 3

Best premium value for money

Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical

The best high-end tactical watch

The Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical is a tactical watch designed by and for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts. It has an incomparable autonomy thanks to its solar recharge.

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The Instinct Solar Tactical illustrates Garmin's expertise in GPS watches. This model will meet the requirements of those who regularly stay in the wilderness. For tracking and navigation, it integrates GPS, GLONASS and Galileo systems. There is also night vision, jumpmaster mode, waypoint projection ... Not to mention the functions found on most tactical watches as the various sports disciplines.

The design is on par with everything else, with a fiber-reinforced polymer case and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass. In addition, the autonomy reaches 54 days in connected watch mode, that is to say the quality of the battery! Finally, this watch weighs 52 g, and remains very discreet on the wrist.

Casio G-Shock 4

Men's style

Casio G-Shock

A great tactical watch for men

The Casio G-Shock is an essential if you practice physical activities and sports in the open air. Versatile, accurate and reliable, it is also suitable for campers and hikers of all levels.

59,77 £ on Rueducommerce

Equipped with a quartz movement, this watch is known for its resistance and precision. Like all its predecessors, it combines quality materials and high technology. In addition to the basic functions (alarm, altimeter, thermometer, stopwatch, compass, time zones ...), it also has a pedometer or a GPS system. The Super Illuminator backlighting provides visibility of data on the screen in low light and complete darkness.

In terms of design, the Casio G-Shock has a black case and bracelet, with a special resin. Its featherweight of 59 g and its compact size make it comfortable and pleasant on the wrist. Divers will be able to enjoy it because this model resists a pressure of 20 bars and works at a depth of 200 meters. It also withstands extreme cold.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best tactical watch

Any specific needs?

The best tactical watch in 2021

The best entry-level tactical watch

The best high-end tactical watch

A great tactical watch for men

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best tactical watches

Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition 5
Tonshen 6
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical 7
Casio G-Shock 8
Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical
Casio G-Shock
Garmin gives you style, precision and versatility in one watch. This model is the perfect choice for those looking for a complete and ultra-reliable tactical watch for outdoor activities.
Waterproof to 50 m, robust and functional, this tactical watch will please sportsmen and amateurs of camping and hiking. Its stainless steel and soft rubber dial will not scratch easily.
The Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical is a tactical watch designed by and for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts. It has an incomparable autonomy thanks to its solar recharge.
The Casio G-Shock is an essential if you practice physical activities and sports in the open air. Versatile, accurate and reliable, it is also suitable for campers and hikers of all levels.
Battery life
52 g
100 g
114 g
59 g
Case size
45 mm
51 mm
45 mm
49 mm
Water resistance
100 m
50 m
100 m
200 m

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Buying guide - tactical watch

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How to choose your tactical watch

The tactical watch comes in several models. To choose the one that will satisfy you, some criteria should be taken into account.

#1 - Durability

For an investment in a tactical watch to be worthwhile, you should not buy the first watch that fits your budget, but it is important to consider its durability. The right tactical watch should have a rugged and resistant case to withstand abrasion, shocks and unexpected temperature changes. It therefore uses durable materials such as resin, steel or titanium. If mineral glass is more commonly used, preferably choose a sapphire glass that offers good scratch resistance.

#2 - Features

The functionality of tactical watches differs from one model to another. Indeed, the user's choice should be made according to his needs in the field and his budget, as the extent of its functionality depends on the price. Most models offer basic functions such as luminescent hands, compass, stopwatch and alarms. The more advanced tactical watches have altimeter and barometer. The latter is useful for weather forecasting. The tactical watch can also have a backlight, facilitating readability in the sun and at night that reacts to the slightest movement of the wrist. Some models feature time zones, lunar calendar or solar time. One can also benefit from training functions like cardio or race predictor with the connected tactical watch.

#3 - Readability

A good tactical watch should be easy to read, especially in the dark. Its hands and numbers always light up even if you find yourself outside in the middle of the night. At any time, you can read your watch without engaging the other hand to activate a light. The screen of a quality tactical watch also offers better readability in the brightest sunlight or underwater. The most sophisticated models have a tritium or radioactive gas coating. The hands and hour markers contain tritium tubes allowing you to have constant visibility in the dark without being charged by a light source beforehand. This can last for several years without needing maintenance.

Mechanical or quartz tactical watch?

Compared to watches with a mechanical movement, quartz watches are more accurate, can resist shocks and scratches. They also have the advantage of being insensitive to temperature fluctuations.

#4 - Good sealing


buying a tactical watch, make sure you buy a model that offers good water resistance especially if you work outdoors or do extreme sports like mountain biking or surfing. A waterproof tactical watch can withstand rainwater as well as submersion pressure to a depth of at least 50 meters. Some remain waterproof to 200 m underwater!

#5 - Autonomy

The autonomy of the tactical watch is also an essential criterion of choice in order to avoid that it falls on you at the most unlikely moments. Models equipped with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are the most popular because of their reliability. The autonomy of the watch also depends on its use. For example, the GPS mode consumes a lot of battery. For those who don't want to worry so much about charging or batteries, there are self-winding watches that run on the user's movement or solar charging watches that run on solar energy.

How does a tactical watch work?

The tactical watch is generally known for its interesting features such as hardness, good resistance to water and dust. Thanks to the evolution of technology, it is not only used to tell the time, but it offers other more advanced features to satisfy users, especially the military. It can be used most of the time even in extreme conditions.

Apart from the basic features, the more advanced models ensure the ability to offer more relevant information such as date, altitude, pressure, etc. In addition, there are some tactical watches equipped with a compass, barometer or altimeter. The barometer allows you to obtain data about the weather conditions or the weather, or the atmospheric pressure. The compass and altimeter are useful for navigation.

Some tactical watches even have a lunar calendar, sunset and sunrise times, storm alarm, etc. Others have a more advanced feature that is GPS tracking. These GPS-enabled tactical watches allow you to easily access the geographic coordinates of your location. In addition, they offer the ability to navigate on planned routes. You can even use them for waypoints.

There are also tactical smartwatch models that make it possible to connect directly to a smartphone. In addition, these are very useful in other areas of activity such as hiking, hunting, different types of sports, whether individual or group.

Tactical watch or classic military watch

Tactical watch

Inspired by the military watch, the tactical watch features a durable construction with its strong and highly resistant case. In addition, it is equipped with high quality mineral or sapphire crystal that is shatter and scratch resistant. It not only helps the user to know the time, but is a true companion in daily routine, at home and at work, in adventure activities as well as extreme sports.

More than just the time, it offers many features and technical characteristics related to survival. In addition to the basic features that any tactical watch should have, including time, date, waterproofing, good resistance to the most difficult conditions, we also find on its most advanced models a GPS tracking, an altimeter, a thermometer, a compass or the atmospheric pressure. The tactical watch is therefore a complete tool that can satisfy all needs. Its only drawback is that it is not easy to repair in case of failure.

Classic military watch

The classic military watch was originally a watch for military use, as its name suggests. It was designed to avoid danger and for survival. Solid and resistant, the watch stands out by its dark color, its bold and robust design as well as its numerous features. In fact, in addition to giving the time and date, it also has an alarm, compass, stopwatch, backlight and many other functions.

Some models have the ability to give sunrise or sunset times, lunar calendar, storm alarm and GPS tracking. The military watch can withstand water and various extreme conditions. Nowadays, its use is not limited to the military, but thanks to its reliability and durability, it has become popular and trendy. Despite its better performance, the military watch has some disadvantages such as its look that is more suitable for men and its limited features.


Compared to military watches, tactical watches have more advanced and numerous functions. Tactical watches can be worn by soldiers, but military watches cannot meet the requirements of all sportsmen and high-tech enthusiasts.

If you are looking for a durable and stylish watch with features that meet the demands of modern life, the tactical watch might be your best option. But if you only require durability and some useful functions, the military watch is more than enough for you.

Why buy a tactical watch?

Whether you work in life-saving professions or enjoy extreme outdoor activities such as mountaineering, hiking, hunting or climbing, one accessory that can't be missing on your wrist is the tactical watch. This highly functional tool will give you the information you need to provide vital assistance to those in need, to perform your tasks efficiently or to navigate the outdoors safely.

The tactical watch is very reliable in terms of accuracy, because thanks to its specification it simultaneously shows you the exact time of where you are. It is a great tool for the military. It can also help you to control all your movements. Its various location mechanisms will help you to always stay located.

This smartwatch can accompany you during your daily exercises, you can track your heart rate in real time or know your temperature. With this equipment, you can also track the number of calories burned. The data is well kept in your watch to know your performance.

This type of watch is not like some fragile sports watches that can fail you after a few months of use. It is designed to withstand the weather and the most extreme conditions. Most of the time, the tactical watch is waterproof and resists pressure in submersion. In fact, it will be extremely resistant to water, rain, sun and snow.

The sapphire crystal

The sapphire crystal is known for its outstanding quality. To test it easily, simply put a drop of water on the lens. Generally, the drop of water goes down in the case of all normal glass, including mineral glass. However, if the drop stays on the glass or has difficulty in flowing off, it is a sapphire glass.


Clean and maintain your tactical watch frequently

Cleaning and maintenance of a tactical watch is very necessary, even if it is a resistant and durable accessory. During its use, it can be soiled by sweat or dirt. Therefore, it is essential to clean the case and strap frequently to ensure that they are not damaged.

Avoid submerging your watch in water


the tactical watch completely in water while cleaning is a bad idea. Just wash it superficially even if it is waterproof.

Have your tactical watch serviced by a certified dealer


the tactical watch is a valuable accessory with its versatility and practicality, it is important to have it serviced by a certified dealer for added safety. Having all the know-how in the field, he can also repair your watch in case of problems.

When bathing or swimming, do not press a button in the water

It is

true that the tactical watch can resist water, yet it is recommended not to press a button in water while swimming or bathing. And if you have inadvertently pressed buttons, it is better to send it to the certified retailer for quick cleaning without delay to prevent the movement from corrosion.

Pay attention to the weight and size of your tactical watch


your tactical watch is too bulky or heavy, it may become painful to wear after much longer periods. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a watch that is light and comfortable, yet still performs well.


What is the best tactical watch?

The best tactical watch depends on your needs and budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are the best at the moment.

Who should wear a tactical watch?

A tactical watch can be worn and used by anyone, man or woman. But, thanks to its many more functionalities than those of classic watches, it is better suited to people who practice outdoor activities such as police officers, rescuers, firemen or even hunters. This type of watch will appeal to extreme sportsmen, such as mountaineers. Some models are equipped with a great waterproofness which is perfect for divers.

Are all tactical watches submersible?

A tactical watch is designed to be resistant to any test. It must be waterproof and resistant to water pressure. However, the degree of water resistance varies according to the model. To be more precise before diving, it is necessary to consult the user's manual to know the level of resistance to immersion.

What can tactical watches do that others cannot?

The tactical watch is an accessory designed to meet the demands of modern life. Indeed, it includes many innovative features. All watches are designed to tell the time, yet not all of them have water and shock resistance, timing, backlighting, compass or altimeter. For the more sophisticated models, the essential survival elements are combined in one watch on the wrist: GPS, night vision, physical activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, weather forecasting and many others.

Are there any fire resistant tactical watches?

Yes, some models are fire resistant. The tactical watch of this kind will not deteriorate even if you take it to a very hot area. This accessory is perfect for firefighters and others who work in hot environments.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition 9
Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition
Tonshen 10
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical 11
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical
Casio G-Shock 12
Casio G-Shock


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