There are watches, and then there are tactical watches. These are more than just timepieces or fashion accessories. They are a necessary part of the gear you use to get what you need done.
If you search for “tactical watches,” you will be immediately bombarded with countless options. Even if you have looked for watches before and have a good idea of what you want, finding the right watch can be challenging. There are tons of brands, options, and technical specifications that combine to create a perfect storm of information that can make choosing a watch more difficult than it should be.
Therefore, it is important to know certain practical information to help you find your next tactical watch.
Questions to Ask Yourself
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is: What is your price range? Watches can be cheap (remember, you will get what you pay for), or they can be ridiculously expensive (for example, there is a Swiss-made tactical watch that you can get for $345,000). Just like anything with a wide price range, there are name brands that carry a hefty price tag just because of their name. So before you start your search, decide how much you are willing to spend? There are plenty of good watches out there that will get the job done without you having to break the bank.
Next, you need to consider your primary use of the watch. Is this the work watch that you will trade for another watch when you go out to dinner, or is this going to be your “never take off” watch?
Once you have figured out the purpose of your watch, you can look at technical specifications.
Durability and Toughness
If you are looking for a tactical watch, it is probably because you anticipate it getting beaten up on a regular basis. So it is important to keep this in mind while choosing a watch.
It is especially important that the watch is made from a material that will hold up under pressure. Many watches these days are being made with a crystal made of sapphire. In case you didn’t know, sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness. They are also virtually scratch-proof. Going with a watch that has a sub-par crystal will result in a scratched display, which will make the watch hard to read (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a watch).
The watch also needs to be up to the task that you want it to fulfill. It is pretty easy to find watches made from stainless steel, ceramic, or polymer plastic. All of these can take a beating and will allow you to not have to worry about whether you are going to break your watch or not.
Quartz-Based or Digital?
Mechanical watches are pretty cool. It is amazing how all the tiny little cogs and springs work together to maintain an accurate time. However, if you are in need of a tactical watch, you should avoid mechanical watches at all costs.
Mechanical watches are very sensitive to movement, jarring impact, and temperature. Also, they are considered “precise” as long as they do not drift more than 6 seconds per day. If you are using watches to coordinate movements or do anything that requires precision, a mechanical watch has a high chance of letting you down.
On the other hand, the specs on a quartz-based watch do not allow it to drift more than 0.07 seconds per day.
10 ATM or Higher
ATM stands for “atmospheres,” which is a measurement of pressure. The higher a watch’s ATM rating, the more pressure it can withstand without malfunctioning. This is important when considering altitude (whether hiking or flying), depth (diving, etc.), as well as just the normal kind of pressure that happens through wear and tear.
For a tactical watch, you want the rating to be at least 10 ATM. With this kind of rating, you can relax knowing your watch is ready for whatever you experience.
The Right Light
Having a watch is great. However, if it is dark and you can’t read your watch, it doesn’t do you much good. Most tactical watches will have either a dedicated light button that illuminates the watch face when pressed or they will have luminescent hands that appear lit up as long as it is dark enough to see them.
Decide which option you like better. Having a button means you have to put down what you are doing to see the time. However, luminescent hands mean that during the night, you always have a visual source of light on your hand. Again, it all goes back to what your primary use will be.
Now that you have all the need-to-know information, you can start shopping! Remember to look for a tactical watch that has a rock-solid construction, has a scratch-resistant watch crystal, is quartz-based, has an ATM rating of 10 or higher, and has the right kind of illumination for your needs.
The world of watches is a never-ending rabbit hole of awesomeness. There are countless options. Enjoy your shopping adventure!
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
An avid archer, political junkie, and aspiring musician, Brady makes his home on the edge of society, just close enough to get good WiFi, but far enough to not be bothered.