Kurt Tiedemann, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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Best Monthly Watch Subscriptions

In the ever-evolving realm of horology, a trend has been ticking its way into the spotlight – the monthly watch subscription. Is this the path to horological nirvana or just a cleverly designed wristwear carousel? In this exposé, I’ll unravel the mysteries surrounding this new trend.

Imagine a world where, every month, a box arrives at your doorstep, harboring a new and (sometimes) exciting watch. These subscription programs promise not just timekeeping but an ongoing affair with novel timekeepers.

But are they worth the investment? Are these subscriptions the horological equivalent of a treasure chest or merely a glitzy gimmick? Read on as I unveil the five best contenders in the watch subscription sector today.

Delivering Time To Your Door – About Monthly Watch Subscriptions

The allure of monthly watch subscriptions has emerged as a captivating and convenient way to satiate one’s passion for timepieces. This contemporary phenomenon took its first tentative steps into the watch world not too long ago, but it has since gained traction among enthusiasts and collectors alike.

The notion of receiving a fresh watch every month, like clockwork, began to pique the interest of watch aficionados around the early 2010s. The idea spread like wildfire, gaining momentum through social media, watch forums, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Watch enthusiasts, both seasoned and newcomers, were captivated by the prospect of expanding their collections without an arduous hunt or hefty price tags.

But how do these monthly watch subscriptions actually work? Allow me to demystify the mechanism behind it all. Typically, a variety of tiers or packages, each tailored to different preferences and budgets, are offered by each service. Once you’ve chosen your subscription level, you enter the horological arena, ready to embrace the element of surprise.

Every month, a meticulously selected timepiece, often curated by experts, makes its way to your doorstep. The anticipation is part of the thrill – you might receive a vintage-inspired piece one month, a rugged diver’s watch the next, or perhaps an elegant dress watch. The element of surprise and the diversity in styles help keep your collection fresh and exciting, which is part of the appeal for many subscribers.

Most subscriptions also allow you to wear the watch for the month, experiencing its nuances and appreciating its craftsmanship. At the end of the month, you can choose to keep the watch (usually at a discounted price), return it, or swap it for another. In other words, you’ve got the joy of wearing interesting watches without any of the hassle or commitment associated with buying them.

In a world where time is of the essence and horological exploration knows no bounds, monthly watch subscriptions offer an alluring blend of convenience, variety, and adventure. Whether you’re wearing a Patek or a Swatch, the concept alone should get your senses tingling.

5 Best Monthly Watch Subscriptions

Although there are now many more watch subscription services than there were even just 5 years ago, the cream rises to the top, and as such, there are only a few worth mentioning. Here are the top 5, by my estimations!

1. Watch Gang: Horological Equity

Company History: Founded in 2016 by Matthew Gallagher, Billy Harvill, and Robert Taylor, Watch Gang set out to democratize the world of watch collecting. With a mission to provide affordable access to an ever-growing collection of timepieces, they’ve made quite a splash in the horological community.

How It Operates: Watch Gang offers three subscription tiers: Original, Black, and Platinum. Each tier promises a monthly watch delivery, but the excitement lies in the element of surprise. Subscribers could receive anything from micro-brand pieces to well-known names like Seiko and Citizen. The thrill? The value of the watch received often exceeds the subscription cost.

What Watches You Can Get: The selection varies widely, from divers to dress watches, with a penchant for emphasizing both classic and contemporary styles. Watch Gang even features their exclusive ‘Wheel of Watches’, where subscribers can spin to win luxury watches or other enticing prizes.

Cost: The Original tier starts at $49 per month, the Black tier at $99, and the Platinum tier at $299.

2. Eleven James: The Luxury Collection

Company History: Eleven James was born in 2013 and founded by Randy Brandoff. It caters to the horologically inclined who seek to elevate their watch game with a touch of luxury.

How It Operates: Eleven James offers four membership plans: Enthusiast, Aficionado, Connoisseur, and Virtuoso. Each plan provides access to an exclusive collection of luxury watches for a set duration. Subscribers can swap their timepieces periodically, ensuring they always have one that suits the occasion.

What Watches You Can Get: Eleven James focuses on high-end luxury watches, including brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. Expect a curated selection of iconic timepieces.

Cost: Membership fees range from $149 to $1,999 per month, depending on the plan and the watches you desire.

3. Wrist Mafia: The Newcomers

Company History: Wrist Mafia is a relative newcomer, founded in 2019. However, its founder, Brandon Ladd, is no stranger to the world of horology, having a rich background in luxury watches.

How It Operates: Wrist Mafia stands out for its dedication to delivering high-quality, handpicked watches. Subscribers can choose from three tiers: Standard, Premium, and Platinum. Each tier provides a monthly delivery of carefully curated timepieces that are sure to please.

What Watches You Can Get: Wrist Mafia prides itself on offering watches from renowned brands like Rolex, Omega, and TAG Heuer, along with other luxury and micro-brand selections.

Cost: Subscription plans range from $129 to $299 per month, depending on the tier you select.

4. Breitling Select: On-Brand Brilliance

Company History: Breitling Select is a premium subscription service introduced by the iconic Swiss watchmaker Breitling. With a history dating back to 1884, Breitling is renowned for its aviation-inspired timepieces.

How It Operates: Breitling Select offers a unique opportunity to experience the brand’s exceptional watches. Subscribers receive a different Breitling watch each month. It’s a chance to explore the brand’s extensive range and discover which Breitling model best suits your style.

What Watches You Can Get: With Breitling Select, you can expect to receive a variety of Breitling watches, from their iconic Navitimer to the Aviator 8 and more.

Cost: Membership fees start at $129 per month, making it an attractive option for those looking to dive into the world of luxury Swiss watches without making a massive financial commitment.

5. Monthly Watch Box: The Horological Curator

Company History: Monthly Watch Box has been serving the watch community since 2014. Founded by Ben Adams, this service aims to provide both watch novices and connoisseurs with a curated monthly dose of horological excitement.

How It Operates: Monthly Watch Box offers three subscription tiers: Standard, Pro, and Platinum. Subscribers receive a watch each month, and the best part is that they get to choose from a selection of options, ensuring a personalized experience.

What Watches You Can Get: The selection includes a mix of styles and brands, ranging from classic dress watches to rugged divers and even some micro-brand surprises.

Cost: Subscription plans start at $39.95 per month, making it an accessible option for those on a budget who still want to enjoy a regular dose of wristwatch variety.

These five monthly watch subscription services cater to a diverse range of tastes and preferences, from affordable variety to high-end luxury. Whether you’re looking to expand your collection, try out luxury timepieces, or simply enjoy the thrill of a monthly surprise, there’s a subscription that suits your horological journey. So, which one will adorn your wrist next? The choice is yours, and the adventure awaits.

Are Monthly Watch Subscriptions Worth It?

Monthly watch subscriptions come with their own set of pros and cons, making them a worthwhile endeavor for some while leaving others with a raised eyebrow.

The Pros

Variety, Variety, Variety: One of the most significant advantages is the sheer variety you get to experience. From tool watches to timeless classics and everything in between, these subscriptions offer a diverse range of timepieces that can keep your collection fresh and exciting.

Affordable Access to Luxury: Services like Breitling Select and Eleven James allow you to enjoy luxury watches without the eye-watering price tags. It’s a fantastic way to explore high-end brands without committing to a significant purchase.

Curated Selections: Many subscriptions are curated by horological experts who handpick watches for their subscribers. This means you’re likely to discover hidden gems and under-the-radar brands you might not have encountered otherwise.

The Cons

Lack of Ownership: Perhaps the most significant drawback is that you don’t actually own the watches you receive in most cases. This can be a deal-breaker for collectors who want to build a lasting, physical collection. However, many of the services offer a buy-out option, so you don’t necessarily have to send the watch back every time!

Subscription Costs: While some subscriptions are budget-friendly, others can be quite pricey. For some, the monthly cost might add up to more than they’d typically spend on a watch.

Limited Control: You might receive watches that don’t align with your taste or style. If you’re someone who prefers to carefully curate your collection, the element of surprise might not be appealing. In short, it really sucks having your bubble of anticipation burst by a watch you dislike.

Condition and Authenticity: There’s always a slight risk when it comes to the state and authenticity of the watches received. While reputable services take great care in this regard, others are less pragmatic.

In essence, whether a monthly watch subscription is worth it depends on your individual preferences and goals as a collector. If you crave variety and enjoy the thrill of trying out different watches without the commitment of ownership, these subscriptions can be a delightful journey. 

However, if you’re a die-hard collector who values ownership, control over your acquisitions, and the long-term investment potential of a timepiece, you might find these services less appealing.

Ultimately, it’s all about striking a balance between your passion for horology and your personal collecting philosophy. So, are monthly watch subscriptions worth it? The answer lies in the ticking heart of your own horological desires.


As we draw the final seconds of this guide, it’s abundantly clear that the question of whether monthly watch subscriptions are worth it hinges on the individual collector’s heartbeat. 

For those who savor the excitement of an ever-changing wrist companion and the opportunity to sample an array of styles and brands, these subscriptions offer a tantalizing experience. It’s a journey through time and style, a monthly adventure that keeps the wrist-wear flame burning bright.

However, for the steadfast collectors who cherish ownership, control, and long-term investment potential, the allure of these subscriptions may pale in comparison to the satisfaction of building a personal collection.

Whether you find your horological haven in a monthly surprise or a carefully curated collection, remember that in the world of watches, time is truly on your side. So, my fellow watch aficionados, the choice is yours, and your wrist remains the canvas of your horological journey.

The Ultimate Guide to Watch Water Resistance

It’s safe to say that whether you’re a seasoned collector who knows a tourbillon from a tachymeter or a curious novice dipping your toes into the world of timepieces, one factor defines every one of us – the water resistance of your watch.

In this guide, I’ll take you into the varied depths of watch water resistance, deciphering the cryptic codes of bars, meters, and atmospheres that grace the spec sheet of almost every watch ever made. From the humble drizzles to the abyssal depths, I’ll unravel the enigmatic language of water resistance ratings.

As we make our way through this guide, you’ll unearth the secrets behind ensuring your watch meets every drop of water with panache and, in doing so, will come to understand why and how a timepiece stays dry against all odds. So, fasten your straps and join me in exploring the depths of horological durability – where precision meets the unpredictable waters of life.

Built For Pressure – About Watch Water Resistance

For those of you who can, cast your minds back to the early 1920s, a pivotal epoch when watchmaking wizards conjured the first water-resistant timepieces. These groundbreaking tickers defied the drenching forces of nature, gifting us a new realm of durability and propelling the practical application of watches to new heights.

Imagine the audacity it took to craft a watch that remained unaffected by splashes and showers, a concept that would evolve into the meticulously calibrated depth ratings we encounter today. 

The pioneers were Swiss, naturally, paving the path for a sea change in watchmaking standards. Fast forward through the tides of time, and we find ourselves dealing with an altogether more complex rendering of water resistance, creating and buying watches capable of far more than withstanding a spot of rain.

So, let’s dive into the origins of watch water resistance and how it transformed our wrist companions into formidable aquatic companions.

Dryness in The Depths – Why Is Watch Water Resistance Important?

For every aficionado, understanding the nuances of varying water resistance levels isn’t just a whimsical dalliance; it’s a compass guiding you through a sea of potential mishaps. If I had a dollar for every time a friend took their 30m-proofed watch into adverse water-sport conditions, I’d have about 7 dollars.

Ideas of pressure and depth tend to be a tad misleading at face value – if it says 50m, you should be able to take it down to 50m, right? If only it were that simple. 

Water resistance is about counteracting the outside pressures that seek to force water into your wonderfully dry watch case, and thus, it’s a very important factor for any timepiece.

Knowing your watch’s aquatic acumen isn’t just about flaunting knowledge; it’s about making informed choices. Choosing the right timepiece for the right adventure, be it a daring dive or a drizzly afternoon, is an ode to preservation. The wrist deserves nothing less than a companion tailored to its aquatic ambitions.

In this horological journey, clarity on bars, meters, and atmospheres isn’t mere numerical trivia – it’s the fortress protecting your precious investment from a watery grave. So don’t just skim these waters; delve deep. Equip yourself with the wisdom to match your watch to the environment, ensuring your cherished timepiece doesn’t suffer a soggy, sad fate.

Water Resistance At A Glance

To keep you afloat amidst the sea of specifications, here’s a handy table that sums up the depths your timepiece might be able to handle. Remember, these numbers aren’t just digits; they’re specific directives to ensure that your watch is never in troubled waters unless that’s what it’s built for. Dive in wisely!

Remember, fellow enthusiasts, water resistance isn’t just about bragging rights—it’s about matching your watch’s capabilities to your aquatic escapades. So consult this table before buying that new Omega and taking it to the islands for some salt and sand.

Watch Water Resistance: In-Depth Guide

Brace yourselves, fellow horology explorers, as we navigate the aquatic labyrinth of bars, meters, and atmospheres to ensure your beloved timepiece stays afloat in style.

3 Bar (30m / 100ft / 3 ATM)

Only the most gentle drizzles and accidental splashes will concede to this level of resistance. Think of it as your watch’s umbrella against unexpected weather tantrums. A 3 bar rating is usually found on dress watches and more elegant timepieces, which are suitable for everyday wear but not necessarily the type of ticker that you’d take into the water with you. Have you ever seen a dress Calatrava on a surfer’s wrist?

5 Bar (50m / 165ft / 5 ATM)

Slightly bolder, the 50m rating welcomes impromptu rain dances and quick hand washes. However, snorkeling enthusiasts beware – this isn’t yet your ideal aquatic partner. Found in an array of watches, from sports to fashion, this level of resistance will enable everyday escapades, albeit with caution, near open bodies of water.

10 Bar (100m / 330ft / 10 ATM)

Meet the adventurous soul of water resistance. Ideal for swimming and snorkeling, 100m stalwarts often grace sports watches with their protective prowess. But the abyss remains off-limits. Consider a watch with this level of resistance a reliable companion for onshore activities and more vanilla splashes in the shallows. As a rule of thumb, you can take a 100m-rated watch down just as deep as a single breath hold allows.

20 Bar (200m / 660ft / 20 ATM)

This is the business end of water resistance, where most entry-level dive watches and sports watches shine in aqueous situations. With hearty resistance, a watch with this resistance will make a splash among scuba aficionados and water sports enthusiasts. Perfect for recreational diving and heavy water sports, with a rating of 200m, it’s likely you’ll never worry about a leak.

30 Bar (300m / 990ft / 30 ATM) & More

Behold, the conquerors of oceanic depths! Preferred by professional divers and aquatic adventurers, these watches defy the crushing pressures that exist at the most challenging depths. Beyond the sea, they exhibit a rugged charm fit for audacious souls, defined by tool-centric builds and ultra-durable materials. If you’ve got 300m or more on your watch face, you’re likely very serious about diving.

So, as you don your chosen wrist companion, ensure its aquatic aspirations match those of your adventures. With this guide in mind, you’re equipped to navigate the waves and make a splash without compromising your cherished timepiece.

What Is The Highest Watch Water Resistance?

Prepare to be amazed as we plunge into the depths of the watch world’s ultimate aquatic marvel – the Rolex Deepsea Challenge. With a water resistance rating that plunges to a staggering 11,000 meters, this timekeeping titan raises the bar beyond imagination. Indeed, it raises it well beyond human capability – no one would ever live to tell the tale of an adventure down to 12,000 meters. 

Their Rolex would, though. A wrist-worn vessel of exploration, the Deepsea Challenge boasts a pressure-defying design that can withstand the crushing forces of the earth’s deepest point, the Mariana Trench.

But Rolex isn’t the only player in this watery arena. Brands like Omega and Seiko have also made efforts to conquer the abyss, crafting watches that challenge the very notion of water resistance. Omega’s Seamaster Ploprof, with its 1,200-meter resistance, showcases Swiss engineering prowess, while Seiko’s Prospex Marinemaster holds its ground with remarkable depth ratings.

In a world where the depths remain a tantalizing (if not downright scary) frontier, these watches not only celebrate human ingenuity but also highlight the indomitable spirit of horology. So, whether you’re scaling the oceans or simply reveling in some awe-inspiring engineering, these watches prove that the depths of human ambition are as limitless as the sea itself.

How To Maintain Your Watch Water Resistance

If you’ve made it this far into the article, it’s important to you to ensure your cherished timepieces remain water-resistant fortresses. What you now know is that certain depth ratings correspond with certain activities. What you may not know yet is that there are ways to maintain the effectiveness of your watch’s water resistance.

Regular Servicing

Much like a ship requires maintenance before a voyage, your watch yearns for periodic servicing. Entrust your timepiece to a skilled (and licensed) watchmaker for sealing inspections, gasket replacements, and pressure tests. A well-maintained seal ensures your watch’s resistance remains as steadfast as possible.

The Wrist Ritual – Proper Crown Handling

The crown is your watch’s gateway to precise timekeeping, but it’s also any ticker’s greatest vulnerability when water is concerned. Whenever you’re not altering the time or date, ensure the crown is tightly pushed in. Think of it as securing hatches on a ship; a loose crown exposes your watch’s mechanisms to unwelcome moisture.

Rinse and Pat Dry

After frolicking in aquatic escapades, give your watch a gentle rinse with fresh water. But remember, no high-pressure hoses; we’re not launching torpedoes. Once bathed, pat your watch dry with a soft cloth. An ocean of caution: Never use a hairdryer or direct sunlight—they’re treacherous impediments to the longevity of your timepiece’s water resistance.

Avoid Extreme Shifts

Imagine subjecting your watch to Arctic chills and then plunging into a thermal spring—quite the stress test! Avoid exposing your watch to extreme temperature changes, as sudden shifts can compromise its seals, which contract and expand under varying pressures, just like everything else. Whether you’re braving blizzards or basking in sun rays, gradual transitions are pivotal for the safety of your watch.

Straps and Sealing

A watch is only as water-resistant as its weakest link, and that includes straps. Ensure the strap or bracelet is properly attached and doesn’t compromise the case’s seals. Rubber, silicone, and NATO straps are reliable shipmates when sailing the waters, more than metal bracelets.

With these maritime rules in your horological arsenal, you’ll be the captain of a shipshape timekeeper. As you explore beneath the waves, remember that maintaining your watch’s water resistance is akin to steering through life’s unpredictable tides – do it responsibly and with panache.


As we lower the anchor on this horological expedition, remember that understanding watch water resistance is more than deciphering numbers – it’s a voyage of preserving precision in the face of aqueous challenges. So, next time you’re caught in a rainstorm or contemplating a dive, let this guide be your compass. 

With knowledge as your first mate, your timepiece will not only weather the waters but triumphantly navigate them. May your watches stay ever-resilient and your journeys, both on land and beneath the waves, be punctuated by the unwavering reliability of a well-chosen, water-ready timepiece.

Top Watches with a Sweeping Second Hand

Much more than just a utilitarian tool for tracking seconds, the sweeping second hand embodies the heartbeat of precision engineering, a dance of micro-mechanics that separates exceptional timepieces from the ordinary. In this curated journey through the timekeeping cosmos, I present to you 15 watches that trump the rest in terms of the fluidity of their second hands. 

From the realm of accessible elegance to the pinnacle of opulent craftsmanship, this list spans the entire spectrum, showcasing the allure of time’s uninterrupted flow.

Join me as I traverse brands and budgets, offering a glimpse into the meticulous artistry behind each timepiece’s design, the intricate technical prowess driving their movements, and the investment they demand.

Smooth Operator – About Watches with Sweeping Second Hands

Venture back in the annals of horological history, and you’ll find that watches with sweeping second hands have always been more than just timekeepers; they’re symbols of precision. Born from the relentless pursuit of accuracy, they’ve delighted for generations. 

The concept isn’t just about aesthetics – it’s a declaration of technical virtuosity. A standard second hand moves with a disconcerting tick-tock, but a sweeping second hand glides effortlessly, mimicking the seamless passage of time itself.

The technology behind this fluidity involves a dance between balance wheels, escapements, and intricate gear trains. Each beat, every click, is a manifestation of the watchmaker’s quest to capture the very rhythm of existence. Choosing a watch with a sweeping second hand isn’t merely about telling time; it’s about owning a piece of horological excellence. 

It’s a statement of appreciation for craftsmanship, a nod to the watchmaker’s quest for precision, and a delightful reminder that time, indeed, waits for no one.

What To Look For in Watches with a Sweeping Second Hand?

These timepieces bring an air of sophistication and buckets of precision to your wrist, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. If you’re seeking that smooth, continuous motion, then it’s time to school yourself on what to look for in these captivating tickers.

Type of Movement: The Soul Within

At the heart of every watch lies its movement, the intricate mechanism that orchestrates every motion on the dial. When exploring watches with sweeping second hands, delve into the realm of mechanical movements. 

The automatic variety, driven by the kinetic energy of your wrist’s motion, delivers that enchanting sweep. If traditionalism tickles your fancy, manual winding movements are equally charming and readily available, as we’ll soon discuss.

Beat Rate: The Rhythmic Tempo

Picture a metronome keeping tempo with the universe. This is the beat rate, often expressed in beats per hour (BPH) or hertz (Hz). The higher the beat rate, the smoother the sweep. Aim for a watch with a beat rate above 28,800 BPH (4 Hz) for a truly mesmerizing glide.

Power Reserve: The Gift That Keeps Giving

Every watch needs fuel, referred to in the world of horology as the ‘power reserve’. This is the duration a watch can run without winding or movement. A substantial power reserve ensures your watch’s movement continues uninterrupted for as long as you need it. 

Seek timepieces with power reserves of at least 40 hours, especially if you’re not one to keep the watch on your wrist day and night.

Understanding these factors is like deciphering the nuances of a masterful concerto. You’re not merely acquiring a watch; you’re investing in an experience, a connection to the pulsating heart of time. 

Remember, whether you’re seeking affordable elegance or super luxury, these considerations will steer you toward the perfect sweep, ensuring your wrist becomes the stage for horology’s most captivating performance.

The Best Watches with a Sweeping Second Hand

With that said, here’s a list of the 15 best watches with a sweeping second hand you can get today:

1. Timex Marlin Hand-Wound California Dial (ref. TW2U96700)

The Timex Marlin Hand-Wound California Dial offers a delightful blend of vintage charm, modern style, and a mechanical core that is worth far more than it costs. Its sweeping second-hand glides effortlessly across the distinctive white California dial, which combines Roman and Arabic numerals for a unique, contemporary touch. 

With a 34mm stainless steel case and a hand-wound movement, this timepiece captures the essence of classic watchmaking. Perfect for enthusiasts seeking an affordable entry into the world of sweeping second hands – for just $209, you can grab one of these from Timex’s online store right now.

2. Yema Rallygraf Meca-Quartz Panda (ref. YMHF1580-BA)

Yema’s Rallygraf Meca-Quartz Panda boasts a racing-inspired design that’s hard to ignore, particularly if you’re a fan of vintage racers (and can’t afford a Paul Newman Daytona). Featuring Seiko’s VK64 meca-quartz movement (that’s a mechanical/quartz hybrid), it combines the precision of quartz with the satisfying mechanical feel of a chronograph pusher and runs at just under 38,000 Hz. 

The contrasting black and white subdials on the panda dial enhance legibility, while the 39mm stainless steel case is uniquely sporty – some interesting decisions regarding geometry were made on this watch. An excellent choice for those who crave the thrill of the racetrack on their wrist, the $369 price tag makes this Yema hard to beat in terms of value. Word of advice – get the strap instead of the bracelet. It’s cheaper and better looking!

3. Brew 8-Bit Brew Chronograph

For the gamers and nostalgia-seekers among us, the square-cased, 8-bit Brew Chronograph brings a playful twist to modern watches, least of all because of its colorway and shape. Its retro digital font and vibrant, fluorescent hues evoke memories of classic video games from the ’80s and ‘90s. 

This meca-quartz chronograph offers functionality as well, with its 24-hour and 60-minute sub-dials, powered by the same Japanese movement as the aforementioned Yema but packaged in an altogether different style. 

The 42mm stainless steel case ensures a modern presence, while the sweeping second hand adds a touch of fluidity (and contrast) to this pixelated delight. If you’re a gamer who literally wants to wear your interests on your sleeve, this $395 chronograph will do just the trick.

4. Bulova Lunar Pilot (ref. 98K112)

The Bulova Lunar Pilot pays homage to history as it replicates the watch worn by astronaut Dave Scott during the 1971 Apollo 15 mission. Its sweeping second hand glides smoothly over the lunar-inspired subdial, capturing the spirit and endlessness of space exploration. 

The 45mm stainless steel case adds a rugged touch without veering too far from tradition, while Bulova’s own proprietary high-frequency quartz movement allows for a sweeping chronograph hand and a running second hand. A must-have for space enthusiasts and history buffs alike, this Bulova sits comfortably between luxury and budget watches at just $700, and indeed, it feels like it’s worth exactly as much as you’ll pay for it.

5. NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus 38 Night (ref. 736)

The NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus 38 Night offers a refreshing take on minimalism. Its sleek design is accompanied by the charming sweep of the second hand, lending a sense of quiet sophistication to the watch that will further endear it to lovers of understated excellence. The 38mm stainless steel case is paired with a simple, dark dial for a versatile look, suitable for almost every occasion.

With its in-house Alpha manual movement, the Club Campus only needs to be wound every two days, which gives an old favorite – the hands-on manual watch – an altogether modern feel. There’s nothing about this timepiece I dislike, and I’d guess that you’ll have a hard time finding another timepiece this close to perfect for a meager $1500.

6. Longines Ultra‑Chron (ref. L2.836.4.52.6)

Journey into the realm of vintage-inspired sophistication, and you’ll encounter the water-friendly Longines Ultra-Chron, a stunning rehashing of their 1968 diver. This timepiece is reminiscent of an era when people were still interested in defining the boundaries of style in horology. Imagine a deep black dial that still radiates as if glowing somehow, providing the perfect backdrop, which the sweeping second hand glides over gracefully. 

Encased in a 43mm stainless steel case, the watch marries classic design with contemporary sensibilities. Underneath this façade lies Longines’ own L836 automatic movement, which provides the hands with 36,000 VPH and a 52-hour power reserve. 

Beyond its function as a timekeeping instrument, the Ultra-Chron acts as an homage to enduring design and the craftsmanship that once defined horology. It stands as a bridge between the past and the present, a chance to wear history on your wrist, and a testament that true elegance remains timeless across generations. At $3600, it’s not cheap, but true class never is…

7. Seiko Prospex LX SNR025

Due to its compass bezel, which is imposing, to say the least, this Seiko Prospex’s marine-inspired design is not made for the minimalists among us. This professional diver’s watch features a bold 44.8mm titanium case, an offset crown, and a strongly-coloured dial. Most notable about the LX SNR025 is the fact that it’s one of very few Seiko watches to contain a Spring Drive movement. 

These are usually reserved for the higher-end Grand Seiko watches, only occasionally finding a place in venerable models of the ‘lesser’ Seiko brand. Needless to say, the movement provides an unparalleled sweep on the second hand, as well as ultra-accurate timing across the board. Throw in a date window, 200m water resistance, and a decidedly tool-centric design, and you’ve got yourself a watch worthy of any adventure you’ll take it on. The only question is, “Are you really going to spend $5000 on a Seiko?”

8. Panerai Luminor 8 Days Power Reserve (ref. PAM00795)

Simple. Stylish. Iconic. Anyone worth their salt in terms of watch-geekery would know this Panerai Luminor from a mile away, thanks to the brand’s incomparable design silhouette. The iconic crown protector and cushion-shaped case lend a robust yet approachable character to this timepiece. At 44mm in diameter, the PAM00795 is most comfortable on larger wrists, flaunting a clean, utterly legible dial with distinctive lume accents and a couple of sub-dials (seconds and a power reserve). 

The hand-wound mechanical movement does what it says on the box, offering a staggering 8 days of power reserve, which is a crazy amount considering the fine mechanics that make this watch tick. With its blend of Italian design and horological excellence, this watch captures attention effortlessly, and thanks to its 300m water-resistance and incremental seconds sweep, it guarantees both style and substance for a cool $8500.

9. Oris Propilot X Calibre 115 (ref. 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC)

The Oris Propilot X Calibre 115 redefines modern aviation-inspired watches. With an intricate, skeletonized dial that exhibits the working parts in all their complexity, the Propilot X offers a more tech-headed aesthetic to those who are into that kind of thing. Encased in a 44mm titanium case, the calibre 115 movement offers 10 days of power when fully wound, making the competition look a bit ridiculous, in all honesty. 

This innovative timepiece combines horological craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics and is truly a statement piece for aviation enthusiasts and connoisseurs of fine engineering. At $8800 it’s not cheap but with its high-end finish and envelope-pushing mechanics, it’s certainly worth every penny.

10. Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGA019

If this were my favorite watch on this list, I would be hesitant to say so. But it is. Grand Seiko’s SLGA019, with its proprietary Spring Drive movement, most successfully captures the essence of the uninterrupted sweep out of all the watches on this list. Why? 

Well, because Seiko invented a hybrid movement, the Spring Drive, that can get closer to true fluidity than any other mass-produced movement on the planet, thanks to its inimitable fusion of mechanical and quartz technologies. It truly is a sight to behold. 

The 40mm high-intensity titanium case is a fitting home for such a precious invention – strong, easy on the eyes, and polished to perfection. The Evolution 9’s textured dial, meant to emulate the gently rippling waters of Japan’s Lake Suwa, adds the right amount of panache to an otherwise pared-back timepiece. There’s nothing not to love here except perhaps the price point – for $10,400, you’ll be hard-pressed not to consider what iconic Swiss options you could get instead.

11. Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A385 (ref. 03.A384.400/385.M385)

The Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A385 pays homage to a historic design and is, simply put, pure cool. The sweeping second hand adds a touch of dynamism to the gradient brown dial, reminiscent of the original A385. Encased in a 37mm stainless steel case, this timepiece houses the legendary El Primero automatic movement known for its high-frequency (38,000 BPH) accuracy.

A fusion of vintage aesthetics and cutting-edge technology is unquestionably what defines this as a watch worth owning and in such a wearable size, the new A385 makes itself very appealing. Not for everyone due to its shape and color, this $9000 masterpiece certainly turns heads, for mostly the right reasons!

12. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback (ref. 5200 0130 NABA)

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback embodies the spirit of exploration and unfussy elegance. Unconventional design cues surround the sweeping second hand, which gracefully glides over a black dial that perhaps alludes to the hue of the world at the watch’s 300m underwater breaking point. 

The 43.6mm ceramic case houses the flyback chronograph movement, a quirky complication that commands 3 sub-dials and an offset date window. A versatile companion for adventurers both above and below the surface, the Bathyscape is equal parts basic and complex. It’s a unique dive watch that hosts flyback capabilities and a smooth second hand against the backdrop of a holistically demure design. If it performs like a $19,000 watch, it certainly doesn’t look like one.

13. Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Power Reserve 14 Days 3D Carbon (ref. 911.QD.0123.RX)

Hublot’s Big Bang MP-11 looks like a watch made for the set of Blade Runner or Alien. It’s 45mm of all-black, 3D carbon fiber wrapped around a movement so unique it nearly defies logic. Internally, Hublot’s HUB9011 manual-winding skeleton movement hosts coupled barrels that rotate to show the date and power reserve on the dial. This needs to be seen to be fully understood, trust me. 

The sweeping second hand complements the multi-layered, skeletonized face, showcasing the intricate mechanics that lie below it. A fusion of avant-garde design and technical prowess, the Big Bang MP-11 is a great timepiece for big-wristed people with a penchant for the unusual. Oh, and for people who can afford to spend $85,000 on a watch that they’ll likely not wear every day.

14. Patek Philippe Nautilus (ref. 5811/1G-001)

Few watches are as iconic as Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, which is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of ultimate luxury and elegance in all horology. Not to be outdone in standards of luxury mechanics, the Nautilus has a second hand that glides smoother than silk, adding a refined touch and confidently calm character to the porthole-inspired ticker. 

Crafted from 18k white gold, the 40mm case houses the self-winding 26330 SC movement, which is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and unwavering accuracy. With a stunning blue dial and intricate details, this timepiece epitomizes Patek Philippe’s legacy of watchmaking excellence, and despite its $158,000 price tag, it’s a watch that everyone should endeavor to wear at least once.

15. Richard Mille RM 65-01 Split-Seconds Chronograph

There’s so much one could write about the feature-rich, intensely (over) engineered Richard Mille RM 65-01 Split-Seconds Chronograph. A masterpiece of haute horlogerie, this unfathomably expensive ticker has a sweeping second hand that complements the multi-layered dial, showcasing a complex split-second chronograph mechanism. 

Encased in a 44.5mm titanium and Carbon TPT case that has RM’s signature shape, it combines lightweight materials with exceptional durability to deliver a complex structure that sits comfortably on even the daintiest of wrists. 

A true blend of innovation and craftsmanship, the RM 65-01 is a timepiece unlike any other. Pushers, sub-dials, and hidden details make this $750,000 watch an endlessly playful and altogether unrivaled accessory that, unfortunately, very few people will have the opportunity to experience.

Fluidity in Motion – Finessing the Second

From the affordable marvels that capture the essence of yesteryears to the super luxury tickers that redefine time itself, these watches unravel the mystery of the sweeping second hand. 

Remember, whether your heart beats to the rhythm of vintage charm or the pulse of cutting-edge innovation, a watch with a sweeping second hand is a portal to the realm where time is both a measure and an object. I’m partial to the minimalist iterations of this ‘objectified time’, but I can totally see why some of you would get giddy about the more complex pieces on this list – because they’re downright awesome.

Best Longines Men's Watches

From the realms of affordability to the pinnacles of opulence, Longines has consistently demonstrated its mastery in marrying design finesse with technical prowess. Each timepiece is an embodiment of the brand’s enduring legacy, dating back to 1832 when Auguste Agassiz set out to craft exceptional watches under the star-studded Swiss skies.

Our horological expedition will traverse through a splendid array of Longines timepieces, showcasing their distinct personalities and encapsulating the very essence of sophistication. From aviation-inspired wonders that harken to the golden age of flight to dive watches that plunge fearlessly into aquatic depths, our list is a symphony of styles and functionalities.

So, fasten your seatbelts, synchronize your chronographs, and prepare to be immersed in the world of Longines horology, where every tick and tock echoes the brand’s commitment to excellence. Let’s jump into the enchanting landscape of time, where Longines stands tall as a sentinel of style, substance, and Swiss watchmaking mastery.

Quality First – About Longines Watches

With roots reaching back to the early 19th century, Longines has ceaselessly orchestrated a symphony of watchmaking mastery. Its heritage is a tapestry woven with threads of innovation and precision, dating back to a time when pocket watches ruled the wrists of gentlemen.

Longines watches are the epitome of refined craftsmanship, a seamless blend of tradition and innovation. From intricately engraved dials to the dance of gears within, each timepiece is a canvas of meticulous artistry. The brand’s dedication to chronometric excellence has earned it coveted titles, including ‘The Watch of Elegance’ and ‘The Watch of Aviators’.

Why choose a Longines watch, you ask? Well, beyond the immaculate aesthetics lies a collection of reasons. It’s the embodiment of a rich legacy, a statement of personal style, and a testament to horological precision. Longines has curated a watch for every wrist and occasion. 

So, whether you’re drawn by the allure of history, the embrace of luxury, or the precision of Swiss craftsmanship, choosing a Longines watch isn’t merely owning a timepiece—it’s possessing a slice of time itself.

Spotting a Swiss Gem – What To Look For In Longines Men’s Watches

In the captivating world of horology, where precision and aesthetics entwine, Longines stands as a venerable titan, consistently crafting timepieces that bridge the gap between style and substance. 

As we embark on a journey through the 15 Best Longines Men’s Watches Across All Categories, let’s first equip ourselves with the art of making the right choice – because every wrist deserves a masterpiece.

Deciphering the Watch Purpose

Before you dive into the ocean of Longines offerings, take a moment to define the purpose your new wrist companion will serve. Are you seeking an elegant dress watch for black-tie affairs, a rugged sports watch for adventurous escapades, or perhaps a versatile daily wearer? The purpose will guide your selection, ensuring your watch resonates with your lifestyle.

Size & Proportions – The Perfect Fit

A harmonious blend of aesthetics and comfort, size matters when it comes to wristwatches. Longines offers diverse sizes across its collections, from contemporary 40mm cases to more substantial 44mm timepieces. Consider the proportions that suit your wrist; a dress watch might demand understated elegance, while a sporty chronograph could embrace a bolder presence.

Unraveling the Movement Type

The heart of every watch, the movement, dictates its performance and functionality. Longines crafts its watches with unparalleled precision, featuring automatic, quartz, and even mechanical chronograph movements. If you appreciate the intricate choreography of gears and springs, a mechanical movement might be your choice. For practicality and convenience, the accuracy of a quartz movement could be your ideal companion.

The Best Longines Men’s Watches

With all that said, here’s a list of the 15 best Longines men’s watches you can buy today:

1. Longines Hydroconquest (ref. L3.741.4.56.6)

I like to think of the Hydroconquest as Longines’ version of the Submariner – it’s an endlessly wearable, dynamic timepiece built for aquatic adventures. Its sleek black ceramic bezel and stainless steel case house the L888, Longines’ own reliable, automatic movement. 

The bold black dial features luminescent markers for clear underwater visibility, and with a water resistance of up to 300 meters, you’ll undoubtedly have every opportunity to make use of that glow. Retailing for a very fair $1,375, the HydroConquest perfectly balances style and functionality and is a great jumping-off point for those interested in exploring Swiss timepieces.

2. Longines Spirit Zulu Time (ref. L3.802.4.63.6)

The Spirit Zulu Time pays homage to aviation history with a distinctive dual-time function. Its robust stainless steel case houses an automatic movement that powers the GMT hand, allowing you to track two timezones effortlessly. The striking black dial and beige Super-LumiNova numerals provide excellent legibility, while the 3-link bracelet plays to the Zulu Time’s lightly sporty appeal.

Priced around $3,150, this watch is a true companion for globetrotters and a slightly more affordable stand-in for timepieces like the universally beloved Tudor Black Bay 58, which it resembles in more ways than one. Its measured contemporary design and sturdy build make this Longines an utterly valuable proposition.

3. Longines Flagship Heritage (ref. L4.795.4.78.2)

The Flagship Heritage is a simple yet sophisticated ticker with a silver dial that exudes elegance thanks in part to its gilt gold hands and applied gold indices. Complemented by a polished stainless steel case and brown leather strap, the Flagship Heritage is about as traditional by design as a modern watch comes.

Its automatic movement ensures precision, while the small seconds sub-dial adds a refined touch that again speaks to an older time. With a price tag of approximately $1,900, the Flagship Heritage captures the essence of Longines’ heritage and style – simple things done well without fixing what isn’t broken. You can’t go wrong with that…

4. Longines Master Collection Moonphase (ref. L2.673.4.78.3)

The Master Collection Moonphase blends artistry and mechanics to arrive at Longines’ busiest dial design of all time. Its moon phase complication adds a touch of celestial allure to the rich blue dial, as well as a dash of color. Housed in a stainless steel case and powered by an automatic movement, this watch offers day, date, and month functions across various sub-dials. 

The brown alligator leather strap completes the look, a balancing act between tradition and modernity. Retailing for $3,550, this timepiece is a lot of watch. Although it may be too numeral-heavy on the dial for some, others will love the Master Collection Moonphase for how informative it is.

5. Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph (ref. L2.830.4.93.0)

A nod to vintage racing, the Heritage Classic Chronograph exudes a suave sportiness, the likes of which are unmatched by other Longines timepieces. The panda-style dial features two contrasting sub-dials at 3 and 9, while the black leather strap adds a rugged charm. 

Blue numerals on the outer ring match up effortlessly with the blue seconds hands (yes, they’re on the sub-dials, too), and a black ring within the face creates a powerful contrast which I think defines this timepiece. Throw on a couple of pushers on either side of the crown, and you’re starting to look very sporty, indeed! 

The L895 self-winding mechanical movement powers the chronograph and functions flawlessly. With an approximate price of $3,425, this watch captures the spirit of motorsport while maintaining Longines’ signature sense of refinement.

6. Longines Conquest Quartz (ref. L3.759.4.58.6)

The Conquest Quartz embodies precision and performance in very similar ways to Rolex’s Explorer. In fact, one would be hard-pressed not to think of the famous Rolex when looking at the Conquest Quartz. Like the baseline Explorer, it’s got a black dial adorned with luminous markers and only a couple of numerals among indices, all enclosed within a stainless steel case. 

Unlike the Rolex, it’s got a date window and is powered by a quartz movement, which ensures affordability and fairly reliable timekeeping, while the stainless steel bracelet provides comfort and durability. Priced at $825, this watch offers unbeatable value for those seeking a blend of style and accuracy or for those who can’t yet afford their grail Rolex!

7. Longines Legend Diver (ref. L3.774.4.50.9)

Explore the depths of nostalgia with the Legend Diver, a reinterpretation of a 1960s icon that epitomizes unorthodox diver design. Lacking a bezel altogether, the Legend Diver has a simple black dial, divided up into two scales by Super-LumiNova markers – minutes on an inner ring and seconds at the edge of the dial. 

Retro hands pay homage to vintage dive watches in a simple yet effective manner, pushed by the automatic movement, which offers a power reserve of up to 64 hours. 

This is all encased in stainless steel and safe up to 300M underwater. The dimpled, black rubber strap completes the vintage aesthetic and grants wearers a world of comfort both above and below the surface. Retailing for $2,500, this watch is a slightly different diver for those who value individuality in the deep.

8. Longines Spirit Titanium (ref. L3.810.1.53.6)

The Spirit Titanium embodies modern resilience, and for Longines, it certainly represents the apex of their ‘everyday’ watches, at least in terms of durability. Its 40mm sandblasted titanium case and bracelet ensure a lightweight and durable experience without compromising on style. 

The black dial with beige numerals inspires a sense of antiquity and has excellent legibility, while the COSC-certified automatic movement guarantees near-absolute precision. With a price of $3,100, the Spirit Titanium is a watch that’s hard to beat. I only wish those stars on the dial didn’t make me think of a Holiday Inn…

9. Longines Master Collection Salmon Dial (ref. L2.843.4.93.2)

For the more discerning gentlemen among us, the Master Collection Salmon Dial offers a familiar kind of warmth and refinement. With a brushed, salmon-colored face as a striking centerpiece, complemented by a stainless steel case and gray alligator leather strap, this timepiece speaks most convincingly to old souls and suit-wears. 

The automatic movement powers the show, including a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock, and does so with aplomb. The engraved Arabic numerals are a detail not to be overlooked, as they represent the attention paid to each piece and certainly give this watch a unique edge over others on this list. 

Priced around $2,500, this watch is honestly underrated – I reckon we’ll be seeing a lot more of these in high-end collections over the coming years.

10. Longines Ultra-Chron (ref. L2.836.4.52.6)

If you’re a fan of the original Seiko 5 Sports watch (or the original 1968 Ultra-Chron Diver, for that matter), you will love Longines’ new Ultra-Chron, which stands as a testament to Longines’ pioneering legacy in sports timing. The black dial, marked with elegant silver indexes, is housed in a 43mm stainless steel case, the very shape of which evokes the spirit of the ‘60s.

The automatic movement boasts a high-frequency balance for enhanced accuracy, beating at 36,000 vph with a power reserve of 52 hours. It’s not a tech-savvy dive computer. Nor is it a showy Sea-Dweller. It’s a piece of Swiss history, revitalized to compete with modern standards. At $3,600, this is likely the most precise dive watch you’ll find at this price point, and it’s good up to 300 meters underwater, which is a lot more than some more expensive timepieces.

11. Longines Avigation Type A-7 (ref. L2.812.4.53.2)

Paying tribute to aviation history, the Avigation Type A-7 features an unconventional dial orientation (the numerals are rotated two ‘hours’ in the clockwise direction) for easy readability while flying. 

The deep black dial and large, lumed Arabic numerals exude a certain vintage charm, while the brown leather strap, cathedral hands, and embellished pusher crown add some authenticity in this regard. Longines’ automatic L788 movement brings to life 2 subdials – it’s a single-push chronograph mechanism, after all. Priced around $3,900, this watch is a must-have for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs, and those of you who love something a bit different.

12. Longines Conquest 2023 (ref. L3.835.4.52.6)

The Conquest 2023 embraces modern elegance while painting the same spirit that it was imbued with upon the collection’s initial release in 1954. A jet-black dial hosts silver touches, 3 sub-dials, and a date display enclosed in a stainless steel case and bracelet. The watch’s bezel is smooth, black, and altogether unassuming, aside from the red font of the word ‘Tachymeter’ that labels its scale. 

At 42mm, it’s definitely wearable but does feel slightly larger than it should due to the crown and pushers that control the automatic L898 movement. With an approximate price of $3,650, the Conquest 2023 offers a true sports chronograph experience for a very approachable amount of money.

13. Longines Record (ref. L2.921.4.56.6)

Perhaps the most obvious choice for an everyday watch, the Record exemplifies Longines’ commitment to precision timekeeping and leisurely aesthetics. The matte black dial is housed in a stainless steel case, and the automatic movement is COSC-certified for exceptional accuracy. I’m a huge fan of the numerals on even numbers and indices at odd-hour markers and how the gilt gold hands and details on the dial contrast so tastefully with the matte black backdrop. 

This is an ingeniously well-designed timepiece, no doubt. This is exhibited in many ways, least of all by the fact that it takes you a second look to even notice that there are 2 pushers on the Record. Priced around $3,125, the Record, I would argue, does what no other watch on this list can – it succeeds in walking the tightrope between smart and casual effortlessly without sacrificing technical prowess.

14. Longines Hydroconquest Two Tone (ref. L3.742.3.96.7)

If the stainless steel Hydroconquest is a Longines ‘Submariner’, this two-tone version is the 1980s Longines Sub reinvented. The combination of stainless steel and rose gold elements exudes luxury almost to a fault, conjuring up images of ‘Money Never Sleeps’ Wall Street broker types in Gucci suits and 80s Ferraris. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – this is definitely an eye-catching watch. The black face and bezel insert do well to taper some of the outward garishness that the two-tone displays in its own right, while splashes of white on the dial make everything feel a bit lighter. More easygoing, if you will. It’s not all flash, though – equipped with a quartz movement, the new Hydroconquest retails for a cool $1,250, making it an astonishingly affordable Swiss timepiece that feels like it’s worth far more.

15. Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph (ref. L3.821.4.53.6)

The Spirit Flyback Chronograph combines contemporary design with the impressive functionality of a flyback chronograph, or a ‘retour en vol’, as the French call it.  Instead of having to be reset between timings, the flyback chronograph just takes one push, and it restarts immediately. Handy, time-saving watch-geekery at its best! 

The black dial boasts bold Arabic numerals and two sub-dials, while the stainless steel case and bracelet grant the watch a certain sturdiness among contemporary peers. Much like the bezel on the Conquest 2023, this watch’s bezel is unidirectional and very understated, which adds to its impressively ambiguous design.

Powered by the caliber L791, an automatic movement, the flyback chronograph complication is perhaps the coolest complication on this list, even if most people who own this watch rarely use its timer functions. Being the most pricey timepiece on the list is another unique thing about the Spirit Flyback – at $4,550, it’s not cheap, but somebody had to put that flyback movement together, and believe me, it took them a while.

The Swiss Connection – Let Longines Be Your Friend

In the tapestry of horology, where precision meets passion, these watches stand as a symphony of both style and substance. From the Avigation Type A-7 to the timeless elegance of the Flagship Heritage, each timepiece is a testament to Longines’ mastery. 

We explored purpose-driven choices, the dance of size and proportions, and the heartbeats of various movement types. Longines watches aren’t just instruments to measure time; they’re part of the very DNA of horology, so to dismiss them (in the way that so many do) as ‘cheap’ or ‘unimpressive’ is, evidently, a fool’s errand. 

With Swiss craftsmanship coursing through their veins, these watches are more than accessories; they’re guardians of legacy, whispers of innovation, and echoes of elegance. We should all own a Longines, I think. And there are plenty here to choose from!

Best tactical watches

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll unveil the most hardened and practical tactical watches, encompassing a spectrum from budget-friendly options to high-end luxury masterpieces.

Tactical watches, much like seasoned warriors, exude a distinctive combination of strength and intelligence. Crafted to withstand the harshest environments, these timepieces are the veritable companions of adventurers, military personnel, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. 

Dressed in robust cases and fortified with cutting-edge technology, they effortlessly navigate through the perils of modern life with unyielding poise.

This carefully curated list showcases the finest specimens the industry has to offer. Each watch earns its place based on the tenacity of design, technical prowess, and price-to-performance ratio. Whether you seek uncompromising resilience or simply want to flaunt a fancy tool on your wrist, we have got you covered.

Hard To Kill – About Tactical Watches

In the horological world, tactical watches emerge as the unyielding, unapologetic badasses of timekeeping. With a history rooted in military heritage, these timepieces have marched through recent history, transforming from mere tools to iconic wrist companions for the toughest of missions.

Picture this: rugged terrains, intense combat scenarios, and survival challenges – these are the domains where tactical watches earned their stripes. Initially devised to synchronize troop movements and coordinate battlefield strategies, tactical watches evolved into a battle-hardened fusion of durability and intelligence.

Built to endure the harshest elements, the general features of tactical watches read like an adventurer’s wishlist. Robust, shock-resistant cases house precise quartz or automatic movements, keeping time ticking amidst the chaos. Luminescent hands and indices illuminate darkness, empowering night missions without compromise.

But why, in the era of smartphones and smartwatches, do we still seek the companionship of tactical timepieces? Simple – you can’t throw your iPhone off a cliff and expect it to survive the fall. The tenacity with which tactical watches withstand their challenges mirrors the indomitable spirit of their wearers. 

Furthermore, the aura of valor and triumph that surrounds them, stemming from their military lineage, bestows upon the wearer an undeniable sense of empowerment.

What To Look For In A Tactical Watch

In a world where timekeeping meets rugged resilience, tactical watches reign supreme. Whether you’re a thrill-seeking adventurer or simply appreciate the marriage of form and function, finding the perfect tactical timepiece is no mean feat. 

In this buyer’s guide, I’ll equip you with the knowledge to zero in on the ultimate tactical watch. One that embodies the combination of precision and toughness.

Durability – Built Like A Tank

When it comes to tactical watches, fragility is the enemy. A true contender must be as tough as nails, ready to face the onslaught of nature’s wrath and survive the rigors of everyday life. Seek timepieces crafted from high-grade materials like stainless steel, titanium, or reinforced polycarbonate. These rugged cases act as impenetrable armor, shielding the delicate horological mechanisms within from the perils of accidental drops and unforeseen impacts.

Water Resistance – Weathering The Storm

Picture this: torrential downpour, muddy terrains, or unexpected aquatic adventures – the last thing you want is a watch that throws in the towel at the first sign of moisture. Look for a timepiece boasting robust water resistance, ideally rated to at least 100 meters. Whether you’re a diver delving into the depths or a mountaineer scaling towering peaks, a water-resistant tactical watch ensures your chronograph stays dry, just like your wit.

Legibility – Instant Intel On Your Wrist

In the world of tactical watches, a swift glance at your wrist can mean the difference between success and failure. Opt for a timepiece that offers impeccable legibility, even under the cover of darkness. Bold, luminescent hands and markers set against a clear dial backdrop make for an unhindered reading experience, allowing you to decipher the time and critical information at a mere glimpse.

Tactical Features – Mastering The Elements

Go beyond the standard fare and explore tactical watches boasting additional features tailored to your adventures. From built-in compasses to altimeters, chronographs, and even GPS capabilities, these horological sidekicks elevate your readiness for the great unknown. Choose wisely, and these tactical extras will have your back, ensuring you’re always in control of the elements and navigating with unwavering precision.

Finally, remember that a tactical watch is more than just an accessory; it’s an emblem of fortitude and adventure, strapped to your wrist, forever ready to take on the world. Treat it accordingly!

The Best Tactical Watches

With that said, here’s a comprehensive list of the 20 best tactical watches you can buy across different price points:

1. Timex Expedition Shock XL 50mm (ref. TW4B24100)

The Timex Expedition Shock XL boasts an impressive array of features, starting with its quartz movement, which ensures precise timekeeping, first and foremost. With a substantial 50mm case diameter and 17mm height, it commands attention, but with 200m water resistance, the Expedition size is somewhat justified.

Timex’s ‘Indiglo’ backlight illuminates the dial with ease, while the built-in chronograph and vibrating alarm function add extra utility to your daily missions. Need to keep track of different timezones? No problem – this watch has you covered.

Unfailingly reliable thanks to a 10-year battery life and a shock-resistant build that ensures it can withstand whatever gets thrown at it, this Timex punches above its weight in so many ways.

At less than $100, the Timex Expedition Shock XL is staggeringly affordable and proves that tactical excellence doesn’t have to come at a high price. With its unbeatable blend of features and budget-friendly charm, it’s a solid choice for any watch collector’s everyday carry arsenal.

2. Casio G-Shock GW6900-1

This timekeeping titan boasts a sleek and compact all-black case measuring 50mm by 17.7mm and weighs a mere 63 g. Crafted from durable resin, it laughs in the face of shocks, living up to the “Shock Resistant” moniker that Casio has become so well known for.

Like the Timex above, the GW6900-1 has a 200-meter water resistance, which is perfect for aquatic adventurers and rain-chasing landlubbers alike. For travelers, the watch’s multi-band 6 technology ensures precise timekeeping across 31 time zones and 48 cities. How many different timezones have you been to in your entire life? Point made.

Powered by the sun with Casio’s patented Tough Solar tech, this ticker puts other watches to shame, promising up to 9 months of uninterrupted use on a single charge and up to 26 months in total darkness with the Power Save function. Its Electro-luminescent backlight bathes you in a mesmerizing Blue Green glow, while the Full auto-calendar will keep you organized until 2099.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any cooler, its Energy saving feature intelligently dims the display in the dark, conserving power for when you need it most. The GW6900-1 – where rugged meets intelligent – is packed full of useful features and looks about as ‘off-trail’ as a watch possibly can!

The Casio G-Shock GW6900-1 retails for $140.

3. Timex Command Shock 54mm (ref. TW5M20400)

Timex’s Command Shock epitomizes durability, tailored to withstand the toughest of lifestyles. Dressed in a captivating camo case, harmoniously paired with an olive green strap, it screams, “Get me outdoors!” (in the most manly way possible, of course).

This watch smirks at adversity with its shock-resistant construction, ensuring it remains unscathed amidst life’s unpredictable challenges, even up to 100m underwater.

What sets this horological marvel apart is its hydration alert, keeping you primed for peak performance throughout your adventures. Measuring a commanding 54mm in diameter and 16mm in height, this full-size rectangular case boasts a tantalizing matte finish, which adds a subtly stylish edge to an otherwise garish piece of gear.

The digital negative display on the dial marks its modernity, while the quartz digital movement guarantees impeccable precision. Encased in resilient resin, protected by an acrylic crystal lens, the Command Shock leaves no room for compromise. You can get it for $99.

4. Suunto Core All Black (ref. SS014279010)

This timekeeping powerhouse packs a punch with its key outdoor features; encased in a robust composite case and adorned with an aluminum bezel, it’s well-stylized and hard-wearing.

With the Suunto Core, ascend new heights with the altimeter, measure atmospheric pressure with the barometer, and navigate with unerring precision using the compass. Stay ahead of Mother Nature with real-time weather information and a storm alarm that ensures you’re always one step ahead of turbulent conditions.

This multifaceted timepiece goes above and beyond, displaying sunrise and sunset times, as well as tracking water depth during snorkeling and diving missions. Oh, and of course, multiple watch, date, and time functions ensure you’re the master of every moment. Nestled comfortably on your wrist with its elastomer strap and weighing just 64g, you’ll forget that the Suunto Core is even there – until you need it, that is.

With a mineral crystal lens safeguarding its inner workings, this watch is primed for action, adventure, and more. Plus, with a user-replaceable battery, you’ll have full control over your watch’s power.

The Suunto Core All Black retails for $199.

5. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400-1B

Casio’s Rangeman GW9400-1B masters the delicate balance between toughness and intuitive operation, boasting a design that can withstand the harshest use. 

Its wide face, where the large diameter dial lays out its functional prowess with ease, flaunts a circular motion graphic display and a two-level digital display. With a treasure trove of digital expressions, including altitude and barometric pressure trend graphs, this watch grants you precise measurement values at your fingertips.

What truly sets this horological marvel apart is the Triple Sensor Ver.3, nestled within a shock-resistant structure. In an instant, this mighty watch harnesses the power of three small sensors to measure orientation, altitude, barometric pressure, temperature, and direction with unrivaled accuracy, vital for survival in the most unforgiving conditions. 

The stainless steel buttons, cleverly knurled, ensure steadfast operation even in gloved or rainy conditions. Complemented by a 55mm × 18mm case, this Casio is comfortably big-boned, and its resin case and strap laugh at even the notion of compromise.

With 200-meter water resistance, the Rangeman dares you to test its limits, thriving where other timepieces falter. It’s not the sexiest timepiece on earth, but then again, it’s not the Rangeman’s job to look good.

You can get the G-Shock Rangeman for around $200.

6. Suunto Traverse Alpha Stealth (ref. SS022469000)

Tailor-made for hunters, anglers, and hiking enthusiasts, the SUUNTO Traverse Alpha Stealth is the ultimate companion for your outdoor escapades. With a 50mm case diameter, it exudes an air of authority, built to military standards with a scratch-resistant crystal and stainless steel bezel. Fear not the elements, for this watch is primed for action with its 110M water resistance.

But here’s where it gets interesting – the SUUNTO Traverse Alpha Stealth boasts hunting, fishing, and hiking modes, adapting to your needs like a chameleon. Leave no trace with its breadcrumb trail GPS mode, ensuring you find your way back without a hitch. And hold your breath for this one – it features automatic shot detection, making every hunting expedition a stroke of precision.

This watch is a tactical treasure trove. With sunrise/sunset alerts, an altimeter, and GPS, pinpoint accuracy becomes second nature. Even under the cover of darkness, this watch is compatible with night vision goggles, unlocking a world of possibilities.

And don’t fret about battery life – this timekeeper can last up to two weeks straight, powering through even the most intense trips. The Suunto Traverse Alpha Stealth can be yours for around $500.

7. Seiko Prospex “Arnie” SNJ025

The Arnie is a nod to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s timepiece from the movie Predator and is a coveted watch among cinephiles and outdoor enthusiasts alike. This digital/analog hybrid is equal parts iconic and practical.

Powered by the Seiko H851 Solar Quartz movement, the SNJ025 harnesses the sun’s energy, so it’s never going to run out of power. Charge it up, and it boasts a 6-month power reserve, always ready for action.

Designed for everyday use, the Arnie boasts a plethora of features, making it the perfect companion for any adventure. With a robust 47.8mm case diameter and a remarkable 200M water resistance, it’s a watch that scoffs at limitations.

And let’s not forget about style – the innovative silicone strap design strikes the perfect balance between durability and comfort, making it ideal for both underwater escapades and daily wear. It’s a simple black, white, and steel timepiece that is as good at going unnoticed as it is at turning the right heads.

The “Arnie” can be yours for $525.

8. Casio Pro Trek PRW3500-1

The Casio Pro Trek PRW3500-1 is a tough tactical timepiece that rivals even the renowned G-Shock. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the Pro Trek line, for this watch is a perfect outdoor companion, brimming with cutting-edge features.

Equipped with the Triple Sensor Version 3, it puts a compass, thermometer, and altimeter right on your wrist, even enabling you to brave the icy grasp of winter, as this watch is resistant to super-low temperatures, boasting functionality at a chilly 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius).

With a solar-powered quartz movement, the PRW3500-1 is a timekeeping powerhouse that laughs at the notion of running out of power. Leave it untouched in a drawer and it will continue ticking for a remarkable 23 months.

This rugged beater is the ultimate companion for hiking, climbing, swimming, and any adventure that beckons you. With a bold 56mm case diameter and a see-it-from-space compass bezel, there’s no way you can mistake it for anything other than a tactical tool.

The Pro Trek PRW3500-1 retails for $330.

9. Luminox Navy Seal Foundation 3503 (ref. XS.3503.NSF)

Luminox’s Navy Seal Foundation 3503 is a paragon of rugged elegance, boasting features that elevate it to the realm of true masterpieces – two-tone lume (blue and green) and large crown guards lend this Luminox a futuristic military edge that other watches on this list lack.

Powered by a Swiss Quartz movement, it combines impeccable precision with self-powered illumination, ensuring the lume shines brightly for up to an astonishing 25 years. 

The hardened, scratch-resistant mineral crystal, complete with an anti-reflective coating, shields the dial from the perils of the outside world, while the 200M water resistance offers plenty of room to play for divers, although this feels distinctly like a land-lovers watch.

Measuring a comfortable 45mm, the case diameter embraces modern design cues, making it all the easy to wear, even when you’re not hiking through endless forests. The navy blue dial, adorned with bright yellow accents on the hands and unidirectional turning bezel, grants effortless legibility with high contrast and readability at a glance.

The Luminox Navy Seal Foundation 3503 is not just a watch; it’s an emblem of unyielding strength and dedication. With its carbon-reinforced bezel, it’s primed for action, as you will be with this on your wrist. And you can get it for just $380.

10. MWC P656 Tactical Series (ref. TP656ND/A2/LI/L22)

Despite measuring just 42mm in diameter, the MWC P656 Tactical Series is a little tank (army, not Cartier) on your wrist, ready to conquer the world without compromising on style.

Powered by the reliable Seiko NH35A automatic movement and encased in all-black titanium, it ensures precise timekeeping without breaking a sweat. And speaking of sweat, with a remarkable water resistance of 300m, this watch is practically begging you to take it as deep as you dare.

The P656’s tritium tubes, which don’t need to be ‘charged’ in light, cast a glow so bright and long-lasting that you’ll never squint at your wrist again. This is the watch’s most obvious superpower.

For those who value simplicity and durability above all else, the MWC P656 Tactical Series is the ultimate choice. With the time and date at your disposal, it’s a rugged survival tool wrapped around your wrist, ready to take on any challenge you throw its way. 

Sure, its bezel is gigantic, and its dial can feel a bit cramped, but it’ll probably survive being thrown off a cliff, which is what you’re really paying around $400 for.

11. Marathon Black Pilot’s Navigator (ref. WW194001BK)

Born from a groundbreaking collaboration with Kelly Air Force Base in 1986, the Marathon Black Pilot’s Navigator has a military history in its DNA. Beyond a mere accessory, this watch is a testament to progress and excellence, built for adventurers and professionals who demand reliability in the great outdoors.

At its core, the ETA High-Torque FØ6 movement, adorned with three jewels, ensures seamless timekeeping, and with two scales, ranging from 1 to 12 and 13 to 24, it grants the wearer a host of insights with effortless readability.

No darkness can stand in its way, thanks to the Tritium Gas Tubes, providing an illuminating experience like no other. Encased in a high-impact composite fibre shell, this watch exudes durability without compromising style. If you’re a minimalist, this is the watch for you.

Finally, a bi-directional bezel with a 12-hour scale reflects its versatility, and measuring a confident 41mm in diameter and 13mm in thickness, the Pilot’s Navigator sits comfortably on your wrist in all its blacked-out glory.

Not the best choice for diving, this ticker only offers 60m water resistance, which is fine for a splash but not for any journeys to the abyss, so keep that in mind if you’re a fan of the deep.

You can get this Marathon watch for around $450.

12. LÜM-TEC B49

Ultra-cool, thanks to its field watch sensibilities, the LÜM-TEC B49 is perhaps the most stylistically-versatile watch on this list. Crafted from 316L surgical-grade stainless steel, it’s got military-grade titanium carbide gunmetal PVD hard coating, which adds a touch of sophistication and hardiness, particularly with its bead-blast finish.

Although I would like it to be thinner, there’s nothing terribly wrong with the dimensions – 43mm in diameter and 13.5mm thick, inclusive of the domed sapphire crystal. This is a pretty standard watch in all of the right ways.

Powered by the Swiss Ronda 515.24H movement in a 24-hour format, the dial is rich in indices, but somehow, it doesn’t feel overcrowded. The anti-shock movement mounting system ensures seamless performance on bumpy terrain, while the curved sapphire, featuring military-grade inner AR coating, grants unparalleled clarity.

With a nylon military-style strap, matched gunmetal PVD hardware, and a matte black dial adorned with X1 grade Super-LumiNova, this watch looks as solid as it feels. A limited and numbered series of 500 worldwide, the LÜM-TEC B49 is not just a watch; it’s a lifetime investment. And a darn good one, for just $495.

13. Traser P99 Q Tactical Black (ref. 110723)

Delighting watch collectors and enthusiasts alike, the Traser brand is no stranger to innovation, being the watchmaking division of the very company responsible for the ubiquitous tritium gas tubes featured in the finest tactical timepieces.

When ‘tactical’ is right there in the name, you know you’re in for a treat. Traser excels in crafting watches tailored to the needs of police and military professionals, and this piece is no exception – a stealthy timepiece that’s undeniably functional.

The P99 Q Tactical Black is the perfect fusion of strength and precision, with 200 meters of water resistance, a 43mm case, and an uncluttered dial. Throw in a day-date function and the standard all-black finish, and you’ve got one heck of a tactical timepiece, even if it feels a bit clunky around the bezel. You can get it for $595.

14. Luminox SureFire 2211 Wristlight Tactical Watch

Designed to cater to savvy EDC enthusiasts and tactical watch geeks alike, Luminox’s SureFire 2211 is a weirdly wonderful addition to any collection, primarily due to its unorthodox, flashlight-centric shape.

At 51mm in case diameter, this Swiss quartz timepiece boasts a rotating bezel for precise event timing up to an hour, and a 3 o’clock date window, adding to its practicality. What sets this watch apart, though, is an extraordinary 300-lumen variable output side light built right into the timepiece, which offers a runtime of 1.5 hours on high output. 

With a runtime of up to 4 hours on medium output or a staggering 13 hours on low, this timepiece guarantees you’ll never have to be afraid of the dark again. And guess what? It’s reprogrammable with multiple settings, ensuring you get the exact brightness you require exactly when you need it. A bonus? The wrist light is USB rechargeable, so it’s battery-bank compatible!

As it’s not rated for water resistance, the SureFire 2211 is probably best kept on dry land, so if you’re looking to light up a shipwreck or coral reef, this might not be the watch for you. You can get the SureFire 2211 for $795.

15. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon (ref. 241859)

Enter the world of tactical prowess with the Victorinox I.N.O.X Carbon – a timepiece that boasts a carbon composite case, ensuring both durability and a lightweight feel. Its distinctive 43mm diameter and 13mm height make it an elegant yet powerful addition to any collection.

The Victorinox I.N.O.X Carbon Limited Edition is not just a pretty face; it’s a master of functionality. The Super-LumiNova lume illuminates the entire dial, offering high visibility in the dark, a feature you’ll be grateful for after sunset.

As for versatility, this ticker comes with three watch strap options: a paracord, a NATO strap, and a black rubber strap, allowing you to tailor your watch to your adventures.

While it may not have a dive bezel, the Victorinox I.N.O.X Carbon Limited Edition boasts an impressive 200M water resistance, ensuring your timepiece stays unfazed by unexpected aquatic encounters, and with a full-camo design, you’ll blend right into the greenery, be it seagrass or savanna. You can get it for $1,150.

16. Garmin Tactix 7 Pro Ballistics Edition

Garmin has really leaned into the multipart smartwatch market, and the Tactix 7 Pro Ballistics Edition truly exemplifies their efforts in that regard.

With its Power Sapphire solar charging lens, the sun provides unlimited endurance in the field. Battery life? A staggering 37 days in smartwatch mode.

Robustly constructed with a premium titanium bezel and fiber-reinforced polymer case, this watch is all about ruggedness, and it sure looks like it. I’ll put it this way: If you’re thinking of joining a SWAT team, this watch will help complete the look.

The Garmin Tactix 7 Pro Ballistics Edition boasts a built-in Applied Ballistics calculator, which allows you to calculate long-range shooting solutions right in the field, similar to the Suunto further up this list.

With multi-GNSS satellite reference and outdoor sensors, you can navigate your world with utmost precision and clarity. There’s nothing hard to understand here, and in fact, your only risk is getting a bit lost in the endless features of the Tactix 7 Pro, which include health and fitness modes, sports training, multiple maps, and lifestyle coaching apps, just to name a few. However, at $1599, your wallet will feel the cost of such capabilities.

17. Hamilton Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO (ref. H78505330)

Hamilton’s Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO is a timepiece that fuses lightweight titanium durability with unparalleled underwater performance. Water-resistant to an astounding 100 bar (1,000m) and armed with a helium escape valve, this watch is your perfect companion for aqueous adventures, and rather than being put to the test by you, it’ll do the pushing.

A stealthy 46mm titanium case treated with black PVD and secured by 4 distinct screws defines this watch as something outwardly tough, which might be why it’s featured in so many action films, such as The Martian, Central Intelligence, and Tenet.

Equipped with the automatic in-house, H-10 calibre movement, the BeLOWZERO delivers precision with every tick, and with a 38-hour reserve, you’ll likely never have to worry about losing track of time.

I love this timepiece not only because Hamilton is a great company but for its unique shape and undeniably sturdy build. It’s on the larger side of things, but for anyone that’s a fan of underwater timepieces, this is a must-own. You can get it for $1,945.

18. Marathon GSAR Large Diver’s Automatic (ref. WW194006BK)

At the heart of the GSAR Large Diver’s Automatic lies the robust ETA 2824-2 movement, a calibre that offers all the guarantees of reliability that one would expect from a Swiss movement. With a diameter of 41mm, this watch strikes the perfect balance between style and substance.

The edgy yet traditional-leaning, adorned with tritium-lumed elements, elevates readability in any lighting condition, providing more brightness than Super-LumiNova, for longer. With its textured bezel and crown, you won’t struggle when handling this thing in wet and slippery conditions. This watch is not just an accessory; it’s a tactical tool that demands to be used.

As with most of the watches on the list, this is an all-black rendering, and although I find the crown to be a tad too big, I can’t fault the design here. It is what it is – an unforgiving tool watch, built to be manhandled in tricky situations. It can be yours for around $1,500.

19. Sinn EZM 12 (ref. 112.010)

Introducing the Sinn EZM 12 – a purpose-built tool watch from the esteemed Frankfurt-based brand, Sinn. As part of the exclusive Einsatzzeitmesser series, this timepiece is a mission timer in its truest sense, designed to meet the unique needs of air rescue professionals.

With a 44mm x 14mm case of hardened steel and a black DLC-coated bi-directional bezel, this watch is a formidable companion, built to withstand the toughest challenges. Its ETA-based automatic movement is shielded from 80,000 A/m of magnetism, while the 200-meter water resistance makes it suitable for both deep-diving and high-flying endeavors.

The EZM 12’s brilliance lies in the specific design features that set it apart from the crowd of so-called ‘tool watches’ – two crowns, orange highlights, and multiple scales on the face and bezel ensure that Sinn’s authenticity shines through. This timepiece is purpose-built, undoubtedly.

Limited to just 300 pieces, the Sinn EZM 12 is a rare testament to Sinn’s dedication to quality and precision. Priced at $3,340, this is a watch that will speak loudly to a very particular buyer.

20. Panerai Submersible Forze Speciali (ref. PAM2239)

Priced at $30,400, the Submersible Forze Speciali is by far the most expensive watch on this list, and for good reason. Driven by the impressive Panerai P.9100/R calibre, this watch houses a complex 328-component movement, with two barrels granting a power reserve of 3 days. The Glucydur balance ensures unparalleled accuracy at 28,800 alternations/hour, complemented by the Incabloc anti-shock device for added resilience.

As you’d expect from Panerai, the case isn’t small – 47mm of solid titanium coated in DLC makes this a freakishly strong timepiece that feels just as big as it should be.

A watch with ‘Submersible’ in its name must mean business in the water. This timepiece is capable of getting you down to 300m, and its black dial, adorned with luminous hour markers and dots, boasts a chronograph hour counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock, ensuring the utmost legibility, wet or dry.

To complete this masterpiece, the watch comes with a stylish black Caoutchouc Accordeon strap which is every bit as comfortable as you would expect. This looks, feels, and behaves like the most luxurious watch on this list because it is, and if you can afford to foot the bill, you absolutely should.

Tactical Means Practical, To The Very End

From the rugged resilience of Casio’s G-Shock to the exquisite craftsmanship of Panerai’s Submersible Forze Speciali, we witnessed the artistry of renowned watchmakers dedicated to purpose-built excellence.

Now, armed with the knowledge of the 20 best tactical watches, you’re ready to seize the day with a timepiece that reflects your daring spirit and impeccable taste. Let your wrist become the canvas for horological brilliance, and let your adventures be timed to perfection. Most importantly, don’t get lost!

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