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What Watch Do Special Forces Wear

what watch do special forces wear

For all the watch lovers out there, there are many types as per their choice – this can be according to the profession, class, color, style, etc. The highest trained military personnel are usually the United States Special Forces. These people usually use special force type watches as they have many features that will help with their work. These watches may also be helpful in conducting special operations.  

These watches are successful in passing all the tests that a special force needs. These watches will easily work in all climates and under any heavy circumstances as these are built for it. 

History Of The Military Wristwatch 

Everything has a history – also the watches. The watches are considered as one of the main accessories just after the first world war. Now all of these wristwatches are considered as the ultimate fashion statement. Earlier pocket watches were used by men rather than the ones tied on the wrist.  were thought of as solely the fashion choice of women. If it is on the battlefield, then soldiers can make this pocket watch to tie it on the wrists according to their ease of access as well as usage.  

When it became World War II, standard watches were used more. Even in this case, some officers used watches that complimented their professionalism. There were also field watches so that it has flash and various other features. These were mainly featured as uncomplicated so that officers can easily use it and do a quick synchronization.

The function is always considered more than fashion and hence these watches are preferred. The MIL-W-46374, originally issued in 1964, can be said as the starting era of military watches. These watches were totally revised seven times so that the military watch was introduced in the year 1999. This was launched with a completely new look. There were many specifications and the case materials had great standards. Water-resistant features were also considered an important priority. Magnetic resistance, as well as shock resistance, were also considered. Some of these watches are even fit for navigation and for diving purposes. 

These watches may not be the best in quality or in durability but should have all the technical features that will help the special force. A high degree of accuracy should always be the first priority for these kinds of watches. These watches were not expected to live long but remain accurate whenever it works. Accurate timing whether day or night is very much essential. When the dial has a luminous background, then it is more than enough. 

There were many updates given to these military watches. In 1999, stricter military specs were published in the model MIL-PRF-46374. The watch should withstand all the changing climatic changes such as winter, rain, heat, etc.

The Marathon Military Navigator watch is one of the famous one used by the special forces. This is of Type III which comes under the Class 1 US Government Specifications. The watch was initially made in co-relation to the marathon theme. These were requested by officials at the air force base. The pilots were provided with these kinds of watches which were able to withstand extreme changes in temperature, pressure, and altitude.

The Marathon Navigator watch was launched by the government. This watch was mainly used by the special forces of Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a well-designed watch which has. a rugged feature. This is just like a watch that is fit to participate in the battle. There is a special fiber case as it is a military watch. This watch is very much durable as well as accurate. The water-resistant feature of this watch is great as it is up to 200 feet. Therefore the special force can use this watch for swimming, underwater as well as diving purposes. The main problem caused by condensation in the watch will not happen here due to this feature.  

Watches Of Today Used By Special Forces

These watches of today used by the special forces can be maintainable while others are still non-maintainable. But all of them have many features. This all happened from the original 1964 variety. Watches are both mechanical and electrical quality. These are battery-powered watches when it is of electrical nature. The watch should always function when it is needed. 

Watches Used by Special Forces

Even though there are issues for all types of watches, certain watches are designed for special forces. Military personnel is considered and special watches are made for them. These watches should meet the special official specifications.

Which Watch To Choose To Get The Best Performance?

In fact, choosing a military watch or a watch for a special force is difficult. There aren’t many watches that come under this category. It is essential that you get the best watch for all the features that you want at an average price. You should also need to get comfortable strapped watches. 

Watches always contribute to the personality of the wearer. This has got an inner personal meaning. What all tested in the field can be said by looking at the watches designed for special forces. Accuracy, durability, and low cost are often considered for the effect watch used by the special forces. 

These watches are called green berets watches. These will promise toughness and durability. The watch if tactical is also an added feature. Not only the watch should tell the time but also it should help an operator to survive as well as accomplish his special forced mission. 

The most commonly used brands for the watches used by the special forces are from Timex to Rolex. Not all watches from these brands are the best – but there are few of them. These essential timepieces have their own value. The most commonly used watch brands for these purposes are G-Shock, Rolex, Casio, Suunto, and Timex.

The Specifications needed For Special Forces 

Even though the watch is an accessory, it is also a tool for the special force. A minimum set of specifications are always necessary for these kinds of watches. The main factors are as follows :


This is an important factor for the special forced watch. Even if it is night time, whenever the special forces are on duty, they should see the dial. The readability of the watch should be always high. It should be very much easy to read at a glance. This is the first feature that is needed for a special force watch. 


The watch should be none -reflective as discussed. This is because when they go for duty, reflections should not show and give signals to the enemies. 

Water Resistance: 

As already discussed, water resistant feature should be high for these kind of watches. If it is eater resistant to 200 m or more then it is a good watch for a special force. It is also fit for underwater divers. Never choose any watch less than 200m. 


This is a factor that should be considered for all the watches even if it is an SF watch. When the watch is highly durable, you will never need to replace it every even and now. The watch will be able to withstand all the climatic conditions as well as all the situations. 

Good Strap

A good strapped watch is always an added advantage. When it is a special force watch, then it should have a good quality strap. It should stay comfortable on your wrist. 

Night-time Visibility:

The watch should have a luminous dial as well as luminous hands. Then only it will be suitable enough to use at night times when the special force is on night duty. Whenever you want to see the time even in the darkness, this feature will be helpful.  

Timing Mechanism: 

A great timing mechanism is always good for special force watches. There will be a rotating timing bezel which is a stopwatch function. This feature is always good in addition.  Read mens watches with day and date display.

Some of the special force watches 

There aren’t many but some of the major special force watches can be explained here with their pros and cons. 

Casio G-Shock GW6900

Casio Men's G-Shock

This is a perfect special force watch with great specifications. These watches are cheap as well as reliable. These are also tactical and gives a cool look. The watch jas great durability. There are even solar G-Shock watches available in the market which work without batteries. This is a tough solar spot watch. 

Pros :

  • These watches are waterproof
  •  shockproof
  • smash-proof and scratch-resistant
  • Durable
  • Cheap
  • Stylish to look at

Cons :

  • no manual setting of the watch in any circumstances 

G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

This is another G-shock watch which comes under the rangeman category. 

Pros :

  • Presence of altimeter, thermometer as well as barometer
  • Can be used in harsh conditions
  • Has a digital compass with it to locate your exact direction 
  • Battery level indicator
  • Auto calendar
  • Atomic timekeeping

Cons :

  • Bulk looking watch
  • No vibratory alarm

Rolex GMT-Master II”Pepsi” Men’s Luxury Watch

Rolex GMT-Master

The Rolex brand has established itself as a prominent watch brand for the special forces. This is the GMT watch having a second-time zone which is in military time. The case diameter of the watch is 40mm. The watch has a black dial.

Pros :

  • Simple looking watch 
  • GMT watch
  • Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour marking
  • Easy and soft clasp
  • Scratch-resistant 

Cons :

  • Design is outdated

Casio Men’s Triple Sensor Multi-Function Watch

This is a multi-function sport watch from Casio. This is a triple function watch that is specially designed for special force men.

Pros :

  • Watch has altimeter
  • Barometer is available 
  • The watch has Thermometer
  • Digital compass is available to get exact direction
  • The watch will function without a battery in solar power
  • Auto led backlight and afterglow feature

Cons :

  • Compass rotate dial is not of that good quality
  • Strap of the watch is not that comfortable to wear

Suunto Core All Black Military Men’s Outdoor Sports Watch

This is an outdoor men’s watch that is specifically designed for special forced men. The watch has a barometer, altimeter, thermometer as well as digital compass. 

Pros :

  • Stopwatch
  • Storm alarm
  • Special look of the watch
  • Sunrise and sunset times

Cons :

  • Not that durable compared with the Casio brand

Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40 Watch

This watch from the Timex brand has Arabic numerals and a big dial. The case diameter of the watch is 40mm. 

Pros :

  • Luminous hand and dial
  • Date window
  • Adjustable and comfortable nylon strap
  • Cool looking watch

Cons :

  • Water-resistance only up to 50 m
  • Changing the date is very difficult
  • The watch is very loud -makes huge noise

Special Tips to Consider Before Opting for A Special Force watch

When you opt for a special force watch, there are some special tips worth to be considered. When you want more features for the watch, then your watch will consume more power. Hence it is always good to have medium features and make the watch have a solar panel so that batteries are never needed. Do not let your watch drain it’s battery when you are out in the field. The barometer, compass, thermometer, etc will completely use up your battery hence it is always best to have solar charging. This is highly recommended. 

Always consider guides and writeups before choosing a brand that will serve your purpose. It is also recommended to read and analyze other users’ reviews on the watch brands. You can finalize which are features you need in your watch and which budget you need. You can then plan accordingly. If you want a particular feature along with a particular look, then this also can be considered. If you are precise about a particular brand then you will get many options. You can easily choose from it according to your preference. 


So this is about what watch do special forces wear? Not only a thing to know the time, but the watches for special force can also be used as a toolkit. Apart from time, there are many features as discussed above. If you are from a special force, then these watches are worth considering. Read best watches for law enforcement