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The name military watches might be misleading for some.
You don’t have to be a US Army soldier or a Navy officer to be able to wear one.
On the other hand, the watch doesn’t have to boast a camouflage design to be considered military.
In short, military watches are timepieces that are built to withstand extreme conditions, e.g. extremely hot or cold temperatures, trauma, dust, deep dives underwater, and so on. In other words, they’re designed to take a hell of a beating.
Whether you’re preparing for your next mission or simply want an everyday carry timepiece that can stand the test of time, a military watch is what you should focus on.
As things stand, there are numerous watchmakers that specialize in long-lasting and affordable timekeepers so choosing one might be quite a challenge!
To help you with this daunting task, in today’s article we will cover the best military watches under 200 bucks.
Catering to different tastes, we’ve provided mini-reviews for as many as 11 military watch models.
Let’s start with a look a the Top 3.
Additionally, at the bottom of the article you will find a Buying Guide in case none of the watches appeal to you.
Without further ado, let’s go!
Top 3 Military Watches Under 200
1. G-Shock Mudman G9300
Unsurprisingly, we open the list with what are arguably the toughest watches on the planet, the famous Casio G-Shocks.
- Check also: Best G-Shock Military Watches
The G9300 model listed above belongs to the Mudman collection which has been designed especially with military personnel in mind.
As the name of the line suggests, the timepiece offers additional protection against mud – a feature that is present in quite a small number of G-Shock models. The mud resistance is of course an addition to the ever-present shock and water resistance. The model can withstand depths of up to 200m.
One of the most impressive features of this excellent G-Shock release is the fact that it’s solar-powered. Utilizing the patented Tough Solar technology, the watch is powered by any form of light. That means it’s almost impossible for the watch to ever run out of fuel. In fact, it can survive as long as 8 months without any exposure to light.
Additional premium features that will probably appeal to you include:
- Digital Compass – using the magnetic field of the earth, the watch is able to accurately determine direction
- Thermometer – accurately displays outside temperature
- Moon Data – helps determine whether the nighttime hours will be dark or light
Of course, the watch also offers G-Shock standard functions such as a stopwatch, auto-calendar, and daily alarms. For easy use after dusk, the EL backlight with the afterglow effect should be of great help.
Finally, if you’re indeed part of military personnel, the option to mute the operation button can be essential during a mission.
Looks-wise, the model is the essence of masculinity – like most G-Shocks are.
It comes with an oversized stainless steel case, measuring 53mm in diameter. Both the case and the resin band are pitch black.
The digital display of the watch is protected by highly durable glass, made from scratch-resistant mineral crystal.
Like all Casio watches, this one is powered by a Japanese quartz movement. It ensures excellent accuracy of +/- 15 seconds/month.
All things considered, we think it’s by far the best military watch under $200.
2. Timex Expedition Scout 40
If the G-Shock Mudman discussed above is asking too much of your current budget, this Timex timepiece is an excellent alternative that can be snatched for peanuts.
Granted, it might not come with as many perks as our top pick but it’s still a great-looking military watch providing excellent value.
The Scout 40 model belongs to Timex’s Expedition collection which is probably the most sturdy in the American watchmaker’s entire offer.
If you’re after a typical military watch design, even better! There are not many that send stronger army vibes than this one.
The watch boasts a dark green, military-inspired nylon strap that blends neatly with the brass case. Naturally, the watch wears considerably smaller than the Mudman as its diameter is merely 40mm. Such sizing makes it an equally fine choice for ladies!
Thanks to the large Arab numerals, the analog display provides excellent legibility. It’s further boosted thanks to Timex’s patented Indiglo Light-up technology, as well as luminous hour and minute hands.
Additionally, the inner rim shows military time. There’s also a date window positioned at 3 o’clock.
Protecting the watch from cracks and scratches is mineral crystal glass.
Similar to the G-Shock model above, Timex Scout 50 runs on Japanese quartz caliber.
3. Suunto Core
Rounding up the top 3 list is Suunto Core, one of the favorite outdoor watches under $200 in the market.
The Finnish brand might not be as well known a name as Casio or Timex but these watches are a popular choice amongst people who love outdoors and testing environments. Not without a reason, it was also featured on our list of Best ABC Watches.
- You might also like: Top Suunto Watches for Hiking
The Core model is considered one of the best value watches in the entire Suunto’s offer.
The great thing about it is: on one hand it won’t break the bank but on the other, it offers some excellent features that aren’t available with the previous two military timepieces.
For example, it has built-in ABC sensors. The altimeter and barometer will keep you updated with the latest altitude and atmospheric pressure data, while the compass will navigate your way easily.
Another excellent perk offered by Suunto Core is the Storm Alarm function. Using the altimeter and barometer data, it can predict any sudden weather changes and therefore keep you safe on your track.
Also quite useful are the depth meter for snorkeling and the Sunrise/Sunset tracker.
Probably the weakest point of this otherwise excellent military timepiece is rather modest water resistance (up to 30m).
When it comes to the exterior, Suunto Core is constructed pretty solidly.
The case is made from highly durable composite and includes an aluminum bezel ring. The elastomer band is equally rugged.
Akin to the previous two military watches on the list, this one has also a fairly strong protection against cracks and scratches thanks to the mineral crystal glass.
The timepiece is the first one we discuss today that has a negative digital display.
Military Tactical Watches Under 200: Alternatives
4. Citizen BM8180-03E
Opening up the list of alternative picks is this neatly-looking, military-inspired timepiece from Citizen.
Next to Casio and Seiko (which we will cover further down in the article), Citizen is considered another Japanese watchmaking mogul.
As a fun fact, it’s worth pointing out that this watch has been first released in 2007. Considering the fact that it’s still being sold in high numbers 15 years later tells you all you need to know about the value it provides. It’s also one of the least expensive Citizen models around.
- Read also: Citizen Brand Review
Perhaps the biggest selling point of this and the vast majority of newly-released Citizen watch models is the Eco-Drive movement. This was the world’s first light-powered movement, initially launched in 1976, that could run on natural, artificial, or low light without ever needing to replace the battery.
Thanks to the combination of pitch-black dial and large Arab numerals, the timepiece offers excellent legibility. It’s further boosted by the presence of Natulite luminous paint in all three hands as well as hour indices.
Additionally, the dial features a day & date window positioned at 3 o’clock.
The military-green nato strap is made from nylon while the case is stainless steel. The watch measures merely 37mm which means it won’t look out of place on a slender wrist of a woman, either.
The sturdiness of the timepiece is ensured by scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass and water resistance up to 100m.
Naturally, it utilizes Japanese quartz movement with an industry-standard accuracy of +/- 15 seconds/monthly.
5. Seiko SNK803
A list of military-inspired watch models wouldn’t feel fair without the inclusion of another Japanese powerhouse, Seiko.
- Read also: Seiko Brand Review
The fact that this watch is usually listed for less than $100 and yet it’s equipped with highly-reliable Japanese automatic movement is a huge incentive for many.
Akin to a lion’s share of Seiko automatic models, this one also boasts a beautiful exhibition caseback through which you can peek at the intricate workings of the automatic mechanism.
At the front, the inconspicuous beige dial seems tailor-made for military use. The outer rim includes minute indices with luminescent dots for easy time-telling in any light. The inner circle, on the other hand, features hour indexes in 12h format. To further improve legibility, all three hands glow in the dark. Additionally, at three o’clock positioned is a window displaying day and date.
The watch comes with a unisex 37mm stainless steel case and a nylon nato strap that blends beautifully with the dial.
Unfortunately, the water resistance is pretty weak. Rated at just 30m, it means the watch is splashproof.
6. Citizen CA4210-24E
If you are after a military watch with a chronograph feature, you can’t go wrong with this Citizen model.
The chronograph function can be extremely useful in all spheres of life, military personnel included. In the case of this model, the chronographs allow you to measure elapsed time in hours, minutes, and seconds. Responsible for operating the chronograph feature is the two pushers located on each side of the main crown.
Because of the inclusion of chronograph timers, the dial is pretty busily-arranged. The fact that on top of the three chronograph sub-dials it has also managed to squeeze in an inner circle with a 12h format, as well as a dial window between 4 and 5 o’clock, means the legibility is not as great as with the previous models discussed today. Certainly, it might not be for everyone.
Thankfully, nighttime time-telling is possible thanks to the luminescent hands and indices.
The presence of three additional sub-dials means that the watch wears fairly big. The stainless case has a diameter of 45mm. This model is equipped with a genuine leather strap.
The eventful watch face is protected from damage by scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass. Adding to the ruggedness is fairly impressive water resistance (up to 100m).
Since the timepiece is a chronograph, it’s no wonder the mechanism is quartz. Like in the case of the first Citizen model on the list, it’s powered by the Eco-Drive technology meaning it never runs out of fuel.
7. Casio PAG240-1CR
Casio’s G-Shock line isn’t the only one that presents you with an excellent choice of military watches.
The model you see above belongs to the Pro-Trek collection which is just as popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts as it is among military personnel.
Pro-Trek watches are as enduring as their G-Shock counterparts. In fact, apart from water resistance which isn’t as good (most models offer protection up to 100m), they can be even more sturdy!
Casio Pro-Trek PAG240 is as steely as they get. It’s the sole model on today’s list of best military watches under 200 that is made from titanium! Well, its bracelet is as the case utilizes industry-standard stainless steel.
Characteristically for a powerful Casio timepiece, it wears pretty big with a diameter of 51mm.
The watch is jam-packed with features we can describe as extremely useful for military purposes. Definitely, what deserves a mention is the inclusion of ABC sensors (altimeter, barometer, compass) that can be operated with a single push of one of the buttons on the right side of the bezel. The watch also has a thermometer.
Similar to our top military pick at the start of the article, this model uses Tough Solar technology which means it never runs out of battery. It’s also resistant to low temperature and water (up to 100m).
Unsurprisingly for a digital Casio watch, it comes with a wide range of additional functions, such as:
- Auto EL backlight with Afterglow
- Pre-installed calendar up to 2099
- Daily alarms
The ability to mute the button function sounds should also be appreciated by military folks.
Like all Casio watches, this one is powered by a Japanese quartz movement.
8. Armitron 40/8445DGN
If you’re looking to spend peanuts but still get a fairly capable military timepiece, look no further.
Armitron might not be anywhere near other brands mentioned today in terms of quality and worldwide recognition. However, their timepieces are listed at bargain-basement price points and are definitely a good, low-risk investment.
Armitron is another American watchmaker on today’s list. The majority of their watches are very reminiscent of Casio G-Shocks although they’re certainly not as well constructed and don’t come with anywhere near the number of features Casio timepieces do. However, considering the pricing, this is completely understandable.
The model we included on the list boasts a military-inspired design. Both the 50mm case and the bracelet are made from resin. The material is extremely sturdy and a breeze to clean. The low-budget category means the timepiece comes with an acrylic dial window instead of one made from mineral crystal. Again, no complaints here considering the price.
What’s good, the timepiece offers solid protection against water damage with a water resistance rating up to 100m.
The timepiece might not offer any premium perks but some essentials are on board. These include:
- lap time
- dual time
- military time
The watch also has an EL backlight, ensuring easy reading after dusk.
Finally, Armitron 40/8445DGN is powered by a Japanese-made quartz movement. The accuracy is roughly +/- 15 seconds/month.
9. Nixon Regulus A1180
Rounding up the list of American watch brands on today’s list of best military watches under 200 is Nixon.
Since the 1997 foundation, the California-based watchmaker has focused on producing hard-to-beat yet fashionable wristwatches that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
- Read also: Nixon Brand Review
The model you see above belongs to Nixon’s Regulus line which is one of the most sturdy and affordable in the entire offer. For the purpose of today’s article, we’ve selected a model with the strongest military vibes but there are many other color variations to pick from.
Definitely, one of Regulus A1180’s standout features is the rectangular case. It measures 46mm in diameter and is made from a form of plastic (polycarbonate). The band is made from the same sturdy and easy-to-clean material but the black bezel is stainless steel. Between the bottom of the bezel and the military-themed strap, there are two buttons with which you can operate the watch functions.
And since we’ve touched on the subject of functions…
This Regulus model offers the following:
- dual time
- 12h or 24h time format
- day & date
- pre-installed calendar until 2099
- dual chronograph with 1/100 second resolution
- daily alarms
The watch also offers a silent mode which can be extremely useful if you’re on a mission.
The high-contrast LCD screen is extremely legible and offers a powerful LED backlight should you need it.
Last but not least, Regulus can easily absorb shocks and is water-resistant up to 100m.
10. Timex T2N721
T2N721 is the second Timex wristwatch on the list and it’s arguably the most classy-looking military watch discussed today.
The watch boasts a beautiful brown leather strap that combines neatly with the silver stainless steel case and beige dial. The case measures 45mm in diameter and features a bezel with compass markings.
The watch certainly looks classy but that doesn’t mean it’s weak in terms of functions.
Apart from offering a highly reliable compass, Timex T2N721 is also equipped with a thermometer that can accurately measure air and water temperature. On top of this, it also offers tide tracking allowing you to count down to high or low tide. Without a doubt, it’s one of if not the most feature-rich analog timepiece designed by the American brand.
Solid durability standards are ensured by the presence of scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass and waterproofness. The model can withstand depths of up to 100m.
Just like the previous Timex model on the list, T2N721 is a battery-powered timepiece utilizing a Japanese quartz movement.
11. Avtrek Apache
Closing the list of the best military watches under $200 is by far the least-known brand discussed in today’s article.
Avtrek is a microbrand focusing on designing durable tactical timepieces which are affordable for everyone. The Apache model you see above is the brand’s most popular release, offering quite a number of useful military features.
The watch is equipped with ABC sensors, meaning it’s capable of measuring altitude and air pressure, as well as helping you get around in more testing environments.
Avtrek Apache also offers a couple of smartwatch-like features in the form of a pedometer and calories counter.
Other functions that can be deemed useful for military use include:
- dual time
- 12h/24h time format
- date/week display
- powerful backlight
The functions can be navigated with the help of the pushers on each side of the bezel. The data is viewed on the negative LCD display.
When it comes to the exterior, the watch boasts an all-black masculine design.
It wears pretty big, with the case measuring 50mm in diameter. The case is made from stainless steel while the band uses nylon material. Both are extremely durable.
Unfortunately, the low price of this model compensates for the lower quality of the watch glass. The watch has a plastic window which might not be as durable as the mineral glass utilized by most timepieces discussed in the article.
Military Watches Under 200 Vs. Military Dress Code
I’m hoping that the list of the finest military watches under $200 has helped you find at least one model that suits your preferences and needs.
Also, you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s permissible to wear timepieces in the military any longer.
There are no clear limits on the matter when it comes to official paperwork. However, it is recommended that the watch design be maintained basic and modest. The good news is that every military watch on the list checks both conditions.
Below find the official statements from each branch:
- The U.S. Army: “Soldier may wear a wristwatch with Army uniforms unless prohibited b the commander for safety or health reasons (…) Any jewelry or monitor worn by Soldiers while in uniform or in civilian clothes on duty must be conservative.” Source: U.S. Army Official Website
- The U.S. Navy: “Wristwatch / Bracelets. While in uniform, only one of each may be worn.” Source: U.S. Navy Official Website
- The U.S. Air Force: “Conservative examples (not all-inclusive) are solid color black, brown, silver or gold. Prohibited examples are diamond-covered, neon, bright colors, and bands that exceed 1-inch width.” Source: U.S. Air Force Official Website
- The U.S. Marine Corps: “Inconspicuous watches are authorized for wear in uniform.” Source: U.S. Marine Corps Official Website