The US Navy’s special operation force was initially developed as underwater combat specialists commonly referred to as SEALs. They are highly trained in carrying out small-unit operations in the urban, ocean, jungle, desert, and arctic environments. The Navy SEALs are sometimes issued watches that they wear on a mission though most of the time these watches are individually owned. These watches are curated from some specialized brands like Luminox, Casio G-Shock, Tudor, Timex, Seiko dive watches, Rolex, and Suunto. All these watches have mission-critical specifications that are invaluable to operators.
Minimum Watch Specifications for Underwater Operations
Watches have to meet certain requirements for being deemed worthy of being worn by a SEAL. Various criteria among these are included in the ISO-6425 specifications regarding the factors a watch has to fulfill in order to be considered as a dive watch:
- Since the watch is about to be submerged, it should have adequate water resistance, whether used for an underwater demo exercise or a coastal recon. Watches with 100m water resistance can get the job done without any leaks. However, the best-suited watches for this activity are the Diver’s 200m or ISO-6425 certified ones.
- Other than being just water resistant, a navy SEAL’s watch should also be shock-resistant so that it becomes easy to apprehend a target with physical force. The shock resistance attribute is also helpful while wearing the watch underwater as its water-seal integrity might be compromised if a watch receives shock under pressure. This is why it is preferable to opt for 200m water resistance rather than 100m even when you are diving only to 50m.
- In underwater environments, wearing a watch that is easy to read is helpful. You can wear a watch having luminous materials applied to the hour markers and hands, tritium tubes, or a backlight button in the case of digital watches. The analog watches should have a lume on the second hand to easily verify the details in near-darkness when the watch is working.
- Ideally, the watch should be such that you can read it at a glance. The last thing you would want is to have to scrutinize the watch and double-check the time. A high-contrast dial that’s highly legible is perfect for such causes.
- As a navy SEAL, you can get a quality watch for getting the job done for a few hundred bucks. Most of the watches on this list are extremely affordable.
What watches do Navy SEALs wear on missions?
As per the United States Government, there is no official watch for the Navy SEALs. These are individual preferences based on a variety of factors like weight, purpose, and functionality. You can take the example of Jocko Willink, a famous SEAL lieutenant commander of Team 3, who likes wearing the Timex Ironman watch because of its practicality, robustness, and affordability. Former Navy SEAL Richard Machowicz, on the other hand, prefers the Suunto Core Watch courtesy of its multi-function digital capabilities.
10 Popular Watches that Navy SEALs wear
Navy SEALs is the term used to refer to the United States Navy Sea, Air, and Land Teams jointly. The SEAL’s official watch is the Luminox and its latest variant is the Navy SEAL 3600 series.
1. G-Shock DW6900
This durable and lightweight watch comes with a resin casing making it your everyday companion. The watch is accompanied by a tough mineral glass that resists scratching and a digital display. Its electro-luminescent panel fosters easy reading as the entire face glows. A shock-resistant attribute buffers against vibration and shock. The watch is water resistant to 20 bar (ISO 2281) making it well suited for scuba diving. The G-Shock DW6900 comes with an LED light that starts flashing when the countdown timer, alarm, or stopwatch ends.
2. Casio G-Shock G-Move HRM GPS
With up to 200 meters of water resistance, the Casio Men’s G-Shock Move can be the perfect watch for navy SEALs. An LED backlight helps in reading the watch at a glance. The watch features a shatter-resistant screen that can withstand bumps and scratches. There is also a built-in stopwatch to measure the time of different activities. Additional features like a thermometer, compass, barometer, and altimeter further add to its functionality.
3. Luminox 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark
This watch was designed in collaboration with the Navy SEAL Foundation and bears their logo on the case back. The diver’s bezel and protected crown make the watch water-resistant up to 200 meters. The Luminox lighting system guarantees easy readability in every scenario without any additional energy supply. This Swiss-manufactured watch delivers a constant glow for up to 40 years. Although it doesn’t have any LED light, it helps in time reading with the night vision illuminated tubes.
4. Luminox 3581 Navy SEAL Chronograph Sports Watch
Termed by many as the ultimate night vision and outdoor watch, the Luminox 3581 Navy SEAL chorograph model delivers water resistance up to 200 meters. It is made of shatter-resistant glass and is accompanied by a stopwatch feature. Though the watch doesn’t have any built-in LED light, it helps in time reading with a glowing face.
5. Timex Ironman
The Timex Ironman Classic 30 can fit up to 8-inch wrist circumference with its adjustable black 16mm resin strap. Both forward and backward prompts become easy coupled with their on-screen prompts. The watch remains water resistant up to 100 meters making it well suited for swimming, snorkeling, and similar activities.
6. Seiko Dive Watches SKX007K Automatic
This perfect everyday watch can also be worn to work or as you try out various sports. Coupled with 200 meters of water resistance, this watch boasts mechanical movement. It delivers high luminosity for dark dives alongside a reliable unidirectional bezel making it a thing of beauty. With a case diameter of 45.0mm, the Seiko SKX007K might seem too bulky for some but is the perfect rugged choice for those who prefer manly watches. The watch has both self and automatic winding capabilities and a power reserve that lasts for approximately 41 hours.
7. Garmin tactix® Delta
The Garmin tactix® Delta can get you ready for your upcoming adventure with features like ‘kill switch’ that wipes the device of all user memory whenever its security is compromised, ‘stealth mode that allows both storing and sharing your GPS position, and ‘night vision capability that fosters making the easy switch between night time and daytime view. The watch comes encased in fiber-reinforced polymer with a metal rear cover and has a lens made of domed sapphire crystal. It remains water resistant up to 100 meters.
8. Suunto Core
SEALs on the lookout for a watch filled with mission-critical features can bank on the Suunto Core which blends in the best features of an altimeter, barometer, and electronic compass. Some other features of this watch are a stopwatch, clock, and calendar. The USP of this watch lies in its ‘dual time’ view so that you can easily make out the time in another time zone.
9. Rolex Submariner Black Dial Ceramic Bezel Steel Watch
Channel your inner James Bond wearing the Rolex Submariner featuring a 904L oystersteel case with a unidirectional rotatable bezel. Its black dial features luminous hour markers so that you don’t face any difficulty in reading time during your underwater antics. The watch offers excellent water resistance up to 300 meters making it well suited for navy SEAL activities.
10. Nautica NST Stainless Steel Black Resin Watch
The stainless-steel chronograph watches from Nautica feature 100 meters of water resistance making them a preferred choice of navy SEALs. It has an analog display and is accompanied by a stopwatch feature for adding to its functionality.
Latest posts by Bruno Lee (see all)
- How to Wear Wife Beater Outfits for Men? - March 3, 2023
- Why Polarized Sunglasses are Better? - September 14, 2022
- Which Watches Appreciate in Value? - September 12, 2022