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The Best Rugged Watches You Can Buy

Because sometimes you just need a watch you can beat the hell out of.

Gear Patrol

There’s always one in every family — the person who beats the living crap out of his or her gear, whether on purpose or by accident. Maybe that's you or someone you’re shopping for, and if a watch is on your list you'll want to make sure it can really take a beating.

But this doesn’t mean that you should buy a cheap, throwaway item — while this is certainly one course of action, investing in a serious, rugged watch that will last for years is the best way to get true value for your money. Here are 15 rugged watches that run the gamut with respect to aesthetics, feature set and price.

Casio G-Shock DW5600E-1V

$48.59 (35% off)

Probably the best $45 you can spend in the watch world. The DW5600E is a classic “beater” watch — it’s nearly impossible to destroy, and if you do manage to destroy it, you’re probably not going to worry too much about it. With its built-in alarm and stopwatch, this is a watch that’s meant to be put through its paces. If you actually enjoy this watch, as many of us do, consider upgrading to a model with Tough Solar (solar charging).

Diameter: 42.8mm
Movement: Quartz
Water resistance: 200m

Timex x Todd Snyder Military


Based on a Timex design from the 1970s and updated with modern case proportions, a hardened mineral glass crystal and a quartz movement, the 40mm Timex X Todd Snyder Military watch is perfect for the field. And with its nylon slip-through strap and its 24-hour dial, you wouldn’t be remiss for mistaking it for an issued military watch.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Quartz
Water resistance: 50m

Orient Mako II


It’s tough to argue with a dive watch that has an in-house automatic movement, unidirectional 120-click bezel, steel bracelet and 200m of water resistance for only under or around $200. Available with a few dial variants, this is a watch that punches way above its weight class, and looks great both in just about any environment.

Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Orient F6922 automatic
Water resistance: 200m

Seiko 5 Sports

$260.00 (20% off)

Building on the legacy of Seiko's popular, robust and once super affordable SKX007 dive watch — which is now discontinued and commanding higher prices — is the modern Seiko 5 Sports collection. The dive-style version might only be water-resistant to a still quite sufficient 100m (rather than the SKX's 200m), but it's more refined and comes in myriad variants, with more added seemingly by the day. With its automatic movement and legible day-date dial, you're going to love it on a NATO strap.

Diameter: 42.5mm
Movement: Seiko 4R36 automatic
Water resistance: 100m

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Tough


The Promaster Tough is powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, which charges via ambient light and never requires a battery or a service. Pair this with an ultra-tough, monocoque case that’s 5x harder than regular steel, Super Lumi-Nova-lined hands and markers and extreme resistance to shock and magnetism, and you’ve got a watch that can should last just about forever.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement: Citizen Ec0-Drive E168 solar-charging quartz
Water resistance: 200m

Marathon Pilot's Navigator


Developed at the request of Kelley Air Force Base for use by pilots and paratroopers, the Navigator is a tough-as-nails military watch. Featuring an asymmetric case, 12-hour bezel, quartz movement and tritium tubes for illumination in low-light conditions, this mil-spec timepiece arrives ready for anything.

Diameter: 41mm
Movement: ETA FØ6 quartz
Water resistance: 60m

Suunto Core Alpha

$134.95 (38% off)

The Core Alpha is a serious outdoors watch for the serious outdoorsman. If its robust feature set wasn’t enough, you get hunting and fishing features including altimeter, barometer, compass, sunrise/sunset times, weather functions, storm alerts and more. It’s also water-resistant to 30m, suitable for freediving, so there’s no need to baby it.

Diameter: 49.5mm
Movement: Quartz
Water resistance: 30m

Luminox Original Navy SEAL Evo Watch 3001


Luminox has been making watches for the U.S. Navy SEALs for years now, and the 3001 encapsulates much of what a special operator might look for in a watch. It features a Carbonox case, 300m of water resistance, black rubber strap, tritium tube illumination and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal.

Diameter: 43mm
Movement: Ronda 515 HH6 quartz
Water resistance: 200m

Alsta Nautoscaph IV


While perhaps most famous as the watch actor Richard Dreyfuss wore in the movie Jaws, the Alsta Nautoscaph stands on its own as a robust skin diver, perfect for the water regardless of whether or not a shark attack is imminent. With an automatic Seiko NH35 movement and a case that’s waterproof down to 300m, the Nautoscaph II is pure 1960s looks with a 2020s feature set.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Seiko NH35 automtaic
Water resistance: 300m

Damasko DK30


Damasko has been quietly making some of the best affordable tool watches out there, and their DK30 in particular is an excellent modern example. Featuring a 39mm hardened submarine steel case, in-house movement and ultra-legible dial, the DK30 is the perfect everyday watch for the adventurer.

Diameter: 39mm
Movement: Damasko A26-1 automatic
Water resistance: 200m

Sinn 556 A


With their long history of producing utilitarian timepieces, Sinn has just about perfected the modern tool watch. The 556 A features a 38.5mm case, an automatic movement with date, a stainless steel bracelet, a screw-down crown and case back and water resistance down to 20 bar, meaning it’s ready for whatever life has to throw at it.

Diameter: 38.5mm
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic
Water resistance: 200m

Mido Ocean Star 600 Chronometer


While Mido may not be the first brand to come to mind when considering dive watches, their updated Ocean Star Diver 600 is proof that the brand can compete when it comes to timepieces meant for the water. Featuring a ceramic bezel insert, helium escape valve and a COSC-certified automatic movement with a silicon balance spring and 80 hours of power reserve, this 43.5mm diver is water-resistant down to 600m.

Diameter: 43.5mm
Movement: ETA C07.821 automatic
Water resistance: 600m


Bremont Martin Baker MB Savanna


Originally designed in conjunction with English ejection seat manufacturer Martin Baker, Bremont's line of watches is clearly meant to withstand shocks that would cripple a typical watch movement. With its 43mm "Trip-Tick" case in titanium, Swiss automatic chronometer movement, anti-magnetic Faraday cage and anti-shock movement mount, the MB line offers some of the toughest watches available.

Diameter: 43mm
Movement: ETA 2836-2 automatic
Water resistance: 100m

Rolex Submariner


The prototypical dive watch, the Submariner was developed as a serious tool for professionals who made their living at sea (or at least spent lots of time scuba diving). The modern Sub may be a luxury product in the mind of the watch-buying public, but its robust construction and accuracy haven’t suffered at all since the model’s introduction back in 1953.

Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Rolex 3230 automatic
Water resistance: 300m


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