I’m always amazed what I can’t do under stress. During a workout, it can take me three attempts to enter my four-digit iPhone passcode. When I was running my gun at SIG, I forgot to seat my SCAR’s mag properly. I NEVER forget to seat my SCAR mag properly. The trick to not screwing-up under stress: keep it simple. That’s why I’ll never carry a handgun with an external safety (unless that’s all there is) or wear anything but my Armorlite Captain Field Series AL307 watch [above]. I look at it, I see the time. Done. Day or night. Especially night, when the green Tritium H3 lighted tubes glow like a post-Oscar Sally Fields. (Make the jump for the nighttime view.) It sounds silly (a.k.a., paranoid), but I can think of a dozen scenarios where rapid time telling could be a matter of life and death. (A bump-in-the-night at 12:30am is a lot different from one at 3:30am.) So which watch do you wear?


  1. Not exactly answering the question but…

    On Tuesday I was standing in line at a Walgreens in a small southern city with a big crime rate. I have been trying to get better at noticing details, so I am looking around and I notice the clasp on the watch of the guy in front of me has a crown on it. When he put his hand on the counter I surreptitiously scoped the second hand and saw that it was sweeping rather than ticking. Dude was wearing a real Rolex. Before you get the wrong idea, I was not impressed, I was concerned. If some of the other patrons has seen that there could have been trouble.

  2. None. My clock radio has the time posted in big red digits. If a bump in the night wakes me up and there is no time being displayed (as in no electricity) then it is red-alert time and I don’t care what the actual clock time is.

    • In “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History”, Chris Kyle says he favors a Casio G-Shock. That’s good enough for me….

  3. Replica of a WWII GI-issue watch. Found it in a mail-order catalog. It is a mechanical, self-winder, thus NO battery to die when you really need the time. Keep it wound, and it keeps accurate time. REI leather band. It also has a hack feature so you can match time with your other squad members. Quartz watches are fine, but the batteries die at the most inopportune times leaving you without. I only own mechanical watches.

    • I used to collect watches, but only mechanicals and self-winders. Today’s Swiss and Japanese movements are extraordinarily accurate and, as you noted, the watches never run out of power.

      • Self-winding or Citizen Eco-Drive (solar-powered) for me, nothing else. Eco-Drives are cool but if the SHTF EMP-wise the mechanical watches should still work. By the way, Orient Star movements are are excellent for the price.

        My dream watch is an Omega Speedmaster Day-Date but I just can’t bring myself to spend that much on a wristwatch.

        • I am fortunate to have the omega speedmaster automatic, but wear my Omega Seamaster most of the time (also have an Omega Constellation perpetual calendar)

        • I’m with you on the Citizen. Don’t worry about EMP. Your watch is too small relative to the wavelength so the pulse won’t couple.

  4. Seiko SNK805 Automatic (about $50.00 on-line). It has phosphor illumination, not tritium. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s accurate to about a minute a month, and there’s no battery to go dead at a critical moment.

    They come in black, blue, OD and sand. Very stylish! lol


  5. Is there not time available everywhere you look? Alarm clock, cell phone (no need to unlock to get the time), cable box, oven, microwave, tablet, some TVs, some coffee makers, etc.

    if there is a bump in the night, first the cat goes to inspect and my cat seems to pie around corners with the best of humans. If the cat does not return at some pre alloted time the dog has in his head, then the dog goes to check out what happened with the cat. if the cat starts to hiss or the dog barks, then its time for me to check out what is happening — and while niether seem to get agitated over squirrels, turkey or racoons and other small varmint, they seem to not be able to keep quite over deer or the two-legged kind including when the garbage man rolls around at 5am. I always know when UPS is delivering because he barely gets the truck in the driveway and one or the other starts yapping.

    I have a standard Timex that does glow in the dark but that is really only used when camping.

  6. Robert didn’t you show us all your travel set-up recently? You know, with the Wilson in the pelican case? Does that not have an external safety? Is that not your carry gun?

      • OHHHHH. This whole time I just thought you were being a show off! 🙂 Great choice. I too have gone sans safety, for the same reason.

  7. Invicta 9937. Same Swiss automatic movement as much more expensive watches, keeps good time, rugged as hell, glows in the dark. I’ve worn it on two deployments without issue. Best $300 bucks I ever spent.

    I’d love to have a Rolex Submariner, not as a fashion symbol (well mostly not as a fashion symbol) but because you can’t kill one. I just don’t have a bunch of money laying around that I don’t know what to do with.

    • The 9937 is a great watch. It’s a pity the direction Invicta has gone (style-wise) in the last few years.

      • I believe Invicta is now on some kind of mission to see how obnoxiously ugly they can make a watch that someone will still buy. I do love my 9937 though.

    • Invicta’s are well made and a bargain. I have a Russian Diver Quinotaur #3469 that always gets a lot of attention from casino craps dealers and sets off every metal detector within five miles.

      • Ralph that thing is frickin huge! If you wear it diving you are going to sink 🙂

        I have a nice Panerai that I ordered from a very reputable store in NY. The watch was six grand. They mistakingly sent me an Hublot Big Bang In rose gold. Thirty grand and also, BTW, one of my VERY FAVORITE watches that I would probably never blow the money on. No sales slip or receipt in the box, but obviously the real deal. They had no proof that it was ever delivered to me.

        Now you should know that I have nothing but disdain for everything New York and a lot of that comes from working closely with the scum that reside there. My wife wanted me to keep it…

        Well I never wore it, but I made them track me down and ask nicely for me to return it, if in fact I had received it in error. As I said they had no proof and were just following leads. Took them a couple weeks. They said the young girl in back mixed up two orders she was packaging. I can just see some ahole NY jeweler screaming at her and firing her. I’m glad I sent it back.

        Next time I send RF a link that I think would make a nice blog I’m going to call BS if he says it’s not gun related enough. :-p

        • If you wear it diving you are going to sink

          Yeah, KWAL, but the beauty is that if I wear it diving, I don’t need a weight belt.

    • I have one of those too, a bit heavier than my titanium Invicta. I got mine for $200.00 on sale, that’s why I bought it, couldn’t pass up the bargain.

  8. I don’t wear a watch at night, so my alarm clock display will have to tell me the difference between 12:30am and 3:30am. During the day it’s either a Citizen Eco-Drive Nighthawk or a Swiss Army Chrono Classic, both with stainless bands. Chosen for fashion more than function though.

  9. Right now? Maratac automatic. Japanese movement, but solid stainless and a sapphire crystal. A total steal at $200. Love the sterile face too. Hamilton is another good brand with a military heritage. Their Khaki line will get you stainless & sapphire with a Swiss 2824 or 7750 movement. I have a Traser as well, but the problem with tritium capsules is that tritium wears out. I have guns old enough that the tritium night sights are no longer really visible. A good watch will last decades. If you’re buying for the long term, painted lume is probably your best option.

  10. I have quite a few but my usuals are an Omega DeVille coaxial in ss/leather, a Tag Monaco also in ss/leather and a Gevril GV2 in ss/rubber with a screw in crown that I wear at work.

  11. Never could stand wearing a watch. My wife always hated how often I’d ask, “What time is it.” But now, with a cell phone…I just pull it out and look.

    • Currently I wear a Traser H3 daily, Swiss made, carbon fiber case, had it 3 years and tritium still as bright as the day I got it. Even the nylon band has held up(using the same hole). Next one will also be a Traser H3 but with a steel band, all black again, green tritium instead of blue. All of my other “fancy” Swiss watches keep my Glock 23 company in my nightstand safe when it’s not on my hip.

  12. Seiko SKX007 on a Zulu-type nylon strap. It’s a big watch, but it was a nice, solid feel on the wrist.

  13. Today? A 1975 Seamaster DeVille. At night I typically wear an Invicta 9937 or a Hamilton Kakhi. Both are rather comfortable and both have very durable (although non radioactive) lume.

    Since it has been asked of others, yes, I wear a watch to bed. Wtih my glasses off I can’t read a clock.

    • Titanium Invicta dive watch, mechanical, Japan Miyota 21 jewel movement, not expensive, but lightweight and pretty tough. Just run it under the water when it gets dirty.

  14. Kenneth Cole something. Has a leather band, and its of the “skeleton watch” configuration. It’s mechanical, I love it.

  15. Got to have an external safety, keeps me from blowing my pecker off. Then things could get complicated. Timex makes an excellent watch tho.

  16. Casio G-Shock Waveceptor. Never have to set it, haven’t changed the battery going on 10 years. Nerdy as heck, but works great.

  17. Either an Orient Black Mako Automatic, or a Deep Blue T25 diver (tritium lume). Freaking love how the Deep Blue is always glowing, although tritium tubes in watches are much less bright than most pictures make them out to be. They are always at the same brightness level- enough for you to read, but not for someone else (across a field, for example) to see.

  18. Timex Atlantis 100. Cost about $30, and will last maybe five to ten years before it’s too beat up and will need to be replaced. Considering that Rolexes seem to start at about $3,000, that’s 100 of the Timexes, or 500 to 1,000 year supply of watches. Further considering that my primary use case for a watch is determining within a minute or two what time it is, and that both the Timex and the Rolex do that equally well, I’ll be sticking with the Timexes.

  19. Casio sgw 100
    I like a watch that can do things, not a lazy watch.
    I like a rugged watch, but I’m on a budget

  20. RF,

    Please illuminate me (much like your watch face!): what several scenarios are time dependent? Why is a 12:30 AM bump in the night so different from a 3:30 AM bump?

    Your answers are important to me, since I don’t wear a watch and don’t really relish having to hang a Rolex off my S&W 325 along with the light/laser combo I have. 

  21. When at the range, I wear my Luminox. When not, either my IWC FA Jones (manual wind), IWC Spitfire (automatic wind), or Rolex Thunderbird (automatic wind). While I’m sure all of my watches are up to the task, I’m pretty sure that wearing them while shooting isn’t going to make them run any better…

  22. Started about 50 years ago (at age 13 or 14) with an Elgin Sportsman on a Speidel Twist-o-Flex band. Got stolen in the 1980s, and then I switched to various quartz thingies, which continue today. Currently, the Hopi overlay watchband I’ve worn since 1986 is now carrying its second Timex, and I can tell the third one isn’t far off as the case is down to bare pot metal in several places.

    But I also have a Bean field watch (black dial, gold-like case), again on a Twist-o-Flex.

    Say, when did Speidel go belly up? I went to replace the band on the Bean and discovered that Speidel no longer exists. So I trolled through a couple of antique malls until I found a Twist-o-Flex that met what I was looking for.

  23. Some Citizen Eco-drive watch my wife got me… I got a Rolex Submariner (stainless) from my father, but it needs a new band, a cleaning (internal), and a quartz lens + bezel. It obviously wasn’t treated like a Rolex (it was dropped and run over by a car… long story). Rolex quoted me $1500 for the work, assuming the internals weren’t totall destroyed. It is worth it as the watch is expensive and worth a bit of money (even as is). However, I’ll wait until I find new employment before spending that kind of money to fix a watch that I won’t wear too much…

  24. Casio MQ24. So light and flat I forget to take it off for the night. Shows time and nothing else. Around $9 with shipping.

  25. I’m retired – I don’ got to wear no steenkin’ watch!

    And I don’t. After decades years of clock watching, from 1st grade through retirement – FREEDOM!

  26. I have settled on a Timex Expedition. I know it’s fairly cheapo compared to the watches you all have been mentioning, but I have had it for a few years now and have only had to replace the bands so far. Plus, I left in it the pocket of my jeans once and this thing made it through the washer AND the dryer and still works just fine. That was when I decided I would keep buying Expeditions. It’s not obnoxiously huge either.

  27. I wear an $11 Casio watch. No light, alarm, or stopwatch. It can only change from civilian to military time. I’ve had it for three years, and the thing keeps going. I had another Casio when I was young that went 8 years on one battery, and it was still working when I gave it away.

  28. I know this is a long-retired thread, but I’m perusing the archives lately.

    At any rate, I wear a variety of small-batch, boutique automatic divers…Most have Swiss autos in them, some have Japanese autos, even have a couple hand-wind only watches. Then for mornings when I feel too lazy to set a watch, there are a few battery jobs I can strap on.

    Nothing “tacti-cool” though.

  29. I wear a Seico 5. I liked the strict design, the quality of workmanship. I do not like different navotos on the case, superfluous buttons and hands, alpine dials, therefore I ordered these “Seico” – https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-5. The model range is huge, but these are rather to try and make sure that this manufacturer does not deviate from the traditions of modest sophistication. It is clear that watches do not look “expensive-rich,” they are really modest, but on the wrist is very noticeable and striking to the eye is their laconicism.


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