Best Tactical and Military Tritium Watches

Best Tactical and Military Tritium Watches

Who would have thought that we would be able to self-illuminate watches using tiny glass gas lights that require no external power source and are permanently lit up? Oh, and don’t forget the fact that these tiny gas lights will remain illuminated for up to 25 years.

These tritium watches are great looking and the hands free illumination adds to the attraction. They are mostly designed for field service men and woman that require a simple, strong and durable watch without all the bells and whistles. Also read the best tactical watches for military personnel if you are looking for a tactical watch that includes compass, altimeter, and all the other added features.

#1 - Luminox Men's 3001 Navy Seal Dive Watch

The Luminox 3001 is used by the U.S Navy Seals, U.S. Air Force F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Jet Pilots, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Underwater Demolition Teams, various U.S. Swat teams, and many other law enforcement groups and Special Forces around the globe. The unique night vision tubes that are used to self-illuminate the watch is what makes these watches so popular.

While other self illuminating watches have an illuminating paint on the hands which light up after been charged by a light source or a LED light. Luminox uses technology which features tiny gas lights that look like glass cylinders that are inserted on to each watch and are permanently lit up providing visibility under any lighting conditions. These gas lights remain lit up for approximately twenty five years before fading. This technology was originally reserved for the Military but is now used by Luminox on all their watches. Depending on the model of the Luminox watch, the color of the light will differ.

The 3001 has been designed and built with the quality and style that one would expect from a Luminox watch.​


  • Self powered illumination system, lasts up to 25 years!
  • Analog display with Swiss quartz movement
  • Date and Time function
  • One-way rotating bezel
  • Water resistant up to 200m


  • Lacks compass, altimeter, and barometer

The fact that these watches are pretty basic as far as features of a tactical watch are concerned, it doesn’t make them any less attractive to people shopping for a tactical watch. Luminox as a brand is strong enough to make people want to buy their watches. Luminox founded in 1989 by Barry Cohen and Richard Timbo and in 1994 in collaboration with the U.S. Navy seals they manufactured the first watch in the Navy Seal 3000 series which until this day is still one of the most popular series in the Luminox range.

The casing on the 3001 is made of carbon reinforced PC with a one way rotating diver bezel, and the crown features a double security gasket. The strap is formed of a combination of rubber, silicon, and polyurethane. There is no doubt that this watch is durable and sturdy and the fact that it is the preferred watch of the Navy Seals is enough reason for it to be good enough for me. The fact that it is such a good looking watch is an added bonus.The marathon army field watch is Swiss made using 316L surgical grade stainless steel with a satinized graphite grey finish to enhance the vintage look that they were aiming for when designing this watch. It was inspired by the Marathon GG-W-113 army field watch that was used in the 1980’s. The dial window is constructed out of sapphire crystals offering clear visibility and high scratch resistance.

#2 - MARATHON WW194015SS Stainless Steel Tritium Watch


The marathon army field watch is Swiss made using 316L surgical grade stainless steel with a satinized graphite grey finish to enhance the vintage look that they were aiming for when designing this watch. It was inspired by the Marathon GG-W-113 army field watch that was used in the 1980’s. The dial window is constructed out of sapphire crystals offering clear visibility and high scratch resistance.

Marathon watches have been in operation since 1904 under a different name and as Marathon watches since 1941 so we can’t dispute the fact that they have the experience. Marathon watches aim to give us military durability combined with Swiss craftsmanship and produce the highest quality watches possible.


  • High torque quartz movement
  • End of battery life indicator
  • Surgical grade tainless steel
  • S. Government specifications
  • Swiss made authentic military watch


  • Maybe just that it has a nylon strap what might get full of dust, but it's easy enough to wash it

I would have preferred a resin or silicon strap, but that is my personal choice and would probably take away from the vintage look that Marathon was aiming for so I would be able to over look that. It would be a shame to ruin the well thought out, good looking design of the watch.

The Marathon has all the essential features needed in a military watch such as 24 hour dial, drilled lugs, one piece strap and high performance, and high accuracy Swiss quartz movement. With 30m water resistance, the watch is dust resistant and splash resistant but not suitable for swimming. The illumination on the watch is done using tritium capsules which are situated on the hour hand, the minute hand and on the hour positions on the dial.

Marathon takes great pride in their watches and each of their watches are individually numbered and backed up by the Marathon 2 year warranty. If you are in the market for an uncomplicated, hassle free watch that is perfect for field use you should not overlook the Marathon WW194015SS Stainless Steel Tritium Watch with the date.

#3 - Traser TYPE 3 TRITIUM Tactical Watch

Traser P5900 type 3

The Traser P5900 type 3 is the perfect entry level watch into the realm of tritium watches. It looks fantastic and comes with a very attractive price tag. Traser did not compromise or sacrifice the quality of the watch in order to keep the watch as affordable as it is. The P5900 is a true military watch, the polyester casing, steel bezel, and mineral crystal dial window are strong and durable.

The P5900 is extremely lightweight weighing only 40g with the strap on. It comes standard with a textile-leather strap, however, you have the option of a full leather strap or a rubber strap as an alternative.


  • Lightweight weighing only 40g with standard strap
  • Ronda 505 quartz movement
  • 24 hour digits as well as 12 hour digits
  • Swiss made


  • 30m water resistance

These watches are designed specifically with field agents in mind so the 30m water resistance is not really that big of an issue and no body overlooks these watches because of it. What people do look at in these watches and why they are so popular is the simplicity of them and the perfect hand's free illumination. When in the field the last thing you want is a complicated watch that you need to fumble around in the dark trying to locate the button to illuminate the dial so you can see the time. No, you want the simplicity and the permanently lit up watch.

Traser use trigalight technology which is tiny glass capsules that are coated on the inside with a thin layer of phosphor powder. They are then filled with tritium gas and sealed. When the phosphor powder is exposed to the electrons from the tritium gas it emits light. The light remains lit up for up to 25 years and is easily visible in complete darkness or low light conditions. On the P5900, above the large 1- 11 digits are green trigalights, orange above the 12 digit and the hour and minute hand are also illuminated by green trigalights so it is perfectly visible under all conditions. Great watch, great price, very popular.

#4 - Luminox Men's 1945 Atacama Field series watch


The thing about these trendy field service style tritium watches is that no matter what the brand they are all very similar, very basic watches, and all good looking watches. These watches are not about all the bells and whistles but more about the tritium illuminating technology and simplicity. It is clear that Luminox have the monopoly of the tritium watch market and the Atacama field series is one of their most popular ranges.

The 1945 Atacama is an exclusive tritium watch that comes with a slightly heftier price tag than the others and is in a class of it’s own. I like to think of it as the Rolls Royce of tritium watches. It boasts stunning design that allows you to wear it as an everyday watch or in the field. It is definitely tough and durable with stainless steel brushed casing and sapphire crystal dial window with an anti-reflective coating for easy visibility.


  • Quartz movement
  • Analog display and chronograph
  • Date, time and Alarm
  • Water resistant up to 100m


  • Genuine leather strap

Even I can’t argue that the tan leather strap looks great and gives the watch a more sophisticated look, but it is no secret that I prefer a silicon or rubber strap. What sets the 1945 Atacama above the other tritium watches reviewed here is that it is the only one that has an alarm and chronograph and also the fact that it is water resistant up to 100m.

It has 3 subdials, small seconds, chronograph 60 minute counter and a 12 hour counter giving it the more tactical watch look that I love. The alarm can be set manually by following the instructions in the manual. The 100m water resistance, as opposed to the 30m water resistance of most other tritium watches, makes it suitable for swimming and snorkeling.

The tritium illumination in green on digits 1 – 11, the hour hand and the minute hand and in orange on the 12 hour digit offer you easy visibility and time keeping no matter what the light conditions. In my opinion the 1945 Atacama field watch is worth every penny and I would happily pay more for this more exclusive tritium watch.

#5 - Luminox Men's 0201.BO All black watch

While the 1945 Atacama has a more tactical look about it than the other tritium watches I have reviewed, the Luminox 0201. BO is by far the most tactical watch of them all. Part of the Sentry 0200 series which is a vintage inpired cushion shaped range made for the serious outdoorsman.

It has a carbon reinforced case with one way rotating diver bezel, caseback with screws and the crown has a double security gasket. It is lightweight and water resistant up to 100m. The all black casing, strap and dial allows the tritium illumination to really “shine” and it just looks totally cool.


  • Lightweight and water resistant up to 100m
  • Analog display and quarts movement
  • Date and time
  • Rubber strap


  • None

I honestly cannot find something to dislike on this watch. The strap is made up of a combination of rubber, silicon, and polyurethane so it is strong and durable. The all black design is awesome especially with the ice blue tritium illumination on the hour hand, minute hand and 1-11 digits. Green illumination on the bezel and orange illumintion on the 12 hour digits.

The 100m water resistance makes it good for swimming and snorkeling but I would not recommend scuba diving. The Luminox 0201.BO almost seems to good to be true because you a getting a Luminox quality, swiss made watch with a unique design and all the features you would expect in a tritium watch and more, all for a very reasonable and affordable price. This watch could very well be a strong contender for the best Tactical and military tritium watch. It is tough enough to be worn comfortably in the field yet stylish enough to be worn everyday to the office.

Tritium technology is awesome and all these watches are great, reliable and tough and I would happily recommend any of them as the best Tactical and military tritium watch. Because they are all so similar your decision will most likely be made depending on your favorite brand and the look.

About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *