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The Best Outdoor Watches: What to Look For

Posted on 1/31/2022

Your watch may look impressive at social functions and work well enough for day-to-day life. That does not mean you should take it with you when you go hiking, camping, or hunting. Environmental conditions are much more demanding in these activities. If you do them often, investing in an outdoor watch would be wise.

You can find many products out there that claim to fit the bill. How can you distinguish the best outdoor watches from the rest? We put together a little guide to the most important qualities to look for when shopping for timepieces. That way, you can make a more informed decision.

Key Qualities to Consider

Everyone has their own individual preferences for the watches they wear. An aspect that may be a primary selling point for one person may repel another. With that said, we can think of several that matter to most people in the market for an outdoor watch. We will discuss them below.


Every analog timepiece is a complex configuration of cogs, gaskets, screws, springs, and other moving parts. Watchmakers organize them in such a way that, when powered, they all mesh together to move the hands at the proper rates to tell time. Making it all work requires great delicacy and expertise.

In other words, excellent workmanship is required to create a great watch. Indeed, the best outdoor watches are truly sophisticated devices with many built-in means to maintain their functionality. Consistency is crucial: the second hand must move every second, no faster, no slower. Save yourself the hassle of getting it fixed.


Speaking of repairs, regular watches are not designed to withstand the rigors of the outdoors. That is only a problem if you decide to take them with you on wilderness excursions or wear them during athletic challenges. To keep track of time in these situations, you need a watch with great durability.

The material of the watch should be strong, of course. The case, the lug, the bezel, and the rest should be able to brush off encounters that would leave scratches on lesser watches. Most important of all is the crystal. This glass protects the hands and dial from the outside world, and it should be harder than nails.


Your watch could be perfectly functional, beautifully crafted, and many other positive things. All those benefits will be for naught if you cannot see them in the dark. Nights with few stars and minimal moonlight can thwart your best efforts to tell the time, as can intense shade during the day.

The best outdoor watches come with countermeasures, often in the form of built-in illumination. Analog clocks may not have a button to light up the screen like digital ones. However, they can have etchings made from luminescent materials on the hands and hour marks. With this feature, you will never be in the dark.


Timepieces do not magically last forever. They run on batteries, which will eventually run out of juice and require replacement. The end of battery life is inevitable. What you can do about it is getting one with such great endurance that the idea of those hands ever stopping never crosses your mind.

Before you commit to any good-looking watch, check its sales information for details on battery life. Some can last for several years, and others can last even longer. The best outdoor watches are the most efficient ones, using the least amount of power to get the greatest effect.


No single factor can make or break a person’s purchase decision quite like cost. At the same time, no factor is as tricky to assess. The common perspective is that higher price equals better quality. However, expensive watches often have high mark-ups to cover for middlemen or simply to enter the luxury market. Meanwhile, more economical watches may give more bang for their buck.

Without dismissing the importance of prices in one’s shopping choices, we advise weighing other factors, especially the ones listed above. Ideally, you should search for quality watches within a price range that fits your needs. Keep in mind also that when conditions get tough, the price you paid for your outdoor watch may be the last thing on your mind.

ArmourLite’s Best Outdoor Watches

Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, you are ready to discern the best outdoor watches on the market. If you do not know where to start searching, you need not go any further than this very website. In this section, we present some of ArmourLite’s superior options for your consideration.

Field Series Design Style 2

Our flagship line for the best outdoor watches is the ArmourLite Field Series. All of them — including Design Style 1, a quintessential black-and-white aesthetic — share top-of-the-line features. They include an outstanding stainless steel case, 15 Swiss-made glow-in-the-dark tritium markers, and a 60-month battery life. Let us not forget the shatterproof “Armourglass” crystal, our own creation. With a staggering hardness rating of 6,000 Vickers, it is truly a tough nut to crack.

Operator Series Type BO

The Operator Series makes up for a slightly shorter battery life, 45 months, with an even thicker and stronger case. Type BO stands out from its siblings for de-emphasizing the numbers in favor of striking white markers that glow green and orange in the dark. The result is minimal and stylish, yet easy to read. With its Armourglass case, relatively light weight, and other features, it is also extremely practical.

Isobrite Afterburner Black T100

Beyond the Field and Operator Series, there is also the high-end Isobrite Duty line — named for its heavy-duty timepieces. The Isobrite ISO3003 Afterburner Black T100 Tritium Illuminated Watch is typical in being extraordinary. The battery life range is stunning, falling between 54 months and 10 whole years. The sapphire crystal is highly scratch-resistant, and the lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polycarbonate case is thick and durable. Though the cost runs high, its many fantastic features are ideal for outdoor adventuring.

Isobrite Squadron Series T100

Finally, there are the Isobrite T100 Squadron Series Automatic Watches. These marvelously powerful timepieces were made for military use. If they can survive combat conditions, they can survive any conditions a civilian may enter. The Isobrite ISO1102 Squadron Series T100 Tritium Illuminated Automatic Watch contains the features you can expect. Automatic and manual winding options, a Diashock shock absorber, a reliable Japanese N35 mechanism, and more will be in your reach.

All these watches and more are available at ArmourLite. When you want only the best outdoor watches on your wrist, peruse our selections and make a wise choice.