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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I have been scouring the Digital & ABC watches forum (and the internet in general) looking for the perfect "action" watch. And by action watch I guess I mean a multi-function tactical watch. And although I have seen and read about many a fine and interesting watch in this forum, I have yet to find one that meets all of my criteria. At this point I am not even sure that the perfect action watch (at least by my definition) exists, but I have spent a lot of time and energy looking for it and am now seeking some assistance; if for no other reason than my wife is getting annoyed at all the time I am spending on the internet :). I have seen other members post similar calls for watch suggestions with great results, so let's give this a try! A list of criteria for the perfect action watch as follows:

Description and use: The watch would be used by a member of the military who's operational environments range from undersea (diving), to the deserts of the Middle East in the summertime, to the mountains of Afghanistan in winter, to skydiving, and back to the office to do all the associated paperwork and briefings b-). The watch must be rugged enough to withstand the training cycles and operational deployments, and must contain features that are relevant, easy to use, and support the job. So the watch would ideally contain the following features:

Features
:
1. Magnetic compass with declination adjustment: Large face that is readable and functional with both a north-pointing swinging needle and a digital numerical bearing display to one degree of resolution minimum. I personally like a leveling bubble on a compass watch, but this is not a requirement as long as the compass can tolerate a few degrees of tilt off horizontal. A rotating bezel would be fine but not necessary (just a moving part to fail), but an intuitive and usable set of markers, or a sight, to shoot an accurate azimuth would be nice.

2. Altimeter: Easily calibrated, altitude lock, and displays elevation to 1 meter resolution minimum. Units can be changed between feet and meters. Intuitive log function. Altimeter function could be performed via GPS.

3. Barometer: Not necessary. But if present, have storm warning.

4. GPS Navigation: GPS that can be turned on an off as needed. Able to create and store tracks/routes on the go or at home via computer interface with common military planning map software (i.e. Google Earth and/or Falconview). Multiple customizable display to show speed and heading, bearing and distance to next waypoint, time to next waypoint, etc.

5. Chronograph: 24 hour minimum, 1/100th second resolution for the first hour. Multiple chronos that could run simultaneously would be a huge bonus. Lap and split times with logging would be an added benefit for physical training.

6. Alarm: A basic alarm would be fine. What is important is that the alarm is loud enough to be useful. The G-Shock DW-6600 is my benchmark for how loud an alarm should be; when I travel the alarm on my G-Shock is my wake-up alarm and it has never let me down. Multiple alarms with settings for days of the week, specific dates, etc. would be a bonus.

7. Timer: Customizable interval timers have been the single hardest feature for me to find in an multi-function/ABC watch. This watch would be used to support physical training and should have an interval timer that is fully customizable to set up any configuration of work/rest intervals for example: 10 x 3 min. rounds with one minute rest, or 8 x 20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest intervals (tabata), or an indefinite loop of 1 minute work / 1 minute rest intervals (High Intensity Interval Training); with chimes to signal when work and rest periods begin. I know that some models of Ironman Watches have this interval timer feature, but that has been about the only place I have seen it. I am also looking for multiple countdown timers (probably 5 minimum) with the ability to auto restart, that can run independently and simultaneously.

8. Heart rate monitor: A functional heart rate monitor that can display current heart-rate and signal when heart rate is out of a target range. The ability to set and modify target heart rate range. Any further complications on the heart rate monitor are bonus.

9. Illumination: Must have electroluminescent backlighting, preferably not so bright as to burn out night vision. A watch with electroluminescent backlighting in the correct wavelength of red so as to not damage your night vision would be absolutely ideal! How do we not have red backlighting on tactical watches yet? Has anybody seen red backlighting on a watch?

10. Batteries: Rechargeable and user changeable. The battery should last months if not a full year if using the time-keeping functions alone. Battery life remaining display. The ability to charge spare batteries outside of the watch would be a huge bonus. This would allow taking a spare battery or two into the field.

11. Water Resistance: The watch must be able to dive, and should be rated to 200M minimum. The watch does not need to be a depth gauge or dive computer, but must be able to safely push buttons to use timers, chrono, and backlighting underwater.

12. Crystal and case: Must be rugged, reasonable in size (maybe 52mm diameter max), and look like a watch rather than some kind of box on your wrist. A sapphire crystal with AR coating on the inside would be ideal. As for the case material, i'm open as long as it is tough. To date the G-Shock is the only watch I trust in extreme combat conditions. The rubberized case on my G-Shock DW-6600 has really held up through several years of heavy operating but looks almost brand new. I would want this watch to be as tough as a G-Shock.

So that's all I ask for in an "action" watch. And I know that somebody out there might be tempted to ask why I don't ask for an integrated satellite/line-of-sight radio, or maybe a mobile satellite VTC feature, or a cloaking device or tele-porter...ha! I am shooting for the stars here, but I think I am being realistic in that I know that these features all exist in the watch world (perhaps except for the ability to recharge batteries outside of the watch and the red backlighting). At the end of the day, I am looking to buy a new watch, and I simply wish to find a watch that comes as close as possible to my ideal. So if you have taken the time to read my post this far and have some suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. Please provide suggestions even if your suggestion lacks some of the features listed above. Cheers and thank you!
 

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Hey time-addict,

If you omit the GPS part of your description, you will be able to find many choices that will suit most of your needs. You should begin with Garmin training watches and Suunto ABC line. The watch which has most of the features you listed is Suunto X10. But it is not considered as "rugged" by its fans including me. It has some bezel and strap issues, and it has no training functions either. But it's popular among American military personnel employed overseas.
 

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So I have been scouring the Digital & ABC watches forum (and the internet in general) looking for the perfect "action" watch. And by action watch I guess I mean a multi-function tactical watch. And although I have seen and read about many a fine and interesting watch in this forum, I have yet to find one that meets all of my criteria. At this point I am not even sure that the perfect action watch (at least by my definition) exists, but I have spent a lot of time and energy looking for it and am now seeking some assistance; if for no other reason than my wife is getting annoyed at all the time I am spending on the internet :). I have seen other members post similar calls for watch suggestions with great results, so let's give this a try! A list of criteria for the perfect action watch as follows:

Description and use: The watch would be used by a member of the military who's operational environments range from undersea (diving), to the deserts of the Middle East in the summertime, to the mountains of Afghanistan in winter, to skydiving, and back to the office to do all the associated paperwork and briefings b-). The watch must be rugged enough to withstand the training cycles and operational deployments, and must contain features that are relevant, easy to use, and support the job. So the watch would ideally contain the following features:

Features
:
1. Magnetic compass with declination adjustment: Large face that is readable and functional with both a north-pointing swinging needle and a digital numerical bearing display to one degree of resolution minimum. I personally like a leveling bubble on a compass watch, but this is not a requirement as long as the compass can tolerate a few degrees of tilt off horizontal. A rotating bezel would be fine but not necessary (just a moving part to fail), but an intuitive and usable set of markers, or a sight, to shoot an accurate azimuth would be nice.

2. Altimeter: Easily calibrated, altitude lock, and displays elevation to 1 meter resolution minimum. Units can be changed between feet and meters. Intuitive log function. Altimeter function could be performed via GPS.

3. Barometer: Not necessary. But if present, have storm warning.

4. GPS Navigation: GPS that can be turned on an off as needed. Able to create and store tracks/routes on the go or at home via computer interface with common military planning map software (i.e. Google Earth and/or Falconview). Multiple customizable display to show speed and heading, bearing and distance to next waypoint, time to next waypoint, etc.

5. Chronograph: 24 hour minimum, 1/100th second resolution for the first hour. Multiple chronos that could run simultaneously would be a huge bonus. Lap and split times with logging would be an added benefit for physical training.

6. Alarm: A basic alarm would be fine. What is important is that the alarm is loud enough to be useful. The G-Shock DW-6600 is my benchmark for how loud an alarm should be; when I travel the alarm on my G-Shock is my wake-up alarm and it has never let me down. Multiple alarms with settings for days of the week, specific dates, etc. would be a bonus.

7. Timer: Customizable interval timers have been the single hardest feature for me to find in an multi-function/ABC watch. This watch would be used to support physical training and should have an interval timer that is fully customizable to set up any configuration of work/rest intervals for example: 10 x 3 min. rounds with one minute rest, or 8 x 20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest intervals (tabata), or an indefinite loop of 1 minute work / 1 minute rest intervals (High Intensity Interval Training); with chimes to signal when work and rest periods begin. I know that some models of Ironman Watches have this interval timer feature, but that has been about the only place I have seen it. I am also looking for multiple countdown timers (probably 5 minimum) with the ability to auto restart, that can run independently and simultaneously.

8. Heart rate monitor: A functional heart rate monitor that can display current heart-rate and signal when heart rate is out of a target range. The ability to set and modify target heart rate range. Any further complications on the heart rate monitor are bonus.

9. Illumination: Must have electroluminescent backlighting, preferably not so bright as to burn out night vision. A watch with electroluminescent backlighting in the correct wavelength of red so as to not damage your night vision would be absolutely ideal! How do we not have red backlighting on tactical watches yet? Has anybody seen red backlighting on a watch?

10. Batteries: Rechargeable and user changeable. The battery should last months if not a full year if using the time-keeping functions alone. Battery life remaining display. The ability to charge spare batteries outside of the watch would be a huge bonus. This would allow taking a spare battery or two into the field.

11. Water Resistance: The watch must be able to dive, and should be rated to 200M minimum. The watch does not need to be a depth gauge or dive computer, but must be able to safely push buttons to use timers, chrono, and backlighting underwater.

12. Crystal and case: Must be rugged, reasonable in size (maybe 52mm diameter max), and look like a watch rather than some kind of box on your wrist. A sapphire crystal with AR coating on the inside would be ideal. As for the case material, i'm open as long as it is tough. To date the G-Shock is the only watch I trust in extreme combat conditions. The rubberized case on my G-Shock DW-6600 has really held up through several years of heavy operating but looks almost brand new. I would want this watch to be as tough as a G-Shock.

So that's all I ask for in an "action" watch. And I know that somebody out there might be tempted to ask why I don't ask for an integrated satellite/line-of-sight radio, or maybe a mobile satellite VTC feature, or a cloaking device or tele-porter...ha! I am shooting for the stars here, but I think I am being realistic in that I know that these features all exist in the watch world (perhaps except for the ability to recharge batteries outside of the watch and the red backlighting). At the end of the day, I am looking to buy a new watch, and I simply wish to find a watch that comes as close as possible to my ideal. So if you have taken the time to read my post this far and have some suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. Please provide suggestions even if your suggestion lacks some of the features listed above. Cheers and thank you!
Hello my friend, the first thing that came to my mind is that no, there is not a perfect action watch.(unfortunately...)

There would be only if you ordered one how you like to be, so you have to choose one making compromises and choosing the one that meets the most of your criteria.

When it comes to the roughness of the enviroments you mention GSHOCK is the (only) one to choose and wear without any concern anywhere some gshock have baro,alti,thermo and the new mudman has compss,thermo.

I cant really name a watch to have all the features you mention.

I think that the perfect sollution to you is having two watches:
  • One for the tactical enviroments like suunto core (which has serious altimeter,barometer,compass,thermometer, and 10meters depth meter but not so rugged like casio gshock or protrek models which have more durability but not suunto accuracy). If you are willing to compromise accuracy for toughness casio protrek is better. Or you might even check the tech4o traileader which is an superior to casio abc watch with also good accelerometer features.

  • One for the training like timex ironman gps which has all the gps functions, heart rate monitor etc.

i hope that a helped you a bit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Rigel and Bezgeo85,

Thanks so much for the replies guys. I definitely have an eye on the Suunto line, the Core and X-10 in particular. The only problem I have with Suunto is that they are so...plastic.

Bezgeo85, the tech4o traileader looks very cool on paper, but I have read some horror-story reviews about its water resistance (or lack thereof). Do you have any hands-on experience with it? I don't know much about he Mudman, and didn't know that they made an ABC version, so I will see what I can read about that.

And Rigel, indeed omitting the GPS requirement really opens up my options, and one of those options I'm considering is the Momentum VS-1. The VS-1 seems to be pretty solidly built with a steel case and sapphire crystal, and some good reviews...we'll see.

I am aware that I may have to compromise, and that I may need to buy two watches, an operator watch and a training watch. Maybe not such a bad thing right? :-!

Thanks again. Any other suggestions anyone?
 

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Hi Rigel and Bezgeo85,

Thanks so much for the replies guys. I definitely have an eye on the Suunto line, the Core and X-10 in particular. The only problem I have with Suunto is that they are so...plastic.

Bezgeo85, the tech4o traileader looks very cool on paper, but I have read some horror-story reviews about its water resistance (or lack thereof). Do you have any hands-on experience with it? I don't know much about he Mudman, and didn't know that they made an ABC version, so I will see what I can read about that.

And Rigel, indeed omitting the GPS requirement really opens up my options, and one of those options I'm considering is the Momentum VS-1. The VS-1 seems to be pretty solidly built with a steel case and sapphire crystal, and some good reviews...we'll see.

I am aware that I may have to compromise, and that I may need to buy two watches, an operator watch and a training watch. Maybe not such a bad thing right? :-!

Thanks again. Any other suggestions anyone?
No problem pal, thanks for replying.

I agree about the plastic feel and look of suunto, gshocks are plastic also but not so ''plastic'' as suunto.

I have not any experience with tech4o but a member of the forum cal. 45 has wrote a review about it and suggests this a lot https://www.watchuseek.com/f296/tec...celerometer-function-small-review-495813.html.

About mudman i mentioned it has only compass and thermometer and there are a few gshocks with baro,alti and thermometer.
Unfortunately there is not a complete abct gshocko|

Many people here and me also consider this combination a holy grail if it will ever be made... o|.

Buying two watches is bad thing??? NOT AT ALL!!!

I think this will be the best choise for many reasons... and will also be able to switch them when you get bored...b-)
 

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There are some watches with red backlight but they fullfill none of the other criteria listed:

Or the Casio G-Shock GD-100MS-3 - it also has a red LED backlight.
The alti-lock basically rules out all the Pathfinders, the water resistance rules out all Suuntos - so there really isn't much left. A compromise is probably necessary. How about a Timex WS4?
Another problem is the timers - there are a few Casios that have those or at least come close but no ABC.
W-S220 has a double 99min interval timer setable in 5 sec increments with 10 times auto-repeat. DW-56RT or RFT-100 has an even better interval timer with 9 interval start times and unlimited auto-repeat. I think you need at least two watches to have everything you want. Oh, one company I forgot: Tech4o - belongs to Silva and has some outstanding ABC-watches:
Tech4o Traileader Pro - Trail Leader Pro

cheers, Sedi :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Sedi,

Yes I have pretty much come to the conclusion that I need two watches as well, a field watch and a physical fitness watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Sedi,

Yes I have pretty much come to the conclusion that I need two watches as well, a field watch and a physical fitness watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi all,

I want to thank those who took the time to read and/or reply to this thread. I have made a decision on a watch. Of course I had to make some compromises, but I think the compromises were minimal and this watch comes as close to meeting the list of requirements as possible at this time in one watch. And the winner is....

Suunto Vector Hr
Watch Digital clock Dive computer Analog watch Watch accessory

(Pic from the internet)

After lots of searching, researching, and reading I decided to get a Suunto Vector HR. I have no personal experience with the Vector HR, but this watch seems to have a proven reputation among both the mountaineering community and the military. I have read hundreds of reviews on the Vector Hr and overall the reviews indicate that, although one of the older models in the Suunto line, the Vector HR remains popular and is an industry standard for ABC watches.

Recall the list of requirements:

Description and use: The watch would be used by a member of the military who's operational environments range from undersea (diving), to the deserts of the Middle East in the summertime, to the mountains of Afghanistan in winter, to skydiving, and back to the office to do all the associated paperwork and briefings b-). The watch must be rugged enough to withstand the training cycles and operational deployments, and must contain features that are relevant, easy to use, and support the job. So the watch would ideally contain the following features:

Features
:
1. Magnetic compass with declination adjustment: Large face that is readable and functional with both a north-pointing swinging needle and a digital numerical bearing display to one degree of resolution minimum. I personally like a leveling bubble on a compass watch, but this is not a requirement as long as the compass can tolerate a few degrees of tilt off horizontal. A rotating bezel would be fine but not necessary (just a moving part to fail), but an intuitive and usable set of markers, or a sight, to shoot an accurate azimuth would be nice.

2. Altimeter: Easily calibrated, altitude lock, and displays elevation to 1 meter resolution minimum. Units can be changed between feet and meters. Intuitive log function. Altimeter function could be performed via GPS.

3. Barometer: Not necessary. But if present, have storm warning.

4. GPS Navigation: GPS that can be turned on an off as needed. Able to create and store tracks/routes on the go or at home via computer interface with common military planning map software (i.e. Google Earth and/or Falconview). Multiple customizable display to show speed and heading, bearing and distance to next waypoint, time to next waypoint, etc.

5. Chronograph: 24 hour minimum, 1/100th second resolution for the first hour. Multiple chronos that could run simultaneously would be a huge bonus. Lap and split times with logging would be an added benefit for physical training.

6. Alarm: A basic alarm would be fine. What is important is that the alarm is loud enough to be useful. The G-Shock DW-6600 is my benchmark for how loud an alarm should be; when I travel the alarm on my G-Shock is my wake-up alarm and it has never let me down. Multiple alarms with settings for days of the week, specific dates, etc. would be a bonus.

7. Timer: Customizable interval timers have been the single hardest feature for me to find in an multi-function/ABC watch. This watch would be used to support physical training and should have an interval timer that is fully customizable to set up any configuration of work/rest intervals for example: 10 x 3 min. rounds with one minute rest, or 8 x 20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest intervals (tabata), or an indefinite loop of 1 minute work / 1 minute rest intervals (High Intensity Interval Training); with chimes to signal when work and rest periods begin. I know that some models of Ironman Watches have this interval timer feature, but that has been about the only place I have seen it. I am also looking for multiple countdown timers (probably 5 minimum) with the ability to auto restart, that can run independently and simultaneously.

8. Heart rate monitor: A functional heart rate monitor that can display current heart-rate and signal when heart rate is out of a target range. The ability to set and modify target heart rate range. Any further complications on the heart rate monitor are bonus.

9. Illumination: Must have electroluminescent backlighting, preferably not so bright as to burn out night vision. A watch with electroluminescent backlighting in the correct wavelength of red so as to not damage your night vision would be absolutely ideal! How do we not have red backlighting on tactical watches yet? Has anybody seen red backlighting on a watch?

10. Batteries: Rechargeable and user changeable. The battery should last months if not a full year if using the time-keeping functions alone. Battery life remaining display. The ability to charge spare batteries outside of the watch would be a huge bonus. This would allow taking a spare battery or two into the field.

11. Water Resistance: The watch must be able to dive, and should be rated to 200M minimum. The watch does not need to be a depth gauge or dive computer, but must be able to safely push buttons to use timers, chrono, and backlighting underwater.

12. Crystal and case: Must be rugged, reasonable in size (maybe 52mm diameter max), and look like a watch rather than some kind of box on your wrist. A sapphire crystal with AR coating on the inside would be ideal. As for the case material, i'm open as long as it is tough. To date the G-Shock is the only watch I trust in extreme combat conditions. The rubberized case on my G-Shock DW-6600 has really held up through several years of heavy operating but looks almost brand new. I would want this watch to be as tough as a G-Shock.
How the Vector Hr holds up to these requirements:

1. Compass: all listed requirements met, including leveling bubble which I have always been a fan of for a wrist compass.

2. Altimeter: No altitude lock, and 5m resolution vs. 1m resolution. A perfectly acceptable compromise.

3. Barometer: No storm alarm, but an easily readable pressure trend display which is just fine. On second thought, I prefer the trend display to an alarm in a tactical situation (sounding alarms are no good when you are trying to be stealthy).

4. GPS Navigation: No GPS. Oh well, will just have to continue to carry my Garmin Foretrex.

5. Chronograph: 1/100th seconds requirement met. Split times and logging requirement met. No multiple chronos...not a big deal.

6. Alarm. Requirements met: 5 separate alarms. Not sure how loud the alarm is...will find out.

7. Timer: Requirements met! This was a huge deciding factor. The Vector HR has a completely customizable interval timer to be set for virtually any number of work/rest intervals. Essential for physical fitness training! Has a basic count down timer as well.

8. Heart Rate monitor: All hear rate monitor requirements met. Again, great tool for physical fitness training.

9. Illumination: Standard Suunto EL backlighting. Not red, but otherwise requirement met.

10. Battery: User re-changeable, met. Batteries that last approx. 1 year, met (according to reviews). Rechargeable, not met but not necessary if batteries last approx. one year. Can still cary extra battery if desired.

11. Water resistance: The Vector HR is rated to 30M and does not have underwater buttons. Some compromise here, but with a WR 30M rating the Vector HR can still be worn for most tactical diving profiles without needing to be water-proofed. Although buttons not useable underwater, the watch will be readily available on the operator's wrist should the mission require actions on the surface.

12. Crystal and case: As stated in comments above, no watch is going to be as tough as a G-Shock. But based on the reviews and accounts I have read, the Vector is a tough watch that has accompanied many a soldier to the war-zone and back. The crystal is not sapphire, not even mineral crystal, rather it is plastic. But this doesn't appear to be a problem based on the reviews.

So we will give the Vector HR a try and see how it goes. I am currently overseas and found a good deal on a new Vector HR on the Bay and it is on its way. I'm very excited about this watch and can't wait to put her through the paces. Thanks again for your recommendations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Wow, you do take your watches seriously (even for this place). During my time in the Army, no one told me that work watches had to have that many capabilities. In fact when Suuntos became really popular about 10 years ago I thought ABC watches were a bit of a military fashion thing started by those into mountain sports and spread to others who thought they were cool (which of course they are ;) ). I owned one (and still do) - a Suunto T5 for fitness training and used to wear a nice watch on leave and a simple but tough analogue quartz for field use. All my various watches managed in very hot and very cold places (although LCDs sometimes don't like extreme cold or heat). I never needed an extremely bright Luminox or Traser as I think they are actually too bright and I found digital watches that need a button pressed for light to read them annoying as when waiting for H hour or other important timings during darkness it is not "tactical" or convenient to illuminate your watch constantly (which also requires two hands) so I soon got fed up with my G Shock. I never wanted or needed an alarm or stopwatch whilst in the field and honestly never needed a watch compass, barometer or altimeter either. I always carried at least two conventional compasses (that don't require batteries and also have a baseplate for map work and/or a proper sighting system for accurate hand bearings - in Mils). I once saw a young officer bawled out for using his watch compass for a ground orientation brief on a TEWT - something the rest of us could have told him was not considered professional.

My favourite field watch was a CWC diver - tough, reliable, and very easy to read - day or night with glowing (but not too bright) hands including the seconds. Also very easily synchronised and small and light enough to not get damaged or be uncomfortable during the myriad of strenuous and tedious tasks like digging. It also looked okay with a jacket and tie in the mess.

My advice is get more than one watch and wear the most appropriate one for the occasion - this way avoids the compromises that will otherwise be inevitable and also allows you an excuse to indulge your watch desires! Suunto HR monitor + smaller tough analogue quartz field watch + smarter off duty or in camp watch. Also a separate GPS that can run on issued batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Redleader,

Great advice....I'm always up for buying more than one watch! Seriously though, I have already purchased a Suunto Vector HR for the reasons posted above. It is on my wrist now, and so far the watch is doing exactly what it should be. I feel I made the right choice!

And I certainly agree that an ABC watch is not a replacement for more accurate navigation instruments as there are definitely times when you need to take a knee and break out the map and compass to figure out just where the hell you are, so you definitely still need to carry a good compass. But I have certainly benefited from the use of a wrist compass in the field to navigate during patrols. I have also used a stopwatch and timer during ops more times than I can count. I am sure that I am not alone in my opinion that a good ABC watch is a very legitimate and useful tool in the field. It can be much more expedient to take a quick look at the compass and altimeter on your wrist on the move rather than to have to dig instruments out of your pocket or your gear. Of course the use of an ABC watch must be accompanied with good navigation skills and situational awareness (gained through map-reading, map-study, route-planning, etc.), but they are great for shooting a quick fix and checking your altitude to verify that what you are seeing on the ground coincides with the map that is either in your hand or in your head. Clearly there are situations where you must take an accurate fix with a base-plate compass and lay down the map. But the use of ABC watches has definitely become quite wide-spread in the military and I certainly have never chastised, nor seen anybody chastised, for using one (I suppose one might still see that at a school house where they are trying to stress a solid understanding of the fundamentals of map-and-compass). ABC watches have definitely found their place in the military.

This conversation reminds me of when I first joined the military and the old-timers (some from the Vietnam era) would give us a hard time for using GPS!...;-)
 

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I'd suggest the X6. Three HR model X6HR/X6HRM/X6HRT (in plastic/stainless/titanium respectively).
Not everything you ask for, but it meets a number of your criteria, and has some more features beyond the Vector.
No longer in production. But still available as 'new' in a few places.
Suunto X6HRM | Suunto

Features:
1. Magnetic compass with declination adjustment: Large face that is readable and functional with both a north-pointing swinging needle and a digital numerical bearing display to one degree of resolution minimum. I personally like a leveling bubble on a compass watch, but this is not a requirement as long as the compass can tolerate a few degrees of tilt off horizontal. A rotating bezel would be fine but not necessary (just a moving part to fail), but an intuitive and usable set of markers, or a sight, to shoot an accurate azimuth would be nice.
Yes, with declination. 1 degree resolution. Face size is plenty readable on the go.
Does not use a needle, but shows cardinal direction and numeric degrees
No bubble, but makes text bold when level.
Can set a bearing.

2. Altimeter: Easily calibrated, altitude lock, and displays elevation to 1 meter resolution minimum. Units can be changed between feet and meters. Intuitive log function. Altimeter function could be performed via GPS.
Barometric alimeter only. no GPS.
1m resolution. Ft or meter.
Variable log intervals up to 60s [=200hr]
Lock either Alti-mode or Baro-mode.

3. Barometer: Not necessary. But if present, have storm warning.
Yes. Has Baro and storm warning.
Logs recent 48hr, with numbers and graph reviewable.
Calibrate to local absolute pressure, or sealevel pressure.

4. GPS Navigation: GPS that can be turned on an off as needed. Able to create and store tracks/routes on the go or at home via computer interface with common military planning map software (i.e. Google Earth and/or Falconview). Multiple customizable display to show speed and heading, bearing and distance to next waypoint, time to next waypoint, etc.
No GPS.

5. Chronograph: 24 hour minimum, 1/100th second resolution for the first hour. Multiple chronos that could run simultaneously would be a huge bonus. Lap and split times with logging would be an added benefit for physical training.
1 chrono.
1/10 of a second.
Logs laps/splits
Same logging as the Alti.
HR/Alti/time logs are all reviewabable in the watch, per logging interval with a graph.

6. Alarm: A basic alarm would be fine. What is important is that the alarm is loud enough to be useful. The G-Shock DW-6600 is my benchmark for how loud an alarm should be; when I travel the alarm on my G-Shock is my wake-up alarm and it has never let me down. Multiple alarms with settings for days of the week, specific dates, etc. would be a bonus.
3 alarms. Daily or set for a specific day.
Loudness = typical I guess.

7. Timer: Customizable interval timers have been the single hardest feature for me to find in an multi-function/ABC watch. This watch would be used to support physical training and should have an interval timer that is fully customizable to set up any configuration of work/rest intervals for example: 10 x 3 min. rounds with one minute rest, or 8 x 20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest intervals (tabata), or an indefinite loop of 1 minute work / 1 minute rest intervals (High Intensity Interval Training); with chimes to signal when work and rest periods begin. I know that some models of Ironman Watches have this interval timer feature, but that has been about the only place I have seen it. I am also looking for multiple countdown timers (probably 5 minimum) with the ability to auto restart, that can run independently and simultaneously.
Has 2-stage training intervals. Set minutes:seconds
No countdown timers.

8. Heart rate monitor: A functional heart rate monitor that can display current heart-rate and signal when heart rate is out of a target range. The ability to set and modify target heart rate range. Any further complications on the heart rate monitor are bonus.
Yes, has HRM in some models.
Can set configurable HR range, with alarm.
Loggable with Altitude capture.

9. Illumination: Must have electroluminescent backlighting, preferably not so bright as to burn out night vision. A watch with electroluminescent backlighting in the correct wavelength of red so as to not damage your night vision would be absolutely ideal! How do we not have red backlighting on tactical watches yet? Has anybody seen red backlighting on a watch?
Greenish/Blue backlighting.
Options: Off, Normal (press the light button), Night (illuminates on an button press)

10. Batteries: Rechargeable and user changeable. The battery should last months if not a full year if using the time-keeping functions alone. Battery life remaining display. The ability to charge spare batteries outside of the watch would be a huge bonus. This would allow taking a spare battery or two into the field.
User-changeable coin, CR2032. Life expectency "1 year" as a watch - shorter in Alt/HR modes.

11. Water Resistance: The watch must be able to dive, and should be rated to 200M minimum. The watch does not need to be a depth gauge or dive computer, but must be able to safely push buttons to use timers, chrono, and backlighting underwater.
Rated at 100m.
But specically recommends against pressing buttons under water.

12. Crystal and case: Must be rugged, reasonable in size (maybe 52mm diameter max), and look like a watch rather than some kind of box on your wrist. A sapphire crystal with AR coating on the inside would be ideal. As for the case material, i'm open as long as it is tough. To date the G-Shock is the only watch I trust in extreme combat conditions. The rubberized case on my G-Shock DW-6600 has really held up through several years of heavy operating but looks almost brand new. I would want this watch to be as tough as a G-Shock.
Mineral crystal glass (sapphire on the X6HRT)
Wears/looks like a watch. 49mm wide, 15mm thick.
Display shields are available online.
Stainless Metal and Titanium versions are solid. Don't know about extreme combat though. Maybe someone has rubberized one.

Watch Wrist Dive computer Diving equipment Watch accessory

Watch Dive computer Technology Diving equipment Wrist

Text Line Plot Pattern Slope


Don't get too excited about the "PC capabilities" It's feasible with effort. But all the data is very reviewable in the watch.
 
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