Those who work in rugged industries like construction are used to wearing protective gear.
Items like hard hats, steel-toed boots, safety goggles and protective gloves are just a few of the items that construction workers wear on a regular basis.
But what about work watches for construction workers? On a job site, workers need a rugged watch that will stand up to the wear and tear faced and handled by the rest of their gear. There’s always the chance of falling debris landing on a watch, the possibility of scratches from climbing ladders, working with heavy equipment, and more perils that require a nearly indestructible watch.
Depending what type of construction is involved, there’s even the threat that the watch will stop working when exposed to other types of occupational hazards. That’s when functions like shock resistance may be a focus in your search for the most durable watches.
Construction watches are also valuable tools on the job, so it’s no surprise that those in construction are always looking for the best work watches. But what should you look for when searching for the best watch for the working man or woman? Here are some important factors when looking at heavy duty watches.
Best Rugged Watches
|1||Casio GG1000-1A5 Rugged Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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Best Overall2Citizen CA0648-09L Rugged Watch
Best OverallCitizen CA0648-09L Rugged Watch
|Buy On Amazon|
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|3||G-Shock - WR Shock Resistant Rugged Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|4||G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 Rugged Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|5||SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak Rugged Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|6||G-Shock G9300 Mudman Rugged Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|7||Casio Pro Trek Solar Watch Rugged Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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1. Casio GG1000-1A5 Rugged Watch
Large and in charge, this G-Shock watch is perfect for anyone who wants a reliable timekeeper with lots of extra functions and features. Powered by a three-hands Quartz movement, the timepiece is resistant to less-than-ideal conditions (mud and water-resistant) and has a large face that’s easy to read.
The dial looks like a regular analog mechanism, but underneath the three hands and large Arabic numerals that mark the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, you can observe several layers of systems. As such, on the top half of the screen, you can read the date in digital format. On the left quarter is the day of the week (also digital format), while the right quarter features a complication with six different functions.
Overall, the watch features a stopwatch, a thermometer, a countdown timer, a digital compass, full auto-calendar, 5 alarms, 12 & 24h formats, and more. Each feature can be accessed using the lateral buttons.
Also, there is an LED backlight for improved visibility during low-light conditions.
- Large face with LED backlight
- Durable materials and resistance to water and mud
- Lots of features and functions
- The dial features a combination of analog and digital
- Long-lasting battery
- There is a learning curve when it comes to setting it up
- The negative display can be difficult to read depending on the light
- It is a bit on the bulky side
Why We Chose ThisThis is a nice G Shock army watch that can be used in a wide array of scenarios. While it is bigger than your usual timekeeper, it’s also well-equipped, highly-accurate, and more durable. So, if you’re looking for a sophisticated watch that makes you look like a badass, this is a design to keep in mind!
2. Citizen CA0648-09L Rugged Watch
Citizen is known for making quality watches, and this one is no exception. It features Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive technology, a hallmark of the watches for over 40 years.
The Eco-Drive technology harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy. The energy is stored in a permanently rechargeable power cell, and the watch is recharged continuously in any light, eliminating the need for any battery replacement. Ever. That makes this watch ideal if you don’t want to plug in a watch, or make trips to the battery or watch store every few months. It also means it’s good for the environment.
It features a stainless steel case with black aluminum plated bezel. The leather strap is black and is perforated, with an adjustable buckle.
The round, black watch face has a three-hand analog display (hour, minute, second) with quartz movement and a date display window at 3 o’clock. There are three subdials with chronograph functionality. It has a 60-minute counter; 1/5 of a second counter; central 60-second chronograph hand; a tachymeter; and add and split functions.
It’s water resistant up to 330 feet, perfect for swimming, showering and snorkeling.
- Citizen is known for quality watches.
- Eco-Drive technology means you never have to plug it in or buy a battery.
- Added functionality with the chronograph and tachymeter.
- Water resistant enough to wear swimming or in the shower.
- Number display is in 10-minute intervals rather than the traditional hour markings.
- You have to like an analog watch.
Why We Chose ThisYou can’t beat the Eco-Drive technology, which harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy. That means this watch never needs to be charged or have its battery replaced. The look is rugged yet classy, with an-black design and a leather perforated strap. The analog face has some added functionality too.
3. G-Shock - WR Shock Resistant Rugged Watch
If the full-black rugged design doesn’t impress you, then the features on the G-Shock WR certainly will!
Behind the classic G-Shock resin case and band, this timepiece features a two-hands quartz movement. Underneath it, the face of the watch is divided in several segments, each delivering information in digital format. As such, users have access to time in 31 different time zones, 5 alarms (1 snooze alarm), 60 minutes countdown timer, and more.
The watch is also equipped with Super Illuminator LED light with afterglow (you can select the duration) for improved visibility in low-light conditions. In addition, the build quality is solid and the watch is lightweight and comfortable to wear for a long period of time.
Just like other G-Shock models, you will find buttons on each side of the case. These can be used separately or together to access the multitude of features, but it may take a while if this is your first time with this type of watch.
- It makes a powerful impression on viewers
- It is durable and lightweight
- There are lots of cool features
- LED backlight that stays on for a few seconds
- Good resistance to water
- It is beefy, but not overbearing
- The face can be difficult to read at times
Why We Chose ThisWhile it has the same design as most G Shock military watches, this specific model also has a more pleasant visual impact than other models. This is due to the all-black design with grey markings that somehow highlight the ruggedness of the design. So, if you’re looking for a timepiece that’s good-looking, solid, and durable, you should take this one into consideration.
4. G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 Rugged Watch
The Rangeman is one of the larger G-Shock models on the market and, if you add the classic case protection, it’s also one of the bulkiest. However, the large face accommodates a series of extremely useful features and has an integrated solar cell that keeps the watch going with regular exposure to everyday light. In fact, there is a battery status indicator right in the middle of the watch’s face (the L-M-H / Low-Medium-High bar).
In addition, once you set the timezone, you don’t have to worry about setting the exact time. The watch communicates with the closest Worldwide Atomic Time transmitters in order to keep extremely accurate time. The GW-9400 is designed to communicate with six such transmitters all over the world.
The watch features 11 modes, among which you have the regular timekeeping mode (with 12h and 24h formats), world time mode (timekeeping in a different time zone), stopwatch (it can go on for 1,000 hours), 24h countdown timer, alarm (5 of them), and more.
Lastly, the watch comes with triple sensor technology with a built-in compass, thermometer, and barometer. It can also save some of the information so you can check it at a later date and it can be influenced by outside elements. The controls are easy to understand (each button on the side of the case has multiple functions), but it’s best to play with them until you learn how to make all the settings.
- Extremely durable build
- Lots of features and modes
- Solar-powered mechanism
- Extremely accurate when it communicates with one of the pre-set transmitters
- Large face that accommodates a series of information
- It has a bit of a learning curve
- It is rather bulky
- The illumination could stay on longer
Why We Chose ThisThis is a true G Shock military watch that’s durable, easy to conceal in nature, and lightweight. It also has a ton of useful features for military applications, it’s highly accurate (as long as it can communicate with one of the six towers), and the information is not crowded. Overall, it does a fantastic job and can be used by a wide range of people whose job or hobby takes them in the outdoors.
5. SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak Rugged Watch
This smartwatch has all the bells and whistles especially once it’s connected to a smartphone. You can then use the free Suunto Movescount App to adjust the watch on the go, sync your activities, and receive calls and notifications right on the watch.
Movescount can also help you discover new routes and provide you with training programs.
Athletes can use it to monitor heart rate, even while swimming, and to provide an activity-based recovery time. It shows speed, pace and distance and you can track multiple sports in one log.
You can also add photos during activities, share your moves instantly with the app, and create a Suunto Movie with highlights of your adventure, including a 3D map, key metrics and images.
The GPS satellite data and time are up to date wherever you are, and you can use your phone as a second watch display.
The watch also Suunto provides stable and accurate altitude and weather information, and full navigation capabilities. It features a built-in altimeter, barometer, compass and GPS, and is water resistant to 330 feet (100 meters). You can use it for route navigation and to track back along your route.
The battery life is also outstanding, lasting up to 200 hours with a 1-minute GPS accuracy, or 30 hours with a 5 second GPS accuracy. The case is made of durable polyamide.
- Offers GPS, altitude and weather information, and navigation capacity including a track back feature.
- Expand its capabilities by connecting to a smartphone and using the free Suunto Movescount App.
- Use your phone as a second watch display.
- Track multiple sports in one log.
- Battery life is reduced if you need fast GPS accuracy.
- Water resistance is not as deep (woo meters) as some other sports watches.
Why We Chose ThisCombine this watch with your smartphone and you get all kinds of navigation features plus you can have some fun. Get stable and accurate altitude and weather information, full navigation capabilities, the ABC functionality of an altimeter, barometer, and compass, and of course GPS. Then use the Suunto Movescount App to discover new routes, get training programs, add photos during activities, and create Suunto Movies with highlights of your adventure.
6. G-Shock G9300 Mudman Rugged Watch
If the Mudman name doesn’t spell it for you, then the markings on the resin strap should. This is a mud-resistant design with sealed buttons and a tough mineral crystal lens that protects the Japanese quartz mechanism from dirt, dust, and yes, mud!
If you keep reading the strap, you learn this is a solar-powered model (Tough Solar) that has a digital compass, can measure the ambient temperature, and even has a moon graph. In addition, there are the usual features you can find on most advanced G-Shock designs such as 31 time zones (48 cities + UTC), daylight saving option, 5 alarms, stopwatch with elapsed time and split time, countdown timer, auto-calendar, 12h & 24h formats.
Lastly the buttons require a bit of force to press but the interface is user-friendly (even though it has a learning curve). It also comes with full auto EL backlight with afterglow, which improves visibility in low-lighting conditions.
- Extremely durable design with mud and water-resistance
- Lots of cool and interesting features
- Auto EL backlight
- Solar-powered Japanese quartz movement
- High-quality strap and case
- It is one of the bulkier models
- The buttons need to be pressed a bit harder
Why We Chose ThisOut of all the military watches G Shock offers, the Mudman G9300 is a true bad boy. The bulky design talks about amazing durability in the face of adversity and the large face leaves plenty of room for a user-friendly interface. It’s also amazing in the wilderness when you need a compass for orientation and don’t want to carry additional equipment.
7. Casio Pro Trek Solar Watch Rugged Watch
As the name suggests, this timepiece is created for backpackers, hikers, and people who usually have an active outdoor lifestyle (whether it’s for work or for fun).
Equipped with Tough Solar Power technology, the Pro Trek PRW2500T is a solar-powered, digital sports watch. This means that you can use sunlight to recharge the battery, which will hold about 5 months on a full charge with all the features available and without any further charging. In Power Saving mode the watch is supposed to last for about 23 months.
Other features that make this watch stand out are Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Tide Graph, Moon Data, digital compass, altimeter (with the possibility to save data), barometer, thermometer, and more. In addition, its water-resistance and EL backlight with afterglow, make it a fantastic tool for divers and people who are usually around water.
As a timekeeper, the Pro Trek is equipped with a stopwatch, countdown timer, five alarms, full auto-calendar programmed until 2099, 12/24h formats, and more.
In terms of design, this is a rather bulky watch with lots of buttons and plenty of information displayed at almost any time. Still, due to the titanium bracelet, it is not as heavy as you’d expect. It’s also complex, due to the multitude of features it has to offer, so it takes a bit of reading the instructions and playing with the settings to learn what it does.
- Durable design with lots of cool features
- Bi-directional stainless steel compass bezel
- Atomic Timekeeping for increased reliability
- Solar-powered with a good power reserve
- Good water resistance
- The interface is a bit complex
- The design is bulky and large
- You must take it off for accurate temperature reading
Why We Chose ThisIf you ignore its bulky design and confusing aspect (at first), this is one of the best solar powered watches on the market. It has great water-resistance and durability due to the stainless steel – titanium build and comes with Casio’s famous EL backlight. It also has a ton of amazing features for outdoor adventurers, hunters, fishermen, and other outdoor-related jobs. Overall, it is practical, durable, and keeps extremely accurate time!
Durable Construction Workers Watch Buying Guide
One factor related to durability is the material of the watch case and strap. Durable watches often have an outer case made of stainless steel or titanium, and sometimes resin.
The watch glass needs to be scratch resistant, so mineral crystal or sapphire crystal are good choices. Otherwise, you may find your work watch is soon difficult to read with the scratches on the window.
The strap is also an important consideration, as you want strength and durability. A stainless steel strap isn’t ideal, because it can scratch when put to the test. A tough plastic, resin or genuine leather strap is a better choice.
Related to the materials is the durability of the watch. Rugged watches have to withstand a fair bit of abuse, so factors like shock resistance and impact absorption are important. The watch may be accidentally hit or dropped from a height. You want it to survive those kinds of hazards as well.
Even if you don’t work in an environment where you need to directly place your arm in the water, you still need a watch that is water resistant so it stays sealed in any scenario. You might get caught in the rain, splashed with water while on the job, or face some other kind of dampness or humidity.
You don’t want to be worried about your watch while you’re in a potentially dangerous situation. So a watch with water resistance to at least 100 meters or 328 feet is a good idea.
Easy To Read
Imagine yourself hanging on a scaffolding or climbing a ladder when you need to look at your watch. You shouldn’t have to press a button or turn a dial to see the time; the watch should be easy to read all the time. That can also mean numbers that are easy to read in different light settings.
While the look of the watch may not be the most important factor, it’s still nice to have a watch that can go from the construction site to the coffee shop to a family gathering to dinner out. While durable watches often have a “rugged” look, you can still have a nicely designed watch that looks great on your arm.
You may have personal preferences when it comes to wearing a watch.
Some people like the traditional analog style, while others like the more techy design of a digital watch. Even with an analog watch, you may like to actually see the numbers, while others are OK with Roman numerals or even just markers. On a digital watch, you might want all the bells and whistles, with timers and alarms and other features; or you might want the basics and that’s it..
And then depending on your needs, there may be specific features that you need in a watch.
For instance, if you need to measure time on a regular basis, do you need an analog watch with a second hand that’s visible or would you prefer a digital watch with a stopwatch function? Do you want to fidget with your watch to set up the stopwatch?
In this instance, it may be better to have a separate stand-alone stopwatch to use once in a while, rather than sacrifice the ease of use that comes from looking at an analog watch in any situation.
Now that you know what to look for in rugged watches, let’s take a look at our top choices.