What kind of watch do police officers wear?

Last Updated: April 3, 2020
Written by Elise Tigner

Police Officers often have very tough and demanding jobs that require a lot of physical activity and need a watch that can stand up to the challenge.
Not only does a police officer’s watch need to be durable and waterproof, it needs to be comfortable and very easy to read, quickly.

After consulting with some friends of mine who are cops, one watch in particular kept coming up as a particular favorite. Enter Luminox’s Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series.

“This is my choice.” – Police Officers like the Luminox for its durability and readability.

When the United States Navy was looking for a new watch to outfit their special warfighters, they turned to Luminox to create a watch that was durable, comfortable, lightweight, and – most importantly – able to be read easily in any condition, including under water and in low light.

Casio Edifice EF527D-1AV

Luminox answered the call with their Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series, a watch famous for using tritium inserts, instead of phosphorescent inserts. The difference being tritium is a radioactive isotope that slowly decays over time.

As the tritium decays, it releases electrons that interact with the phosphorus coating of the inserts, exciting them on a molecular level and causing a bright luminescence.

This enables the watch to be easily read in a number of circumstances including underwater and in total darkness. And the luminescence of the watch is not predicated on it “charging” in the sunlight, absorbing natural radiation to re-release, because it has its own radiation source.

The watch also has other features that a police officer may find useful, such as an easy to spot date display at the 3 o’clock position and large Arabic numerals for easy reading, and a unidirectional rotating bezel.

The Luminox Navy Seal Colormark has a protected winding crown and runs on a quartz movement – so it does require a battery to operate the engine of the watch.

It is waterproof to 200 meters (660 feet, 20 BAR) so it is safe for swimming and diving despite the screw-on case back (which is sealed with durable gaskets. The case of the watch is a unique carbon compound that is 44mm in diameter, making it both light and durable.

The watch’s strap is a thick silicone rubber – comfortable strap for the wearer that can also stand up to some abuse. The crystal is a tough mineral compound to strike a balance between durability and affordability.

If you're in the market for watch with fantastic luminosity that can stand up to some serious work and not let you down in any light, then the Luminox Navy Seal Colormark could be for you.


  • Movement: Quartz
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Carbonox
  • Case size: 44mm
  • Band material: Plastic
  • Water resistance: 200m (660ft)


  • Tritium luminescence
  • Rotating bezel
  • Crown guards
  • Large, easy to read dial


  • Great readability in low-light
  • Durable carbonox case can take a beating
  • True dive watch so rain & other elements are no issue


  • Whilst affordable, some officers may be more comfortable with a cheaper 'throw-away' watch. 

Not a big fan of the Luminox Navy Seal Colormark? We've included 4 other options in our article Best Watches for Law Enforcement Officers.

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