Throughout watchmaking history, there have been many ties established between the world of horology and the military. From the Navy SEAL-inspired Luminox Navy Seal watches, to the Air Force-endorsed Breitling Navitimer collection, military-influenced timepieces are a staple in the horological realm. Today, we will be looking at another watch with strong connections to the military: the Nixon Regulus.
For those who are not familiar with the Nixon brand, the Nixon Regulus was specially designed in collaboration with the U.S. Special Operations Command. As some of the most highly-trained military personnel in the US, everything that the Special Operations Command uses, including the Nixon Regulus, is durable, tough, and functional enough to support all your needs.
The Nixon Regulus is designed, first and foremost, to be a tactical watch. However, just like other watches from Nixon, the Regulus can also be used as a survival watch, or as a casual watch to accompany you on all your daily routines. Ultimately, the Nixon Regulus men’s watches are incredibly versatile and built to withstand all sorts of extreme conditions. In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at the Nixon Regulus, including its specifications, best models, and everything it has to offer. Keep reading to find out more about this highly functional tactical watch.
Everything About The Nixon Regulus
More than just being a practical tool watch, the best thing about the Nixon Regulus is its ability to take a beating, no matter what extreme outdoor adventures you put it through. Not all timepieces are capable of that, and the durability of the Nixon Regulus is a testament to the detail that Nixon and the U.S. Special Operations Command have put into its design. While there are a number of different Nixon Regulus models available, all Regulus pieces do share certain key features, which we will go through in detail below.
Nixon Regulus Key Features
As digital watches, the Nixon Regulus timepieces are not made with the traditional stainless steel or polyamide cases. Instead, Nixon opts to use a custom injection-molded TR90 material for the Regulus cases. This is a type of thermoplastic material produced used in state-of-the-art Swiss technology.
Aside from being used in tactical watches like the Regulus, this TR90 material is also frequently used in eyewear because it is super lightweight, durable, and impact-resistant. It is also flexible to some degree, which ensures that it is even less likely to break when encountering any bumps or shocks. It also makes the Nixon Regulus a great, eco-friendly watch choice, since the TR90 material produces less environmental waste. As such, those who are into green initiatives are sure to love this watch.
All Nixon Regulus models are offered in cases that measure 46mm in diameter and 15.5mm in thickness. While this is quite a chunky size for a watch, it is not a problem for wearers — thanks to the TR90 material’s ultra-lightweight build. Despite its larger size, you can easily tote this watch around on your wrist all day without feeling any discomfort.
Unlike most other digital watches, which place their push buttons on either side of their cases, the Nixon Regulus has its polycarbonate buttons placed on the left and front of the case. These push buttons can be used to control the plentiful functions of the Nixon Regulus, such as its different modes, night light, chronograph counters, and more. At first, you might be a little intimidated by all the different features of this watch, but you have nothing to worry about. The use of each push button on the Regulus is carefully labeled, so you will be able to get used to this watch in no time at all.
Like the brand’s Re-Run series, the Regulus collection of watches all come in square-shaped dials. This type of dial is common for sports, military, and tactical watches since it sits better on the wrists and aligns with the straps more than rounded ones. In addition, square-shaped dials provide greater surface area, allowing for more functions to be displayed more legibly.
The dial of the Nixon Regulus is equipped with a custom high-contrast black LCD screen, which is highly readable from any angle. Wearers are also given the choice of adjusting the screen’s contrast according to their preferences, so the dial remains legible even when under bright light glares. It also comes with an LED backlight to provide better visibility in dimly lit environments, especially at night. On this dial, you can find the Nixon Regulus’s multitude of functions, including its dual time zone, military time, auto calendar up to 2099, silent mode, three alarms, and customizable time options.
Protecting this LCD dial is a layer of hardened mineral crystal, coupled with a hardened stainless steel bezel. This stainless steel bezel is fastened onto the case with four screws, so it keeps the dial and case safe from any impacts or scratches.
Depending on the specific Nixon Regulus model you are looking at, it comes with a 24mm to 29mm tapered strap made of custom injection-molded free-swing TPU 80. This is a cost-friendly, high-quality, and very reliable strap material that is processed using injection molding and blow molding technology. Nixon also made sure to design this strap with a water-flow texture on its rear sides. This makes the strap completely waterproof and a very outdoor-friendly choice.
This strap is also offered in a variety of colors to match the colorway of the case and bezel, including black, camouflage green, light grey, and more. Nixon recommends that every wearer rinses their strap with soap and freshwater after exposure to sand or saltwater, so as to maintain the strap’s color and quality. Attached to each strap is a stainless steel buckle with a stainless steel screw bar and a locking looper, which ensures the strap stays securely fastened to your wrist.
The Nixon Regulus is powered by a custom digital LCD module. On top of being highly reliable, this module is given an added PU jacket and Poron foam padding. This gives the module greater protection against shocks, impacts, and water damage, bolstering its durability. In addition, the module also comes with an extensive five-year battery, so you can use the Nixon Regulus for years without having to worry about changing the battery.
The Nixon Regulus’s movement also gives it a substantial 100-meter depth rating. While this is enough to enjoy basic water sports activities such as swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and so on, it is not exactly recommended for professional diving. Professional divers might want to look to watches more equipped to handle deep-sea depths, such as Rolex’s Sea-Dweller series, instead of the Nixon Regulus.
As with most Nixon timepieces, the Nixon Regulus retails at a fairly affordable price. You can purchase the Nixon Regulus for approximately $175 USD, making it much more budget-friendly than most other tactical watches. With its solid quality and reliable durability, the Nixon Regulus is the best pick for those seeking affordable yet highly-practical tool watches.
Top Three Nixon Regulus Watches
1. Nixon Regulus All Black Ref. A1180-001-00
The Nixon Regulus All Black Ref. A1180-001-00 is simple and intuitive. Of all the Nixon Regulus models, this is probably the most classic choice. It is reminiscent of a sturdy G-Shock watch, albeit in a smaller size and at a more affordable price.
This watch comes in a stout 46mm black case, coupled with a supple black TPU 80 strap. The watch’s jet-black LCD dial complements its all-black exterior. The data on the dial is presented in the form of bold, highly legible digital numerals in light blue, making for a strong contrast against the black dial. This all-black style is incredibly versatile and fits well with virtually any fashion style and outfit, be it casual or semi-formal.
2. Nixon Regulus Multicam Tropic Ref. A1180-3175-00
The Multicam Tropic Ref. A1180-3175-00 version is the best-selling piece in the Nixon Regulus series. With its combination of a vintage vibe and a modern dial design, this watch is the go-to choice of most adventurers and survivalists. You can easily bring this watch with you to the ocean for surfing or stand-up paddling with its tough and lightweight build.
This Multicam Tropic Nixon Regulus piece comes in a 46mm forest green case, coupled with a rugged camo-style strap. It boasts a sporty look that is perfect for the outdoors. The dial of this watch is also equipped with a bright, adjustable LCD backlight, which you can turn on for optimal readability even in dim lighting conditions. As with other Nixon Regulus timepieces, this watch sells at just $175 USD.
3. Nixon Regulus All Sand Ref. A1180-2711-00
Another excellent Nixon Regulus digital watch you can add to your collection is the All Sand Ref. A1180-2711-00. This watch boasts a simple, industrial look with a straightforward yet futuristic digital style. This watch can take on all types of wear and tear, be it exposure to dust, mud, or rain, and still do its job well in displaying accurate time.
The Nixon Regulus All Sand is presented in a 46mm light grey case, paired with a matching light grey TPU 80 strap. It stands out nicely against the darker black bezel and stainless steel, making for a pleasing, understated combination. For military, sports, and outdoors folks, the Nixon Regulus All Sand would be a good purchase for you since it offers the basic needs for a watch. In addition, its light gray colorway is practical and quite versatile, so you can easily wear this at any event together with a suit and tie or even just a shirt and shorts.
Best Alternatives to the Nixon Regulus
While the Nixon Regulus is an excellent digital survival watch, it might not be accessible to everyone. If you are unable to get your hands on a Nixon Regulus piece, fear not. We have prepared a couple of the best alternative watches to the Nixon Regulus for your perusal. All of these watches come with similar functions and features, at affordable prices, so you will not have to break the bank with any of them.
1. Casio G-Shock Solar Full Metal Black Ref. GMW-B5000GD-1JF
One of the best alternatives to the Nixon Regulus is the Casio G-Shock Solar Full Metal Black Ref. GMW-B5000GD-1JF. Although it is slightly more expensive than the Nixon Regulus, it still sells at quite an affordable price and comes with a number of additional complications to boot, making it a highly functional digital piece.
This Casio timepiece comes in a 43.2mm stainless steel case, coupled with a matching stainless steel bracelet. Although this square-shaped watch is slightly smaller than the Regulus, its stainless steel build means that it is actually slightly heavier on your wrist. Its dial shows off a black LCD screen with muted green digital numerals. For those who have trouble reading the dial, you can use the watch’s LED backlight for optimal legibility.
As a Casio G-Shock piece, this watch also comes with a multitude of useful functions. These include five daily alarms, a snooze alarm, hourly time signal, countdown timer, and stopwatch, all of which can be controlled using the push buttons on the sides of the case. In addition, this watch’s coordinated universal time feature allows it to sync up with time zones for 39 major cities in the world, making it a great choice for frequent travelers. Its Bluetooth smartphone link capabilities also enable you to connect this watch to your smartphone, so you can receive notifications and calls using this watch without having to constantly check your phone.
Like other G-Shock models, this watch comes with the brand’s famous Multi-Band 6 technology, which makes use of global radio frequencies to keep more precise time. It is also solar-powered, which means that you can charge this watch using any light source, be it natural or artificial, so you will never have to worry about winding this timepiece or changing its batteries.
The Casio G-Shock Solar Full Metal Black Ref. GMW-B5000GD-1JF sells at an estimated price of $539 USD.
2. Suunto 7 All Black Ref. SS050378000
If you want to have a more versatile sports experience, go for the Suunto 7 All Black Ref. SS050378000. This sleek sports watch comes in a bulky 50mm case made from glass fiber-reinforced polyamide, paired with a black silicone strap. It is powered by Google’s Wear OS system, making it a modern smartwatch that caters to all of your needs. With its smartphone connectivity, you can connect this watch to your phone, all day and night. In addition, it also comes with 3D routes, sleep tracking, offline music, fitness tracking, and downloadable GPS heat maps for when you travel to new areas. Indeed, this smartwatch is dedicated to making your day easier and hassle-free.
Furthermore, if you think that smartwatches are fragile, this Suunto 7 piece is sure to prove you wrong. On top of its sturdy, reinforced polyamide case, the dial of this watch is also protected by a strengthened stainless steel bezel and a layer of clear Gorilla glass. This keeps the watch face safe from any scratches or impacts while also giving wearers a clear view of the vibrant, colorful LED dial. Finally, this watch is also water-resistant up to depths of 50 meters, so you can easily bring it with you on your trips to the beach.
This Suunto watch retails at approximately $478 USD.
The Nixon Regulus is the kind of watch that you can rely on regardless of how you use it. With its affordable price, we can confidently say that this watch is well worth your money, especially since it comes from Nixon, a trustworthy brand known for offering reliable sports and tactical watches. All in all, the ease of use and simple look of the Regulus makes this an outstanding offering by the brand. If you are looking for a tactical watch that you can use as your everyday companion, you should not miss out on the Nixon Regulus.
All photos are from Nixon’s official website unless stated.
Are you looking for more tactical watches? Check out the 7 best tactical and military watches for your next watch shopping.