Best Law Enforcement Watches
Part #3: First Line Supervisor (or, perhaps more accurately, “The Death of Anything Fun”)

By: Matt Wright

As with any profession, you may find yourself at a point in your career where you are thinking one of three things.

    1. “I would like to impart some of the knowledge I have accumulated over the years to the younger troops.”
    2. “This department is headed in the wrong direction and I want to promote in order to start changing the culture.”
    3. or “I’m getting too old for this shit and a pay raise would be nice.”

Well, at this point in a career you are beginning to think about promotion and gravitating towards the managing and leading people role, as opposed to focusing on yourself for the most part. It’s a lot like having children, except without the cuddling and bedtime stories. So, why not take this time, focus on yourself for just a little bit, and be selfish about what goes on your wrist.

So what is your role as a First Line Supervisor? I am glad you asked. More than likely you will have more (or less) 8-10 troops that you supervise. Your new role will require: (1) about 60% of your time on a computer doing paperwork and taking care of emails; (2) 30% out in the field with your troops on calls (or just interacting with them in general); (3) and 10% spent with other supervisors bitching about the drawbacks of the other 90%.

I am not sure how the corporate world works, but in law-enforcement, any supervisor knows that once you promote, you go to the bottom of the totem pole for whatever rank you promoted. That means (more than likely) as a supervisor you will first have to go back to patrol to supervise an evening-shift or a night-shift. Therefore we could draw back to our first option from Part 1 of this series, because more than likely that Casio will still be ticking and ready for work. HOWEVER if (like your career) your watch enthusiasm seems to be broadening, let me offer a couple of options for the lowly Sergeants and first-line supervisors out there.

Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051.BO

Going with the classic field watch design, this blacked out version of the Luminox 3050 series is perfect for the supervisor that wants to boast a watch with some pedigree, but remain tactical if the occasion calls for it.


The 3051.BO has a black dial with black Arabic numerals. There is a military time inner chapter ring (also in black) and a black unidirectional ratcheting bezel with blacked out numbers. So now you are asking, “How will I be able to see the time in the dark with all that black on the watch?” Do I have a treat for you – TRITIUM! Yes, tritium. This watch has tritium tubes over each of the hour markers (in the minutes, hours, and seconds hands – plus in the pip at 12 o’clock on the bezel). What is tritium? The tritium tubes Luminox uses are self-sustaining tubes that glow in the dark. These tubes can last up to 25 years with no maintenance, and do not need light to be charged. They glow on their own. Now, this particular watch has a nice “ice-blue” tritium glow to the tubes. Very subtle, and WILL NOT illuminate the inside of your car at all. It truly is a remarkable sight in the dark. In fact, when you look at your wrist to see the time, the legibility and stealth of the tritium will blow you away.

Luminox Colormark Specs

44mm diameter 22mm lug width
carbon reinforced polycarbonate case carbon reinforced unidirectional ratcheting bezel
tempered scratch resistant mineral crystal 200m water resistance*
Shop Now for $190 on Amazon

At 44mm in diameter, this watch makes a statement on the wrist. Nevertheless, it’s very functional for the duties of a street supervisor. The unidirectional bezel allows you to time how long your troops have been sitting on a perimeter so you can switch them out as needed… or you can time the coffee pot in your office to make sure it’s brewing properly. Overall, this is a solid watch for any street supervisor – particularly if you are a watch enthusiast and want to get into the Swiss watch scene. For about $400 MSRP (marked down to about $200 on Amazon), this watch is sure to give you some street cred. Again, get rid of the Luminox stock strap and buy you a few NATO straps to switch out as you like. I would get a black one with PVD hardware for the “murdered out” look. (Editor’s Note: A great option here would be a Nylon watch strap with black hardware from ToxicNATOs)

*A word of caution. Luminox claims this watch is water resistant to 200m and is suitable for scuba diving. The lack of a screw-down crown makes me hesitant to take this watch under water at all. At most, I would recommend simple daily use for anything water related (i.e. washing hands or dishes, showering, out in the rain, etc.).

Seiko SRPB51:

Sometimes as a supervisor, you will need to throw on your dress uniform for a community meeting, a department event, or sometimes (unfortunately) for a troop’s disciplinary hearing. There is truth to the saying, “You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.” Having a pressed uniform and a shine to your boots goes a long way to making a good first impression and it’s difficult for people not to take you seriously. Additionally, the right watch can definitely add to that impression, and it lets people know that you take yourself and the occasion seriously.

The Seiko SRPB51 is a Seiko dive watch in the “Samurai” line. There are about four or five different varieties to the Samurai, I personally own the SRPB53, which is the “Pepsi” version pictured at the top of this piece. The SRPB51 has the black and grey bezel and is a solid option for a supervisor wanting to mark an occasion.

Seiko Samurai Specs

43.8mm diameter 22mm lug width
stainless steel case with Hardlex crystal screw down crown and engraved caseback
200m Water Resistance unidirectional 120-click bezel
Shop Now for $335 on Amazon

The SRPB51 comes on a stainless steel bracelet. The watch sits at 43.8mm in diameter and has a unidirectional 120-click bezel. The waffled dial adds a bit of texture to the watch and the sword style hands form a rocket ship when they align. Most folks like to capture photos of it at 12 o’clock, but you can make the rocket within any hour. The red accent on the seconds hand is a nice touch. My absolute favorite feature of the watch though is the crown. The knurling on the crown is amazing and makes it easy to unscrew when you want to wind the watch and set the time.

The SRPB51 features the Seiko 4R35 movement, which has a quick set date feature. It is self-winding, which means it will wind with your wrist movement, but it can also be manually wound after unscrewing the crown. With a 41-hour power reserve, you should be able to set it aside for a day, but when you pick it up the day after, it will still be running and ready to go. Be careful, you may not want to take this watch off the wrist. At about $400, this watch is worth its weight and if you find yourself in front of a group, this watch will help you make a statement.

Up Next – “The Best Police Watches” Series Finale! Part #4: The Retirement Watch

Check Out The TBWS Podcast

Wrist Watch Podcast