Tactical Watch Battle: T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond vs Garmin Instinct

T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diaond vs Garmin Instinct
Photo : T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diaond vs Garmin Instinct

Tactical watches, lights, backpacks, shoes, and other gear have been raging in sales online. Ever since the tact light's monstrous viral video smashed the social media scene and sold over 1-million flashlights, the niche has been wide open. Then let's not forget the birth of microbrand, "T1 Tact Watch," who's series of 'animal vs smartwatch' videos reached millions of people globally. It's been the catalyst for independent smartwatch brands growing in sales by 700% since 2018. Now there's a rising question amongst consumers. How are these budgeted cool hunter watches compared to the super brand competitors? This question brings the need for a tactical watch battle, the Garmin Instinct vs T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond.

Budget Smartwatch Prices: $95 vs $300

The price of the "Midnight Diamond" by T1TW is considerably less than the Garmin Instinct. Though the two have very similar external looks, the T1TWMD is $94.99. The GI costs $299.99. This is a difference of $205, which is not a small gap.

Why is the price difference so big? Two things cause the majority of this difference.

One, Garmin spends multi-millions yearly on advertising and promotion. Where does that budget have to be made from? Of course, the watch on your wrist. That budget helps make it a bigger status symbol than the "Midnight Diamond."

The second reason, the additional technology. The "Midnight Diamond" by T1TW is a more durable and practical watch for tactical training and government jobs. It's safe for entering high security areas in most scenarios while the Garmin Instinct is not.

All the bells and whistles are fun for fitness, but not the real tactical world of the military and government. The extra $205 spent is great for those who love wearable tech but if going after raw and 'sweet' durability, the $95 T1 Tact Watch option is the way to go.

Tactical Watch Review: Specs and Functions

1= poor, 5= avg, 10= best

Garmin Instinct

T1 Tact Watch




External durability



Screen durability

4 [ read ]


Water resistance

329 ft

169 ft


iOS, Android

iOS, Android

battery life

14 days, rechargeable

1-2 years

Tracked by GPS satellites



Heart monitor



Sleep Monitor



Running/fitness apps






Official shop

Buy here

Buy here

Problems of the T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond Tactical Smartwatch

For $94.99, consumers should not be looking for core functionality versus 'cool sounding' features, most will not use. The T1TWMD is super durable and rugged, but it does not have GPS. However, there is a distance tracking function that will let you know how far you've traveled, if running on a trail or marathon.

The other luxury that's missing from thie $95 'adventurers' status symbol is a rechargeable battery. Then again, it's not bad for those who love to go camping or spend extended time in the outdoors. This battery will last for 1-2 years, sometimes up to 3 years, without needing a change. Rechargeable batteries are not good for extended stays without a charging station.

Last, there is no additional colorways of the Midnight diamond yet. Colorful options would be nice. However, the '007' T1 Tact Watch the brand stands for, may explain the lack of alternatives.

Problems with the Garmin Instinct Tactical Smartwatch

The 'GI' has a prominent issue with its watch glass. Quite a few consumers online are seen complaining about the Garmin watch glass always breaking. There's screen protectors consumers can purchase but even those are said to be imperfect.

The rechargeable battery seems 'great' ideally but if it can only hold a 14 hour charge. This is a problem. Any adventurer can burn through 14 hours with ease while hiking or camping. Spending $300 for a tactical smartwatch, one would want more usage time, surely.

If you're a fan of the sleep monitor, forget about it. According to the Garmin website, it's not on this model.

Smartwatch Coupons, Promo Codes, and Discounts

T1 Tact Watch does not have many promotional offers. The only one existent currently is "lapoderosa69," which ends Friday.This is something given to a popular Tik Tok influencer, who likes to use the watch for gym and fitness. Any "Midnight Diamond" smartwatch that's less than $94.99 is a low quality fake, do not trust it. T1TW sells exclusively through their website T1TactWatch.com.

Garmin does have some promo offers, check RetailMeNot for the latest. Also Amazon shoppers can find resellers knocking off $50 and sometimes more for limited times.

Besides this, Garmin is also less exclusive. Major retail stores offer coupon codes that can sometimes be applied to the "Instinct," but rarely.

Simple conclusion for Winner

Of the two, the T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond is a better smartwatch for a budget. The price is less than a third of the price of the Instinct. Also, if you're using this for tactical training, it's likely a GPS tracker will not be allowed in high security buildings or locations.

Based on price, functionality, and durability the $94.99 T1TWMD is a grand slam, out of the park. The T1TactWatch.com website also offers free shipping to customers inside the US.

If you want the GPS feature however, gotta go with the instinct. Just realize there's a lot of people complaining about the watch glass cracking. But it's still not a terrible price, being sold at various retailers online for $300 plus shipping.

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