The Best and Toughest Military Watches

There are many reasons you’d want a capable, tough, rugged, and reliable military-spec watch. Something a bit more robust than a men’s automatic watch or a beautiful chronograph. The first obvious use-case is if you’re in the military. Military personnel relies on these timekeepers to give them accurate time, and as Timex would say, “take a licking, and keep on ticking.” Designed to survive the harshest of conditions, the best military watches have to endure all manner of constant abuse. 

But there’s more to what makes a military watch the one you want to buy than simple survivability. There are features and capabilities of the tactical watch that come into play as well. And while military personnel can take advantage of these specifications, they also come in handy for police officers, park rangers, wilderness rescue teams, EMT’s, hikers, and outdoor guides. The exact watch you want to buy will depend on your special use case. I don’t imagine that the exact specifications of a high-quality military and tactical watch will line-up exactly between an EMT, an outdoor hiker, and a Navy SEAL. 

So what exact properties should a military-grade tactical watch exude for it to be considered amongst the best? Here’s a run-down of what you should expect, nay, demand from your military issue watch:

  • The ability to withstand repeated, direct, and indirect impacts
  • The ability to survive and continue to operate in extreme temperatures
  • Withstand complete submersion for an indeterminate amount of time
  • Show and display the time in all light conditions, so you never have to look twice to know what time it is or how much time is left on a timer. 
  • High legibility of all readouts
  • Ideally, survive for years of use
  • A long-lasting battery
  • Low-battery warning indicator
  • The crystal or glass covering on a military watch should NEVER break or sustain scratches that make the watch unusable. 
  • Secure and rugged band

And while those are the must-have ingredients that the best military watches in the world will have, there’s also a fairly long list of nice-to-haves that you should consider. 

  • Built-in 3-axis compass
  • Built-in GPS (Glonass, GPA and Galileo systems)
  • A barometric altimeter
  • Multiple timers
  • Chronograph / Stopwatch capabilities
  • Stealthy construction. Ideally, the watch is made of dark and non-reflective materials and surfaces.
  • Ability to silence and turn off light activation in night-time conditions to reduce chances of detection
  • Solar-powered recharging capability
  • Easy operation with gloves on
  • Backlight
  • Pulse Oximeter
  • Included topographical maps
  • Fitness tracking
  • Thermometer
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Lightweight – after all, the less gear you have to haul around, the better. 
  • 24-hour time dial
  • Tritium gas to enable glowing of readouts without need for outside source and without ruining your night-vision.

No matter whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking your latest outdoor adventure, an armed forces professional, a law enforcement officer, or you’re out to prepare yourself for the coming societal breakdown and subsequent apocalypse. You’ll find some use in an amazing tactical military watch. Here are 20 of the best ones money can buy. Just don’t forget, these watches are not intended to be a fashion statement. They’re tools of survival. Treat them accordingly as such. 

1. Casio G-Shock GG-1000

Casio G-Shock GG-1000

Often considered one of the best tactical watches available, the G-Shock GG-1000 is designed to withstand all the elements, especially if you think you’re going to find yourself trudging through dust, mud, and sludge. Multiple gaskets are used throughout on any mechanical buttons or moving parts to ensure that not so much as a scintilla of dust can penetrate the outside of this military watch.

The twin-sensor capability allows instant access to direction and temperature under tough conditions. The face is illuminated by a high-brightness auto-LED and features 200-meter water resistance. So go ahead, take this bad-boy out for some rough and tumble adventure. Or on your next mission, you know, it’s up to you!

Key Features

  • Shock resistant
  • 200M water resistant
  • Digital compass – 0 to 359 degrees measuring unit
  • Thermometer display range of -10 to 60 Celsius
  • LED backlight (selectable illumination duration)
  • Luminous hands and markers
  • World time
  • 5 daily alarms
  • Hourly time signal
  • 1/100 second stopwatch
  • Countdown timers
  • Calendar
  • 12/24 hour formats
  • Low battery alert
  • 15 seconds per month accuracy


  • Case size: 56.2 mm
  • Band width: 25 mm
  • Weight: 3.4 oz
  • Battery life: 2 years

2. Luminox Men’s 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch

Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch

Designed specifically for Navy SEAL operators, this watch glows 100 times brighter than other luminous watches, which allows for easier dial visibility in low or no-light situations. But that’s just part of the brilliance that this timepiece has to offer. Made out of a 43.9 mm polyurethane frame with a matching PU band, this watch uses large white Arabic numerals for a high-contrast design. The large numbers naturally lend themselves to legibility that is bar-none best in class. Swiss-made, the Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051, uses a special tempered mineral crystal to prevent scratches or shattering.

Key Features

  • Swizz Quartz movement
  • The hardened mineral crystal watch face
  • Water-resistant to 200 M
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel
  • GMT scale on the inner ring
  • Luminescent hands and dial markers
  • Tang clasp


  • Case size: 43.9 mm
  • Band width: 23 mm
  • Weight: 2.08 oz

3. Garmin Tactix Bravo

Garmin Tactix Bravo

The Garmin Tactic Bravo is more than a mere tactical watch. It’s a military-spec piece of technology that uses a 1.2 inch high-resolution chroma display from Garmin. It’s designed to display the information that you need when you need it. Topped with a high-strength domed sapphire lens, the watch can quickly switch between day use and night vision goggle mode. The omnidirectional antenna is encased in a non-reflective all-black case designed to be as stealthy as possible. It can use the GPS and GLONASS satellite system to provide accurate positioning details in even challenging and non-satellite friendly environment.

Additional features round out this incredible men’s Garmin military watch. This watch is capable of fitness tracking, outdoor navigation, Jumpmaster activity, and even projecting waypoints. But don’t worry, there’s plenty more to whet your appetite for one of the best tactical watches ever made.

Key Features

  • Dual format GPS Coordinate data supports MGRS
  • TrackBack feature lets you navigate back to your starting point
  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Compass
  • Smartwatch notifications include emails, text, alerts (paired with a smart-phone)
  • Interchangeable 3-ring nylon straps
  • Stainless steel bezel
  • Reinforced housing
  • Sunlight-visible high-resolution colour display
  • LED Backlight
  • 100-meter water-resistant
  • VO2 max estimator
  • Heart-rate sensor
  • Timer / Stopwatch / Sunrise – Sunset times
  • Thermometer


  • Up to 2 weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode
  • Up to 20 hours in GPS mode
  • Case size: 51 mm
  • Weight: 3.25 oz

4. Marathon Watch WW194007 Tsar Milspec Diver’s Quartz Watch

Marathon Watch WW194007 Tsar Milspec Diver's Quartz Watch

Thus far, the black military watches I’ve featured here have been rather utilitarian in their style. However, this military-spec watch from Marathon is not only designed for official use by the U.S. government and NATO; it’s also rather stylish for such a tough brute. It’s no surprise given that this is a swiss military watch made in the La Chaux de Fonds region. Designed for use in all manner of adverse conditions, including search and rescue missions where a water-resistance rating of 300 meters comes quite in handy.

Additionally, the high-torque movement with three jewels at its heart makes for an incredibly accurate timekeeping device. The TSAR is topped with a 316L stainless steel casing and a synthetic sapphire glass that resists breaking and scratches. And finally, this watch wouldn’t be complete without the fact that it uses self-contained Tritium gas tubes to ensure visibility in all low and no-light situations. That means it’s not dependent on any outside light-source for illumination.

Key Features

  • Built to government specs for use by military personnel
  • Tritium gas tubes
  • 300M (30ATM) water-resistance
  • End of life movement indicator
  • Swiss-made
  • 316L Stainless Steel case
  • Rubber band


  • Case size: 41 mm
  • Weight: 3.7 oz

5. Suunto Core – Men’s Outdoor Sports Watch

Suunto Core - Men's Outdoor Sports Watch

Perhaps not nearly as rugged as some of the previously mentioned tactical watches, the Suunto Core watch is still plenty capable for a serious outdoor adventure seeker. Available in several different colours, including the black version pictured above, this adventure watch features an altimeter, a barometer, a sun tracker position, and a weather trend graph. And if you’re looking for a lightweight military watch, at only 1.4 oz, the Sunnto Core is a featherweight.

Key Features

  • Reliable altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Weather change alarms
  • Digital compass
  • Sunrise / sunset for 400 worldwide locations
  • Band Material: Elastomer
  • Movement: Quartz


  • Case size: 49 mm
  • Weight: 1.4 oz

6. MTM Watch – Black Rad

MTM Watch - Black Rad

Before we move forward with this tactical watch, can we acknowledge how freaking cool it is that we can jam so much incredible technology on our wrists these days? While this is not a single-feature military watch, the MTM Special Ops Black Rad watch has one standout feature. It can measure radiation levels! So if you’re the type of soldier or field operative that requires that kind of knowledge, this is the right military watch for you. Using a Geiger-Müller tube, the Black Rad detects, measures, and displays any harmful levels of gamma-ray levels. All-in-all, this is a pretty wicked military watch that derives much of its ruggedness from a solid titanium case and sapphire crystal glass.

Key Features

  • Detects gamma-ray radiation, making it an effective Geiger counter
  • Analog Swiss Ronda 763E movement
  • Time, Date, Alarm digital readout
  • Backlight
  • The case is made out of solid titanium
  • Unidirectional, ratcheting bezel
  • 3-Year warranty
  • Lithium battery rated for two years of continuous use


  • Case size: 46mm
  • Case thickness: 16mm
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM (100m)
  • Weight: 7.5 oz 

7. Casio Men’s PRG-270-1 Protrek Digital Sport Watch

Casio Men's PRG-270-1 Protrek Digital Sport Watch

Don’t let the name of this watch fool you. While marketed as a sports watch, this tough solar-powered watch is capable of running for almost nine months on a single charge with no further exposure to light. Now that’s what I call an efficient timekeeping device! With a plethora of features such as a barometer, barometric changes alarm, digital compass, and thermometer, this high-performance tactical watch also incorporates sunset and sunrise data. All encased in a beautiful and tough resin and stainless steel case; this watch was designed specifically for outdoor use with large multi-function buttons and clear digital dial readouts.

Key Features

  • Low temperature resistant down to -10C (14 F)
  • Five daily alarms
  • World time
  • Full auto LED Backlight with afterglow
  • Countdown timer
  • Barometer
  • Thermometer
  • Digital compass
  • Altimeter (up to 1m accuracy)
  • Stainless steel + resin case
  • Solar-powered operation (you never run out of power)
  • Hourly time signal
  • 1/100 second stopwatch
  • Battery power indicator
  • Resin band


  • Case size: 52mm
  • Case thickness: 14mm
  • Strap / Band width: 26 mm
  • Weight: 11.2 oz
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM (100m)

8. Victorinox – Swiss Army I.N.O.X Carbon Limited Edition Military Watch

Victorinox - Swiss Army I.N.O.X Carbon Limited Edition Military Watch

This military-inspired watch is unique in the sense that it not only delivers a great tactical watch experience; it also comes with a handy Swiss Military 23 pocket knife. The camouflage design of the survival paracord strap is a brilliant design feature both from an aesthetic perspective and from usefulness in the field view. If you don’t know what a paracord bracelet is, I advise you get a bit of a quick run-down on it. The unique carbon composite construction ensures a lightweight watch and provides plenty of scratch and shock resistance.

Key Features

  • SuperLuminova high-visibility dial
  • Swiss analog quartz movement
  • Comes with two additional straps (one military NATO and one black rubber)
  • Also comes with a protective compass bumper


  • Case size: 43mm
  • Weight: 3.2 oz
  • Water Resistance: 20ATM (200m)

9. SureFire 2211 WristLight Series

SureFire 2211 WristLight Series

Here is yet another unique take on what qualifies as one of the best tactical military watches available. Why carry an unnecessarily heavy flashlight amongst all the other pounds of gear when you can rely on a source of powerful illumination right on your wrist? That’s the primary selling feature of the SureFire 2211. The LED light beam is specifically designed for tactical use by employing a precision faceted reflector that creates a wide and evenly dispersed beam. Oh yeah, and it’s a pretty decent but simple watch with a Quartz movement. 

And if you still want a 300 lumen light on your wrist, but you’d prefer a higher-end Luminox Watch, you can have that too. 

Key Features

  • Three levels of light intensity: 300 lumens, 60 lumens, 15 lumens
  • Ambidextrous pushbutton switch for LED flashlight activation
  • Self-illuminating Dial for low-light readability (on Luminox version)
  • LED fuel gauge tells you the battery level
  • Lightweight aerospace aluminum construction
  • USB charging


  • Weight: 3.99 oz

10. Hamilton – BeLOWZERO Auto – Limited Edition

Hamilton - BeLOWZERO Auto - Limited Edition

Ok, I won’t lie; this isn’t your typical military watch. It’s more of a fashion watch masquerading in a futuristic military-inspired case. The BeLOWZERO Auto was recently featured in Christopher Nolan’s film, Tenet. Cased in lightweight titanium, this beautiful watch comes encased in a ridiculously opulent and futuristic looking box you have to see for yourself. But it’s not just all good looks with this Hamilton watch. There’s plenty of awesome under the glass. A three-hand movement features a power reserve of 80 hours (it’s an automatic movement watch, so the movement of your wrist powers it as you wear it).

Key Features

  • Automatic movement
  • 80-hour power reserve
  • Titanium case construction
  • PVD black coating
  • Sapphire crystal glass


  • Case size: 46mm
  • Water resistance: 100 ATM (1000m) – I guess this is a true diver’s watch?!

11. Timex Men’s Expedition Gallatin Watch

Timex Men's Expedition Gallatin Watch

Affordable, rugged, and designed to withstand the elements, this outdoor watch from Timex is a classic analog watch made for the frugal adventurer. Is it a tactical watch? Sure, why not. It certainly could be considered a cheap way to run with something that is both reliable but won’t make you cry if it breaks during a mission because it’s not too costly to replace. Water-resistant to 50 meters and featuring an Indigo light-up dial, this watch is sold with a black double-layer nylon strap that provides extra reliability. When I think of it, this is a perfect watch for a young teenager who wants one on their wrist, but you know, won’t be too careful with it.

Key Features

  • Indigo backlight
  • 10-year battery life
  • Scratch-resistant mineral crystal
  • Quartz movement
  • Resin case construction


  • Case size: 44mm
  • Case thickness: 11.5mm
  • Band: Nylon
  • Weight: 1.45 oz

12. Casio G-Shock X-Large 3D Ana-Digi Reverse LCD

Casio G-Shock X-Large 3D Ana-Digi Reverse LCD

The shock-resistance on this Casio G-Shock is about as good as it gets for any tactical watch. I would almost go as far as to say that this may be the toughest watch in the world. Featuring a large round analog and digital dial, the G-Shock X-Large 3D features 12/24 hour formats and is expected to run for about two years on one battery. Perfect for anyone wanting a rugged watch in tough environments such as fishing, rigging, construction, or other outdoor professions. This Casio military watch is a big black matte beauty.

Key Features

  • Shock-resistant
  • Resin case construction
  • Resin strap
  • Anti-magnetic shielding
  • 12/24 hour formats
  • 2-Year battery life
  • You can set four separate alarms


  • Case size: 50mm
  • Water resistance: 20 ATM (200 meters)

13. Breitling – Emergency, Titanium Black Watch

Breitling - Emergency, Titanium Black Watch

Here is another tactical adventure watch with a feature you’re not likely to find anywhere else. That feature is perfect for any military or tactical mission or any outdoor adventure that will require you to go into any remote or isolated environment. Sometimes cell-phone signals fail, and even satellite phones can malfunction in adverse environments. That’s where the Breitling Emergency timepiece slots in. It’s the world’s first wristwatch equipped with a dual-frequency distress beacon. It’s the ultimate survival backup mechanism for the serious adventurer.

So how does it work? The distress beacon emits an alert signal using the miniaturized transmitter via an integrated antenna that will guide rescue operations with an easy to recognize frequency to your exact location. The dual-frequency emergency distress beacon transmits on the 121.5 Mhz and 406 Mhz channels. Both these channels are used internationally as distress channels monitored by rescue authorities. Be warned, however, this is not a cheap watch. But then again, it’s probably worth your life, right?

Key Features

  • Distress beacon
  • Super quartz movement
  • 12/24 LCD digital display
  • EOL indicator
  • Chronograph (1/100th second)
  • Digital day and date calendar
  • Countdown timer
  • 2nd timezone
  • Alarm
  • Bidirectional compass scale bezel
  • Convex sapphire crystal glass
  • Available in silver stainless steel bracelet strap or rubber strap


  • Case size: 51 mm
  • Case thickness: 21.6 mm

14. Garmin Tactix Delta, GPS Smartwatch

Garmin Tactix Delta, GPS Smartwatch

When a derivation of the word “tactical” is in the name of your product, you better live up to the fact that you’re billing yourself as a superior tactical military watch. Well, I’m happy to say that not only does this Garmin smartwatch meet that standard, it blows it away. Built to military spec (MIL-STD-810), the Garmin Tactix Delta features a rugged design and is a premium GPS smartwatch that features a massive amount of features. Amongst those features is night-vision goggles compatibility, the ability to measure running and cycling performance, and up to 21 days of battery life on one charge. But that’s just the start. There’s a reason this Garmin watch is considered one of the most premium military watches available anywhere. 

Key Features

  • Night-vision compatibility
  • Kill switch – wipes the device of all user memory
  • Stealth mode kills all GPS and wireless connectivity
  • Jumpmaster mode (helps you navigate to your waypoint after you’ve jumped)
  • Dual-format GPS with built-in topographic maps
  • Projected waypoints
  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • 3-Axis electronic compass
  • Topographic and ski maps for 2,000 worldwide ski resorts
  • Golf-courses maps for 41,000 golf courses around the world
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Round trip routing
  • Heart-rate and Pulse Oximeter readings
  • Respiration tracking (breaths per minute)
  • Sleep tracking
  • Integrated music apps like Spotify and Amazon music
  • Pair with Bluetooth headphones
  • Solar charging lenses extend battery life
  • Domed sapphire crystal glass
  • DLC coated steel bezel
  • Silicone strap


  • Case size: 51 mm
  • Case thickness: 14.9 mm
  • Display size: 1.4″
  • Battery life: Up to 21 days
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM (100 meters)

15. Suunto Watch Traverse Alpha

Suunto Watch Traverse Alpha

Are you ready to take the less taken road? The less-traversed path? Heed the call of the wild? Then you’ll probably need this amazing tactical watch from Suunto. It’s the ultimate expression of a wristwatch designed to be your ultimate adventure companion. With this on your wrist, you’ll be confident in knowing that no matter where you trek or hike takes you, you’ll never be lost. And suppose you’re a fisherman or a hunter. In that case, this Suunto watch provides some very useful features, including tools for tracking your path, a moon-phase calendar, shot detection, and weather trend alerts.

Key Features

  • Red backlight for night-time use
  • Sunrise alert
  • Made in Finland and tested to military standards (The Finns know a thing or two about rugged outdoor trekking)
  • GPS and GLONASS for route and POI navigation
  • Speed, distance, and altitude tracking
  • Digital compass
  • GPS time update
  • Step and calorie tracking
  • Mobile notifications
  • Stainless steel bezel
  • Composite material case construction
  • Silicone strap
  • USB charging
  • LED backlight
  • Battery life: 14 days (in time mode)


  • Case size: 50 mm
  • Case thickness: 16.5 mm
  • Weight: 2.82 oz
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM (100 m)

16. Panerai Submersible Militare Carbotech 47mm

Panerai Submersible Militare Carbotech 47mm

Purpose-built as a stunning and elegant dive-watch, this professional timepiece is somewhat exclusive, which you can only get at a Panerai boutique. And yet I felt compelled to include it on this list because of its aesthetic appeal and amazing build quality. Featuring a mechanical P.9010 caliber movement with 31 jewels, this is the type of tactical watch you’ll probably want to order up once you’re retired and show off to your military buds rather than a tool you’ll be taking on deep dives. Though you can do that as this watch is water-resistant up to a depth of 300 meters.

Key Features

  • Unidirectional bezel allows for calculating times of immersion with accuracy
  • Legibility in the dark waters is ensured by Super-Luminova paint applied to the markers and hands.
  • 31 jewel automatic movement
  • Tough rubber band
  • Caseback is titanium with a black coating
  • Date at 3’olock
  • Small secondary dial seconds at 9’oclock position on the dial
  • Anti-shock bezel


  • Case size: 47mm
  • Power reserve for three days

17. Casio Rangeman GW9400-1

Casio Rangeman GW9400-1

Let’s face it; this watch isn’t going to win any design awards, now is it? It’s big, it’s clunky, and it’s got more ridiculous, over-sized doodads, control knobs, and complications than it knows what to do with. But that’s kind of the whole point with a functional military watch, right? Casio’s excellent tactical military timekeeper has one purpose: to be the best solar-powered digital watch for military and adventure outings and survive any sort of beating it will likely take.

The Casio Rangeman features Casio’s superior shock-resistance and is capable of keeping altitude, barometric pressure, and temperature readings. The frequently used triple-sensor is protected by a metal cover keeping it safe from impacts and foreign debris. Each button and control has been thoughtfully designed to be easy to use even while wearing thick operator tactical gloves.

Key Features

  • Solar-powered digital watch
  • Quartz movement with analog display
  • Mineral crystal dial window
  • Digital compass, altimeter, barometer, and thermometer 
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Four alarms
  • 1/10 second stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • Calendar
  • G-Shock resistance technology
  • Black resin band
  • Mud, sand, and dirt resistant case
  • Low temperature resistant to -10 degrees Celsius


  • Case size: 53mm
  • Water-resistant: 200 meters

18. Luminox Navy SEAL 3503

Luminox Navy SEAL 3503

As part of the Navy SEAL series, this watch is one of Luminox’s most successful and best-selling timepieces. It features a CarbonX black case with crown and shock-protection. The case is made of a composite carbon-fiber material designed for heavy-duty usage under adverse conditions in the field. The Ronda 515 Swiss Quartz movement powering this military watch ensures steady and accurate timekeeping. Simultaneously, the always visible dial provides legible and highly visible hour and minute markers in any light condition. The white hands offer excellent visual counterbalance to the blue dial. Finished with a screw-in stainless steel caseback, the Navy Seal 3503 from Luminox is a capable, rugged, and beautiful tactical watch that’s perfect for special warfare operators and those that enjoy the occasional dive in the ocean.

Key Features

  • The case is constructed out of carbon compound
  • The bezel is unidirectional
  • Date display
  • Quartz movement
  • Tempered mineral crystal glass


  • Case size: 45mm
  • Case thickness: 15mm
  • Water-resistance: 200 meters

19. Timex Men’s Expedition Full Size Watch

Timex Men's Expedition Full Size Watch

If you’re looking for an armed-forced inspired watch that isn’t as hardcore and massive as some of the bulkier military watches for men on this list, then the Timex Expedition Acadia is worth taking a look at. Designed with a low price-point in mind, the Expedition is available in eight different colour combinations and is a very lightweight watch whose durability I’d rate as a medium. It’s not as tough as some of the Casio G-shocks, but it’s still far more rugged than your typical men’s wristwatch.

Featuring large and easy to read Arabic numerals for the hour markers and surrounded by a tough resin case, this watch also includes an INDIGLO backlight. Water-resistant to 50 meters, this wristwatch will survive recreational swims, but you probably shouldn’t take it SCUBA diving.

Key Features

  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Nylon band with buckle closure
  • INDIGLO backlight
  • Date window at 3 o’clock


  • Case size: 40 mm
  • Case thickness: 11.5 mm
  • Weight: 1.27 oz

20. Vincero Watches – The Outrider

Vincero Watches - The Outrider

The Outrider is a seriously stunning tactical timepiece made with durability and excellent looks in mind. So while you may not feel overly comfortable throwing this on your wrist during your dirtiest and most dangerous activities, you might still be more than happy to take this along while hiking, camping, or making your way through the bush. Available in five striking colour combinations, including the Matte Black / Grey combo pictured above, The Outrider is powered by a Seiko mechanical quartz movement and features a 316L stainless steel case.

Key Features

  • Sapphire coated crystal glass
  • Swiss LUME on hands, hour markers, and bezel to be able to tell the time at night
  • Single stitch Italian top grain leather band


  • Case size: 41 mm
  • Case thickness: 12.5 mm
  • Water-resistance: 10 ATM (100 meters)

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