30 Best Field Watches (From Affordable To Luxury!)
The reliability and ruggedness of field watches have made them some of the most popular timepieces on the market. The average field watch is versatile and stylish, making it great for everyday wear. Don’t be deceived by the minimalist designs most of them have; some cost several thousands of dollars.
These types of timepieces have been around for hundreds of years and were initially designed for people in the military and pilots. Many people have found them useful in other aspects and have since adopted the style. There are many field watches from various brands, so choosing the best to suit your needs might be difficult.
This is a guide to the best field watches across various brands, from affordable to luxury.
About Field Watches
Field watches are known for their functional designs, rugged build quality, and very readable dials. They carry this look because of the initial purpose of the invention, which was for military use.
Watches have always been seen as ornaments solely for beautifying the wearer. The world war came, and they became more than an object for beauty. Field timepieces were originally called trench watches, and their history dates back to the 20th century during the first world war.
Soldiers needed access to time on the battlefield, and the use of pocket watches on the front line slowed them down, so they decided to have them tied to their wrists. Watchmakers noted this and decided to design watches fit to withstand the tough conditions at the war front, and field watches were invented.
Field watches have evolved from being worn by people in the military to a timepiece that could be styled up or down. They are now worn on different attires as no one is worried about wearing a corporate watch on a suit and tie; the requirements for fashion are now looser.
What Makes Field Watches Special?
I will think twice before jumping into the pool with my $20,000 luxury Patek Philippe, even if it has 100 meters of water resistance written on it, but I won’t cringe if I have a field watch on. They were originally built to withstand war activities, and they still maintain those qualities to date. They are resistant to water, shock, and dust.
These watches look great on any outfit. They look amazing on shorts and t-shirts at the barbecue, and you will smash that look if you dress them up with your suit and tie.
Easy and Functional Design
Unlike your regular timepiece, every feature or design on a field watch is added to make the watch function better than the average watch. The dial and numerals are legible and easy to read, and the case and straps are built with some of the most rigid materials to withstand harsh conditions.
Most field watches today are upgrades of previous models from hundreds of years ago, and they maintain that classic and timeless design that ceases to go out of style.
What to Look for in Field Watches
If you are interested in field watches, there are a few things to consider before making that purchase.
It is most likely a bad choice if it doesn’t look like a watch that could be worn daily. A field watch must possess the qualities of a daily beater. They are mostly cased with stainless steel or titanium and NATO straps for comfort on the wrist and durability.
The watch’s water resistance is one of the qualities that makes it suitable for the field. To withstand water pressure, some are built with up to 100 meters of water resistance, and a very good one can have more than 200 meters.
For easy control, field watches use uncomplicated movements like quartz and mechanical. They are very easy to operate and require little maintenance.
Reading the numerals on a field watch should be easy, even in the dark. Most of them come with lume dials that glow when it’s dark to make them usable at all times.
Just like every other timepiece, field watches have different prices, depending on the features and build of the timepiece. Some quality ones could be bought for a few hundred dollars, while the top-tier ones cost thousands.
Now that you understand field watches and how to sight a good one, this is a list of my favorites across all brands.
The Best Field Watches
I have styled this classic timepiece with different attires, and I’m still in awe of its versatility. The Timex Expedition has all the qualities to be called a field watch. It has a stainless steel case covered with sapphire crystals, a black dial with glow-in-the-dark markers, and hands. It carries hand-winding mechanical movement and a 100 meters water resistance.
This field watch has a 38mm case size for both big and small wrists. The NATO strap used makes it fit for every activity, from working out to being styled up. The Timex Expedition is functional, stylish and offers much value at $295.
Citizen Garrison (ref. BM8180-03E)
The Citizen Garrison is an Eco-drive watch with rugged qualities fit for everyday wear. It has a 37mm steel case with very clear numerals on the black dial and a day-date feature at 3 o’clock.
This timepiece is powered by the in-house Citizen Eco-Drive technology that uses light as its source of power, and this feature makes the watch fit for any field activity as it doesn’t require any battery or winding for it to function. It is sold for between $100-$200.
Seiko 5 Field Sports Style SRPG35
In addition to all the classic features of a field watch, this timepiece has a modern touch that makes it fit every function and outfit. It has a case diameter of 39.4mm, which fits most wrists. The Seiko 5 Field Sport watch is cased in stainless steel with a steel bracelet also.
It has the Seiko 4R36 automatic movement, which is popular for its reliability and accuracy, as well as a 41-hour power reserve. If you’re looking for a field watch that will make you appear confident and stylish, the Seiko 5 Field Sports watch is a good pick, and it is currently sold for $295.
BOLDR Venture Carbon Black
Titanium watches have always stood out for me, and at $300, this timepiece offers good quality. Not only is this BOLDR field watch affordable, but it’s also very light and stylish.
Its 38mm case is made of titanium with a super lume coating on the markers and hands of the dial. It comes in Navy Blue, Jungle Green, and Carbon Black colors. The strap of the Venture Carbon is a tough nylon designed for any condition. The NH35A automatic Japanese movement powers it and has a water resistance of 200 meters.
The inspiration for the heritage collection dates back to the 20th century, to the watches made for the Swiss army during the World War. This vintage-styled watch is one of the most popular in the collection. At 40mm, the stainless steel case sits perfectly on my 8-inch wrist, and it is also coated with a black PVD. The green dial and black nylon fabric strap give it a unique and durable look.
The Heritage 241972 is powered by the Swiss quartz movement with a 100 meters water resistance. The green dial makes it a perfect fit for both men and women that fancy a unique timepiece with the features of a daily beater. For a Swiss timepiece, the Victorinox Swiss Army Heritage offers good value at $375.
Bulova Hack Watch Black Dial (ref. 98A255)
The unique feature of the Bulova Hack watch is its ability to stop and control the second hand, making it possible to make the time as accurate as possible. It is a perfect feature for professionals like pilots, doctors, engineers, and others who need an accurate time up to the exact second.
It has a 38mm steel case with a 10mm case thickness that sits well on a medium-sized wrist. The Bulova automatic movement powers the Hack watch with a 30-meter water resistance. This timepiece is currently sold for $380.
Marathon Sage Green General Purpose Mechanical (ref. WW194003SG)
The Marathon General Purpose Mechanical (GPM) is the definition of a watch built to take some serious beating. The timepiece was inspired by the watches issued to US military officers in the 1980s. It’s a cool and stylish timepiece designed with some of the toughest materials. It has a case made of high-impact fiber with a steel core, which makes it resistant to corrosion and shock. It has a sage green dial that fits perfectly with the tough green nylon strap.
It uses the Japanese Seiko NH35A automatic movement with a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance of 30 meters. Its 34mm case size and 11mm case thickness make it suitable for a small wrist, and at $450, the Marathon Sage Green General Purpose Mechanical will surely put a smile on your face without breaking the bank.
CWC G22 Automatic
The CWC G22 uses the Sellita SW200-1 movement, popularly known for its accuracy and reliability. For around $500, it’s a relatively affordable watch for its sophistication. This timepiece was originally designed for the British army, and it is still in use by some of its units to date.
It has a case diameter of 38.5mm and a case thickness of 11.5mm. It’s mostly compared with the Hamilton Field Mechanical watch because of the similar designs, but the movement of the CWC G22 makes it a more durable timepiece.
Nodus Sector Field Marina
The blue dial of this timepiece gives it personality, which I like very much. The dial has features like bold numerals, a 24-hour military tracker, and a date function. This timepiece has a screw-down crown with a very tough case back and up to 150 meters of water resistance. Its case diameter measures 38mm, which makes it a fit for most wrists, and it also has a stainless steel bracelet that complements the steel case.
The Seiko NH35 automatic movement powers it, and it comes with a 41-hour power reserve. The Nodus Sector Field Marina is a timepiece built to last, and it’s also a good choice if you want a shiny watch that will make you look sharp and stylish. It is currently sold for $450.
Glycine Combat 6 Vintage Black (ref. GL0459)
Looking at this timepiece, you can tell the design was well thought out and put together. The combination of a vintage design and modern features makes it a total eye-catcher. The 43mm stainless steel case size of the Vintage Black gives it a bold look that’s fit for confident people. The black fabric used for the strap complements the black dial and well-polished steel case.
The movement of this timepiece is based on the Sellita SW200-1, the GL224 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve. The big case and bold fonts make it a watch I will recommend for confident people who want a field watch with some style. It is currently worth $595.
Luminox Atacama Field Day Date 1929
This is a modern watch, and its features differ from other field watches. The Luminox Atacama is set apart by the Tritium illumination it comes with. Tritium is a radioactive gas that releases light for up to 25 years, so this watch can’t lose its glow; this feature makes it a timepiece fit for long night activities on the field. It has a steel case that measures 45mm in diameter with a case thickness of 13mm. And as the name implies, there’s also a day and date feature on the dial.
It has a Swiss quartz movement and a 200 meters water resistance. Its leather strap makes it styleable on casual outfits and your suit and tie. It’s a bit pricey, but its modern features make it worth every dollar. If you are looking for a field watch that is rugged and with modern features that will last you for many years, I recommend the Luminox Atacama Field Day Date 1929 watch for you. It sells within the range of $650-$950.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm (ref. H69439931)
If you are looking for a classic military watch with a touch of modernity, this timepiece is for you. It is powered by the manual winding H-50 movement with an 80-hour power reserve, which means it can last for more than 2 days without winding.
It has a stainless steel case measuring 38mm in diameter with a 9.5mm thickness and a green NATO strap that gives it a functional look. However, it is inspired by the field watches used in the 20th century by the military. The Hamilton Khaki Field timepiece doesn’t look like a watch that will go out of style for many years to come. It is currently sold for around $495.
Vaer A5 Field Auto 40mm Black
Vaer watches have a very solid look that I love to see in watches, and the A5 field timepiece is one of my favorites. It has a stainless steel case that measures 40mm in diameter with a 10.4mm thickness. It has a black dial with white numerals that are very easy to read. It’s a light watch at 74 grams, making it sleek and comfortable on the wrist.
It is controlled by the famous Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve and a 100 meters water resistance. It is better styled on casual outfits and field clothes. For $549, you can lay your hands on one of these.
Benrus DTU-2A/P Field Watch
The rugged build of the DTU-2A/P timepiece and the not-so-fancy designs made it a favorite among US military soldiers in the 1960s, and this reissue holds most of its original features and a couple of new ones. It has a 39mm case made of 316L stainless steel and covered with acrylic crystals. This watch has a black dial and a 24-hour scale with numerals and indices.
The SW200-1 automatic movement used in this timepiece is an upgrade from the previous models that were hand-wound. The addition of a green NATO strap also gives it a modern touch that can be styled casually or for fieldwork. It has a water resistance of 50 meters and is currently sold for $595.
Orient Star Mechanical Sports Watch (ref. RE-AU0201E)
This mechanical sports watch is a beauty to behold, and it is also built to last. One feature that stands the Orient Star Mechanical Sports watch out from most field timepieces is its use of a large chrysanthemum-shaped crown that makes operating it very easy, even when you have gloves on while working.
It has a 41mm case diameter made of stainless steel and sapphire crystals with an anti-reflective coating. The case back is also made of crystal glass, giving you a view of all the mechanics. Its dial consists of both Arabic numerals and indexes.
It is powered by automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve, and it has a water resistance of up to 100 meters. It comes with a well-polished leather strap that makes it fit for casual and corporate wear. The Orient Star RE-AU0201E is priced at $595 currently.
Formex Field Automatic Charcoal 41mm (ref. 0660.1.6523.121)
From its case to the dial and strap, the Formex Field Automatic Charcoal reflects serious toughness. Its 41mm case is built with grade 2 titanium treated with a special hardening substance to make it a lot harder so it can withstand a serious beating.
And despite its hardness, it maintains the usual light weight associated with titanium timepieces. The markers and numerals are inscribed into the charcoal dial, giving the dial a vintage and elevated look.
The Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement powers it with a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance of 150 meters. This field watch comes in leather, rubber, and NATO straps, depending on your preference. Buying this timepiece with all the straps allows you to use the timepiece for casual, corporate, and field purposes. At $845, the Formex Field Automatic Charcoal timepiece offers great value.
I find watches with history very amazing because they reflect years of continuous improvement in design. This Olympos watch is a great redesign of the original Zodiac Olympos used by British military officers in 1961. The STP 1-11 comes with some serious modern improvements. Its 40mm case is made of 316L stainless steel, and the dial is gray or green. Its strap is made of brown leather with a prong buckle.
It is powered by the SWISS STP 1-11 automatic movement with a 200 meters water resistance. The Olympos STP 1-11 is a very comfortable watch that can be styled up and down. It is currently priced at $895.
Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic Matte Dark Blue (ref. AL-525NN4S6)
Do you know what sounds much cooler than flying a plane? It’s the Alpina Startimer Pilot watch. Pilot watches are known for their usual style and class, but this timepiece turns it up a notch with modern designs. It has a very bold 44mm stainless steel case with sapphire crystal that’s both anti-reflective and scratch-proof. The watch’s dial is matte dark blue and very readable, and the genuine black leather strap complements it.
Inside this timepiece is the AL 525 movement with a power reserve of 38 hours and a 100 meters water resistance. Whether styled with a suit and tie or with shorts and tees, the Alpina Startimer timepiece will surely turn heads. It is currently priced at around $1000.
Accutron Legacy Railroad (ref. 2SW6B001)
For many years, pocket timepieces were the only watches approved by the railroad. Accutron watches were among the first set of timepieces approved by the North American Railroad, mainly because of the special tuning fork movement, which was very accurate compared to others in the 1960s. The Legacy 2SW6B001 is a total upgrade with the addition of the automatic ETA 2824-2 movement.
This silver-toned stainless steel timepiece has a case diameter of 34mm with a case thickness of 12.5mm. Its strap is made of leather with a double-press deployant closure. It’s a perfect watch for smart and active gentlemen. For a limited edition watch, it offers good value at $1,290.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Day Date (ref. 01 752 7698 4164-07 5 22 14FC)
Like the Alpina Startimer, this timepiece perfectly combines classic style and modern sophistication. But what sets it apart from other pilot watches is the modification of the Sellita SW200-1 automatic, which has been updated with a big day and date function. Its 45mm case is made of stainless steel, and it comes in two bracelet versions.
One comes with olive green straps and a steel clasp, and another with a full steel bracelet. It is powered by the 752 Oris movement with a water resistance of 100 meters. If you are looking for a pilot watch that’s functional and classy, this is a great choice for you. It currently costs $1,750.
Weiss 38mm Standard Issue Field Watch
This is a very stylish timepiece, and it’s also built to last long. Cameron Weiss’ dive into the Pacific Ocean inspired its creation, and this hand-designed masterpiece is everything you expect from a great field watch.
It has a case size of 36mm, built with stainless steel, with a 9.2mm thickness. The sapphire crystal back is well secured with four 316L steel hex screws. The crystal front is covered with a multi-layered anti-reflective coating. It also comes with different designs of handmade straps, and you can choose any design while purchasing.
It has the Weiss Caliber 1005 mechanical movement with a 42-hour power reserve. This field watch is a great choice that can be styled up or down. Its water resistance is 100 meters, and it is currently sold for $2,000.
Sinn 856 UTC
The Sinn 856 UTC is a definition of a modern timepiece; it embodies the characteristics of a watch meant for various activities. The 856 UTC has a dual time zone feature, which makes it possible for you to know the time in two different timezones. It also has magnetic field protection, which protects the watch and, most especially, the balance spring from functioning incorrectly due to the influence of magnetic fields.
The German watch has a case size of 40mm and 11mm thick, and is made of stainless steel. It comes in leather, stainless steel, and silicone strap versions. It is powered by the SW 330-1 self-winding mechanism with a 200 meters water resistance.
This watch is for people constantly traveling across countries with different timezones. It’s also a timepiece that can be styled with different outfits and will make a statement. The Sinn 856 UTC is sold for around $2,000.
The V1-92 military watch is the perfect timepiece for the field, as it is designed with tough materials and no-nonsense colors. Its 38.8mm case is made of satin polished stainless steel, and it has a brown strap made of calfskin with a pin buckle. Its markers and numerals are very visible on the black dial.
The BR-CAL. 302 automatic movement powers this Bell & Ross timepiece with a power reserve of 38 hours and a water resistance of 100 meters. It’s a great choice for every active person that wants to maintain a great style on the move. The V1-92 military timepiece is currently priced at around $2,400.
Longines Spirit Titanium (ref. L3.810.1.53.2)
This classic timepiece was designed for pilots and explorers in the 1960s, and the Spirit Titanium is a modernized version. It features a titanium case and a bracelet, making it a light watch on any wrist. It has a case diameter of 40mm, which is perfect for both big and small wrists.
Inside is the Longines Caliber L888 automatic movement with a 64-hour power reserve. It’s a COSC-Chronometer-certified watch with 100 meters of water resistance. It is currently sold for a little less than $3,000.
Tudor Ranger (ref. M79950-0001)
There is no way I will complete this list without mentioning a Tudor because of how tough they make their watches, even the luxurious ones. The Ranger watch is a versatile watch that can be styled perfectly on any outfit. It has a stainless steel case diameter of 39mm with a satin-brushed steel bezel. The strap is made of stainless steel that has a Tudor T-fit safety catch, and it also comes with extra NATO straps.
The COSC Certified in-house Tudor MT5402 caliber movement powers it with a 70 hours power reserve. It is built with a bidirectional rotor system and has a 100 meters water resistance. It is a timepiece that offers both luxury and functionality, and at $3,150, this Tudor Ranger offers good quality.
Bremont Broadsword “Dirty Dozen” Black Dial
This is an upgrade from the Dirty Dozen Timepiece issued to soldiers of the British military during the Second World War. Military watches are made to withstand harsh conditions, and the Broadsword watch offers the same standard with some added sophistication. It has a 40mm MOD hardened stainless steel case with an 11.7mm thickness. This Dirty Dozen comes in a NATO strap or a stainless steel bracelet.
The Bremont BE-95-2AV automatic movement powers it, and it is chronometer-certified to ISO 3159 standards. It has a 38-hour power reserve with a 100 meters water resistance. If you love military watches, spending around $3,000 on this timepiece would be a great choice.
Breitling Aviator 8 Day & Date 41 (ref. A45330101B1X1)
The tough case, bold dial, and accurate movement make this Aviator 8 the perfect Pilot watch, but it also comes with some features that stand it out from other Pilot watches. Its 41mm case is made of brushed stainless steel, and it has an 11.1mm case thickness. It comes in black or blue dial versions.
Inside it is the Breitling Caliber 45 automatic movement and bidirectional winding. It has a power reserve of over 40 hours with a water resistance of 100 meters. The Aviator 8 is a functional watch that looks good on casual and corporate outfits. It is sold for $4,250.
IWC Spitfire Automatic (ref. IW326805)
There are four pilot watches on this list for a good reason, and that’s because they have built-in features specifically to cater to the needs of a pilot, and these are also some of the functions needed by most field workers.
This is an upgrade from the Mark 11 navigation timepiece produced for the British Royal Air Force by IWC in the 1940s. This Swiss watch has a 39mm case diameter with a green textile strap. The attention to detail on this watch is its main distinct feature. Its case is perfectly finished with a very simple dial and clear numerals.
It is powered by the IWC-manufactured 32111 caliber, with a 120-hour power reserve. This Pilot watch has a 60 meters water resistance, and it is currently sold for around $5,000.
Omega Railmaster (ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001)
The Omega Railmaster timepiece was originally designed for railway workers back in 1957; because of their regular contact with magnetic fields on the tracks, they needed a watch that could withstand it. Other people who worked close to strong electrical fields also used this timepiece. This timepiece is an updated model that carries modern complications.
It has a 40mm case diameter, 12.7mm case thickness, and 100 meters of water resistance. It is both COSC and Master Chronometer Certified, which means it is a watch fit to withstand any activity, and it has a high level of precision. It is controlled by the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8806. It is currently sold for $5,400.
Rolex Explorer 40 (ref. 224270)
As it should be, the Rolex Explorer is the most expensive timepiece on this list, but it is not just because of the name. This watch embodies the luxurious look of an average Rolex and the tough build of a field watch. The 40mm diameter case is a little bit bigger than the previous Explorer watches, and it also has more technical details.
It is made of Oystersteel, which is the famous proprietary stainless steel alloy by Rolex. The bracelet comes with a 5mm comfort extension that makes it adjustable to fit any wrist size. The watch uses an Oyster folding clasp for extra safety.
It is powered by the Rolex Caliber 3230 with a power reserve of up to 70 hours. It has a 100 meters water resistance. This timepiece can be styled casually or with corporate attire. The Explorer 224270 offers good quality and value at around $14,000.
Field watches have been a lot of people’s timepiece preference for years, and that’s because of their versatility and durability. Today, you can find field watches that can suit any taste or budget you have. Whether you need a simple, uncomplicated watch or one with many complications and features, you will surely find a field watch that suits your needs.
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