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Field watches are designed to be both attractive and functional offering the kind of rugged design sought by people who want to be prepared for every occasion. This type of watch is made to be worn in more difficult conditions without the need to sacrifice personal style. The market for field watches is quite diverse considering the assortment of colors and materials. There’s a certain heritage sensibility which field watches still carry today considering that many models provide a military-inspired design. If you’re looking to enhance your look with a beautiful piece like a field watch, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will find the best field watch in terms of quality per cost. Evaluating them is more than just choosing based on the brand’s reputation so it’s important that you’re prepared before coming to a decision. The essential features to keep in mind are:
1. Power source
The most common power sources for field watches are mechanical motion and Quartz movement. If you favor precision than Quartz is more recommended while those who prefer a smoother movement should go with a mechanical watch. There are other options out there like a self-winding watch which powers up using only your motion.
2. Water resistance
A high-quality field watch requires a solid level of water resistance. It doesn’t have to be extremely capable in this regard, but it should deal well with rainfall exposure even for longer periods of time. At least 50 meters water resistance is a good starting point.
3. Size and weight
Field watches are usually less of a burden on your wrist compared to tactical watches. It depends on the model though, as some units can be considerably large and leaning more on the heavier side. Pay attention to your own build to figure out if either a smaller or larger field watch would suit you better.
This is where field watches should excel. The market contains many low-cost models which aren’t as durable compared to premium timepieces. Still, any field watch should leave a feeling of reasonable durability. If you want to go the extra mile, it’s strongly recommended to get a model with a titanium or another sturdy material for its case. High quality stainless steel is also a solid option.
With these features taken into account, it’s finally time to go through our special selection of cost-effective field watches. These are the best models money can buy and the prices vary enough to accommodate different budgets. You might also be interested in our articles about the best pilot watches and the best g-shock watches.
Best Field Watch For The Money
A great field watch in all regards is the Citizen BM8180-03E. It’s powered by Japanese-quartz movement with Eco-Drive technology for absorbing any natural or artificial light. Other interesting abilities are the stylish stainless steel case and stitched canvas band combination, as well as the mineral crystal and decent water resistance.
As with any field watch, one of the most imposing characteristics is the design. This type of watch needs to have some sort of military-inspired look and it seems that this model doesn’t disappoint. The 37mm metal case leaves off an elegant impression considering the addition of a minimalistic black dial with Arabic numerals.
At the outer rim you can notice the minute markers and if you look closely at the 3 o’clock position you can see the small date display. The bezel is fixed and the silver-tone hands are luminescent. For protection against scratches, the Japanese manufacturer equipped this watch with a mineral crystal dial window.
Despite the elegance of the case, the choice of a green canvas strap balances out the look making the watch feel more casual at the same time. In terms of functions, there isn’t anything that stands out in particular, apart from the Eco-Drive solar movement.
The watch is comfortable to wear and easy to adjust thanks to a texturized crown. It’s an excellent timepiece for outside use and that’s also evidenced by the fact that it has a 330 feet water resistance rating. It should have no problems with rainfall and you don’t have to take it off while swimming.
Taking into account the beautiful design, construction choices, and overall value for the price, the Citizen BM8180-03E is hands-down one of the best choices for a field watch. It comes with a reasonable cost and is a pleasure to use in multiple environments. As it’s a solar-powered model, you will also not have to worry about running out of battery.
- Japanese-quartz movement
- Mineral crystal dial window
- 330 feet water resistance
- Stainless steel
- Stitched canvas band
Timex has many field watches that are both affordable and highly functional. One of the best models comes from their Expedition line of watches – the TW4B10200. This unit is equipped with a chronograph and comes encased in a stylish brass case with mineral glass.
At a simple glance at the face of the watch, you can probably observe the retro feeling of the design. The combination of a nylon strap with the black brass 43mm case looks attractive and practical. The sharp look of this timepiece is safeguarded by a tough mineral crystal dial window. The movement used by this watch is a classic Analog-quartz one.
The chronograph is pretty much the main feature of this watch. It only measures up to half an hour which is decent for most purposes. There are multiple subdials provided for continuous seconds, elapsed minutes, and indicating 1/20 of a second. What’s great about this model is that it’s equipped with great lighting features.
The watch glows in the dark with the help of its Indiglo backlight and the hands are also luminescent. Checking out the time is a breeze whenever you are. Knowing the date is possible thanks to the 4 o’clock indicator. If you plan on taking this in wet environments, it’s good to know that water resistance goes up to 330 feet.
A tachymeter is found at the outer rim which could be useful for some people. It complements the overall design well. The color scheme for this watch is quite flexible as you can choose between multiple black combinations with beige, tan, green, and brown.
Considering everything about the Timex Expedition TW4B10200, it’s safe to say that this is a solid field watch for the cost. It may not blow you away with its functionality or with some exceptionally premium design elements, but it packs just the right set of features to please many users searching for an affordable, vintage-looking, chronograph watch.
- Nylon Performance Strap
- 43mm case
- 330 ft. water resistance
- Mineral dial window
Best Automatic Field Watch
The Seiko SNK805 is one powerful competitor on the market for field watches. It’s geared towards those who prefer automatic movement and appreciate a more minimalist design. This one is the green canvas version and it has the potential to look amazing on multiple different wrists.
When it comes to field watches, the design features can make all the difference. For this model, Seiko went with an elegant green dial with some luminous accents. There are no fancy functions apart from the window at 3 o’clock which displays the day/date.
Around the outer rim, the watch has been decorated with simple minute markers while for the hour ones, the manufacturer decided to add Arabic numerals at five-minute intervals. The design of the luminescent hands evokes a certain elegance and finesse.
The case measures 37mm and is made of robust stainless steel. Another element that adds to the durability of the watch is the integration of a scratch-resistant mineral crystal which protects the dial. The automatic movement of this timepiece offers a decent power reserve of up to 40 hours. Make sure you wear the watch often enough to keep it charged.
For the band, this watch offers a strap type made of Nylon. It completes the whole military-inspired design and it can be closed with the help of a classic buckle. Another important detail to mention regarding this watch is the water resistance which reaches a modest 99 feet.
All in all, the Seiko SNK805 deserves a top spot on this list of best field watches. It’s difficult to top the quality of this model at this reasonable price. Anyone who’s into field watches shouldn’t overlook this capable timepiece. Quiet, elegant, and easy-to-read, this is a great entry-level automatic watch to have in almost any setting.
- Military-inspired design
- Automatic movement
- 99 feet water resistance
- 37mm case
- Mineral crystal
- Date window
Best Cheap Field Watch
If you need to make some cost compromises, a great budget field watch is the Timex Expedition T44921PF. It comes with a classic Analog look and a genuine leather strap. Its metal case contains a black dial with large hour markers and a date window. Other appealing features are water resistance and Indiglo backlight.
The face of this model is not very difficult to read considering the combination of Indigo backlight and large Arabic numerals. One thing that you will probably notice in regard to the overall design of this watch is that it leaves off the impression of a much higher cost. It doesn’t look or feel cheap in any way.
With the help of the authentic leather band, the watch can make its appearance in more formal events without making the user feel out of place. The classic design is suitable for both indoor and outdoor wearing taking into account the durable metal case. It’s a decent option if you’re swimming occasionally due to its 165 feet water resistance.
The dial window relies on a mineral crystal which should withstand accidental scratches. The watch feels well built with its 40mm brass case and stainless steel bezel. It should fit without too many problems on various wrists. A guard is provided for the crown which is a tiny bit too large, more than necessary. That’s a slight cosmetic issue for some.
Timex managed to create a valuable timepiece at a very affordable cost through its Expedition T44921PF model. It doesn’t have any special features to impress, but it’s definitely a beautiful field watch to wear every day with confidence. It’s very comfortable to wear and simple to use, and for most people, that’s all that matters.
- Genuine Leather Strap
- Indiglo Light-Up
- 165 feet water resistance
- Quartz movement
- Sturdy metal case
A more premium option for a field watch, geared towards those with more generous budgets, is the HML-H70455533 model by Hamilton. This is an automatic field watch with an exquisite design, leather band, sapphire crystal, and reliable water resistance. Let’s see why it’s worthy of your consideration.
Any watch enthusiast appreciates authenticity and this model is all about the Swiss tradition of creating beautiful automatic timepieces that last a lifetime. The first thing that needs to be addressed in regards to this watch is the imposing design.
Built with brushed stainless steel, the case of the watch will definitely appeal to any fan of field watches. The bezel is thin, but well polished leaving off the impression of careful craftsmanship. It’s obviously designed for active outdoor wear and some would probably not consider it very fitting as a dress watch.
The large crown of the watch complements the design all-around and is very functional allowing you to wind the watch whenever it’s needed. A date window is available which you can also adjust it using the crown. When it comes to durability, the sapphire crystal does a wonderful job of protecting the dial.
The leather strap works well for this field watch and the contrast stitching seems to add a good effect to the overall look. It relies on the classic buckle closure. As for water resistance, this model can definitely deal with more intense swimming sessions due to its 330 feet rating.
Considering everything about the Hamilton HML-H70455533, it can be said that this is a truly premium field watch. Its most important feature is the attention to details and the outstanding craftsmanship. As with all automatic watches, it’s recommended to make sure you’re maintaining it properly to extend the lifespan of the timepiece as much as possible.
- Stainless steel watch
- Automatic self-wind movement
- Date window
- Leather band
- 330 feet water resistance
- Sapphire crystal
Best Military Field Watch
If you’re looking to invest in truly durable military field watch, one of the best options is the Luminox Atacama XL.1925. This model is the result of a fusion between a stylish retro look and the reliable functionality of an authentic Swiss-made watch. It’s designed to perform its task as the ultimate field watch.
This watch can face more than just the usual daily wear. It’s rugged and feels like you can count on it in any environment. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear it in the office if you prefer. The design is surely incredibly versatile considering the stainless steel case with thick leather band combination.
The black brushing looks amazing on the case and the color scheme of the hour and minute markers seem to be in perfect harmony with it. While it’s a pleasure to wear during the day, that’s also the case at night. It’s powered by reliable Night Vision Tubes which should last for 25 years shining brightly.
Every detail on the dial is crisp and clear making it very easy to use this watch. You can check the day of the week and the date too besides the time as there are dedicated little windows for them. You can also notice that this watch is water resistant to 200 meters or 660 feet.
Other important construction elements worth mentioning are the screw-in crown and the sapphire crystal used as the glass material for the dial window. A special anti-reflective coating has been applied to it to make it simple to read the time in sunny conditions.
Factoring in the premium construction and the utilitarian style of its design, the Luminox Atacama XL.1925 is an excellent field watch to consider. It’s definitely not for everyone taking into account the cost, but it’s strongly recommended for those who value that distinctive field watch style – no impractical embellishments, just pure rugged functionality.
- Black plated stainless steel case
- Sapphire crystal window
- Swiss-made Quartz movement
- 660 feet water resistance
- 45mm case diameter
Timex makes one last appearance on this list of best field watches. Their Expedition line of field watches contains many potential candidates for those who wish to get their hands on affordable field watches. This time we’ll take a look at the T42571 which is designed in a more adventurous style.
Field watch users tend to favor simple watches and this model doesn’t disappoint in that regard. It’s a basic Analog watch with a resin case and Nylon strap. The dark gray tones contrast well with the white and yellow from the hour markers. The dial is decorated with multiple rings.
Right underneath the bezel, around the outer rim, there’s the first ring which indicates the minutes with simple white lines. Next, you have a 12-hour ring with high-visibility Arabic numeral indices. A date window is also included here in the usual spot at three o’clock. Finally, the inner ring offers a set of brighter yellow 24-hour markers.
The watch is lightweight considering the material choices. After a while, you will probably forget that you’re wearing it as it feels very comfortable on the wrist. The movement used for this model is Quartz, so you will need to use a battery to keep it powered.
During nighttime, this model can light up thanks to the Indiglo backlight and time can be read more comfortably with the help of the luminescent hands. The 39mm case is fitted with an acrylic window over the dial. This only gives you minimal protection against scratches and impacts. It’s not the kind of watch you could call durable, but it’s well-equipped for its cost.
All things considered, the Timex Expedition T42571 could be a solid companion on your next outdoor adventure. It’s hard to beat the light feeling you get from a watch like this which blends a resin case with a Nylon strap. While it’s a little lacking in features, this timepiece offers a lot for its price, and for many people that can be the determining factor when choosing a field watch.
- Lightweight watch
- 39mm resin case
- Quartz movement
- 165 feet water resistance
- Indiglo light-up dial
Anyone who’s searching for a more durable field watch shouldn’t miss the Bertucci 12122 A-2T. This classic-looking watch boasts a sturdy titanium case and a hardened mineral dial window. The two-ply nylon band is also engineered to provide maximum durability and comfort.
The patented titanium case is probably the main highlight of this watch. It’s designed to withstand tougher conditions without sacrificing the weight of the watch. A screw-down crown is provided and to prolong the life of this timepiece even more, titanium lug bars have been integrated.
A black dial has been used for this watch and it’s an inspired choice considering the elegant contrast with the sand blasted matte finish of the case. The white hour markers are reasonably-sized to make it easy to check the time. An extra 24-hour inner ring is included.
The date window is placed at 4 o’clock, in harmony with the offset crown. The DX3 nylon strap has a military-green color which works well with the solid case. It comes with a buckle and catcher. One thing that’s great about this watch is its versatility. It can be easily used in different settings including wet environments thanks to its 330 feet water resistance.
A slight disadvantage of this model is that it lacks a backlight. The hands are luminescent at least, so you can still read the time in the dark with some effort. Your eyes need to be well adjusted to the darkness and then the hands will seem much brighter.
All in all, the Bertucci 12122 A-2T is worth the cost. It’s worth it just for the impressive titanium case alone. A lightweight timepiece, not too large, particularly recommended for those who like offset crowns. The olive band with the sand finish of the case represent a solid visual combination. When you also take into account the relatively low cost for this level of durability, this is definitely a competitive field watch.
- Solid titanium case
- Hardened mineral crystal
- 330 feet water resistance
- Exquisite materials
- Both durable and comfortable