The 20 Best Field Watches To Buy in 2022

Jan 5, 2022

Category: Style

It’s hard to imagine what modern watch styles would look like today were it not for the 20th century’s obsession with war. The most iconic wristwatch styles, from the professional dive watch to the Flieger pilot’s watch, were born from the need to help soldiers better execute their missions. And of all the military-inspired watch styles that exist, none is more associated with the armed forces than the field watch. The simple design has been a staple since WWII, but you certainly don’t need to be a soldier to wear one these days.

The original field watches evolved from the trench watches of the First World War and were at least partly responsible for helping the allies achieve victory in 1945. Whether discussing the American troops’ A-11 or the British “Dirty Dozen” WWW style, the field watches of WWII shared a black dial, highly-visible white Arabic numeral indices, and white hands. You’ll find a bit more variety among today’s modern field watches, but the original designs still remain popular. We’ve got plenty of options from both camps in our guide to the 20 best field watches to buy.

Bertucci A-2S

Bertucci is pretty well-known for making affordable field watches (it’s basically all they do), and they have a solid reputation in the space. Founded in 2003 with the goal of creating the ultimate field watch, Bertucci cranks out just about every variation on the form imaginable — even a field watch with a fully-lumed case — but it’s tough to go wrong with the dependable stainless steel unibody-cased A-2S.

Case Size: 36mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Quartz

Purchase: $110

Timex Expedition North Field Post Solar

Timex makes a bunch of great accessible field watches for under $100, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them if you’re looking for an affordable quartz-powered timekeeper with classic field watch looks. But if you want something from the brand that’s a bit more premium, we recommend the North Field with its contemporary blacked-out colorway, solar-powered movement, and sapphire crystal.

Case Size: 41mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Solar Quartz

Purchase: $159

Citizen Chandler

Could this BE any more of a field watch? Sorry, had to throw in a little Chandler from Friends joke. Kidding aside, this is one great little field watch. A compact size, handsome traditional layout, solid water resistance, and Citizen’s ever-reliable Eco-Drive movement that’s powered by any light all combine to make the Chandler an extremely popular budget field watch.

Case Size: 37mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Solar Quartz

Purchase: $180

Marathon General Purpose Quartz

As we discussed, field watches are heavily tied to wars of the past, but Marathon’s watches are different in that they’re actually used by the soldiers of today. The General Purpose Quartz, or GPQ, is about as rugged as watches come. Designed for general infantry and built to government specifications, the GPQ features a lightweight, high-impact fibershell case that can take a beating.

Case Size: 34mm
Water Resistance: 30m
Movement: Quartz

Purchase: $200

Victorinox Swiss Army Heritage

This new release from the Swiss Army Knife-makers goes back to basics in handsome fashion. There’s nothing groundbreaking going on here, but what you’re getting is a very well-executed and crowd-pleasing field watch. Swiss-made construction, a set-it-and-forget-it quartz movement, a 40mm stainless steel case, and a traditional dial layout with a handy 6 o’clock date window all make for one tempting package.

Case Size: 40mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Quartz

Purchase: $300+

CWC British Military G10

It’s no secret that mechanical watches are all the rage these days among enthusiasts, but British-based CWC is proud of its quartz heritage. An early adopter of quartz technology, CWC made the first-ever quartz watch that was issued to British Forces in 1980. The G10 is the brand’s very faithful modern-day version of that now-40-year-old watch, and it’s about as classic as a quartz-powered field watch can get.

Case Size: 36.5mm
Water Resistance: 50m
Movement: Quartz

Purchase: $330

BOLDR Venture Black Dawn

Moving on from traditional field watches to a few modern takes on the form, we have BOLDR. The Singaporean outdoor outfitter is well-known for its rugged timepieces, and the Venture is a staple in its catalog. This version, the Black Dawn, combines a black PVD-coated titanium case, a black NATO strap with blacked-out titanium hardware, and vintage-colored Japan Superlume to create a very contemporary military-inspired piece.

Case Size: 38mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $339

RZE Resolute

RZE hasn’t even existed as a brand for two years yet, but it’s already carved out a nice niche for itself thanks to its proprietary ULTRAHex-coated titanium cases used in all of its models that provide 8x the scratch resistance of stainless steel. The brand’s first watch was the Resolute, a thoroughly modern field watch reinterpretation that looks sharp enough to function as a versatile everyday watch thanks to its well-thought-out dial and killer lume.

Case Size: 40.5mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $399+

Nodus Sector Field

L.A.-based microbrand Nodus certainly doesn’t take the path of least resistance when it comes to its designs. The brand’s watches routinely offer new takes on their respective forms, and the Sector Field is certainly no exception. Featuring an intricate sectored sandwich dial with a dizzying array of cutouts, colors, and textures, this is one unique field watch that you’ll never tire of looking at.

Case Size: 38mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $450

Unimatic UC2

Part of Unimatic’s new permanent collection is the UC2, the Italian brand’s minimalist take on a field watch. Granted, Unimatic’s take on a field watch is basically a smaller, bezel-free version of its dive watch — this thing packs 300m water resistance — but it still meets all the criteria in our book. It’s robust, easy to read, and offers nothing extraneous in its build. In other words, we’d take this into battle any day.

Case Size: 38.5mm
Water Resistance: 300m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $450

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

As a pioneer of trench watches in the First World War and one of the original manufacturers of the A-11 in the sequel, there is simply no brand more associated with — or better at executing — the field watch than Hamilton. The formerly-American (now Swiss) brand’s Khaki Field, particularly this hand-wound version, is considered the archetypal field watch and is a direct descendant of the A-11. It’s the one to get if you’re a field watch purist.

Case Size: 38mm
Water Resistance: 50m
Movement: Hand-Wound

Purchase: $495+

Benrus DTU-2A/P Field Watch

Speaking of classic American field watches, Benrus’ DTU picked up the torch from Hamilton as American GIs’ watch of choice in the 1960s (the civilian version also gained some notoriety on the wrist of Steve McQueen in Bullitt). The Vietnam War favorite, first issued in 1964, was recently brought back to life by the newly-resurrected brand, and the elevated modern version features a Swiss-made automatic movement, a bead-blasted 316L stainless steel case, and is assembled in the USA.

Case Size: 39.5mm
Water Resistance: 50m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $595

Seiko Prospex “Alpinist”

There are a handful of watches on this list that probably don’t qualify under the strictest definitions of a field watch, and the Alpinist is one of them. But Seiko’s mountaineering classic is more useful in the field than most other watches out there, with 200m water resistance, a sapphire crystal, brilliant LumiBrite lume, robust shock protection, and even a rotating compass bezel.

Case Size: 39.5mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $725

Luminox Atacama Field Automatic

Luminox is a modern watch brand, and as such, it makes very modern watches. The Atacama Field Automatic is the brand’s new contemporary take on a field watch, and if anyone would know what modern soldiers want in a watch, it’s Luminox. The official watchmaker for the Navy SEALs has outfitted the Atacama with 200m water resistance, an AR-coated sapphire crystal, and Luminox Light Technology that provides self-powered illumination for up to 25 years.

Case Size: 44mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $975+

Christopher Ward C65 Sandhurst

If you prefer to keep things old school when it comes to your wristwear, then you’ll appreciate this effort from Britain’s Christopher Ward. This watch from the OG microbrand — which is a major brand these days — is a tribute to the classic Smiths W10 field watch from 1969. A Swiss-made chronometer with timeless vintage styling, the C65 Sandhurst was the first CW watch to be authorized to carry the heraldic badge of the British Army.

Case Size: 38mm
Water Resistance: 150m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $995+

Timor Heritage Field WWW

While the W10 certainly has its fans, there is no British military watch more revered than the “Dirty Dozen” watches of WWII. Timor was one of the twelve manufacturers of the highly sought-after originals that made the rugged timepieces to The Crown’s specifications, and now the resurrected British (formerly Swiss) brand has brought back its greatest claim to fame. The new Swiss-made Timor WWW looks nearly identical to the original and was designed by a British Army veteran.

Case Size: 36.5mm
Water Resistance: 50m
Movement: Hand-Wound or Automatic

Purchase: $1,060

Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch

At this point, it’s fairly safe to describe Weiss’ Standard Issue Field as a modern classic. Largely handmade with a hand-polished surgical steel case and a hand-painted naval brass dial, the watch is powered by Weiss’ Caliber 2130 mechanical movement, a heavily modified Soprod M100 that’s been hand-assembled and hand-finished with full decoration. In other words, this isn’t your average field watch, this is something special.

Case Size: 38mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Hand-Wound

Purchase: $1,450+

Tudor Black Bay 36

Rolex subsidiary Tudor may not market the BB36 as a field watch, but it certainly looks like one to us. From its compact size to its highly visible hands and indices to its no-nonsense time-only layout and high water resistance, this is definitely a watch that would’ve been right at home in the trenches a century ago. But even if you have no wars to fight (thankfully), the BB36 also just so happens to be arguably the perfect everyday watch.

Case Size: 36mm
Water Resistance: 150m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $2,625+

Bremont Broadsword

Compared to other military-derived watch styles like divers and pilot’s watches, true luxury versions of field watches are a rarity. In fact, Bremont’s “Dirty Dozen”-inspired Broadsword may be the only one on the market that truly fits the definition. Created in partnership with the British Ministry of Defence and made in the UK, the Broadsword boasts a chronometer-certified Swiss-made movement, the typical “Dirty Dozen” three-hand layout, and custom mint Super-LumiNova on the hands and indices.

Case Size: 40mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $3,445

Rolex Explorer

Is the king of field watches even a field watch? Well, not technically. Rolex’s classic mountain-climber is an “explorer’s watch,” but with a 36mm case, ridiculous lume, and a black time-only dial with white indices — including Arabics — the Explorer is frequently classified among field watches, and we’re following suit here. Evolved from a watch that accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, Rolex’s subtle icon has been on the wrist of innumerable adventurers in every decade since.

Case Size: 36mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Automatic

Purchase: $6,450+

The 15 Best Field Jackets for Men

Looking for some more military-inspired style to go with your new field watch? Then have a look at our guide to the 15 best field jackets currently on the market.

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