The 20 Best Field Watches

Posted in GEAR GUIDES, WATCHES By

There’s a time and a place for certain types of watches — that is, wearing your sharpest suit calls for a refined dress watch, while a casual weekend outing leaves some room for experimentation, be it with a dive watch, a pilot watch or, more likely, a field watch. With roots in varied fields ranging from tactical operations to outdoor exploration, the field watch is the timepiece to turn to when you need something rugged, functional and dashing.

The best field watches are built for battle and built for the outdoors, yet still incorporate heritage looks and the potential for sharp styling. We’re talking a watch that can handle grueling hikes, wet streams, rain, sleet, snow, mud — you name it. And if you’re just looking for a timepiece that’s a change of pace from other watches in your arsenal, a field watch can provide that style and versatility, too. Given that, a field watch is another option to consider for your collection. Pair it with a chambray shirt and selvedge denim, rock it with a polo and chinos during the work week, and bring it along for off-the-clock adventures. Our picks below encompass the best field watches money can buy.

Timex Expedition Field Chronograph

Timex Expedition Field Chronograph

While the Expedition Scout is simple and effective, the Timex Expedition Field Chronograph gives you more bang for your buck, plain and simple. The watch’s three chronographs measure down to a twentieth of a second, and on up to 30 minutes, meaning you’ll never be late (in an ideal world, that is). It’s an outdoor-ready design, fitted on a genuine leather strap and featuring water resistance up to 100 meters. It also features a working tachymeter, and the brushed 43mm case is sturdy and tough. Pair it with grey selvedge denim and a navy cardigan for the office, and make it part of your everyday carry for the rest of the week (and weekend). – Buy It

Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch

Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch

There are watches destined to become future classics, all based on the functionality and striking looks of their design. The Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch is one such timepiece, made with exhausting attention to detail and excellent style to boot.

It’s built in the States out of more than 100 Swiss parts, featuring a rather extraordinary case and caseback that are crafted from one solid piece of stainless steel and hand-polished for the ultimate in tough, accessible and somewhat rugged luxury. Wear this watch every day if you can manage it — it might even work with a casual chambray suit. – Buy It

Nixon Safari Deluxe

Nixon Safari Deluxe

Nixon is known for making bold, rugged and functional watches, and the Safari Deluxe is no different. Available in four striking and monochromatic colors, the Safari Deluxe features a beastly but not overly large 43mm case size, ideal for standing out as you pair it with an olive tee and slim light wash jeans. It’s a bit of an investment for a casual watch, with prices starting at $350, but it’s one that’ll be all the more worth it the more you wear it. The day-and-date sub-dials offer nice functionality — sure to stand up to plenty of outdoor adventures. – Buy It

Szanto Military Field Watch

Szanto Military Field Watch

With a simple design that pays homage to vintage and modern timepieces designed for use in the field, Szanto’s Military Field Watch gets a lot right. For starters, it’s both stylish and affordable, packing a ton of utility into one timepiece for under $200. The black stainless steel case is crisp and minimal, while the canvas strap is hard-wearing and able to be paired up with everything from leather boots and a T-shirt to denim and a classic Oxford. The 42mm diameter should work for most wrist sizes, while a 100-meter water resistance offers even more functionality. – Buy It

Nixon Ranger 45

Nixon Ranger 45

Nixon keeps the durability going in spades with its beastly, rugged and covetable Ranger 45, the type of timepiece you’ll never want to take of (nor will you need to, come to think of it). Taking inspiration from military field instruments — designed for plenty of rough-and-tumble wear — the Ranger 45 is the watch that should fill many a gap in your wardrobe. That is to say, if you want a watch made for both extreme outdoor adventures and laidback casual wear (think beat-up denim and a broken-in pocket tee), this is the timepiece you need. – Buy It

Standard Issue Instruments Field Navigator

Standard Issue Instruments Field Navigator

Standard Issue Instruments has designed and built its Field Navigator with Special Forces-level functionality in mind — at least, one look at this handsome and durable watch reveals that design approach. The special navigation bezel and durable stainless steel case offer a ridiculously high level of quality and utility in spades. What’s more, the Swiss Rhonda movement is exacting in terms of reliability, while the 5-ring nylon strap couldn’t be a more fitting way to accent this tough timepiece. Wear it when you need it the most — and wear it when you feel like dressing in distinctly casual weekend style. – Buy It

Orient Defender

Orient Defender

Perhaps known for its more minimally designed, classic dress watches, Orient can make a heck of a field watch, too. Trusted by stylish guys everywhere — including you — the Orient Defender blends the style of a casual leather watch with the reliability and toughness of a rugged field watch. With a 40-hour power reserve and a wearable 42mm case diameter, this watch everything covered, down to the brown leather strap that looks great with your favorite pair of broken-in boots. And between the day, date and 24-hour dial, we’d wager you certainly won’t come close to losing track of the time. – Buy It

Victorinox Night Vision

Victorinox Night Vision

Take it from the company that makes the Swiss Army knife to exacting standards — the Victorinox Night Vision Watch is made to handle anything and get the job done … in style, of course. The olive rubber strap is at once unique, sturdy and super-functional, the ideal pairing alongside the rugged 42mm case. The innovative LED system should also help tremendously in even the darkest conditions — and it’s all backed by the quality and utility that comes with the Victorinox name. In short, this watch is built for anything you can dream up. – Buy It

Shinola Runwell Chronograph

Shinola Runwell Chronograph

Shinola might at first seem like an unlikely pick in the way of a durable, rugged field watch — and yet, the brand specializes in the unexpected (handsome leather goods) and the functional (take this timepiece). The Runwell Chronograph is a wish list-worthy watch if ever we’ve seen one, buoyed by an exacting Argonite movement with two subdials that should certainly keep you running right on time. At 47mm, it’s a beast of a watch, finished off by the brand’s lifetime guarantee and featuring an investment-level price tag that’ll pay dividends in spades. – Buy It

Weiss Limited Issue Field Watch

Weiss Limited Issue Field Watch

It’s not very often that a watch is built entirely by hand in America, but that’s how Weiss does things. The brand employs painstaking attention to detail and has made just 100 of its Limited Issue Field Watch, a supremely handsome timepiece that incoprporates a rich dark blue dial and a leather strap produced by hand by skilled craftsmen. More than 100 Swiss parts go into the making of this watch, and it’s all contained in a stainless steel case and caseback made from one solid piece that’s hand-polished. Add in the fact that each watch is individually numbered and each strap is unique to that timepiece, and you’ve got a watch that’s beautiful, authentic, durable and investment-worthy. – Buy It

Timex Expedition Scout

Timex Expedition Scout

If you don’t quite have the cash reserves to drop nearly a grand or more on a watch, Timex is here to help with a watch that’s become iconic for its performance, quality and price. Yes, for under $50, you get a watch that has both 12 and 24-hour time settings, a sturdy metal case and that distinctive olive strap, eye-catching seconds hand and durable Timex construction and performance. The 40mm case diameter is the right size for most wrists, and that means it can stand up to a lot of wear-and-tear, be it a camping trip or a crosstown commute. Plus, the price leaves plenty left over for stocking up on other rugged gear for travel, work or play. – Buy It

Citizen Eco-Drive

Citizen Eco-Drive

As renowned for its name as it is for its performance, the Citizen Eco-Drive features all kinds of bells and whistles for a sharp, crisp look. The triple chronograph construction will keep you on-point, while the 39mm case diameter is simple and reliable. The white numerals contrast nicely with the black dial, and that style and versatility is helped along by an olive nylon strap, uniquely suited to the rigors of spring and summer wind and water. It’ll stylishly offset a basic white tee and denim, and it’ll stand up to the rigors of outdoor activity in a field coat and twill work pants. At under $200, it’s fairly priced for a watch that’s built to stand the test of time. – Buy It

Timex Expedition Camper

Timex Expedition Camper

For just over $30, you get the kind of quality and easy-going wearability that’s tough to find on the market anywhere else. The Timex Expedition Camper hits it out of the park if you’re on the hunt for an excellent watch that won’t break the bank — to say the least. Featuring an all-black color scheme and sharp yellow detailing on the dial, the watch lives up to the task of taking on adventures with reliable looks and toughness in mind. And again, the incredible price — just $34 — makes it all the more worth it in terms of your purchase. – Buy It

Luminox Atacama Field Day

Luminox Atacama Field Day 1925

The Luminox Atacama Field Day is a heck of a watch, and its rugged good looks are backed up by its stellar functionality. Featuring a sturdy and tough 45mm case diameter that can stand up to everything from yard work to long and grueling hikes, the reliable quartz movement and 200-meter water resistance mean that it can keep going time and again, no matter what you throw at it. The screw-on crown keeps water out, and the stainless steel brushed black case looks tremendous.. The day-and-date functionality is a handy feature that will keep you on track as you explore, and the luminescent dial also helps keep you tuned in no matter how dark or rainy it might get. – Buy It

Tudor Heritage Ranger

Tudor Heritage Ranger

Like several of the other brands on this list, Tudor is one with a name that’s synonymous with heritage quality, terrific construction and timeless styling potential. The 41mm steel case is tough and should stand up to whatever tests you put it through, while the domed sapphire crystal is remarkably sturdy and ready for anything. It comes with your choice of a steel bracelet or a leather strap, built for either rugged functionality or eye-catching style — or both. 150 meters of water resistance makes it a great watch for diving to medium depths (with the stainless steel strap, that is), or just jumping in the pool. It’s unquestionably an investment-worthy watch that you can proudly pass down. – Buy It

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium

The Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Watch is positively monstrous in construction and looks, with a 42mm titanium case that looks super-sharp, particularly in all-black. The open case back is a neat finishing touch that provides a window into the quality construction therein — this is a watch built with care, quality and style in mind — in addition to the ability to last from day to night and beyond. The monochromatic look is stellar and sharp, and the tough black canvas strap makes this the perfect field watch — it’s inconspicuous, yet completely evident to the trained eye that you know what you’re doing when it comes to picking up a stellar watch. – Buy It

Seiko Prospex

Seiko Prospex

The Seiko Prospex performs just as great as it looks — and in this case, that’s really saying something. For just under $160, you get a tremendous-looking combo — a black dial and tan strap — plus three chronographs for superb timekeeping. It’s made in part with Hardlex crystal for a superb finish. If ever there was a watch that could go from a morning coffee to a day of activity out and about in the field — be it hiking, biking or swimming — this one would be it. An illuminated dial adds an extra dimension of functionality, as well. And for that combination of price, good looks and functionality, it’s worth all that and then some. – Buy It

Filson Scout Watch

Filson Scout Watch

As with most Filson gear, it pays off to have more than one piece in your arsenal. If you don’t have a Filson watch to go along with your hard-wearing Filson bag or tough Filson jacket, consider this the perfect time to pick one up. The Scout Watch truly was built for the field, designed with the brand’s heritage in mind. It’s available right now for a great price, and with its classic design — playing off old pilot watches — it’s unbeatable in terms of combining excellent style and functionality. – Buy It

Lum-Tec Combat B29 Cleveland

Lum-Tec Combat B29 Cleveland

For a field watch truly built with rigors of battle in mind, reach for the Lum-Tec Combat B29. At nearly $900, only 50 of this timepiece have been produced worldwide — making it remarkably rare and high-quality. It’s crafted from shredded carbon fiber, too — that means it’s super-lightweight, durable and won’t weigh your wrist down. The fully luminous 43mm dial means you can read it just about anywhere and in any conditions, and it comes with two strap choices — either a full-grain black leather strap, or an anti-static molded rubber strap. Those choices give you twice the opportunity to wear it, and given the quality and longevity, that might mean it won’t leave your wrist. – Buy It

Filson Mackinaw Field Watch

Filson Mackinaw Field Watch

Although it’s a relatively recent offering from that brand’s partnership with Shinola (and is made by hand in that brand’s Detroit factory), the Mackinaw looks and performs like it’s been produced for decades. Right down to the brass caseback, this watch is sturdy, functional and eye-catching, with a rich green dial, a military-grade olive NATO nylon strap and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal case to finish things off. The rotating top-ring WorldTimer function is complemented by Swiss SuperLumiNova hands, and a 200-meter water resistance will keep that time running smoothly. If you’ve already got a Filson bag or jacket, this is the perfect timepiece to complement that ensemble (alongside some rugged boots and a henley, perhaps). – Buy It

The Best Field Watches

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