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.
Luminox Aticama Field Automatic 1900
There are certain watches that toe the line between casual and dressy, refined and yet rugged at the same time, and the Luminox Atacama Automatic Field Watch is one such timepiece. It’s minimal and sleek, yet field-ready, all the better to be worn with a white slub tee and faded denim as easily as you can pair it up with a crisp slub T-shirt, a navy cotton blazer and tan chinos this summer (and beyond).
Jack Mason Solar Field Watch
There are watches that look simple in nature and yet defy all expectations, and the Jack Mason Solar Field Watch is one of those timepieces. It’s sleek and understated, tough and rugged all at once, and packed with plenty of bells and whistles. It’s the perfect watch for summer, what with its solar functionality, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s hard-wearing as heck — to say the least.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch
The Hamilton reputation of quality and history precedes itself — to say the very least. Heck, there’s a great chance that your father or grandfather had a Hamilton watch, and there’s an even better chance that the timepiece is still ticking. If you want to invest in similarly heritage-minded quality and longevity, here’s your chance — the Khaki Field Mechanical Watch is as good as it gets, and you certainly won’t regret picking up one for yourself (or the next generation of your family).
CWC W10 GS Navigator Automatic Watch
They say on occasion that the old ways are the best, and when it comes to tried-and-true durability and dependability, that’s where CWC Watches fits the bill quite nicely. That’s particularly the case with the CWC W10 GS Navigator Automatic, a dependable and rugged watch that would look right at home when paired up with a denim jacket, tan chinos and clean white sneakers — or else field pants and a rugged henley.
If you don’t normally think of Rolex when you think of field watches — if your mind instead jumps to bright and bold diver-style watches — that’s totally understandable. And that being said, you really can’t go wrong with an investment-quality, multi-faceted timepiece like the Rolex Explorer, easily one of the best field watches we’ve seen on the market in some time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Centric Instruments Lightwell Field Watch
Although less well-known and certainly newer than some of the other options on this list, we appreciate the technical savvy and style of Centric Instruments and the brand’s Lightwell Field Watch all the same — we think you will, too. Combining the functionality of the best field watches out there with the sleek appeal of a more dress-oriented watch, the Lightwell Field Watch is absolutely ready to perform on summer adventures aplenty — you won’t want to take it off your wrist, guaranteed.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision Watch
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.
Filson Field Watch
You’ve surely turned to Filson time and again for the brand’s remarkably tough jackets, hard-wearing bags, essential flannel shirts … the list really does go on and on … and on. For some time now, the Pacific Northwest retailer has turned its attention toward durable and dependable watches that can pair up perfectly with any of the brand’s rugged gear picks. Take the Filson Field Watch — it’s the reliable, tough complement to an outfit filled with prime Filson outdoor wear. At least, that’s how we feel.
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.
Luminox Atacama Field Day Date 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.
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.
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.
Timex Expedition Camper Watch
For just $50, 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 army green 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 makes it all the more worth it in terms of your purchase.
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