Modern field watches are naturally based on the original field watches, which were very robust. Water splashes, mud, dirt, sand, grit, and bumps into hard surfaces are not a problem. They’re supposed to be very accurate, and you should be able to read the time at night even when your camp is being attacked.
In the old days field watches were the toughest of all wrist watches, and that’s the same kind of attitude that appeals to men today, even if they only wear them in the office, when hanging out with friends or spending an afternoon at the beach. Modern technology has obviously progressed since then, but the appeal of rugged simplicity will never really go out of style for men who value practicality and subtle machismo. Field watches go well with casual wear or even with office attire when worn with leather straps.
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Here, then, are some of the best field watches for men you can choose from:
Hamilton Khaki Field
The Hamilton Khaki Field is a very unassuming watch, but its subtle design seems to project a solid and rugged personality. The 42 mm case is not too large, and with its brown leather bracelet it’s good even for office wear. The stainless steel bezel is fixed, and there’s also a GMT scale around an inner ring, so you can tell time in military terms.
The hands are luminous, and can easily be discerned with the black dial. It features automatic movement, and its sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant. This is one watch you can wear day in and day out, and you can even use it while swimming since it’s water resistant up to 100 meters.
Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry
It’s not surprising that the makers of the famous Swiss Army knife will also offer a watch to match. The Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry is a really simple-looking watch that oozes practicality without being fussy. The dial features numbered hour markers, with the Victorinox logo at the 12:00 marker. Its unassuming look is emphasized by its modest size, as the case is only 40 mm in diameter and the thickness is 9 mm.
It’s good enough for the office, as the brown calfskin leather strap doesn’t look overly casual. But it’s also good enough for most outdoor activities, and you can wear it to the beach or pool as it is water resistant up to 100 meters. You can easily read the time, and even the second hand is faintly luminous. Good luck finding it though, because the demand for this watch is high and many sellers are running out of supplies.
Seiko 5 SNZG15
Seiko prides itself for its innovative technology, but with the Seiko SNZG15 it offers a classic design that never goes out of style. The movement is automatic, and for those who are curious it uses the 23 jewel Seiko 7S36 movement. The self-wind movement keeps time accurately, with just a loss of a second each day when you wear it constantly.
The hands are luminous, and the numbered dial features 13 to 24 in the inner ring. The stainless steel case measures just 41.8 mm in diameter and the case features a hardlex window for enhanced scratch resistance. It’s even water resistant for up to 100 meters. The strap is nylon, but then again you can easily replace it.
Citizen BM8180-03E Eco-Drive
This Citizen Eco-Drive watch is equipped with a solar battery, so all you need to do is to set it for a few hours in direct sunlight before you wear it for the first time. Just make sure you don’t set the time when the watch is reading between 9PM and 4AM, and you’re good to go.
This isn’t a piece of jewelry—it’s a tool that tells you the time and date. That’s it, although that kind of simplicity does have its own charm. No need to take it off when you’re in the shower or at the beach, as it is water resistant to 100 meters. Just wear it and never take it off unless you’re going to a formal function. Or if you want, you can replace the stitched nylon strap with leather, and it’ll be good enough even for the office.
Timex Weekender Chrono Oversize
Timex is honest enough in its marketing to indicate that this is a very casual watch. The dial is white with large number for the hours, and you even have 3 subdials. That puts the date window in the 4:00 position. The green nylon band really fits in a field setting. The silver-tone brass case measures 40mm, and it is water resistant to 30 meters. Once your work week is over, have a nice weekend getaway and make sure you wear this field watch!