The field watch should be relatively simple, right? By definition, these were meant to be watches worn in the fields of war—super simple to read, not overly complicated in design, and relatively light in weight. The telling of the time should be the field watch’s main purpose—in war, timing is critical, and time, itself, is valued by those who haven’t yet run out of it.
Over the years, however, the definition of the field watch has become slightly blurred, with grey areas existing now between field watches and pilot watches (and even some dive watches). Today’s post (for the most part) takes us back to the basics. Simple colors. No bells and whistles. Clean lines. Here are seven easy, breezy, and affordable watches suitable for many different environments—fields optional.
Bell & Ross V2-92 Military Beige
While still considered a youngster (in years) in the Swiss watchmaking world, Bell & Ross has always been clear in what they want to accomplish as a brand: the ability to offer quality, affordable, attractive timepieces with a vintage military feel. The BR V2-92 Military Beige accomplishes that and more by being the closest thing the brand has come to creating a field watch so far. The matte-finished dial in sand beige is particularly appealing (and quite easy to read) as a backdrop to the watch’s black Arabic numerals and blackened hands (treated with Super-LumiNova in case, you know, you’re in a field at night). The 41mm satin-polished steel case is made even more attractive with the presence of a bi-directional rotating steel bezel highlighted with an anodized black aluminum ring. On the more approachable end of the spectrum, the V2-92 Military Beige comes in at $2,900.
Omega Railmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer on Denim
Featuring a stainless-steel case measuring 40mm in diameter, the $4,900 Omega Railmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer can easily and comfortably be worn by any gender, particularly in the blue denim version. Driven by the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8806 (making it resistant to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss), the watch (on the outside) seems simple in design and free from complications, yet still packs a powerful mechanical punch, all delivered in a delightful blue jean package.
Citizen Promaster Tough
If there is a price point watch brand out there that repeatedly delivers when it comes to performance and durability, it has to be Citizen, and the Promaster Tough series of watches is no exception. Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology (no batteries required as all Eco-Drive watches are powered by light) allowed the Promaster Tough to be crafted with a monocoque case which resulted in the watch’s shock resistance and anti-magnetism. The case’s resistance to scratching is due to its black “Super Titanium” coating, (over stainless-steel) and with a matching black fabric Cordura strap, the Promaster Tough offers a lot of look for the money.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 80th Anniversary Edition
This is one of those “gray area” watches that, while originally designed 80 years ago to be a pilot watch, (hence the “Big Crown” portion of the collection’s name) isn’t a chronograph and really could easily double as a field watch as well. Oris launched this limited edition to celebrate the collection’s 80th anniversary comes with a green dial that’s a little difficult to describe in writing (think somewhere between forest and khaki) and the Oris 754 automatic caliber movement (with Sellita SW 200-1 base) is encased in bronze; a material the brand is seemingly becoming more and more comfortable using.
Alpina Alpiner 4
If the field you’re headed into is covered in snow and ice, then the Alpiner 4 by Swiss brand Alpina might just be the watch for you. Classically designed with a 44mm stainless-steel case, metallic blue dial, heavy stitched leather strap, and convex sapphire crystal, the Alpiner 4 also features elements often associated with a sport watch, namely, the fact that its anti-magnetic, anti-shock, and water-resistant.
Tudor Heritage Ranger on Camouflage Strap
Inspired by the brand’s Oyster Prince Ranger, released originally in the 1960s, the Tudor Heritage Ranger is slightly larger in size than its predecessor (coming in at 41mm in diameter) yet its black dial is decorated with nearly identical Arabic numerals and markers. The Calibre 2824 self-winding mechanical movement allows for a 38-hour power reserve and the Heritage Ranger is also waterproof to 150 meters. On the gray and black camouflage fabric strap, it’s about as “field” as any timepiece can get.
Tutima M2 Coastline
While the above watches were all accompanied by fabric or leather straps because of the lightness of those materials, the Tutima M2 Coastline is a military-style watch that works well with a metal bracelet, because that metal bracelet (and in fact, the watch’s case) happens to made out of pure titanium. The Coastline measures 43mm in diameter, is nearly devoid of edges and complications, and is as durable in resistance as it is light in weight. Minimalism at its best and priced accordingly.