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If we're talking attractive field-style watches, then it's a decent enough list (although I don't think you can really pick just 5.)

If we're talking watches you would actually take hiking, climbing, into battle, etc, (as the article lead-in seems to indicate) then it's a pretty crummy list. The Timex Exhibition being the only truly practical option. A $7,000 Rolex 1016 that hasn't been manufactured in more than 40 years as an ideal outdoors watch? Really?

In my opinion, the best true field watch is the one you don't mind destroying. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how well-built your watch is – if it smakes into a rock face at high velocity, or a spring bar breaks and it takes a dive off a cliff, it's game over (Well, unless it's a G-shock and assuming you can actually find it again…)

Plus, if I'm out on the trail, the last thing I want to be doing is worrying about damaging my watch, as I most certainly will be if it costs thousands of dollars.
 

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If we're talking attractive field-style watches, then it's a decent enough list (although I don't think you can really pick just 5.)

If we're talking watches you would actually take hiking, climbing, into battle, etc, (as the article lead-in seems to indicate) then it's a pretty crummy list. The Timex Exhibition being the only truly practical option. A $7,000 Rolex 1016 that hasn't been manufactured in more than 40 years as an ideal outdoors watch? Really?

In my opinion, the best true field watch is the one you don't mind destroying. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how well-built your watch is – if it smakes into a rock face at high velocity, or a spring bar breaks and it takes a dive off a cliff, it's game over (Well, unless it's a G-shock and assuming you can actually find it again…)

Plus, if I'm out on the trail, the last thing I want to be doing is worrying about damaging my watch, as I most certainly will be if it costs thousands of dollars.

This. Don't get me wrong - I'd love an Explorer I. However, the perfect field watch is probably plastic, quartz or solar, LCD or simple 24 hour analog dial, costs less than a 100 bucks, doesn't go that well with a Saville Row suit or dinner jacket (in otherwords, fairly ugly looking) and is the very antithesis of the watches discussed 99% of the time on general forum.
 

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They forgot this one:




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They forgot this one:




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Another great example of the cruel irony of expensive sports and field watches. The polar Explorer is very cool looking and absolutely calls out to be a travel watch, or an outdoors watch. Unfortunately, with a starting price of around $7,000, it absolutely ensures that if I owned one, I would never, ever use it for any of these things…
 

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Have to agree with gordon's comment above. My *field* watch is a quartz Wenger that I got at Costco about 10 years ago for $70. But a better watch would probably be a digital G-Shock or similar.
 

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Another great example of the cruel irony of expensive sports and field watches. The polar Explorer is very cool looking and absolutely calls out to be a travel watch, or an outdoors watch. Unfortunately, with a starting price of around $7,000, it absolutely ensures that if I owned one, I would never, ever use it for any of these things…
I use it for:
Travel
Hiking
Swimming

I'm heading to Iceland next month and I'll be taking probably just this watch.

I'm not rich at all, but this watch demands I wear the crap out of it. It's an honest tool watch. Expensive, yes. But durable and crazy accurate. Crazy good lume and a super useful GMT complication.

Enjoy!


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I use it for:
Travel
Hiking
Swimming

I'm heading to Iceland next month and I'll be taking probably just this watch.

I'm not rich at all, but this watch demands I wear the crap out of it. It's an honest tool watch. Expensive, yes. But durable and crazy accurate. Crazy good lume and a super useful GMT complication.

Enjoy!


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I don't think you can call any mechanical watch made after the mid-70s an "honest tool watch." Rolex could take that exact watch, slap in a quartz movement, and they'd drastically lower the price while greatly increasing durability, magnetic resistance, and accuracy, not to mention making it virtually maintenance-free. Their decision to instead use an "obsolete" mechanical movement is a clear case of choosing form over function. An honest tool watch wouldn't use a mechanical movement unless their was a concrete, objective, functional advantage in doing so. Rolex uses one because people generally expect it in luxury watches, and it helps to justify the high price point.

I'm not disputing that the Explorer works great for all those things you use it for (assuming the price doesn't scare you,) nor that mechanical watches can't be good tool watches. I often take a Seiko 5 SNK809 hiking and it's never failed me (It cost all of $45 though) but what the Explorer II really is is a luxury mechanical watch made in the style of a tool watch.

Semi-related anecdote: About 3 years ago I was trying to get over a rather large rock in the middle of a trail and slipped about halfway up it. I ended up dragging my left wrist backwards about 6 feet down the side of the rock. My watch popped right off, bounced down the rock, over the side of the trail, and about 50 feet down into the (enormous and deep) lake at the bottom. Fortunately it was a $20 Timex, so I just shrugged and moved on. This is a textbook example as to why expensive watches don't go hiking with me, ever.
 

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They seems to forget the Lorus,Pulsar or Seiko. Awesome lume and practical use, be it quartz and automatic. The low price also means, if you rough it out, just dump it and buy another one.

Do you happen to know the model number of those Seikos? I see pictures of those models floating around, but I think it's a discontinued model…
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I use it for:
Travel
Hiking
Swimming

I'm heading to Iceland next month and I'll be taking probably just this watch.

I'm not rich at all, but this watch demands I wear the crap out of it. It's an honest tool watch. Expensive, yes. But durable and crazy accurate. Crazy good lume and a super useful GMT complication.

Enjoy!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

same..this goes where i go
Rolex Explorer II 16570 47_resize.jpg
 

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For the "not level playing" field watch, seems to tick all the boxes......:



Alpinist




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Do you happen to know the model number of those Seikos? I see pictures of those models floating around, but I think it's a discontinued model…
The green one on a bracelet is the SNX425K. It can be obtained from chronograph.com for $122 shipped.

Chronograph.com
 

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For the "not level playing" field watch, seems to tick all the boxes......:



Alpinist




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I have an Alpinist and love it, but I don't see myself doing a lot of outdoors stuff with it. The green dial combined with the gold polished numbers is not the most legible dial design. Specifically, the numbers and most of the hands tend to become almost invisible in direct sunlight. The painted parts of the hands are visible in any lighting, so it's not like you can't tell the time, but it's definitely not ideal if you need to easily read it at a glance in any lighting condition.

Furthermore, the Alpinist, more so than just about any other watch I own, calls out for a (brown) leather strap. It just isn't the same on a bracelet or rubber strap (my preferred choice for any time wrist-sweat is likely.)

Beautiful watch though. Mine says Hi.
2014-06-22 01.06.49.jpg
 

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Interesting, they seem to prefer mechanical watches rather than battery-powered watches.
 

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Of the watches I actually own the ones I consider as legitimate 'field' watches are the Luminox 3103, the Maratac TSAR, and the Maratac Navigator. Each is physically robust, has bright tritium illumination, easily legible dial, quartz mvmt, rotating timing bezel, and is inexpensive. I would feel quite comfortable in the most demanding field conditions with any of them.
 

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Wore this:
Traveling abroad, sometimes into shady neighbourhoods
Full day cycling trip around an island
Walking in typhoon weather
Hiking around a Gorge
River Rafting


No qualms doing the same to it's relative.
 

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Quartz watches need seal maintenance and battery replacement with intervals similar (or greater) than automatics. And if you're worried about your expensive watch getting hurt, insure it. The whole point of buying any Rolex Oyster is wearing the thing. People act like you can't go outdoors with these things-that's what they're built for. If you spend your time 5 days a week operating a jackhammer, yes I'd get a cheap watch. But what's the point of paying thousands for a rugged, excellent time piece if you'e scared to wear it?
 
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