As if you're watch collection couldn't get any bigger, you might be about to discover that perhaps, surprise surprise, you actually don't own every single type of watch there is on the market. As any watch enthusiast knows, there's far more to watch shopping than just a nice looking time piece that will look spiffy with a range of outfit combos in your closet. You've got automatic watches, quartz watches, solar watches, chronograph watches, and a nifty watch category known as field watches. What is a field watch you might ask? The short answer to this is—field watches are military watches that have a very minimalistic and simple design. So that means every solid black watch qualifies as being a field watch right? Wrong. To help guide your search, we've compiled a list of the very best field watches on the market right now.
The 25 Best Field Watches at Every Price Point
What qualifies as a field watch?
Field watches are required to be seen/readable at night or low-lighting conditions due to their military background. If your watch doesn't glow-in-the-dark, then it doesn't hit the mark. Field watches are also known to have leather/canvas bands. What else makes this unique watch so captivating?
The History of the Field Watch:
The origins of field watches dates back to World War II when it was first worn by soldiers. Back then they were known as "trench watches," and the invention of the watch matched the evolution in military uniforms happening around that time. While the time pieces were certainly a complementary addition to the wrists of soldiers, field watches had a very specific purpose—to aid the troops in their military attacks and strategies. Functionality was the most important part of field watches, and while modern updates center around style, it's still the most pertinent feature the watch offers.
What are the benefits of a field watch?
Field watches still remain the best choice for those that are in the military. If you aren't in the military the functional features of the watch don't matter as much, but come in handy if you engage in nighttime outdoor activities such as camping.
What to look for in the best field watches:
What should you look for in a good field watch? Let's break it down:
Case: It's recommended that you opt for a watch that has a stainless steel case as that is the best for protection due its sturdy titanium construction.
Movement: The difference between a quartz and mechanical movement for your field watch will ultimately come down to personal preference. Quartz movement moves in individual second-long ticks, whereas mechanical flows in a sweeping motion. You can find field watches in both styles, and which one is more legible for you will be a matter of personal preference.
Band Type: You can really go with just about any band type if you are using for field watch solely for stylistic purposes, but if you are going to be "out in the field," then you might want to aim for a leather or canvas band.
Dial Layout: Preferably, your field watch should have large dial markings, and remember—if it doesn't glow in the dark, it's not a real field watch.
What are some of the best field watch brands?
This is a matter of personal preferences, however, some of our favorite brands to get field watches from are Citizen Watch, Shinola, Rolex, Huckberry, and more. If you're looking for some of the best affordable field watches, consider Timex and Fossil. This list will include options from each plus more.
The Very Best Field Watches, at a Glance:
- Editor's Pick - Timex Expedition North Field Solar Strap Watch, $159
- A Splurge-Worthy Option - Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, $575
- Best Japanese Field Watch - Shinola Runwell Field Watch, $650
- Best Classic Watch - Citizen Chandler Men's Eco-Watch, $260
- Best Solar Watch - Bigi Design Ti Field Watch, $399
- Most Affordable Watch - Timex Expedition Scout 40mm, $41.99
- Best Luxury Watch - Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic Watch, $2,900
- Best Technical Watch - VAER C5 Tactical Field Quartz, $299
- Price: $159 | Case size: 41 mm | Movement: Quartz Analog | Water resistance: 100 m | Case height: 12 mm | Lug width: 20 mm | Crystal: Sapphire
Timex will always remain one of our favorite brands to get watches from, and they've got some epic field watches that are worth a browse. The Expedition North Field Solar Watch catches our eye due it to its vintage design, sapphire crystal glass case, versatility, and easy-to-read dial markings. The leather strap that accompanies the watch is also eco-friendly, and since we personally own this watch, we can say that the glow-in-the-dark component is pretty cool.
A Splurge-Worthy Option
- Price: $575 | Case size: 38 mm | Movement: Military Time | Water resistance: 50 m | Case height: N/A | Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
Hamilton watches are a classic in the watch community as they are a family-run business with a long history that dates back decades ago, and are known for providing some of the most high quality and durable watches that you can purchase. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch is one of many, and while you'll invest more upfront than other watches, it's quite possible that you won't have to invest in another again for a very long time unless you want to, making this a watch that is worth every single dollar.
Best Japanese Field Watch
- Price: $650 | Case size: 41 mm | Movement: Argonite 703 | Water resistance: N/A | Case height: N/A | Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
With Shinola, you know the style, quality, and technical elements are all going to be present, and that is exactly the case with their special-edition Runwell Field Watch, which is also known as the RFW. What separates the RFW from other watches is the stainless steel case that is six times more durable and scratch-resistant from other watches, and its square weave that makes different from any other Shinola watch that you'll currently find. Perfect for the outdoors.
Best Classic Watch
- Price: $260 | Case size: 43 mm | Movement: Analog | Water resistance: WR100/10Bar/333ft | Case height: N/A | Lug width: 20 mm | Crystal: Mineral Crystal
It truly doesn't get any better than a classic watch Citizen, and their Eco-friendly Garrison watch has become a favorite due to its rugged yet still-in-tact look, and overall comfort. Similar to other field watches, the Garrison is powered by light and features a stainless steel case, Cordura trap, and sand colored dial as additional stylistic attributes that really makes the watch pop.
Best Solar Watch
- Price: $399 | Case size: 40.5 mm | Movement: Epson VS43 | Water resistance: 100M/330FT | Case height: N/A | Lug width: 46 mm | Crystal: Sapphire
When it comes to solar watches you either gotta or big or go home. Bigi Design offers a highly technical solar field watch that not only looks good on your wrist, but has many built-in features that are sure to be helpful in your day-to-day life such as a timer, a very bright lume, and a day-date window function. We're also feeling the nato straps as they provide a timeless look that is minimalistic and customizable, but still very much durable and efficient.
Most Affordable Watch
- Price: $41.99 | Case size: 40 mm | Movement: Quartz | Water resistance: 50 m | Case height: N/A | Lug width: 20 mm | Crystal: Mineral Crystal
Sometimes it just simply isn't in the budget to spend hundreds of dollars on a watch. Timex understands this, which is why they have their Expedition Scout Watch available for just a little over $40. Not a bad deal at all considering you get the INDIGLO® Night-Light and QuickDate® features, the ability for the watch to be water-resistant for up to 50 m, and a comfortable nylon strap that is also durable. This watch should last you a good while if taken care properly.
Best Luxury Watch
- Price: $2,900 | Case size: 41 mm | Movement: Automatic | Water resistance: 100 m | Case height: N/A | Lug width: 20 mm | Crystal: Synthetic Sapphire
On the flip side if you've got some Benjamins you want to throw down on a field watch (about 3,000 to be exact), then consider this Navitimer 8 Automatic Watch from Breitling. The originator of the modern chronograph, Breitling has been in the business of making watches since 1884. The hefty price tag is not just because of its namesake and quality, but also due to the overall value increase of their watches down the line. If kept in perfect condition, it's quite possible that your watch could end up being worth much more than what you paid for down the line if you decide to sell at some point. Whether or not you do, a Breitling investment is a wise one.
Best Technical Watch
- Price: $299 | Case size: 40 mm | Movement: Quartz | Water resistance: 100 mm | Case height: N/A | Lug width: 20 mm | Crystal: Sapphire
You want to talk very technical watches? VAER's C5 Tactical Field Watch is very technical—among the most technical out there in our opinion as the stainless steel case has AR coating and a locking screwdown crown, the movement is a Swiss Made Ronda 715, and the dial has a date window and 24-hour markers to complete the C3 SuperLuminova and glowing lume paint. If that isn't enough for you, we don't know what to tell ya.
- Price: $169 | Case size: 316L | Movement: Quartz | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Case height: N/A | Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Acrylic Glass
The A-2 Praesidus has a long history as it came about in the 1950s when the company met with USAF pilot Bud Anderson for a conversation about watches used during the Korean War. Bringing Anderson on as an official consultant on the production for the A-2, the results were a classic military-themed field watch that has updated and slightly tinkered with over the decades, but never straying too far away from the features that made its customers drawn to it in the first place.
- Price: $380 | Case size: 38 mm | Movement: 82S0 Automatic | Water resistance: 0030M | Case height: N/A | Lug width: 18 mm | Crystal: Double Domed Mineral Crystal
The Bulova Hack Watch as it is a combination of the brand's military heritage and vintage watches of that particular era, honing in on emphasizing historical elements in a modern way. Some of the stand out features on this baby include: three-hand 21-jewel automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve, a black dial and luminescent hands and markers, and a green leather NATO strap. A watch that will never leave you out to dry.
- Price: $295 | Case size: 36 mm | Movement: Automatic | Water resistance: 10 bar, 100 meters (330 feet) | Case height: N/A | Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Seiko Crystal
The Seiko SRPJ85 blends together pilot/aviation style to go along with a retro look, and we'd say it all comes together nicely. An affordable quality watch that isn't too much of a hit on the bank account, the SRPJ85 is a handsome watch, gets the job done of telling you the time in the most convenient manner, lights up in the dark, and is super comfortable. A ten out of ten.
- Price: $895 | Case size: 40 mm | Movement: Automatic Three-Hand | Water resistance: 20 ATM | Case height: N/A | Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
This stunning time piece from Zodiac is one of their battle-tested as it has been around since the 1960s. Similar to some of the other watches on this list, the Olympos model has been tested and played with some over the decades, but it never drifts away from its original features—something that is important to longtime lovers of the watch. Simplicity, unity, and durability and the three words used to describe the Olympos, and we couldn't agree from our previous experiences with Zodiac.
- Price: $204 | Case size: 34 mm | Movement: AETA High-Torque FØ6 | Water resistance: 20 ATM | Case height: N/A | Lug width: 16 mm | Crystal: Sapphire
For just a little over $200, you (yes you) can own this elegant yet totally rad field Sage Green Field Watch from Marathon. Features include MaraGlo™ luminescent paint which allows the watch to light up beautifully in the abyss of darkness, and a high-impact composite fibreshell case for ultra-light durability. The Marathon Sage Green watch is built strictly to adhere to military standards, so if you are in the military and want a watch that is right on the money, this is your guy.
- Price: $3,150 | Case size: 39 mm | Movement: Automatic | Water resistance: N/A | Case height: N/A | Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Domed Sapphire Material
Whew! A Tudor Ranger. The sibling to Rolex, the Ranger model celebrates the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland Expedition and has a Manufacture Calibre MT5402, a clasp with rapid adjustment system, and a minimalistic design that meets the aesthetic standards created by Tudor Ranger, but is still very much exquisite and the definition of luxurious.
- Price: $209.99 | Case size: 43 mm | Movement: Automatic | Water resistance: 100 m, 10 ATM, 330 feet | Case height: N/A | Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Hardened Mineral Crystal
If you've never owned a field watch before and are thinking about giving it a try, the Luminox G Patagonia is a solid place to start. It's got a nice versatile look that can easily be mixed and matched with a lot in your closet, it's on the affordable side, the water-resistance is there at 100 meters, and its got a Luminox Light Technology lighting system that's bound to do the job if you're wearing it at night. Not seeing how you can go wrong here.
- Price: $575 | Case size: 42 mm | Movement: Analog Quartz | Water resistance: 10 ATM/100 M/330 FT | Case height: 11 mm | Lug width: 21 mm | Crystal: Glass Crystal
Victorinox's FieldForce Sports Watch is worth every penny of its $575 price tag as the watch to designed to have an athletic look (something you could wear to a game or sporting event), and is Swiss-made with chronographic functions and a tachymeter scale. The FieldForce is built on the structure of versatility and endurance, so this is a watch that you can get a lot of wear out of, but no tear.
- Price: $195 | Case size: 41 mm | Movement: Hybrid | Water resistance: N/A | Case height: N/A Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Sapphire Coated Crystal
You can also check out this reasonably priced watch from Vincero, which is available through Amazon Prime, which is built on technicality and durability, while still very much being a watch that you could wear out to dinner or to an event. Versatility is important with any accessory, and Vincero gives you all that and a bag of chips with The Outrider.
- Price: $272.99 | Case size: 40 mm | Movement: Analog | Water resistance: N/A | Case height: N/A Lug width: 19 mm | Crystal: Double-domed Mineral Glass
Merci gives you a field watch that is effortlessly stunning, while still being a reflection of its military roots. The watch itself is boosted up by a stepped bezel, drilled lugs and a domed crystal—features that are inspired by their 20th-century military watch counterparts, with the ultimate goal being to "stand the test of time while helping you to tell time—all at the same time. Beautiful.
- Price: $38 | Case size: 42 mm | Movement: Quartz | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Case height: N/A Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Mineral
It's always a bonus when you can snag a gem at a super affordable price, and that is precisely the deal here with this Easton Three-Hand Green Khaki Watch provided to you by the good people over at Fossil. While the watch is currently $38, it's original value was $150 (which still would have been a good bargain for the quality), so we mean it when we say this is a steal. If the green khaki color isn't your speed, then there's also a blue option to choose from as well.
- Price: $298 | Case size: 42.5 mm | Movement: Japanese Automatic | Water resistance: 10 ATM/ 100 Meters | Case height: N/A Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Hardened Mineral Crystal
MVMT watches come highly reviewed and highly rated, so you should definitely keep them in consideration for all of your field watch shopping needs. The MVMT is powered by a precision automatic movement, has an overall rugged look, and is built for the most challenging of outdoor adventures.
- Price: $150 | Case size: 48.5 mm | Movement: Digital | Water resistance: 200 m | Case height: N/A Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Mineral Glass
It's not a matter of whether or not G-SHOCK has field watches, it's about which one you want to purchase. G-SHOCK watches are highly skilled, futuristic, ahead of the game, crafty, and affordable. This isn't the kind of place where you'll have to throw down hundreds or perhaps thousands to get a quality watch, and that's one of the reasons why the brand remains one of the most popular. The design is super sick as well.
- Price: $279 | Case size: 42 mm | Movement: Ronda Quartz | Water resistance: 5 ATM | Case height: N/A Lug width: 52 mm | Crystal: Sapphire Glass
The Taiga GMT from Sternglas checks all the boxes and requirements to be a field watch, and dare we say it's practically perfect? The glass is made with sapphire material, the straps on the watch are Italian leather, and the movements are sharp and precise. That's what we're talking about!
- Price: $148 | Case size: 44 mm | Movement: Japanese Quartz | Water resistance: 10 ATM | Case height: N/A Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Hardened Mineral
The details on this Bespoke Post Field Watch are very cool. For starters—there's a Black PVD-Coated Stainless Steel Case, a Navigational Compass Function, and Luminescent Hands and Indices for the evening. There's also two different colors to select from, and the reviews indicate that this is a watch that is functional, stylish, and easy to read.
Price: $465 | Case size: 38.5 mm | Movement: Automatic | Water resistance: 10 ATM | Case height: N/A Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Sapphire
Made in Italy, the U2-C is a classic representation of Milanese industrial design tradition, and it doesn't get more minimalistic than this watch right here people. There's four different colors available with the U2-C model, all of which are simplistic...but bold to the tenth power.
- Price: $11,750 | Case size: 36 mm | Movement: Mechanical | Water resistance: 100 m | Case height: N/A Lug width: N/A | Crystal: Scratch-Resistant Sapphire
You don't necessarily have to be James Harden to get a Rolex. Wait a minute—we might have just lied a little bit there. You probably do have to be James Harden to get a Roley. Isn't it beautiful though?
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