Best Field Watch 2021 – The Perfect Accessory for the Rugged and Reliable Man

By Derrick Ferrell
Updated on
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The Rundown
  • Best Overall
    The king of field watches. Timeless styling, great history, excellent movement & quality, all for a reasonable price.
  • Runner-Up Best Overall
    This watch is the perfect partner for those who want a watch that is as versatile as they are.
  • Best Classic
    A breathtaking watch, designed to imitate some of the most incredible field watches of the past with a modern twist.
  • Runner-Up Best Classic
    Combines the original beauty of the most remarkable of its former products with cutting-edge watchmaking technology.
  • Best High-End
    One of the most iconic watch brands, and became known as the Professional category of watches that served as tools.
  • Best Eco-Drive
    This eco-friendly watch recharges continuously in any light to run forever, with no battery changes required ever.
  • Best Luminox
    This watch gained popularity during the First World War due to soldier's demands for reliable and portable timepieces.
  • Best Orient
    This serves as a bridge between technical pieces and everyday sport watches – perfect for when you’re stitching to get off the grid.
  • Best Victorinox
    Swiss Army heritage that is practical and withstands the most rugged conditions.
  • Best Minimal
    Ideal for those who have a good love field watch but want a more upscale, understated aesthetic.
  • Best Value for Price
    A remarkably faithful reedition of one of the most classic milsubs ever made, the certina 1967
  • Best Budget
    A budget option that's rugged enough to handle whatever life throws your way.
  • Runner-Up Best Budget
    A low-end-yet-tough field watch for those who can't afford a Hamilton Khaki Field.

If you need a watch as tough as you, look no further. We have created a list of our favorite field watches currently on the market. Every watch on this list is made of the best materials, and designed to withstand anything you can throw at them whilst still maintaining a high level of historical heritage.

Their bold yet reliable design has led the humble field watch to become an extremely popular ever-lasting accessory. From their humble origins back in World War II, these watches can transform your look instantly.

Let’s take a look…

Best Overall
Hamilton Men's H70555533 Khaki Field Stainless Steel Automatic Watch with Brown Leather Band
Hamilton Khaki Field
The king of field watches. Timeless styling, great history, excellent movement & quality, all for a reasonable price.
What we like
  • Rich History
  • Rugged Durable Stainless Steel Case
  • Great Price Tag
  • Nice Selection of Straps
What we don’t like
  • May be a bit small for those who prefer a larger watch

Founded way back in 1892, Hamilton Watches have a long pedigree in watchmaking. Their attention to detail and ability to create striking, durable watches made them immensely popular, so popular in fact that they became official suppliers to the United States Armed forces. This is what escalated Hamilton Watches to new heights.

The Hamilton Khaki Field Watch is pretty unique, as there are not many other tactical watches on the market that have such strong ties to military history, are Swiss Made, and come with a price-tag under $600.

The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is a collection of field watches designed with MIL-W-3818B standards. They use a mix of both vintage charm and modern aesthetics that accumulates into the perfect daily wearer.

In terms of features, you get a classic military style readout with a focus on readability in all scenarios. You also have a choice of straps, such as the green NATO band or leather.

The Hamilton Khaki Field is the best watch overall and will suit almost anyone. It is also a great choice if you are purchasing a watch for a son or husband.

Runner-Up Best Overall
Seiko SARB017 Alpinist with Leather Calfskin Strap, Brown
Seiko SARB017 Alpinist
This watch is the perfect partner for those who want a watch that is as versatile as they are.
What we like
  • Great Waterproofing
  • Sapphire Crystal Face
  • Flush Bezel Design
  • Easy to Read Dial
What we don’t like
  • Strap with a little low quality

This classically styled Alpinist by Seiko is the perfect partner for those who want a watch that is as versatile as they are. The Alpinist comes with a 38-millimeter case, which gives it a profile that is just right. It can slide under a shirt cuff with ease due to its 12-millimeter thickness. The sapphire crystal face is flattened; this allows it to sit flush with the bezel. The green crystal dial window looks incredible when it catches the light!

It can survive depths up to 200m; this makes it a great choice for those that like to swim or scuba dive. The stainless steel design is extremely durable with easy-to-read markers, making it the perfect companion for those who enjoy hiking and fieldcraft.

The only thing that lets us down is the cheap-feeling leather band. There are way better strap options out there, so it’s not a deal-breaker.

Best Classic
Tudor Heritage Ranger Black Dial
Tudor Heritage Ranger
A breathtaking watch, designed to imitate some of the most incredible field watches of the past with a modern twist.
What we like
  • Classic Styling
  • Premium Feel
  • Amazing Strap
  • 150m Waterproofing
What we don’t like
  • Premium Price Tag

The Heritage Ranger by Tudor is a breathtaking watch, designed to imitate some of the most incredible field watches of the past with a modern twist.

With a stainless-steel case, the Heritage Ranger looks classy; it has a bold, simple face and an uncluttered 41mm case, making it a good weight and size.

Under the face, it has a 25-jewel automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve. It is also water-resistant up to 150 meters. These features are perfect for the modern-day man on the move.

One thing that we really like about the Heritage Ranger is the high-end leather strap that comes standard. This strap is made of quality leather that feels premium to the touch.

If you have a preference for the classic things in life, like good whiskey, old cars, and tailored suits, the Tudor Heritage Ranger is a fine choice.

Runner-Up Best Classic
Longines Heritage Automatic Black Dial
Longines Heritage
Combines the original beauty of the most remarkable of its former products with cutting-edge watchmaking technology.
What we like
  • Unique Stylings
  • Longine Brand Quality
  • Black Alligator Strap
  • 30m Waterproofing
What we don’t like
  • This unique look won’t suit everyone

We love a classic watch, so we couldn’t, in good conscience, leave out the Swiss-made Longines Heritage.

This stunning offering has brilliant yellow gold hands and markers. The case is stainless steel and looks simply stunning. It also features a black alligator leather strap, which offers a luxury feel without the usual stiffness commonly seen in watch straps.

There is a power reserve of around 40 hours, and this is accomplished using a 25 jewel system that bits at 28800, making it incredibly accurate.

It is waterproof to 30m, which makes it a great choice for swimmers, but we would advise against wearing it for scuba dives.

Best High-End
Rolex Explorer Automatic Black Dial
Rolex Explorer
One of the most iconic watch brands, and became known as the Professional category of watches that served as tools.
What we like
  • Great investment
  • Rolex quality
  • Stunning looks
  • Secure buckle closure
What we don’t like
  • Rolex Price-tag

Rolex has always managed to elevate itself to watchmaker royalty. The brand is famous for their trademark day-date window. A Rolex watch is not only an amazing timepiece; they are also a great investment.

Rolexes have extremely distinctive faces, it’s their calling card. The Explorer is no different. With striking markers and delicately designed hands, this is a watch that looks the part even more so at night, where the hands give off a dazzling blue luminescence. 

Each Rolex watch is constructed with “OysterSteel” Steel, which is their patented stainless steel case system extremely resistant to corrosion, wear and tear. This is a perfect choice for those that live life on the edge.

This particular model comes with Caliber 3132 movement, which is the pinnacle of self-winding movement tech. With a Parachrom coil, Paraflex shock absorbers, and sapphire crystal dial window, this watch is classed as a Swiss Chronometer and has passed the numerous tests required by the Swiss Official Control of Chronometers (COSC).

If you want a high-end watch that will be the envy of all your friends, look no further.

Best Eco-Drive
Citizen Chandler Eco-Drive
Citizen Chandler
This eco-friendly watch recharges continuously in any light to run forever, with no battery changes required ever.
What we like
  • Screw down crown protection
  • Eco-drive technology
  • Solar powered
  • Water resistant
What we don’t like
  • The strap is love it or hate it

The Citizen Chandler watch comes with its own self-sustaining solar-powered Eco-Drive, perfect for those of you who care about your footprint. Using either artificial or natural light, this watch will automatically charge its lithium-ion battery. Once it is fully charged, it stores excess energy stored to charge your watch as soon as the battery drops.

Citizen has rated this stainless steel field watch for up to 100m too and utilizes a screw-down crown, which enables you to secure your watch even more against dust and water during strenuous activities.

It features a 37mm case diameter, making this one of the smaller field watches on this list. You get a striking stainless steel design with a green canvas strap that gives it that military feeling.

If you care about the environment and never have to worry about winding a watch, this is the one.

Best Luminox
Luminox Atacama Field 1907.NF
Luminox Atacama Field
This watch gained popularity during the First World War due to soldier’s demands for reliable and portable timepieces.
What we like
  • Endorsed by the CIA, FBI, and NYPD
  • Micro-gas hour markers
  • Anti-Glare treatment
  • 40-hour power reserve
What we don’t like
  • Different from the usual Luminox style

The Atacama Field is the newest addition to the LAND range and is endorsed by the CIA, the FBI, and the NYPD. It takes its name from one of the most dangerous and extreme places on earth: the Atacama Desert. This watch was designed with adventurers in mind!

This is a larger watch with a lot of features. It has a 44mm case diameter with a 14mm height. There is a sapphire crystal screen that features an anti-glare coating.  The screw-down crown helps this watch gain its standout feature, the 200m water-resistant rating. The Atacama has a 40-hour power reserve and utilizes Sellita movements to keep it in check.

If you love the Luminox brand, you will love the Atacama Field. It looks incredible on your wrist and has some serious kit inside.

Best Orient
Orient Defender Multi-Eye Function Stainless Steel
Orient Defender
This serves as a bridge between technical pieces and everyday sport watches – perfect for when you’re stitching to get off the grid.
What we like
  • Great as a casual everyday watch
  • Water-resistant to 100m
  • Affordable
What we don’t like
  • Power reserve doesn’t seem to last more than 28 hours
  • No hand-winding

The Orient Defender is a utility watch manufactured in Japan. The case is rated to 100m and has a screw-down crown. It features an automatic self-winding movement that makes for extremely accurate time-keeping. The stainless steel case is 12mm thick and 42mm wide which gives the Orient a nice sturdy feel.

If you prefer a watch with an oriental twist, this is one to see. It looks especially good when paired with a NATO strap.

Best Victorinox
Victorinox Swiss Army Men's I.N.O.X. Watch
Victorinox I.N.O.X.
Swiss Army heritage that is practical and withstands the most rugged conditions.
What we like
  • Dressy yet bold look
  • Solid Swiss quartz
  • Indestructible, scratch-resistant
  • Incredible water resistance up to 652ft
What we don’t like
  • Non-deployant bracelet

The Victorinox I.N.O.X. offers Swiss Army heritage with a generous selection of colorways and straps. It is practical and will withstand the most rugged conditions.

Swiss-made field watches are some of the best in the world, and this watch is no exception. The I.N.O.X is designed to pass over 125 different tests of durability. It can withstand a whopping 652 feet of depth, has scratch-resistant glass, a stainless steel case, and a removable protector for those really strenuous tasks. It also has an end of life indicator that informs you of when the battery will need protecting.

Victorinox is so confident in their product that they offer a 3-year guarantee to anyone that buys one.

If you were fascinated by Swiss army knives as a kid (I know I was), this is definitely a watch you will enjoy.

Best Minimal
Glycine Combat 6 Vintage Automatic Silver Dial
Glycine Combat 6 Vintage
Ideal for those who have a good love field watch but want a more upscale, understated aesthetic.
What we like
  • Simple yet stunning look
  • Good price point
  • Clear day/date window
What we don’t like
  • Low availability

This watch is ideal for the minimalists who have a good love field watch but want a more upscale, understated aesthetic.

Sitting at 40mm, the case is the average size for a field watch. Whilst it doesn’t have the hardcore military feel, it looks great dressed up or dressed down.

The white face offers a sophisticated look, while the black strap provides contrast and depth.

The final thing that really sets this watch apart is the low price tag. It is hard to find a Swiss-made watch at this price point.

Best Value for Price
Certina DS PH200M Automatic Black Dial
Certina DS PH200M
A remarkably faithful reedition of one of the most classic milsubs ever made, the certina 1967
What we like
  • 140 Years of brand heritage
  • 660ft Depth Resistance
  • Easy to change bands
What we don’t like
  • A little bigger than the original

Every now and again we come across a watch that is simply incredible value for money. You get a lot more than you pay for.

The Certina DS PH200M comes from a brand that was founded way back in 1888 in Switzerland. This watch shows what 140 years of experience can lead to. 

It is on the larger side, at 43mm, and comes with a stainless-steel case that has two thoughtfully designed screw-in crowns. You get a whopping 300m waterproof depth rating too.

This is one of the best entry-level Swiss brands in this price range.  If you are dipping your toes into high-end watch ownership, this is a great place to begin.

Best Budget
Timex Expedition Field Strap Chronograph Men’s Watch Leather
Timex Expedition
A budget option that’s rugged enough to handle whatever life throws your way.
What we like
  • Cheap
  • 100m Rated
  • Real Leather Wrist Strap
What we don’t like
  • Lower quality movement compared to other watches on this list

If you are on a bit of a budget, or you are looking for a present that won’t break the bank, The Expedition, by Timex, is a very affordable field watch. It has thousands of extremely happy customers to back it up.

With over 6000 5-star ratings on Amazon, we had to give it a chance. What we found was an incredibly well-made watch, made with a quartz movement and genuine leather. What’s even more impressive is the fact it is also rated to 100m.

You get scratch-resistant mineral glass too, which works exceedingly well.

All in all, this is a great watch, and with a price tag under $100, we are quite simply put, very impressive.

Runner-Up Best Budget
Seiko SNK809 5 Stainless Steel Watch with Black Canvas Strap
Seiko 5 SNK809
A low-end-yet-tough field watch for those who can’t afford a Hamilton Khaki Field.
What we like
  • Highly affordable
  • 21-Jewel Movement
  • Almost like a Hamilton
What we don’t like
  • Can feel a little flimsy on the wrist

This watch is nearly double the price of the Expedition, but it is a fraction of the cost of some of the better watches on this list. The Seiko 5 is a low-end, entry-level watch with a 21-jewel movement and a 37mm case. You get stainless steel design and both Spanish and English date windows options. The black strap is high-quality, just like other Seiko watches.

Altogether, this adds up to a great watch that does exactly what it claims without any fancy thrills. The Seiko 5 would make the perfect addition for someone who likes a nice watch but doesn’t wear them often.

Final Verdict

A Field watch is a great way to combine a love for the outdoors with your penchant for style and class. They also make for incredible gifts, especially when passed down from generation to generation.

We’ve spent a lot of time researching to provide you with the best possible guidance for choosing your next watch. If you are still unsure, we recommend our top overall pick: the Hamilton Khaki. This is the best option for the majority of readers and has our full backing.

The Ultimate Field Watch Buying Guide

Military man wearing field watch
Photo by Nor Gal

If you are looking for a watch for yourself or someone else but you are not sure exactly what you should be looking for, do not worry. Keep reading as we explain exactly how we decide which field watches we decide to suggest to our readers. By using this information, you will be able to decide which watch is best for you. 

Size 

When deciding on a watch, it’s important to consider its size.

If you are a larger man, you might want to look at watches that have a case of around 40mm+, and if you are smaller, then you might want to look at 40mm-. 

The best way to find out your preference is to try on different field watches to see how they feel on your wrist. Even though it is always cheaper to buy your watches online, you can still go to a watch shop to try out what feels right.

Strap Type

Next, decide on what style of strap you want. Here are several popular options:

Metal vs Leather vs Nylon

Some people dislike how Metal links make their watch heavier, whereas some people don’t like the look of leather strap on a field watch. It helps to consider your daily activities when deciding which type of strap to choose. 

Many people nowadays are opting for a lightweight nylon strap. A nylon strap can be a great option for those who are not used to wearing watches as they are more comfortable. You can buy a nylon strap for a lot less than it would cost you to get a new metal link or leather strap too.

Materials

In terms of materials, there are several things you should look out for. 

Case

When checking out the case, be sure it is made of stainless steel or another durable metal. This will ensure that your field watch does not get damaged during daily use. Some watches come with cases made of precious metals, but we don’t think that is suitable for the rugged requirements of a field watch. Stainless steel offers the best water resistance and will ensure your military field watches stay looking sharp.

Glass

Next, examine the glass. You should look for scratch-resistant materials like Sapphire Crystal. This will ensure that your watch does not get scratched. Anti-Glare coatings are useful to stop your watch from reflecting light.

Movement

Finally, you have the movement. The best way to ensure accuracy is to focus on a high-quality movement based on top-end jewels. Automatic movement and quartz movement provide the most accurate timekeeping. If you are buying something with a quartz movement, make sure that the battery is a high-quality one as a quartz watch relies on battery power for accuracy.

Warranty

Most quality brands come with a warranty. We highly recommend taking manufacturers upon an extended warranty anytime it is offered.

FAQs

Q: What is a military field watch?

A: A military field watch is a style of watch that originated in the military during World War 1. These timepieces were constructed with high-quality materials, and many of them eventually became incredibly valuable. All field watches have a focus on durability and reliability.

Q: Who makes the best field watch?

A: Over the years there have been a number of high-end brands who have become known for their excellent field watches. Some of these include Luminox, Hamilton, and Seiko.

Q: What military field watch is standard issue for the Navy Seals?

A: Currently, the most popular Navy Seal watch is made by Luminox.

Q: Where is the best place to buy a field watch?

A: We like to use Amazon. They offer the quickest, most reliable delivery as well as the most competitive pricing. Their air-tight return policy offers safety and trust to their customers. When you are spending your money on a watch, you can shop with more peace in mind with Amazon.

Q: Where is the best place to buy a classic field watch?

A: If you are looking for an antique classic field watch you will be best off getting in contact with a reputable dealer to source one for you, be wary of buying antique military watches over marketplaces like eBay and Facebook.