The 10 Best Field Watches in 2019

The 10 Best Field Watches in 2019

If a field watch is good enough for the military to wear, there’s a good chance that they’ll fare well during your everyday routine. Because they're designed to meet strict military specifications that define what its dial and size of the watch should look like, field watches as a whole tend to share many of the same features. But when you take a closer look, it's clear that each watch is distinct in its own way. The best field watches can pull EDC duty thanks to their reasonable size, clear legibility, and rock-solid durability. Today, we're taking a look at 10 of the best military field watches you can buy in 2019. There's something here to suit a variety of tastes, wrist sizes, and lifestyles.

Marathon Field Watch

Marathon’s Field Watch is simplicity at its finest. This Mil-Spec design watch meets all of the U.S. government’s needs for a watch that’s meant to be worn in the field. Large 1-12 hour markers are flanked by a smaller set of 24 hour markings that make telling military time easy. Inside the impact resistant fibreshell resin case, there’s a reliable Swiss-made ETA quartz movement. A durable, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal keeps everything protected. Each watch is proudly made in Switzerland, the watchmaking capital of the world.

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Seiko SNK805

It’s impossible to do a guide about field watches and not mention Seiko’s SNK series. These watches represent some of the best value in the entire watch industry. It’s often the gateway into automatic watches, and for good reason. Seiko’s “5” line has been around for decades. To earn the badge (seen at the 12 o’clock position on this model) each watch much be water resistant to 30m, feature an automatic movement, recessed crown, durable case, and a day-date window. This affordable automatic watch has all that in a cool, military-inspired package. You can even swap out its included strap for a NATO strap to breathe new life into the watch.

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Hamilton Khaki Mechanical

The Hamilton Khaki Mechanical is a new release from the brand with a hand-wound mechanical movement inside. Measuring in at 38mm wide, the case to wear well on small and large wrists alike. The design is based on one from their back catalog, dating all the way back to 1969. The matte finished case keeps a low profile, while the vintage looking cream-colored luminous paint adds an interesting patina-inspired vibe to the dial. It’s a little more expensive than the other options out there, but it’s one of the most affordable ways to add a mechanical Swiss watch to your collection.

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MWC Korean War Issue

MWC’s (Military Watch Company) Korean War Issue pays homage as a faithful reissue of the watch seen on the wrists of infantrymen in the Korean War. The aged paint on the dial looks the part too. This model has wider, sword-shaped hands that are especially easy to read. There are markings on the dial for seconds and hours, with a 24-hour scale as well. It’s a great looking way to add a lot of time-telling information to the dial without being cluttered. The MWC also features a 24-jewel automatic movement, a 316L stainless steel case, and an impressive 100m of water resistance.


Timex x Todd Snyder Military

Todd Snyder’s Timex collaborations always turn heads. The Military watch is no exception. The Military manages to bring both high-end menswear design and military inspiration to a feature-rich field watch. On the cream-colored dial, you’ll find black and red accents. The artwork on the dial was pulled from the 1970’s Timex archives, but placed in a modern case with updated specs. The watch runs on a quartz movement inside a brushed stainless steel case. 50m of water resistance is more than enough for the occasional splash or swim, and the nylon strap is comfortable and resistant to wear.


Seiko SNZG15

Fans of the Seiko SNK looking for something visually different with similar specs should consider the SNZG15. It's slightly lightly larger at 42mm and design-wise, it’s closer to a true military field watch as well. 12- and 24-hour time scales are front-and-center on the dial. There’s also an angled rehaut running around the dial with hour and second hashmarks on it that adds some welcomed depth to the dial. Luminous paint on the dial, red accents, and stark white indices make the watch easy to read, day or night. At just over $130, it’s a great value too.

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Bertucci A-2T Vintage

Finding a better value than the titanium Bertucci watches is a tough undertaking. These solid, set-it-and-forget-it quartz watches are built to last. The A-2T Vintage with titanium case is light weight and easy to wear. While the case shape may look a little clunky at first, it sits nicely on the wrist. Small details like the 4 o’clock crown make it go unnoticed during activity since there’s nothing jutting out to dig into your wrist. Inside the watch, there’s a Swiss quartz movement and Swiss luminous paint on the hands and markers sitting under a durable sapphire crystal. The dial is true to military specifications too, further solidifying a spot on this list.

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Citizen BM8180-03E

The highlight feature of Citizen’s BM8180-03E is the Eco Drive powered quartz movement. Instead of a mechanical movement, or even a battery, the watch is powered by ambient light. It doesn’t matter whether you’re indoors or out—the movement charges from both natural and artificial light. The stainless case, black dial, red seconds hand, and 100m of water resistance round out a solid set of specs. The BM8180-03E ships on an olive green canvas band, making it a perfect match to the rest of the military-inspired aesthetic.

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Timex MK1 Military Reissue

As part of their “Timex Archive Project,” the brand is picking select watches from their extensive catalog and re-issuing them. While the MK1 isn’t a true military watch, it borrows key design features from their popular 1980’s “Camper,” a version of their military watches made for civilians. This new release has a 36mm resin case that’s decked out in OD green. In addition to the case, there’s a green dial and strap to boot. If you’re looking for a monotone watch, the MK1 definitely fits the bill.


Casio G-Shock DW5600BBN

Although it’s not a traditional field watch, many military professionals pick G-Shocks as their watch of choice when in the field. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise. These watches are built to withstand the most use and abuse of any watch out there. G-Shock watches undergo extensive testing for durability, drop resistance, water resistance, and many more. This military edition features an all-black color way with a durable Cordura nylon strap. Sticking with the all-black motif is the reverse LCD display, displaying the time in white with the rest of the screen being black. The list would be incomplete without a G-Shock, and this one is as good and affordable as any.

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Do you have a favorite field watch? Let us know what it is in the comments below and why it works for you.

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Discussion (10 total)

I love these types of watches. I loved my timex weekender and still have it I just noticed that at work at doing yard work I couldn’t wear because eventually the band begins to smell and I had to wash it often. Also, g shocks are what they say they are, tough and last a long time and resistant to sweat. Weekender also very loud tick.
How did the Timex Expedition Scout not make this list?!
Too bad the Hamilton’s price range puts it out of many peoples’ reach...the Bertucci looks tempting though
The Seiko SNGZ15 is my absolute favorite watch, when I am not wearing all my other great watches.
Again i recommend the Citizen BM8180-03E. I have it for some years, until i replaced it with a more dressy watch at work...just to be in rotation again when my job changed for more active duty. PS: You can dress it up with a nice pilotstrap to have that "vintageinspired rugged elegance" look
Is that a Nato strap on the blue Seiko in the feature pic?
The Timex MK1 reissue is pretty bad IMO.

The face is black, not green as pictured on the website. The band is very small length wise compared to other Timex watches, all the resin makes it feel very cheap and makes me question the durability, and the acrylic face is a scratch magnet. Maybe I'm expecting too much for $75 but I wouldn't have it on this list.
Seiko SNZG... not SNGZ, right?
*worn to work.....not warned.
I have 2 Bertucci watches. One I wear to work that has a sweaty, crusty band but has taken a lot of dings and impacts. The 2nd one I wear when I go out and does not get warned to work. Worth every penny