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The Best Field Watches Under $2,500

Timepieces so tough that you can easily pass them down to the next generation, battle scars and all.

benrus type 1 limited edition watch
Hodinkee Shop

Field watches, which are typically inspired by military designs, are often fairly affordable, and for good reason: originally manufactured en masse to equip military forces, they simply couldn't have a high unit price, or issuing them would've been cost-prohibitive. That being said, these days the true "military watch" is the G-Shock, and the the "field watch" has been experimented with and expanded upon by brands large and small. Sure, you can still find a decent field watch for a couple hundred bucks — a good one, even — but you can also spend a bit more and get yourself something truly refined.

And not all such designs scream "army chic," either. Watches from American brands such as Monta and Oak and Oscar, for instance, are simply highly well made, time-only watches that aren't quite divers, but also aren't quite dress watches. Sometimes, it's only the time-only quality and the smooth, non-rotating bezel that categorize these as "field watches" — and it's a loose categorization, at that.

Below are some of our favorite such field watches, ones that clock in between $1,000 and $2,500. Again, you don't have to spend nearly this much to get yourself a decent field watch these days, but when you do, you'll be rewarded with better movements, interesting dials, comfortable straps and bracelets, and more.

Christopher Ward
Christopher Ward C65 Sandhurst

If you're a military watch aficionado, you're no doubt familiar with the Smiths W10, the last watch with a serially produced movement that was actually made entirely in Britain. Christopher Ward's C65 pays tribute to that watch, though in 2021 that means you're getting a chronometer-certified Swiss movement, a sapphire crystal, "Old Radium"-colored lume and a brushed steel bracelet.

Diameter: 38mm

Movement: Sellita SW200 automatic Chronometer

Water Resistance: 150m

Timor Heritage Field

timor heritage field watch

There's possibly no military watch more iconic than the Dirty Dozen. (Alright, it's 12 different watches, but you get it.) Timor, one of the more obscure of the member companies of the Dozen, is back, and it's better than ever. Their Heritage Field is a faithful recreation of their original, 1945 model, but now it's available with either a hand-wound or an automatic movement.

Diameter: 36.5mm

Movement: Sellita SW216 hand-wound; Sellita SW260 automatic

Water Resistance: 50m

Price: $1,269


Oak & Oscar
Oak & Oscar Olmstead

Available on a leather strap or a steel bracelet and in one of three dial colors, the Olmstead is a handsome, value-packed field watch from a beloved Chicago-based brand. Named for a famed American park designer and powered by the workhorse ETA 2824-2 Swiss automatic movement, it's a refined, 21st-century take on a classic genre that doesn't hit you over the head with military tropes.

Diameter: 38mm

Movement: ETA 2892A2 automatic

Water Resistance: 100m

Weiss 38mm Standard Issue Field Watch

If you are into the military vibes — but you also prefer to buy American — this is the watch for you. Weiss Watch Co, based in California, makes beautiful modern versions of classic American field watches. A manually wound movement with 42 hours of power reserve keeps the case nice and thin (9.2mm including the crystal), while 100m of water resistance means you can truly take it anywhere.

Diameter: 38mm

Movement: Weiss Watch Company Caliber 1005 hand-wound (7001 base)

Water Resistance: 100m

Hodinkee Shop
Benrus Type 1 Limited Edition

The original Type 1 was pretty tough to get your hands on if you weren't on a UDT team or doing spooky work for the CIA in the 1970s. These days, however, you can get yourself a stunningly faithful recreation from a newly reconstituted Benrus. Limited to 1,000 pieces, it's got the specs to live up to whatever you can throw at it, and best of all: you don't even have to pass BUD/S to get your hands on one.

Diameter: 42.5mm

Movement: ETA 2681 automatic

Water Resistance: 300m

Monta Triumph

Much like fellow American brand Oak & Oscar's Olmstead, the Triumph from Monta is simply a great all-around, everyday watch that's ready for anything. It too features a Swiss automatic movement and serious water resistance (150m), as well as a super comfortable steel bracelet and a highly legible handset and date. It's also available in three different dial colors.

Diameter: 38.5mm

Movement: Sellita SW300 automatic

Water Resistance: 150m

Sinn 856 Tegimented

Wondering why a simple, time-only watch costs $2,300? Sinn is the master of understated, tech-heavy watchmaking: their "tegimented" technology ensures a scratch-free coating, while their watch cases come with dehumidifying technology to prevent the crystal from fogging. Meanwhile, the watch is also resistant to pressure drops and water-resistant to 200m. What else could you ask for?

Diameter: 40mm

Movement: Sellita SW300 automatic

Water Resistance: 200m

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