When my girlfriend offered to buy me a watch for the holidays a year and a half ago, I knew little about watches. I had no idea what I wanted, and beyond a passing recommendation from our watch writer that I would like a “field watch”, I had little to go on. In browsing the internet for ideas, I stumbled across a small Brooklyn, NY watchmaker that had launched on Kickstarter (I can hear watch nerds groaning audibly as they read this) called Carpenter Watches. I liked the look, and despite repeated warnings from our resident watch enthusiasts, I decided it was the watch for me.
To be fair, I had gotten the seal of approval on the movement encased by the Carpenter. The 21 jewel Miyota movement is well respected in the watch industry and is in use by many different watch brands. The skepticism surrounded the rest of the watch’s construction and durability. That was until they all saw it in person. The Carpenter Field Watch now occupies a place in our list of best entry-level mechanical watches alongside the likes of Junghans, Tissot, Seiko and Orient — stalwart brands as far as affordable mechanical watches go.
Today, it’s still my favorite watch. I have since bought a number of other automatic watches, but there is something about the Carpenter that is endearing to me — even in my full-blown watch obsession and nerdery (I’m currently in search of the perfect vintage watch). It isn’t the most prestigious, most affordable or most collectible, but that’s O.K. It doesn’t need to be.