The modern watch scene has been dominated by vintage inspiration and reissues for years now. As this market matures, some trends have begun to emerge, from chronographs and dive watches at vintage sizes to issued military field watches resurrected for modern audiences. A military connection was always a compelling hook, but mix it with some history and the natural charm of such items and it's easy to understand why vintage-inspired field watches have been coming back strong.
These watches often have significant histories — like the so-called "Dirty Dozen" and the A-11, "the watch that won the war," which are among the cool models we've seen reproduced in modern form. They'll often feel most authentic when they're small (for contemporary tastes) with manually wound movements and completely lacking in superfluous decoration, but some brands have tweaked the formula to interesting effect.
Part of the attraction to field watches is their eminent versatility and approachability, with simple designs and moderate case sizes that seem like a great choice for just about any personality — and the best part is that their simplicity often means that they're some of the most affordable options in the popular segment of sport and tool watches.
Hot on the heels of dive watches in popularity, you can expect this segment to grow, as there are still cool historical examples just waiting to be "rediscovered," and many brands with genuine history that have yet to capitalize on it. There are even more modern brands interpreting the field watch anew, but here are some with historical connections that are sure to tug the heartstrings of any fan of military or field watches.