field-watches

Best field watches under 500

Field watches are en vogue right now, and for good reason! These military-inspired timepieces strike an elegant balance between durable construction and simple, straightforward horological beauty.

Some field watches will set you back thousands of dollars — especially if you purchase a classic military watch or luxury brand offering. However, there are some strong, subtle, and suitably striking field timepieces out there available at a price point you can afford!

We’ve tested dozens of low-cost field watches so you don’t have to, narrowing them down into an easy-to-read list of the 7 Best Field Watches For Under $500 In 2021.

Let’s get things going with watch number seven!

The 7 Best Field Watches Under $500 For 2021

7) Hamilton Khaki Field Watch

Sale
Hamilton Men's HML-H70455533 Khaki Field Black Dial Watch
  • Round stainless steel watch with black dial featuring white Arabic indices and date window at 3 o'clock position
  • 38 mm stainless steel case with sapphire crystal dial window
  • Automatic self-wind movement with analog display
  • Leather band with contrast stitching featuring buckle closure
  • Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft): In general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not scuba diving

We start off our list with one of the best-looking field watches at any price point. The only reason why the Hamilton Khaki Field Watch is so low on our overall countdown is that it usually retails for just under $500 and often gets marked up over that benchmark. Regardless, the sleek yet strong leather band, eye-catching date display, and sapphire crystal dial window are well worth the cash if you’ve got it.

Specs

Display Window Material: Sapphire Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Buckle

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 38 mm

Case Thickness: 11 mm

Strap Material: Leather

Strap Length: Men’s Standard

Strap Width: 20 mm

Strap Color: Brown

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Automatic

Water Resistance: 100 meters

Pros

  • The sapphire crystal dial window is impervious to normal scratches and dings.
  • The automatic movement keeps time quite well!
  • 100 meters of water resistance makes this the perfect watch for swimming or shallow scuba diving.

Cons

  • This is one of the more expensive field watches on our list.
  • The leather band is comfy, yet somewhat hard out of the box.

6) Timex Expedition Scout Solar-Powered Watch

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Timex Men's TW4B18500 9J Expedition Scout Solar 40mm Black Leather Strap Watch
  • Adjustable black stitched 20mm leather strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference
  • Charged by any light with a four-month power reserve
  • Black dial with full Arabic numerals; date window at 3 o'clock
  • Black 40mm brass case with mineral crystal; luminous hands
  • Water resistant to 50m (165 ft): In general, suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, but not diving or snorkeling

Timex has a long, illustrious history of serving militaries around the world with affordable and sturdy field watches. You have a few different options to choose from in the Timex oeuvre, but the Timex Expedition Scout Solar-Powered Watch is our pick of the litter. The brass case and bezel are deceptively strong. The fabric watch band is beef jerky tough. And the solar-powered movement ensures you can keep your watch going with just a little spot of artificial or natural light.

Specs

Display Window Material: Mineral

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Hook and Loop

Case Material: Brass

Case Diameter: 40 mm

Case Thickness: 13 mm

Strap Material: Fabric

Strap Length: Men’s Standard

Strap Width: 20 mm

Strap Color: Blue Gray

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Brass

Movement: Quartz

Water Resistance: 50 meters

Pros

  • The fabric strap rarely loses its shape and tightness.
  • The solar-powered power source is super handy when you’re on the go.
  • This watch takes a beating without showing much damage at all.

Cons

  • The hook and loop clasp isn’t our favorite.
  • The date window gets lost in the presentation of the dial itself

5) Marathon General Purpose Military Mechanical Watch

Marathon 34mm General Purpose Mechanical (GPM) Military Field Watch with Tritium - WW194003 (Black)
  • COLLOQUIAL NAME: General Purpose Mechanical (GPM)
  • MOVEMENT: Mechanical Japanese Dual Wind
  • SCALE QUANTITY [RANGE]: 2 [1-12 (13-24)]
  • LUMINOUS FEATURES: Tritium gas tubes
  • LUG WIDTH: 16mm

Are you a night hiker? Are you tired of luminescent watches that can’t keep their glow from dusk to sunrise? If that’s the case, grab yourself a Marathon General Purpose Miltary Mechanical Watch right away! The inclusion of tritium gas tubes keeps your watch dial illuminated for years on end with no sign of slowing down or burning out. Plus, the sapphire crystal face and mechanical hand-wind movement are real highlights.

Specs

Display Window Material: Sapphire Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Buckle

Case Material: Resin

Case Diameter: 34 mm

Case Thickness: 12 mm

Strap Material: Nylon

Strap Width: 16 mm

Strap Color: Black

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Resin

Movement: Mechanical Hand Wind

Water Resistance: 30 meters

Pros

  • The sapphire crystal dial window keeps its clarity and protects the inner workings fantastically.
  • The nylon strap conforms to your wrists with softness and a perfect shape.
  • Tritium gas tubes are a heck of a get. You’ll be able to read this watch at night with no problems.

Cons

  • The hand-wind movement requires more maintenance than your average automatic movement.
  • This watch isn’t as water-resistant as other offerings on this countdown.

4) Bulova Special Edition HACK Automatic Watch

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Bulova Mens Military Nylon Strap Watch
  • Celebrating Bulova’s military heritage and the Veteran’s Watchmaker Initiative, a nonprofit organization whose focus is to teach war veterans, especially disabled veterans, the highly skilled art of watchmaking. The updated HACK watch features a Miyota 8S20-43A three-hand 21-jewel automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve. The stainless steel case with a black dial and luminescent hands and markers also features a center track on the dial displaying 24H time.
  • The screw-back case features a glass insert with the VWI printed logo. Watch features a domed mineral crystal, a green nylon strap and water resistance to 30 meters. By purchasing this watch, 10% of the proceeds will go to helping to support the Veteran’s Watchmaker Initiative.
  • Double Domed Mineral Crystal
  • 3 Hand, Automatic, Hack Feature

An update of Bulova’s beloved HACK series from the 1950s and 1960s, the Bulova Special Edition HACK Automatic Watch honors its military timepiece predecessor while pushing things forward quite a bit. The original HACK series was a hit with military personnel right after World War II. The new HACK watch keeps the aesthetic and adds modern materials for a winning combination. The automatic movement is as solid as ever, the double-domed mineral crystal window is strong, and the luminous hands keep their glow throughout the night.

Specs

Display Window Material: Double-Domed Mineral Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: TangBuckle

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 38 mm

Strap Material: Fabric

Strap Color: Green

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Automatic

Water Resistance: 30 meters

Pros

Cons

  • 30 meters of water resistance is okay, but not great.
  • The lack of a date window is disappointing.

3) Seiko Men’s SNK807 Seiko 5 Automatic Watch

SEIKO Men's SNK807 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Canvas Band
  • Round watch featuring blue dial with day/date windows at 3 o'clock, luminous sword-shape hands, and textured off-center crown
  • 37 mm stainless steel case with Hardlex dial window
  • Automatic self-wind movement with analog display. Case Back: Skeleton
  • Canvas band with buckle closure. Case thickness: 11 mm
  • Water resistant to 30 m (99 ft): In general, withstands splashes or brief immersion in water, but not suitable for swimming

The Seiko Men’s SNK807 Seiko 5 Automatic Watch is undoubtedly the most iconic budget field watch still available for sale. Seiko has made their name making low-cost automatic watches with long-lasting builds and timeless designs. The Seiko 5 is one of their most celebrated creations, featuring an impact-resistant construction and one of the best cost-effective automatic movements you’re gonna find. And with a 40-hour power reserve, you won’t have to worry about running out of juice on the run.

Specs

Display Window Material: Hardlex Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Buckle

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 37 mm

Case Thickness: 11 mm

Strap Material: Fabric

Strap Length: 10.25 meters

Strap Width: 18 mm

Strap Color: Blue

Dial Color: Blue

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Automatic

Water Resistance: 30 meters

Pros

  • Seiko is one of the most trusted low-cost watch brands out there. The Seiko 5 has more positive online reviews than any watch on this list.
  • The Hardlex crystal dial window is nearly impossible to scuff.
  • It’s available in multiple color combinations, allowing you to customize it to your own style.

Cons

  • We’d prefer more than 30 meters of overall water resistance.
  • The buckle loop can sometimes be tricky to keep tight.

2) MVMT AT Field Watch

Sale
MVMT Field Mens Watch, 41 MM | Nylon Band, Stainless Steel Case, Analog Watch | at
  • TACTICAL TIMEPIECE- MVMT's first watch to feature a fixed number dial, the Field is easy to read and ready to wear for any adventure. Featuring brushed silver stainless steel, an olive nylon canvas strap and green lume dial accents.
  • FINELY CRAFTED- Featuring a 41mm case and battery powered 3 hand Miyota Quartz movement
  • DURABLE AND WATER RESISTANT- Waterproof up to 10 ATM/100 Meters. Perfect for carefree everyday use and can withstand a brief submersion under water, but should not be taken swimming or bathing. Glass case made of hardened mineral crystal for enhanced durability.
  • DESIGNED IN THE USA- Premium on-trend Watches and accessories, designed at our headquarters in Los Angeles.
  • TWO YEAR GUARANTEE- We're so confident you'll love what we do that we offer a two-year guarantee on everything we make

A scintillating blend of classic field watch construction elements and urban chic aesthetics, the MVMT AT Field Watch redefines the very concept of the field watch. The green nato strap is rough-and-tumble enough to withstand hiking, biking, swimming, and other active pursuits. And, the minimalist dial scheme pops with attractive Arabic numerals and luminescent hands. MVMT wasn’t content with making just another field watch. So, they strayed outside the box and made this stunner.

Specs

Display Window Material: Mineral Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 41 mm

Case Thickness: 10.2 mm

Strap Material: Nylon

Strap Width: 22 mm

Strap Color: Green

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Japanese Quartz

Water Resistance: 100 meters

Pros

  • This watch is a real looker. It’s not your normal field watch, and that’s really cool!
  • The Japanese quartz movement is super accurate.
  • 100 meters of water resistance is the perfect depth rating for all kinds of water sports fun.

Cons

  • The mineral crystal dial window is sturdy. But, it’s on the low end on this list in terms of overall lasting power.
  • The nylon strap can be kinda abrasive until you wear it a few times.

1) Bertucci A-2T Vintage Watch

Bertucci Men's 12027 A-2T Vintage Durable Titanium Field Watch
  • US Patented 40 mm black ION finish solid titanium case offers extreme durability and lightweight comfort
  • US patented two ply nylon Bertucci band offers unmatched durability and comfort. Manufactured using box stitch construction and all metal hardware and grommets.
  • Scratch resistant hardened mineral glass crystal
  • Ergonomically offset at 4 o'clock screw down crown. Rugged screw down case back
  • Water-resistant to 100 M (330 feet)

We love the entire Bertucci catalog of field watches, and the Bertucci A-2T Vintage Watch is our pick for the very best of a blockbuster bunch. For just over $100, you can enjoy a classic-looking field watch with a sturdy mineral glass window, water-resistant rating up to 100 meters, and superbly designed Arabic numeral markers. To top it all off, this baby is made of pure titanium! That means an extra level of durability and ruggedness that you’re rarely gonna see in watches ten times its price tag.

Specs

Display Window Material: Mineral

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Buckle

Case Material: Titanium

Case Diameter: 40 mm

Case Thickness: 13.5 mm

Strap Material: Nylon

Strap Width: 22.2 mm

Strap Color: Black

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Titanium

Movement: Japanese Quartz

Water Resistance: 100 meters

Pros

  • The value you get for just over $100 is pretty crazy.
  • The titanium watch case doesn’t mess around. It holds up!
  • We love the accuracy and lack of clock drift with the included Japanese quartz movement.

Cons

  • The watch dial design might be kind of busy for some tastes.
  • There’s no date display here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size should a field watch be?

A classic field watch usually sports a 36 mm watch case with a hand-wound mechanical movement. Classic field watches from the World War II era were military watches through and through. A traditional field watch is built to withstand the rigors of military duty, and the inclusion of a hand-wound movement makes it a great watch for enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Modern field watches usually have an automatic movement, Swiss quartz movement, or Japanese quartz movement. They are usually 38-44 mm in size and combine the looks of a stylish timepiece with all the useful watch features (like a screw-down crown or quality brown leather strap) you know and love.

Are field watches good?

Yes! Whether you’re in the market for a true military watch or just a versatile timepiece with impressive durability, you won’t go wrong with a field watch. Many field watches are built to military specifications. That means that you’re guaranteed a rugged watch with fantastic features like a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal or mineral crystal dial window, a fixed stainless steel bezel, a screw-down case, and a solid titanium or stainless steel case.

It pays to invest in a military watch or military-inspired timepiece, especially if you prefer watches built to rugged construction standards. And if you choose a field watch from the list above, you won’t even have to invest that much!

What are the best field watches?

Every watch on our list is among the best field watches currently available for sale today! And they come with the bonus of affordable price points!

Whether you choose the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch, the Bertucci A-2T Vintage Watch, or any of the other highlights on our countdown, you know you’re getting the best value for your buck. Other watches can’t (or won’t) offer the battery life, power reserve length, water-resistant and shock-resistant casings, and scratch-resistance of these beauties — especially for the low, low price of under $500!

Closing Thoughts

For those looking for a budget field watch for everyday carry with key features typical of the best watches in the marketplace right now, you can do no better than choosing one of the seven timepieces above. Each watch runs for under $500 and offers a quality movement and solid set of materials. Grab one from one of the links above and you’ll be set for your next wilderness journey or overseas tour.

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