A field watch, in theory, should be a simple, accurate, but tough watch with military roots. I have always been drawn to this style of watch and many of us start out with something like a Hamilton Khaki. I will not do a deep dive into all of these for brevity's sake, but will highlight the newest addition.
<Apologies for all phone pics, too lazy to break out the DSLR and edit>
The Budget Pick
Recently, I stumbled on the Bulova Hack. I already knew it was likely not a great watch, technically speaking, but it was black and red, and as a Star Wars fan, that's my favorite colorway, put it in a 38mm field watch and now you have my attention. After a little browsing, put a bid on eBay for $130 which won a new watch. Outside of a G-Shock, it became the cheapest watch in the collection.
The watch came with a strap of unknown animal origins, so I threw a slightly better, but still inexpensive, Barton red canvas strap on it. Pulling the crown immediately results in the second hand moving back about five seconds. Top quality here. That said, on the timegrapher it averages +4 seconds a day, not horrible for a Miyota 82S0. I question how long it will hold up with that. No screw-down crown, minimal water resistance (30mm), and 18mm lug width. However, for very little money you can get a heck of a watch.
The Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic - 38mm.
This remains one of my favorite beater watches and one I tend to grab often. After many years it remains accurate and one of the most comfortable watches I own at any price point.
To me, the dimensions are perfect, 38mm, 47mm L2L, 20mm lugs, 9.5mm thick, simply awesome. Throw in an 80 hour power reserve and one really cannot ask for more in watch one can get usually around $350. 100m water resistance feels right for a field watch.
The Serica 4512 WMB. 38 mm, 46mm L2L, 20mm lugs, 11.3mm thick, again very comfortable. Screw down crown with a mechanical movement (soprod P4) and 40 hour power reserve. 200m water resistance.
The fit and finish of the Serica is a level up from the Hamilton and one I enjoy looking at a lot more than many others on the list. The included Bonklip bracelet does nothing for me.
The Local (kind of)
Weiss 42mm Standard Issue Field Watch in latte
Really enjoyed the early podcasts with Cameron Weiss and Matt Farah and I made a point to keep an eye on his work. This one is a little larger than I prefer (42mm, 47.9 L2L, 20mm lugs, 12.9mm thick), but it is a case where dimensions on paper are different on wrist. 6497 mechanical ETA base redone by Weiss, it remains a heck of a value (often going for less than $1000 used). No lume is a major bummer here though.
Speaking of large watches, the Rolex Explorer II Polar (216570).The second Rolex I purchased and quite possibly the coolest. Yes, it is 42mm, but somehow feels smaller than the Weiss. I'd love to say I have hiked Everest with this, but nope.
Hope folks liked seeing the comparison.
(Insert Pam "They're the same..." meme)
And a side by side of all: