From affordable options such as Timex Expedition watches to higher-end selections from the likes of Sinn and IWC, field watches offer a fantastic opportunity to put vintage military-inspired flair and modern action on top of your wrist. Also known as a military watch, the field watch is a great way to express your inner thrill-seeker.
Whether you’re scaling mountains, on the battlefield, or simply want to look sporty, it is always convenient to have a reliable field watch with you. If you’re looking for a trusty timekeeper you can bring anywhere, let’s have a look at the humble field watch and what it can do. If you stick around long enough, listed below are 30 of the best military timepieces you can find.
30 Best Military Watches
There are dozens of highly capable and sturdy military watches in the market. Have you decided which one you are going for? Listed below are 30 of some of the best military watches available today, along with their approximate prices. Keep in mind that each timepiece is listed in no particular order.
1. Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical – $525 USD
If you want a timeless classic at an affordable price, there aren’t many Swiss watches out there that can do better than the Khaki Field Mechanical. As one of the watchmakers that supplied military timepieces to the US Army, Hamilton pays homage to its original 1960s Khaki Field with this faithful recreation that upholds the brand’s military heritage.
This watch boasts a 38mm stainless steel case, a clear white dial, and a comfortable brown leather strap. Its dial features elements like a 24-hour time index, contrasting black hour markers, and triangular indices and hands applied with radium-colored Super-LumiNova. It is powered by a reliable Hamilton H-50 caliber and comes with 50m of water resistance.
This military-inspired timepiece is built to last and is THE original American soldier’s watch.
2. IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire – $5,500 USD
Named after one of the most iconic fighter planes of WWII, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire is a quintessential field watch that proudly displays its military lineage. Made in the historic town of Schaffhausen, the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire comes in a 39mm stainless steel case paired with a brown calfskin strap. Its case uses a sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective coatings on both sides to prevent any obstructive reflections when viewing its dial.
Operating underneath the watch face is an IWC-manufactured 32110 Caliber, which is sealed shut by a solid steel case back engraved with the logo of a Spitfire plane. Boasting 60m of water resistance, the Spitfire Automatic looks, breathes, and ticks like a conventional military watch.
3. Victorinox FieldForce Quartz – $340 USD
With its broad sword-shaped minute and hour hands, striking red second hand, large Arabic numerals, and outlined day-date window, the Victorinox FieldForce Quartz is a military watch that boasts unparalleled legibility.
Protected by a sapphire glass with three treatments of anti-reflective coatings, the Victorinox FieldForce watch utilizes a 42mm stainless steel case paired with a brown leather strap. This Victorinox timepiece runs on a quartz movement and has a depth rating of 100m. This allows it to repel raindrops, splashes, and beach waves better than the average military watch.
4. Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale – $2,000 USD
For a breezy-looking timepiece that can go with any casual outfit, the Longines Military Marine Nationale is ready to serve. Hailing from the Heritage collection, the Military Marine Nationale provides toughness, style, and a nostalgic charm.
This Longines watch’s round 38mm stainless steel case, beige dial, blue hands, and brown leather strap come together to form a military look that is both legible and pleasing to the eyes. Of course, this timepiece is not all about sentimental value. Underneath its watch face is a modern L888 self-winding caliber, equipped with a power reserve that can last up to 72 hours.
5. Oris Big Crown Propilot TLP Limited Edition – $2,370 USD
Despite being marketed as a pilot’s watch, the Oris Big Crown Propilot TLP Limited Edition also makes for a great military timepiece. Housed within a gunmetal grey stainless steel case with an anti-glare PVD coating, this Big Crown Propilot watch is highly resistant to bumps, scratches, water, and corrosion.
This Oris watch’s dial features a military green surface, with numerals and hands coated in Super-LumiNova and a day-and-date window in place of the 3 o’clock marker. On the back of the Propilot TLP is a solid steel case back with engravings of the TLP logo. Powered by an automatic movement, this Oris timepiece boasts first-rate hardiness and provides wearers with a whole lot of convenience.
6. Seiko Neo Sports Automatic (SRPC89K1) – $305 USD
A military watch that is highly legible, whether it is day or night, is definitely something to consider. Handsome and edgy, this two-toned Seiko military watch boasts an attractive contrasting dial that is easy to read and wonderful to look at.
Although its gigantic and bold numerals do not have any applied lume, the hands and pips of this Seiko piece do. As expected of the brand, the lume quality of the Seiko Neo Sports Automatic is phenomenal, and is something you do not usually see in this watch’s price range. Its stainless steel case also has a charcoal PVD-coating that bolsters its overall resistance to damage, shocks, and corrosion.
7. Luminox Atacama Field Automatic XL.1902 – 990 USD
A fantastic timepiece with a modern design, the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic XL.1902 is a certified Swiss-made military watch that covers all grounds. The case, bezel, and bracelet of this Luminox Atacama Field wristwatch are all made of 316L stainless steel.
Traditional at heart, this Luminox timepiece uses tritium gas tubes to illuminate its dial in dark environments. With a depth rating of 200m, this watch also has the water resistance capacity of a tried-and-tested diver watch. It is powered by the Sellita SW-220-1 movement, with a power reserve of 38 hours.
8. Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto – $995 USD
Here is an example of an authentic military watch that uses titanium to achieve a sturdy and lightweight profile. The Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto is a stylish and sturdy Hamilton watch that showcases several handy features.
This Hamilton Khaki Field piece has a titanium case that boasts all the durability and resistance of stainless steel, but is much lighter and more comfortable to sport. It runs on an automatic H-10 movement that can stay powered for up to 80 hours. For the hardcore FPS gamers out there, Hamilton also offers the limited-edition Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Far Cry 6.
9. Sinn 556 A RS – $1,550 USD
With its clean and straightforward watch face, satinized stainless steel case, and reliable SW200-1 movement, the Sinn 556 A is as simplistic and rugged as they come. Accompanied by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, its casing and crown are screwed down for optimal waterproofness. Resistant to water pressures up to depths of 200m, the 556 A RS can be brought anywhere, whether it is land, sky, or sea.
10. Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-92 – $3,200 USD
Functional and uncomplicated, the Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-92 is another aviation instrument that has what it takes to be a conventional military watch. Covered by a satin-polished stainless steel case and a boxed sapphire glass, this Bell & Ross watch boasts a military-inspired dial with green Super-LumiNova coated on its hands, numerals, and hour markers. Underneath its watch face is an automatic BR-CAL.302 caliber, which wearers can view through a sapphire case back.
11. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer – $10,450 USD
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer has everything a timepiece needs to be an exceptional military watch. Rolex is famous for crafting all their watches, including this Oyster Perpetual piece, using Oystersteel. This is a type of steel made from the 904L steel family, known for being impervious to corrosion.
This Oyster Perpetual watch’s alluring dial also boasts Rolex’s signature design, with the iconic Mercedes hands, quality lume on the hands and hour markers, and excellent readability. Boasting an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day, the watch’s 3230 Superlative Chronometer is unparalleled in terms of precision and power.
12. Casio G-Shock DW-5750E-1JF – $270 USD
Based on the 1987 G-Shock DW-5700C, the modern Casio DW-5750E-1 boasts a classic G-Shock look with contemporary Casio toughness. Sporting the brand’s recognizable resin case, this watch is extremely resistant to shocks and impacts. Its water resistance capacity is also a stand-out feature, with its depth rating of 200m.
Since the Casio DW-5750E-1 uses a quartz movement, it is certainly reliable and comes at quite an affordable price too. Coupled with a matching resin band, you cannot go wrong with this digital military timepiece.
13. Omega Seamaster Railmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer – $4,900 USD
The Seamaster collection is home to many diver models. However, it is also the residence of the Omega Railmaster Co–Axial Master Chronometer. Made to cater to the needs of railway staff and anyone who works around strong magnetic fields, the Railmaster boasts a symmetrical 40mm stainless steel case and a legible vintage-inspired, vertically-brushed dial.
This Omega watch is also powered by a Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8806, which is immune to magnetic fields reaching up to 15,000 gausses. As a part of the Seamaster selection, it also features a considerable water resistance of 150m. With its impressive resistances, this hardy timepiece makes for a great military watch indeed.
14. Tissot T-Sport PRC 200 Quartz – $425 USD
A simple black dial with silver hands, hour markers, and indices is indeed a stunning combination. Apart from being stylishly attractive, the Tissot T-Sport PRC 200 Quartz is a straightforward timepiece. With only a date window as an added complication, this Tissot T-Sport watch offers the timekeeping essentials while providing wearers with an easy-to-read canvas.
Powered by an ETA 805.112 quartz movement, this 39mm stainless steel Tissot watch also comes with a black leather strap, a sapphire crystal, and a water resistance rating of 200m.
15. Seiko 5 Sports SRPG33K1 – $380 USD
The Seiko 5 Sports SRPG33K1 has qualities that make it excel both as a sports watch and a military piece. Pronounced Arabic numerals, dark military green dial, and a Seiko 4R36 automatic movement: all of this is encased within a 100m water-resistant stainless steel case.
The Seiko 4R36 caliber also has manual winding and hacking capabilities, which allow you to adjust the watch with just a pull and twist of the crown. Aesthetically, this Seiko 5 Sports timepiece exudes a clean-cut military feel and is durable in and out.
16. Luminox Atacama Adventurer Field Quartz XL.1761 – $490 USD
A modern Swiss field watch with a retro-inspired design, the Luminox Atacama Adventurer XL.1761 is a practical and stylish timekeeper. Water-resistant up to depths of 200m, this Luminox watch comes with a 42mm stainless steel case. This case is nicely beveled, to provide a prominent, gleaming composition that fits the wrist easily and effortlessly catches the eye. Its dial also boasts a dark textured surface with Arabic numeral markers, pencil hands, luminous tritium rods, and a unique subsidiary seconds subdial.
17. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon Quartz – $790 USD
Most military watches tend to use stainless steel and titanium for their casing. Victorinox, however, chose to deviate from the norm with its Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon Quartz. For this watch, the brand chose to make its case out of a carbon composite. This is a kind of material similar to what is used to protect space shuttles from extreme temperatures, making this a particularly hardy watch.
Furthermore, the dial of this Victorinox I.N.O.X piece is all about clarity. Its Arabic numeral markers, hands, and logo are all generously coated with Super-LumiNova, giving it a vibrant and bright glow in poor lighting conditions. This wristwatch has a depth rating of 200m and uses a quartz movement for reliable timekeeping.
18. Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date Auto – $1,030 USD
Another fine military watch from the American-Swiss watchmaker, the Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date Auto offers the strength and easy legibility that the Khaki Field collection is known for. This Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date Auto also comes with additional day and date windows, at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock markers respectively.
The 42mm stainless steel case of this Hamilton watch covers a silver step dial, presenting a gorgeous and cohesive look that perfectly matches its black calfskin leather strap. Hiding behind its exhibition-style case back is an automatic H-30 movement, complete with its 80-hour power reserve.
19. Nixon A124-019 Chrono – $300 USD
Sheltered in a stainless steel case, the A124-019 Chrono showcases an eye-catching black and yellow watch face that is definitely a Nixon exclusive. No other color stands out better against a black surface than vibrant yellow. With its alternating index and Arabic numerals, unique minute and hour hands, and red seconds hand, every component on this military timepiece sticks out clearly without compromising its overall legibility. This watch runs on a quartz movement and is water-resistant up to depths of 100m.
20. Oris Big Crown Pointer Date – $1,750 USD
Well-known for its oversized crown, the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date adopts an iconic design that originated from the Oris pilot models of the late 1930s. Straightforward and effortless to read, this Oris Big Crown watch is not only reliable but also capable of attracting everyone’s attention.
This Oris watch’s stainless steel case has a domed sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coatings on both sides. Powered by an Oris 754 self-winding movement, the watch can keep ticking for up to 38 hours. Oris couples the Big Crown Pointer Date with a sustainably sourced brown leather strap.
21. Sinn 856 B-Uhr – $2,370 USD
Inspired by deck watches produced in the 1700s, the Sinn 856 B-Uhr boasts a design that is quite unconventional in modern times. Despite that, it is still highly readable and easy to comprehend.
This Sinn watch utilizes a shortened, outlined hour hand that points to the hour indices located on the inner circle of the dial. Its outer circle features markers and numerals that indicate the minutes and seconds, and are all coated with an ivory-colored luminescence. The minute hand also has applied lume on its surface. Below the dial is a Sellita SW300-1 caliber, encased within 40mm of stainless steel.
22. Citizen AT2465-18E – $180 USD
If you are seeking a sporty and fun military watch, this Citizen AT2465-18E is an excellent choice. This Citizen piece boasts a PVD-coated stainless steel case, an innovative solar-powered Eco-Drive movement, and a classy stitched yellow strap. On its legible black dial, you can find three sub-dials, a small date window, and vibrant luminous yellow hands and Arabic hour markers. Behind the wristwatch, you can also find a solid steel case back that ensures maximal protection against water and other external elements.
23. Fossil Modern Machine Quartz – $170 USD
The Fossil Modern Machine Quartz is a fine and affordable option for a military watch. Protected by a layer of mineral glass and 45mm of stainless steel, the black dial has silver alternating hour numerals and indices, along with large luminous hands, a date window, and three sub-dials. This watch runs on a quartz movement, which is sealed behind a solid steel rear case for optimal safety. With a water resistance rating of 100m, you can easily bring the Fossil Modern Machine Quartz for a swim or into the showers.
24. Hamilton Khaki Field King – $575 USD
The Khaki Field King is yet another outstanding military watch that features characteristics of the original Khaki Field, but with the addition of day and date windows. However, what makes this Hamilton timepiece unique is the positioning of its day-date apertures, both of which can be found at the 12 o’clock position. This Khaki King model showcases a well-rounded stainless steel case and a mechanical H-40 movement. If you prefer the design of the Khaki Field King, let nothing stop you from acquiring this sturdy military watch.
25. Bell & Ross Instruments BR0392-GH-ST/SCA – $3,700 USD
If you are looking for military watches with a more unusual shape, check out this Bell & Ross BR0392-GH-ST/SCA with a distinctive square stainless steel case. With its 100m water resistance rating, this Bell & Ross piece hails from the brand’s Golden Heritage lineup. Its dial boasts a harmonious mix of a black backdrop and golden accents that work together to give this timepiece a classy vintage vibe. The hands, numerals, and indices are all coated with Super-LumiNova to give them uninterrupted brightness and legibility in the dark..
26. Ball Engineer III Pioneer – $2,100 USD
Ball is a Swiss watch company that dates back to 1891. Founded in Cleveland, Ohio by Webb C. Ball, the company has a long history with the American Railroad System. One of its best military watches is the Ball Engineer III Pioneer.
This Ball Engineer III model is a stainless steel watch with an unguarded, teeth-edged crown and a straightforward dial design. With a magnified date window at 3 o’clock, its black dial contains broad hands, numerals and indices generously fitted with tritium gas tubes. The Ball Engineer III Pioneer has a water resistance rating of 100m and runs on a BALL RR1103-C automatic caliber.
27. Seiko Prospex SJE085J1 – $2,690 USD
Sleek, handsome, and quite sophisticated, the Seiko Prospex SJE085J1 is a military watch you would want to bring to any grand event. Its stainless steel case matched with its simple yet beguiling black dial gives it a distinguished look that can make anyone take you seriously. And this Seiko Prospex watch is not all about looks, either. It runs on a Seiko 6L35 automatic movement that features manual winding and hacking capabilities, as well as a 45-hour power reserve. Its 100m depth rating and boxed sapphire crystal also ensure that any drops, splashes, or spills will stay away from its striking watch face.
28. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Autumn Spirit – $550 USD
This is a military watch built for all the adventurous and thrill-seeking spirits out there. Paired with Victorinox’s iconic camouflage paracord strap, the Victorinox I.N.O.X. Autumn Spirit is a quartz-powered timepiece that boasts a 200m water-resistant stainless steel case and a straightforward, no-frills black dial. Its simple hands, numerals, hour markers, and logo are generously coated with luminescence for improved readability anytime and anywhere.
29. Luminox Bear Grylls Survivor SEA Series Never Give Up – 3729.NGU – $495 USD
One of the most striking military watches on our list, the Luminox Bear Grylls 3729 is a diver and military timepiece all molded into one reliable gadget. The case of this watch is made from CARBONOX. This is a unique carbon compound that possesses both strength and lightweight durability.
This watch’s black-and-orange bezel rotates unidirectionally, and nicely complements the watch’s overall design. The dial consists of a textured black backdrop with contrasting white and orange accents, and tritium gas tubes on its hands and indices for improved legibility in the dark. Etched on the lower portion of the watch face are the words “Never Give Up”, a principle that this military watch itself also lives by.
30. Hamilton Khaki Field Auto – S700 USD
The Khaki Field collection has a lot of excellent military watches. However, one model that stands out in particular is the H70595523. Its cream dial and vintage-style printed numerals give it a classic look that perfectly captures the military heritage Hamilton takes pride in. Underneath its watch face is an H-10 automatic movement with an 80-hour power reserve. Housed inside a stainless steel case, the H70595523 oozes the same strength, accuracy, and reliability that you see in the very best military watches out there.
What is a Military Watch?
Around the mid-nineteenth century, it was mainly women who wore wristwatches. Military officers had to rely on pocket watches to coordinate their operations. However, officers soon found that the pocket watch proved to be impractical and even potentially life-threatening when used during the wrong circumstances.
Military watches are essentially timepieces initially designed for soldiers in place of the conventional pocket watch. They were meant to provide accurate time on watch faces that were easy to view and read, no matter the circumstances. Designed with resistances to water, dust, and shock, the military watch is a simple yet invaluable timekeeping tool for officers on the battlefield.
Military watches were already used during WWI, but it was not until WWII where they became standard issue for both the allied and the axis forces. One of the first and most popular military watches was the A-11, a military timepiece developed by four American companies – Bulova, Elgin, Hamilton, and Waltham. The American A-11 set the standards for how a military watch should look, and its distinct design became the blueprint for other military watches that came after it.
Nowadays, the military watch has gone through many different styles and upgrades, but it still retains its core functions of providing readability, reliability, and simplicity.
Features of a Military Watch
Stainless Steel Case
Typically, a military watch comes in a stainless steel case. While some models use other materials such as titanium and resin, stainless steel remains the conventional resource for military watches. Watchmakers around the world use stainless steel for its affordability, strength, and one-of-a-kind luster. Its resistance to impacts and corrosion makes it the ideal casing for military watches, which are designed to take on the elements and all sorts of other damage.
Any watch loses its purpose when it cannot tell the time properly – that is especially true of military watches. Whether it is mechanical or quartz, a military watch must have a high-quality movement that can keep track of time precisely, no matter what. In battle, you are bound to take some bumps and falls, so it is pivotal that the movement can take a hit and still keep the watch ticking.
Legibility is one of the most crucial aspects of a traditional military timepiece. On the battlefield, soldiers are not allowed to waste time. Officers cannot waste precious seconds trying to decipher the time on overly-complicated or hard-to-read watch dials. Of course, this is not a problem in our regular lives, but in a dangerous warzone, every second could be the difference between life and death.
As such, the watch faces of military watches should be simplistic and straightforward, with no frills or distracting light glares. You should be able to read the time on a military watch with just one glance.
Easy to Use
In addition to the no-frills design, military watches should generally be simple and easy to operate, even in difficult situations. Time is a luxury, and you would not want to waste it by spending too much of it adjusting small buttons and intricate complications. An ideal military watch is foolproof and can be used by anyone.
There is no telling what takes place on the battlefield, and every soldier has to adapt to any situation. Sometimes, soldiers might need to fulfill their roles in wet areas, rainy weather, or even submerged underwater. A tried-and-tested military watch needs to showcase an ample amount of water resistance in order to deal with these scenarios. Military watches do not have to equal the depth ratings of diver watches, but they should be capable of keeping water out of their interiors.
Despite adhering to army-inspired criteria, military watches can come in many shapes and forms. And no matter how they look, they can withstand almost anything while also allowing you to tell accurate time.
The list of best military watches above have highlighted just how versatile an army watch can be. Some models are gifted with water resistance capacities that match the capabilities of a genuine diver watch, while others are sophisticated and stylish enough to be worn as dress watches. Of course, you can also wear the military watch for everyday use as well.
From the 30 military watches shown above, we hope you have gained a better idea of what a military watch is, what it can do, and which model is the perfect one to accompany you in your adventures.
Looking for a new automatic watch? Here are 25 of the best automatic timepieces you can find.
All images credited to WatchShopping.com