From affordable options such as Wenger Swiss military watches to higher-end selections from the likes of IWC, field watches offer a wonderful opportunity to put both vintage flair and modern action on your wrist. You may love the great outdoors and revel in an on-the-go lifestyle. Maybe you just wish to appear like you do. Whether you’re scaling a mountain or just want to look sporty at brunch, a Swiss military watch is a great way to express your inner adventurer.
But which do one you choose? And do you have to spend a lot of money to own a piece of military heritage? To help you sort it out, we take a look at some of the best options on the market today.
1: Wenger Analog Swiss Quartz Field Watch
If you want a classic at an amazing price, you can’t do much better than the Wenger Analog. They might be better known as the originators of the famed Swiss Army Knife. Wenger’s foray into watches has yielded high-quality timepieces at affordable prices. They’re simple, straightforward and without pretense. The Swiss Quartz watch is for everyday use but can be fitted with a stainless steel bracelet or soft brown calfskin strap that dresses it up nicely. Choose a black or white face, both with an inner ring of markers that keeps 24-hour military time. While you can pick one up for about $100 don’t let the price fool you on longevity. It’s Swiss Quartz movement and water resistance up to 100 meters mean it’s built to last.
2: IWC Swiss Pilot
A quintessential field watch that proudly displays its military lineage, the IWC Pilot Chronograph exudes ready-for-action cool with its strap, complementing anthracite dial and scratch-resistant sapphire window. It’s plenty durable with a black ceramic-titanium case and features Swiss automatic movement and a flyback function. While it was made for action, it positively beams laid-back charm and pairs well with any casual ensemble. As a premier brand, IWC will cost more than the average military watch but the quality is well worth the price.
3: Victorinox Swiss Army Maverick
Sold under the banner “the perfect blend of elegance and function,” the Swiss Army Maverick stands up to the scrutiny of that bold claim. (Well, “perfect” might be a stretch, but close anyway). With a water resistance of 100 meters, it’s solid but not the most rugged watch out there. However, the Army Maverick makes up for this with a bold presentation in a 43-mm case, 10.9-mm profile and bandwidth of 20-mm that comes of as hefty on even the sturdiest of wrists. A matte blue face with white numerals is simple and elegant, showing the world the no-nonsense attitude of its wearer. Priced at under $300, its an affordable option as well.
4: Longines Heritage Military COSD
For a breezy look that goes with any casual outfit, the Longines Heritage is ready to serve. A round brushed stainless steel case meets a traditional green canvas strap to conjure up an unmistakable military mode. Opt for a black face for a dressier look but its really hard to beat the nostalgic charm of the vintage ivory dial with Arabic numerals that stays true to the watch’s history. The Swiss watches were issued to British paratroopers during World War II and today still reflect the now-vintage style of the era. You can usually pick one up for under two thousand dollars, making this piece of military heritage within reach of most watch lovers.
5: Oris Big Crown ProPilot
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot tells the world that it sits squarely in the realm of military watches other than getting pigeonholed as a pilot piece. The watch opts for a bold matte black face and oversized numbers. While the round case at first glance reflects the contours of traditional pilot watches. The coin edge is an undoubted nod to popular military watches we saw in the first part of the 20th century. Straddling the worlds of pilot and field watches, this timepiece is exceedingly versatile, dressed up with calfskin or down with canvas, it can be worn with just about anything short of black-tie attire.
6: Marathon Swiss Made Military Field Army Watch
Marathon makes military watches in the truest sense. The renowned Swiss watchmakers have a longstanding contract to make rugged timepieces for the United States military under strict durability guidelines. Instead of an old-school aesthetic found in many a military watch, Marathon Field Army watches take a modern approach with fiber shell cases that can take a beating and durable black nylon strap. Best suited for weekend wear and outdoor adventures, this watch handles well on the go.
7: Wenger Swiss Military Dark Brown Leather Chronograph
The contrast of dark brown leather against a gleaming silver case means that this military watch will get noticed. It has a Swiss quartz movement and is water resistance of up to 100 meters. It’s also fairly reliable when it comes to durability. The black and white motif makes no mistake that this watch was made for function in the field. Yet, the Wenger is a perfect casual companion and can even stand in for dressier moments. And you won’t have to shell out big bucks as Wegners can be picked up in the $100 to $200 range.