Looking for the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures? No, we’re not talking about another human being. We’re not even talking about a dog! Sometimes the best sidekick to have is a nice and reliable field watch. Time can often be crucial in the outdoors and you’d want to have the right watch to help you along your expedition.
Field watches are often a favorite for hikers and campers since they are made to survive the wild. And a good field watch won’t even cost you that much! Here, we’ll show you 25 of the best field watches that you can get for just under $500.
What is a Field Watch?
Perhaps you’re wondering what exactly counts as a field watch. Well, simply put, a field watch is a military watch made to survive extreme outdoor environments. Historically, field watches were made for World War II soldiers. Now, anyone can use a field watch. And usually, this type of watch is favorable for those who love to hike or do any sort of outdoor activity.
What to Look for in a Field Watch?
When you’re out in nature, with no one else around, it is crucial to have an accurate and reliable watch. Time is very important in the outdoors. On a hike, you need to know when you should start heading back before night falls. You need to be able to accurately time how long it will take you to get back to camp. So your field watch must be able to display accurate time. It should be reliable so you can depend on it to help you on your adventure.
As the field watch is originally intended for military use, it must be able to withstand harsh conditions. You’re always going to be on the move so you can’t have your watch strap breaking or falling off. If you’re in the military, your field watch should be able to handle being dragged through dirt and mud. It needs to be as tough as you.
Meant for outdoor adventures, field watches must have decent water-resistance and dust resistance. If you’re crossing a river, you can’t just have your watch stop working afterward. A low water-resistance won’t do since that will only survive splashes. You need something that you can swim in. The watch should also be resistant to dust. Because you’re going to be exposed to a lot of dust and dirt outside, you can’t have a watch that is prone to getting dust particles stuck inside it. These particles, although small, could really damage the movement of the watch.
25 Best Affordable Field Watches (Under $500)
If you’re in the market for affordable yet high-quality field watches, you’re in luck because we’ve done the pre-shopping for you! Below we have curated 25 of the most affordable field watches you can find online — all under $500. Read on and find out which one suits you and your budget best!
1. Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler (BM8180-03E)
For our first watch on the list, we’ve got the Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler Field Watch for Men. This watch has a classic silver-tone stainless steel case and has a sturdy mineral crystal. Going for the outdoor look, the watch has a green canvas strap with adjustable buckle closure. The watch has a clean black dial with large, white Arabic numerals for its hour markers. It also has a minute track in a smaller font. The watch has a three-hand analog display that runs on a quartz movement. On the dial, you can also find a day and date window. Its markers and hands are luminous, so you’ll still be able to read the time while you’re camping under the starlit sky.
The watch has a water-resistance of 100 meters. This is great since not only will you be able to shower with it but you can also take it with you while you’re swimming. Another great thing about this watch is that it runs on Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology. The watch gets its power from any form of light — whether solar or artificial. This technology converts the light into energy and stores it in its rechargeable cell. The watch will continuously charge as long as it is exposed to light and will not overcharge. This is great since you won’t have to worry about your watch battery dying while you’re on the field. Even at night, the watch continues to tick as long as you were able to expose it to light earlier in the day.
2. Hamilton Khaki Field Officer (H69439363)
Our next watch also dons the classic green canvas strap found in a lot of field watches. The Hamilton Khaki Green Field Officer Mechanical Men’s Watch has a stainless steel case and a very sturdy sapphire crystal. Sapphire crystal is perhaps the strongest watch crystal available and is mostly scratch-resistant with only a few materials, such as diamond, being able to successfully scratch it.
This watch is a mechanical hand-wind movement and has an analog display. Its dial is also green, pairing perfectly with the strap. The watch uses large, white Arabic numerals and also has a tinier 24-hour display. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters and has a small date window at the 3 o’clock position.
3. Seiko Prospex (SRPC07)
The next field watch is perfect for those who love to have a pop of color in their wardrobe. This Seiko Men’s Prospex Analog Display Automatic Self Wind Silver Watch puts a contemporary twist to the traditional stainless steel watch. Its stainless steel bracelet comes with a push-button foldover clasp with safety, so it won’t accidentally unclasp and fall off when you’re out and about.
With a whopping 200 meters for its water-resistance, this Seiko watch is also perfect for diving. It even has a unidirectional rotating elapsed time bezel that comes in useful for dives. This bezel is mostly black with a bit of orange. The numberless dial, however, is in a vibrant orange. It has thick, white hour markers that match the chunky watch hands. There’s also a small date window at the 3 o’clock position.
4. MDC Military Wrist Watch (B0889KBD6L)
Up next, we have this military-grade field watch. The MDC Military Wrist Watch for Men has a durable stainless steel case and an anti-scratch mineral crystal. The watch has a Japanese quartz analog movement and a 50m water-resistance. Like many of the field watches on this list, this watch also has a green canvas strap. The watch has a black dial with a 12/24-hour display and a date window.
5. Hamilton Khaki Field Watch (H69439931)
Up next, we have the Men’s Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch. The watch has a lovely matte stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It has a durable NATO nylon strap in a handsome green color with cool brown accents. The watch runs on a mechanical hand-wind movement and is water-resistant up to 50 meters. It has a black dial with white Arabic numerals and three watch hands. There’s also a 24-hour display in a smaller font.
6. Timex Expedition Camper Watch
This Timex Expedition Camper Watch is definitely perfect for any expedition. The watch has a cool black resin case and an acrylic crystal. It has an adjustable nylon strap with a velcro clasp, which gives quite a comfortable fit on the wrist. This watch also has a 100-meter water-resistance, making it a perfect companion for swimming.
When it comes to readability, you’ll absolutely have no problem reading this watch. It has a classic white dial with large, black Arabic numerals, creating a good contrast for readability. Even at night, you’ll still be able to read the time on your watch thanks to the Indiglo light-up technology and the luminous hands.
7. Citizen Chandler Military-Inspired Watch
Up next, we have this handsome Citizen Chandler Military-Inspired Watch. This watch runs on a Japanese quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 100 meters, which is pretty good since it’ll be great for swimming. The watch has a typical green nylon strap, which is the go-to when it comes to field watches.
What’s different about this watch, though, is that it has a pretty cool black-tone stainless steel case, which really enhances its look. The dial is also black, matching the case and bezel quite well for an almost all-black aesthetic. On the dial, you’ll find large Arabic numerals in a somewhat cream or light brown hue and different colored watch hands. It also has three subdials which include a 24-hour display and a day of the week subdial. Lastly, this watch uses Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology which converts light — whether solar or artificial — into energy.
8. Bertucci Original Classics Titanium Field Watch (12022 A-2T)
For our next field watch, we have the Bertucci Men’s Original Classics Durable Titanium Field Watch. Watches often use stainless steel for their cases. But this watch from Bertucci features a solid titanium case with a sand-blasted matte finish. It is lightweight but also quite durable. Its black nylon strap is also quite durable without sacrificing comfort.
Going back to the case, you’ll notice that the crown is placed in a somewhat odd position. Often, the crown would be placed by the 3 o’clock position. However, for this watch, it is ergonomically offset at the 4 o’clock position. The watch has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal and 100-meter water-resistance. It has a dark dial which creates a good contrast with the white Arabic numerals for better readability. The watch also has a smaller 24-hour display and a date window that is aligned with the crown’s position.
9. Timex Expedition Scout (TW4B14000)
Here, we have another watch from the Timex Expedition collection. This Timex Men’s Expedition Scout Watch has a brass case and a mineral crystal. It has a nice light green nylon strap with leather trimming. This pairs perfectly well with the green dial with a 12/24-hour display in Arabic numerals.
The watch has luminous hands and Indiglo light-up technology, which comes in handy when you’re camping out at night. It has a decent 50-meter water-resistance and an additional small date window on the dial.
10. Victorinox Swiss Army Original Field Watch
The Victorinox Swiss Army Original Field Watch has a nice woody feel to it. It has a light brown nylon strap with buckle closure. The watch has a gray resin case and a pretty sturdy mineral crystal. Its dial features a faux-wood design that matches the strap quite well.
On the dial, you’ll find a mix of large Arabic numerals and line markers which are both in gray. There’s also a 24-hour display in a smaller font and a tiny date window. The watch runs on a Swiss quartz movement and has a pretty good water-resistance of 100 meters.
11. MDC Military Wrist Watch (B07XPC8BG3)
You might be wondering why this watch seems familiar. And you’re right, it is. This MDC Military Wrist Watch is, for the most part, the black version of the green MDC watch we’ve featured earlier on. It has the same materials such as the mineral glass crystal and stainless steel case. The strap is also made of nylon, but for this watch, it dons a black hue that matches the black dial.
12. Orient Defender Multi-Eye Function Field Watch
Next up, we have a cool take on the traditional stainless steel watch. The Orient “Defender” Multi-Eye Function Field Watch has a stainless steel case and bracelet with a foldover clasp. This watch has a Japanese automatic movement and a 100-meter water-resistance. It has a beautiful numberless dial in blue with white accents. The watch also has two sub-dials and a date window.
13. Casio Sports Watch (MRW200)
Our next field watch is perhaps the most affordable watch on this list. The Casio Sport Watch dons a pretty handsome all-black look. It has a black resin case that comes with a rotating bezel. The band is also made from a molded resin and has a classic buckle closure.
This watch has a pretty good water-resistance of 100 meters, which is appropriate for swimming. The Arabic numerals and watch hands are in white to create a good contrast against the black dial for easy readability. On the dial, you will also find 24-hour timekeeping and a day and date window.
14. Timex Expedition Field Watch (T40051)
For our next field watch, we have yet another Timex Expedition watch. This watch has a silver-tone brass case and an adjustable brown strap made of genuine leather. The watch has a nice cream dial with black Arabic numerals and Indiglo light-up technology. It also has a pretty decent water resistance of 50 meters.
15. Timex Expedition Acadia (TW4B08100)
This Timex Expedition Acadia Watch sports a pretty handsome all-black aesthetic. It has a black resin case and a black canvas strap with black leather trimming. The inside of the strap, however, is in a more natural brown. This watch has an acrylic crystal and is water-resistant up to 50 meters.
Matching with the theme, the dial is also in black. To create some contrast for readability, the Arabic numerals and watch hands are in white. Additionally, the watch also has luminous hands and an Indiglo light-up dial for night reading. Some other features include a 24-hour display and a date window.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic (SNK809)
Our next field watch also has a lot of black elements but this time, it is complemented with silver accents. This Seiko 5 Men’s Watch has a pretty durable stainless steel case and a Hardlex mineral crystal. Its strap is black nylon with silver-tone buckle closure.
Looking at the black dial, we can divide it into two parts. The inner-circle contains the usual 12 hours, while the outer part shows a 60-minute display. These are all in silver Arabic numerals, which match the silver watch hands. The watch has a 30-meter water-resistance and a pretty accurate 21-jewel automatic movement.
17. Timex Expedition Scout Field Watch (TW4B04700)
Up next, we have this pretty cool Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40 Watch. The watch has a handsome black-tone brass case and a sturdy mineral crystal. It has a green nylon strap which you can easily adjust to get a comfortable fit on the wrist.
Its black dial has a 12/24-hour display in white Arabic numerals and also features a small date window. You’ll have no problem reading this watch even at night because it has an Indiglo light-up dial and luminous hands.
18. Seiko Solar Sports Watch (SNE331)
The great thing about a solar-powered watch is that you don’t need to worry about changing the batteries. And for a field watch, it’s especially great since you’ll most likely be using it outdoors and it’ll get more than enough power from the sunlight. So, if you want a solar-powered field watch, consider this Seiko Solar Sports Watch. If fully charged, this watch can actually last 10 months without exposure to light.
The watch has a pretty cool black-tone stainless steel case with a ridged bezel. It has a beige nylon strap with black inner lining. The dial is also black and has a mix of stencil numerals and line markers in cream. Its watch hands, however, are in white for greater contrast and the dial also has a day and date window.
19. Stuhrling Original Aviation Watch (3916.1)
For our next field watch, we have the Stuhrling Original Aviation Watch. This watch actually has a pretty awesome dial and a stylish black leather strap with stainless steel rivets, which adds to its edgy vibe. Its dial is mostly black with a mix of textures. It has large Arabic numerals for the 12 and 6 o’clock positions, while the other hours are marked with thick cream lines. These markers, along with the watch hands, are luminous, taking away the difficulty of reading the time in dim light.
The watch also shows a 60-minute display but in a smaller font. Additionally, you can find a date window and a vertical day function which marks the current day with a red dot.
20. Hamilton Khaki Field Watch (HML-H70455533)
This next field watch is on the pricier side of this list, but still under $500. The Hamilton Men’s Khaki Field Black Dial Watch has a lovely brown leather strap with contrast stitching. It has a sturdy stainless steel case and a sapphire crystal, which is probably the most scratch-resistant material for watch crystals.
This watch runs on an automatic self-wind movement and is water-resistant up to 100 meters. It has a black dial with the classic 12-hour set up in white Arabic numerals. This watch also has a 24-hour and a 60-minute display but in a much smaller font. Lastly, it has a small date window at the 3 o’clock position.
21. Timex Expedition Chronograph Field Watch
For our next watch, we have the Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Watch. The watch has a handsome black brass case, and its dial is protected by a strong mineral crystal. It has a lovely tan nylon strap which is easily adjustable to provide a comfortable fit on your wrist. This is definitely a great watch for your outdoor adventures, especially for dips in the water since it has a water-resistance of 100 meters.
The watch has a nice brown dial, but instead of the usual 12 hours, this watch has the Arabic numerals for the minutes in five-minute intervals. And at night, you can use the watch’s Indiglo technology to light up the dial. Aside from the usual watch function, this watch also has a 30-minute chronograph, three sub-dials, a date window, and a tachymeter bezel.
22. Timex Expedition Scout Chronograph Watch
Our next watch is also part of the Timex Expedition series. The Timex Men’s Expedition Scout Chronograph Watch has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal and a durable silver-tone brass case. Unlike a lot of field watches on this list, this watch does not have a canvas strap. Its brown strap is made of genuine leather and has white stitching and a bit of red too.
It has a lovely cream dial with cream watch hands that have a black outline for visibility. The light-up dial has large, black Arabic numerals and three chronograph sub-dials. It also has a date window at 4 o’clock. Lastly, this watch has a pretty good water-resistance of 100 meters.
23. Momentum Atlas Field Watch
The Momentum Atlas Field Watch has a classic look with a slight ruggedness to it to keep up with any potential abuse throughout its use. It has a standard titanium case which is quite lightweight, which makes it comfortable to wear on the wrist. The watch has a pretty handsome brown leather strap with white stitching, which makes it look quite classy.
It has a simple white dial with large, black Arabic numerals, which are also luminous. It has a water-resistance of 100 meters, which is just perfect for swimming.
24. Timex Expedition Scout 43 Field Watch (TW4B11300)
Up next, we have this pretty good-looking watch from Timex. This watch has a sleek black brass case and a mineral crystal. It has a handsome brown leather strap with white stitching, which is also quite comfortable to wear.
The black dial matches the case perfectly and creates a very classy aesthetic. It has large Arabic numerals that display the usual 12-hour setup, while a smaller set of numerals show a 24-hour display. The dial lights up thanks to the Indiglo feature, and the hands are luminous as well. It also has a 50-meter water-resistance and a tiny date window.
25. Bertucci A-1S Field Watch
Last but not the least, we have the Bertucci A-1S Field Watch. The watch has the classic green canvas strap, which you can see on a lot of field watches. This list alone is proof of that. It has a durable stainless steel case with a brushed finish and a hardened mineral crystal that is scratch-resistant.
Instead of the usual 3 o’clock position, the crown is ergonomically offset and is found at the 4 o’clock position. The black dial is quite simple with just large Arabic numerals in white and a smaller set to show the 24-hour display. Water-resistance on this watch is pretty good since it is at 100 meters and is a perfect companion for your outdoor swims.
Field watches are an awesome type of watch to have, even if you’re not part of the military. A field watch could include a bunch of other features. But above all, it should be reliable, durable, and water-resistant. With so many options out there, you’ll have no problem finding the right field watch for you. And the budget is definitely not a problem since a lot of these watches are just under a hundred dollars. Even the pricier watches on this last are still under $500. So, with all the benefits it offers, a field watch is definitely the go-to watch for a lot of people, especially if you’re not shy to the outdoors.
If you’re still unsure about getting a field watch or if you want to see what other affordable options you have, we’ve got you covered. You can check out our article on the best affordable skeleton watches if you prefer something a little more stylish.