A brief addendum up my quest to find the ultimate Field Watch.
I have received a few requests to release the proposed list in advance of the regular articles. Always always happy to help please find my quest map outlined below. The plan is to cover two at a time, and at the end there will be some wild cards which are most definitely atypical Field Watches but I think do the job rather well. In an effort to differentiate this search from the endless plethora of generic “Top 10s” online I have consciously selected watches I am 100% guaranteed hands on time with so I can actually wear them out on hikes.
Where will the watches come from?
The watches will sourced from multiple sources, including private owners and the manufacturers, cover a vast range of prices, and I will probably wear some on non-standard straps which I prefer. Feature images will be a mix of real time wrist shots taken by me (probably in the rain) along with a collection of our usual high end studio pictures. So, here is the list, each choice followed by first thought justification for inclusion.
Rolex Explorer - Credit WatchGecko
- Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical – it simply has to be included and the first test. This is the model against which so many are judged so let us start with a high bar.
- Boldr Venture – the 24hr GMT evolution from this hugely successful series.
- Rolex Explorer – the original model, not the 24 hour Explorer II. Arguably the best Field Watch of all time? We shall see.
- Formex Field - one of the next generation of Field Watches which stretched design expectations.
- Elliot Brown Holton – militaristic and every bit the watch you need to explore the darkest corners of the globe.
- Marloe Haskell – another relatively new iteration of the classic Field Watch which has become a very respected member of the club.
- Traser P96 – a polymer, tritium, watch has to be included. The simple dial P96 is a perfect contender.
- Circula Pro-Trail – new from Germany this Field Watch brings high build standards with extreme case toughness and is definitely worth closer inspection.
- Bremont Broadsword – a stunning modern incarnation of the Dirty Dozen watches of WW2.
- Oris 473 – is this intended to be a Field Watch? Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly looks the part if you can afford it.
- Tudor Black Bay 58 – yes its technically a dive watch but its so slim and compact and when on a vintage leather strap – trust me!
- Christopher Ward C65 Sandhurst – all the heritage you could want combined with high end manufacture.
- Phalanx Gen 2 – as good a Spec Ops watch as you will get today. It has to be included especially as it was designed for purpose.
- Praesidus A-11 – a cost effective alternative to a WW2 original which delivers both a great Field Watch and a fine homage to the iconic A-11 which spawned them all.
An example of a wild card could be the capable Casio Rangeman GPR-B1000 which is certainly not a classic Field Watch but hugely capable and costs almost £1000. However, does it being digital make it a lesser creature? Also, you will notice that the classic Citizen Pro Master Tough "Ray Mears" is missing from the list. That's simply because I own one and have, until now, regarded it as the greatest Field Watch available.
That's part of the reason for this journey. Working with WatchGecko I am lucky to handle many new Field Watches and some have really made me wonder if there is a worthy successor out there to the immortal "Ray".
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical White Dial - Credit WatchGecko