Richard's Top 5 Field Watches under £2,000 in 2023

Richard's Top 5 Field Watches under £2,000 in 2023

8 min read
Richard Brown


Watch Buying Guide

Richard Brown


Watch Buying Guide

Truly one of the great watch genres, Field Watches have been with us in one shape or another since the great conflicts of the 20th Century, however it's the 1940s and the war that engulfed Europe at that time which spawned Field Watches as we know them today. 80 years later and it is remarkable how little they have changed from the originals. It's one of those categories of watch which all enthusiasts seem to like simply because a Field Watch is a relatively inoffensive by design; there's really nothing on it that is divisive. Of course some manufacturers tried to push the envelope and take us a new directions such as the recently released Nite Atlas which works incredibly well but generally the field watch remains a very understated creature which is surprisingly difficult to execute well.

So how are we defining a Field Watch?

For the purposes of this feature, we are looking at watches that fit neatly into the expectations of a Field Watch with one wild card. This model is included as the author of this piece (myself) has used the watch as a Field Watch for nigh on 10 years and it's never failed so please indulge the personal recommendation. This watch has earned its place in a Top 5.

However, the other four watches are through and through classic Field Watches that fit perfectly into the expected design parameters.

Richard’s Top Five Field Watches

No5 - Formex Field Automatic

This entry takes the classic Field Watch to a whole new level. All technical boxes are ticked but the Formex Field is definitely not the norm and stretches the genre envelope to the Max.

Formex have chosen a very contemporary militaristic stencil font for the numerals and stamped them into the dial. These recessed numbers work in tandem with the curved chapter section to add a wonderful sense of depth to the dial.

The 41mm case is made from grade 2 titanium, which has undergone a special hardening treatment. The result is that the surface hardness of the case increases from 145 Vickers to approximately 900 Vickers. In addition, the watch has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating to ensure clear legibility. The watch also has a screw-down crown and a capable 150m of water resistance. All necessary parts are coated in Old Radium Super Luminova. Powering the Formex Field is a Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement.

Look out for our first full review of the Formex Field in the next few weeks. 

Formex Field Formex Field Automatic - Credit WatchGecko


If you're looking for a classic Field Watch then the Formex Field, despite the name, may ironically be a step too far. However if you are prepared to embrace cutting edge design you will find what can only be described as one of the most superior models within the price brackets we are considering. Indeed, the Formex displays characteristics of watches that fall above our sub £2000 limit. Formex are renowned for their innovative reimagining of accepted designs and the new Field has delivered on that count. 

Formex Field AutomaticFormex Field Automatic - Credit WatchGecko

No4 - Casio AQS810-W 

Yes I know this one is a wild card. There is a perfectly valid argument that this is not really being a Field Watch however it was bought as one and has been indestructible as one for over 10 years. I've worn the Casio AQ in every environment known to man and it has suffered in those environments along with its owner. Here is my justification. The Casio is an exceptionally clever watch design and could almost fit into any watch category that you wanted, which is why I feel no guilt pushing it as a Field Watch.

The AQ is solar powered and takes less than an hour to generate six months of charge. If subjected to dark over longer periods of time it has a very smart sequential shutdown process beginning with the digital display and then locking the hands at 12 after several days of darkness. When you bring the watch back into the light you are treated to a fabulous display of both hands and digital units all setting themselves accurately back to the exact time.

Like all Casios similar to G-Shocks the AQ has 100 metres water resistance and all the functions you expect to find on similar models which cost more. The model is available in different colours.

Casio AQS810-W Casio AQS810-W - Credit WatchGecko


I'm pretty sure the AQ is not what people were expecting me to have in this Top 5 and I have no doubt my choice will be divisive. It would be so easy for me to wax lyrical about the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical (because everybody else does) but I really want to base at least one of my choices real experience. I've been lucky enough to wear all of the watches included in this collection and every one has strong points, but if you book me on a walking trip across the Sahara I can tell you with 100% certainty which one I would reach for.

Casio AQS810-W

Casio AQS810-W as part of my kit in the Field - Credit WatchGecko 

No3 - Circula ProTrail 

The Circula ProTrail is this German brand’s highly capable entry to the Field Watch market. We loved it in a recent field trial. The striking stainless steel 316L case is hand sandblasted and has undergone special surface treatment to ensure it is scratch resistant up to 1,200 Vickers. That’s a lot!

The sapphire crystal has a subtle curve to it along with double anti reflective coating on the inside. The screw down crown features a lumed Circula logo and plays a role in providing the ProTrail with its 150m water resistance.

At 40mm diameter its not the smallest field watch, however its compact 46mm lug to lug and 12mm thickness means it wears beautifully on the wrist. The vintage inspired minute track running around the perimeter of the dial makes you think Dirty Dozen and the 12hr numerals are strong and purposeful,  filled with dual colour blue and yellow Swiss Super-LumiNova.

The superior Vickers finish gives the watch a different surface feel, like titanium, but not. Powered by a Sellita SW200-1, the Circula will be highly accurate and reliable.

Circula Pro Trail Circula ProTrail - Credit WatchGecko


The Circula ProTrail strikes a good balance between a modern Field Watch and vintage aesthetics. It delivers everything you would expect from a superior field watch, but at £650 it’s not cheap for a brand you may not be familiar with. That said, the ProTrial is worthy of your consideration and unquestionably a first class watch, and we loved it in our review. After all, it has come in at No.3 in our Top 5 Field Watches.

Circula Pro Trail Circula ProTrail - Credit WatchGecko

No2 - Hamilton Field King

Yes at this point you were expecting the Khaki Field Mechanical. But when the price of the Field Mechanical is getting so high why not consider elevating your selection to the Khaki Field King which is a much more interesting watch for very little more.

There is no question when you look at the King there is significant inspiration from Hamilton's vintage watches which have served through World War 2, Vietnam and even later. The military heritage is there to be seen however the Field King is a much more high end watch than the Mechanical and in no way looks standard GI issue.

The King is powered by Hamilton's H-40 movement which offers an exceptional 80 hours power reserve. The H-40 is a modified ETA 2834-2, so it's never going to let you down.

The exceptional Field Watch aside you are immediately drawn top the day/date complication. It really is a beautiful design and because of the unusual location it does not seem to impede on the legibility of the watch. They sliced 1 and 11 numerals are a nice design aesthetic and illustrate how much thought has gone into this watch.

Hamilton Field King Hamilton Field King - Credit WatchGecko


It's hard to find fault with this watch and you could even consider it an entry into the higher end Swiss market. As Field Watches go it's probably about as well built as you're going to get, certainly within the price parameters that we've set for this Top 5. When you handle the watch the overall impression is of superb modern build quality, married seamlessly with a real vintage feel.

Through the crystal display back you can see the movement in all its glory which really elevates this watch yet when seen on the wrist it effortlessly harks back to vintage war time models which were the inspiration for some of the greatest Field Watches of all time. A worthy runner up.

No1 - Boldr Venture Black Dawn

A few years ago the Venture took the classic Field Watch design, respectfully modernised it with an angular titanium case and innovative dial, to give us a genre compliant watch worthy of the 21st Century. The Venture is incredibly light at just 56g, and at 38mm wide and 12mm thick it makes for a near perfect Field Watch.

All models in the range have solid 200m water resistance, so you can wade rivers and brave jungle humidity with confidence and the flat sapphire crystal, with an anti-reflective coating, will keep your watch fully resistant to scratches. Hands and markers have been painted with Japanese Superlume, to ensure that the watch remains legible in the dark. Boldr have chosen to use a Seiko NH35 automatic movement in the Venture. This reliable Japanese calibre has 24 jewels, beats at 21,600 bph and has a 41-hour power reserve.

The Black Dawn is the very latest iteration of the venture and we think possibly the best looking yet the watch offers extra protection from a matte PVD coating and the dial is monotone with a striking vintage patina colour. This clever watch gives and old school Field look in a wholly contemporary package.

Boldr Venture Black Dawn Automatic FieldBoldr Venture Black Dawn Automatic Field - Credit WatchGecko


If you can find a better classically designed Field Watch for £339 we recommend you buy it. The Boldr Venture is in every measurable way the quintessential model but with welcome modern touches. The extra texture on the crown, the superior luminescence and titanium case add up to a watch that represents exceptional value for money and is worthy of the top slot.

 Boldr Venture Black Dawn Automatic FieldBoldr Venture Black Dawn Automatic Field - Credit WatchGecko

That concludes our second feature of Top 5 Series, do you agree with our opinions or would you have chosen a different model for your number one spot?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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