Like the GPS in your car and the bomber jacket in your closet, many of the world’s great inventions were developed for use in the military. The reasons for this are pretty simple: if you build something to withstand the rigours of the battlefield, it will stand up to just about anything civilian life can throw at it. Watches have always been an essential piece of military gear, and have evolved to suit the needs of each branch of the military uniquely. While nearly every brand has done its take on the pilot’s watch and the dive watch, the infantry field watch provides just as many battlefield bona fides, with the benefit of being a bit of an outsider. Built tough enough for the trenches, with an easily read face, the field watch’s design makes it a versatile daily wearer, and thanks to a dizzying range of straps available stock and aftermarket, you can easily change its look to suit your style. Consider these your marching orders.
Tudor Heritage Ranger
With its big numerals and red second hand, this watch is all about pure functionality. A range of strap options (including one in woven camo) keep things interesting.
Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 Curtiss Warhawk
While not technically a field watch (it’s named after a WWII fighter plane, after all) this new Breitling ticks all the right boxes, and looks great in or out of the cockpit.
Rolex Explorer II
Despite its military-inspired design, this watch’s Oystersteel case, screw-down crown, and self-winding Rolex movement make it anything but standard-issue.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon
The I.N.O.X. offers a contemporary take on classic military styling, with the added benefit of a paracord bracelet and a tough-as-nails carbon case.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
Hamilton’s legacy as a supplier to the American military in WWII adds authenticity to their Khaki Field, while a recent update provides a range of new colours and straps.