You Don’t Have To Worry About A Cheap Field Watch.
Cheap field watches serve the purpose of being functional and stylish without the need to spend a lot of money. When it comes to an everyday carry field watch that you can strap on your wrist without worrying about scratching or losing it, you can find some extremely nice watches that fit into your budget easily.
I love watches, but with a modest income, only have two really nice watches, one of which was a gift from my Godfather, and the other one a gift from my dad. I do have a large watch collection, none of which cost more than $50, so I thought I’d share some of the cheap field watches in my collection today.
It’s one of the biggest upsides to being a connoisseur of cheap field watches. You just don’t have to worry about the watch getting scratched or broken. No one wants to steal a cheap watch either.
If you’re on a budget, have a habit of being hard on your EDC gear, or just need something cheap as a backup, I have several recommendations for you.
What is a Field Watch, and why get one?
While you can find a much deeper description of a field watch here, the history is that it was designed for military personnel in the field.
Generally speaking, a field watch has distinct characteristics and features about them.
The biggest detail of a field watch is that the dials are usually high contrast and easy to read. The numbers are often quite large in comparison to normal watches, and many are rather stark and plain.
The modern field watch as we know them was introduced during World War 1. Known then as “officer watches”, many servicemen switched from using pocket watches to the wrist watch.
For more information on the history, another great resource can be found on the Sharp Magazine website.
Timex Expedition Watches
In our budget, the closest you’ll come to an expensive field watch is in the Timex Expedition line of watches. Most of the nice ones are in the $30-$45 range, which most people can afford to buy within one or two paychecks.
They offer something that most field watches don’t either, and that’s the backlight. Timex uses electroluminescent dials that light up behind the numbers and arms so you can easily view the time. Timex branded this as their “Indiglo” feature. Electroluminescent backlighting is used in a lot of cheaper watches (and some expensive ones too).
You won’t find any mechanical or manual wind watches here, they’re all battery powered at this price point.
There are cheaper watches, but this is honestly where I’d start if you want to have loose styling and design of a traditional field watch. The case is 39mm, so it’s not too big, but not too small either. If you don’t like the watch band, or you want something that’s a little more authentic, you can switch it out for a 20mm NATO strap.
If you’re into a more military tough look, then the T42571 is the perfect budget field watch to strap to your wrist. With a fully functional, rotating countdown bezel, this watch is the perfect watch The watch has a 43 MM case and has a 20 MM lug width, so it could accept the 20mm NATO strap. Keep in mind that it is very hard to put the original band back on if you swap out the straps.
So This is it. This watch is the truest to the original field watch as you can get (for under $50 of course). It has large numbers, 24-hour markings, and indiglo for nighttime viewing. I think that this watch is my favorite because it has some of the same style and design of a traditional field watch.