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The endless quest for the perfect field watch


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A little like the endless hunt for the perfect green coat, I'm forever hunting for the perfect field watch.

Wondering who amongst us shares this affliction and what solutions have been found.

 (My definition of 'field watch' would be:

Legible (uncluttered dial, clearly visible hands and hour markers). Absolutely must be waterproof to 100m. Easily readable at night. Definitely <40mm and preferably <38mm. And, at a price point where you can wear it without mollycoddling.)

As a start point - CWC aren't waterproof, so they're out and I'm yet to see a GTLS watch of any brand that doesn't have an insanely cluttered dial.

Recently tried this, thinking it was the Edmund Hillary 1016 reincarnated, but it was too bling shiny, and lume was decidedly 'meh' - and it didn't feel like value for money.
20200429_111316.thumb.png.80ebf30cc8ea2e261c6b1b74006e2d17.png

Most recently, this, which is 95%.20200429_102301.thumb.jpg.3cd5270cfb80d6dcae502084e97cf8ff.jpg

Who else is on this endless quest?!



 

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I use a Luminox Viking I have had it four years I have had it on every continent.  It has been abused, spent time in river beds,deserts,forests and secondary jungles, the winters of the Ukraine.  It is still going strong, I have however now bit the smart watch bullet and bought a Garmin instinct for use as an everyday and running watch.  
 

I will caveat that with that some people travelling with my use cheap as chips Casio watches which have also stood up however they are digital.

 

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Rolex Explorer 2, white face.   I wear all day and everyday for 13 years.  Serviced once.  Accurate, reliable tough as old boots. The strap is as solid as a rock, good as the day I bought it.  It was expensive but it still has significant value on the 2nd hand market so over-all a great investment.

Too often Rolex are bought as bling,  I bought mine to use.

Mine's been up various 4000m Alpine routes and Scottish climbs; wouldn't dream of leaving it at home.

IMG_2567.JPG

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BD,

Sort of resolved a similar quest a couple of years back, wanted a watch that I could were to the range etc (which is as close to the 'field' as I'm going to get!) but needed a stop watch function when running competitions but also would take some knocks and was not expensive. Ended up with this Seiko air diver X, solar powered so just leave it on the window ledge when not in use, bit bulky but does not matter 

Seiko.thumb.jpg.a63a4378a80f7ab7e98b0141bcd79340.jpg

My every day while DIY'ing is a Pulsar G10 donated by a friend 😎

 G10.thumb.jpg.4395d7850327a44ffc4dca0123fb6bee.jpg

other watches for high days and holidays.

T

 

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13 minutes ago, terryh said:

My every day while DIY'ing is a Pulsar G10 donated by a friend 😎

 G10.thumb.jpg.4395d7850327a44ffc4dca0123fb6bee.jpg

other watches for high days and holidays.

 

What an amazingly generous friend! 😂

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10 minutes ago, Gluv said:

My motley collection 

Gluv🇬🇧

IMG_0663.thumb.JPG.181d378407d9dcef4afda062ffec2a9a.JPG

Seadweller (deep sea) is very rugged indeed.  So when the helium valve releases under extreme pressure how is it relieved once back on the surface?

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Some lovely watches being shown, but most are 'tool' rather than 'field' to my way of thinking (?)

To me, a field watch is definitely a tool watch, but the simplest distillation.

Mid size. Utilitarian and legible.

 

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2 minutes ago, brown dog said:

Some lovely watches being shown, but most are 'tool' rather than 'field' to my way of thinking (?)

To me, a field watch is definitely a tool watch, but the simplest distillation.

Mid size. Utilitarian and legible.

 

Agreed, just as the Explorer is - fixed bezel, excellent visibility in all light

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3 minutes ago, Popsbengo said:

Agreed, just as the Explorer is - fixed bezel, excellent visibility in all light

The old explorer 2 (as yours,before they changed to Next-style thick lugs) is a lovely watch - I've owned GMTs and a Sub, but my I was always tempted by the exp 2!

That said, whilst I have the distance vision of an eagle, as I've gone even more longsighted , I found I could no longer see Rolex hands at night - too thin and Rolex lume not bril.

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1 minute ago, brown dog said:

The old explorer 2 (as yours,before they changed to Next-style thick lugs) is a lovely watch - I've owned GMTs and a Sub, but my I was always tempted by the exp 2!

That said, whilst I have the distance vision of an eagle, as I've gone even more longsighted , I found I could no longer see Rolex hands at night - too thin and Rolex lume not bril.

Ditto eyes - I use a selfie stick to read the date 😁

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2 minutes ago, terryh said:

BD

Think the Nite watch that Webley linked gets my vote as closest so far?

T

Definitely in the right direction, but all GTLS watches seem to have as much stuff as possible on the dial, which - to me- detracts from legibility.    

Weird lug arrangement on it too.

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The traser infantry watch linked earlier is a good go as well - I got one of those (or a predecessor vesion) when I sold my first GMT (aaaagh! If only  I'd known what values would do! 😭).  And another when the first one broke: Broke the lug on one; hand just fell off on another!  

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32 minutes ago, brown dog said:

Some lovely watches being shown, but most are 'tool' rather than 'field' to my way of thinking (?)

To me, a field watch is definitely a tool watch, but the simplest distillation.

Mid size. Utilitarian and legible.

 

Back to this 'tool' vs 'field'.

This is my toolwatch.  Really carefully thought out:

Fat hands and Lume - so that I can see it!

Titanium - it weighs nothing.

Only 11mm thick - less obtrusive.

Worn 24/7 even for the training for, and completion of three Devizes-Westminster races - which must be about the biggest beasting a mechanical watch can get! 😂 I only take it off if using a hammer or powertools.

That said; to my mind, it's not a 'field watch' - although it aces legibility,  it's not midsize and utilitarian

Screenshot_20190524-081059.thumb.png.3cf98bfa1d991da7d24cd82c88f4c9b6.png

Does that make sense to anyone other than me?!😂

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22 minutes ago, terryh said:

The IWC Spitfire are quite good in this direction perhaps?

https://www.iwc.com/gb/en/watch-collections/pilot-watches/iw326801-pilot_s-watch-automatic-spitfire.html

was tempted but ended up with the 'geezer'

T

Yup.

They do a nice 40mm titanium version. https://www.iwc.com/gb/en/watch-collections/pilot-watches/iw327006-pilot_s-watch-mark-xviii-heritage.html

But.... field watch showstopper:

Only 60m water resistance - would have to be a brave man to wear it swimming. :(

 

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3 minutes ago, Gluv said:

Cwc divers watch is the way to go ! 🙂

Gluv🇬🇧

Waaaay too massive! 😂😊

(They're doing some very nice 'heritage reissue' versions though!)

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Simple, rugged and easy to read.  Resco "Hooper" (on the left) or the "Patriot Gen 1" (on the right).  Honestly, the Patriot gets the most wear (and beating).  No batteries to go dead on either of them, so they see pretty much continual use, unless I have a formal function I have to attend.  Then other, more "dressy" watches get the nod.

285354638_Rescos_sm.thumb.jpg.d494fc99076d2849fb72dfc79ddc10d7.jpg

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