Best Field Watches Under $500 in 2022 – Reviews and Guide

Explore the best field watches under $500 below plus the factors you should consider while getting one in our guide. During the onset of field watches, military men and women used pocket watches. Having a vivid picture of the battlefield gives you the perception of vigilance and concentration. 

You have to be wary of your team and opponents’ movements. Therefore, you cannot spare a moment to glimpse at the pocket watch. Consequently, the military picked the custom of wristwatches from the women’s accessory fashion in the mid-nineteenth century.

The original field watches had a 36 mm diameter with a rugged figure and stainless-steel structure. Readability was key, together with watch band rigidity. These features form the basis of the modern field watches we use currently.

These design elements attained a pinnacle during World War II when the US Army awarded contracts for the A-11 watch pattern. Later the A-17 watch pattern followed in the early 1950s. Both designs cemented the field watch’s style, which has remained to this day.

Best Field Watches Under $500 Comparison Table

Product NameBrandGenderPrice
Timex Weekender Chronograph 40mm WatchTimexUnisexCheck Price
Citizen Eco-Drive Garrison Mens WatchCitizen Watch CompanyMen’sCheck Price
Men’s Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical WatchHamiltonMen’sCheck Price
Hamilton Khaki Green Field Officer Mechanical Mens WatchHamiltonMen’sCheck Price
Momentum Men’s 1M-SP00B6G “Atlas” Titanium WatcMomentum StoreMen’sCheck Price

Best Field Watches Under 500 Dollar Reviews

Complete your outdoor trip with various necessities like a backpacking sleeping bag, compass, and of course a field watch. Check our recommendations for quality and durable field watches you can consider buying.

TIMEX has been battling opponents in the watch market since the 17th century. It has had some historic partnerships and timepieces over that period.

The dial is of excellent quality. Its unrivaled stiffness is reinforced by a double-layered leather strap. The markings are crisp. When Indiglo illuminates the face at night, it appears exactly as good. Indiglo is without a doubt the best low-light or no-light back lighting for a watch. Overall, I believe it’s a fantastic-looking timepiece. I love the fact that it is affordable with a record of quality developments.

This watch fits with practically any outfit, has an easy-to-replace band, is water-resistant to 30 meters, and is created in the United States. It’s becoming harder to secure a genuine field watch, especially with Chinese knockoffs flooding the market. Dues to its affordable price it suits being the best field watch under 500.

  • Accurate chronograph
  • 30-m water resistant
  • Indilgo luminescence
  • Malfunctioning inner dials at times

The Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler Field watch is one of the most fashionable and reasonably priced field watches available. It’s because it’s of good quality and has a wonderful design, plus it’s available at a reasonable price.

It has three subdials and can reliably measure up to 1/20th of a second. The start/stop and reset pushers are on either side of the crown and are easily accessible.

In addition, adjacent to the 4 o’clock marker is an inconspicuous date window. The watch features a 37mm stainless steel case that is suitable for both men and women. The classic field is revealed at 37mm.

Compact watches and light are ideal. Early field watches were not particularly large, so a large case isn’t an option if you want to stay faithful to the original design language.

It can handle mud and has a water resistance of 100 m/330 feet, making it suitable for swimming and diving. Therefore, I would crown it as one of the most rugged watches under $500

Citizen’s Eco-Drive movement powers the watch since it is solar-powered and draws energy from the sun and ambient light. It is convenient because it eliminates the need to change the battery.

  • Sustainable technology
  • Water-resistant
  • Trendy large diameter
  • Inconsistent time information

Hamilton is a watchmaker with a long and illustrious history of producing military watches. During World War II, Hamilton produced watches for various forces. If you appreciate history, a field watch from Hamilton is a good choice, as Hamilton’s modern field watches are based on earlier designs.

The hands have a classic form similar to those found on historic military timepieces. Hamilton has tinted the illuminating material slightly brown for a vintage effect.

The casing is of sapphire crystal glass. A mechanical movement is also included.

It’s a field watch with an antique design that’s tough, reliable, and well-made. At the same time, it has a simple and attractive design that is ideal for daily use.

It’s the ideal companion for the energetic, adventurous wearer. This watch is suitable for swimming, thanks to its Swiss self-winding automatic movement and water resistance of up to 100 meters.

  • Durable Sapphire crystal
  • 80-hour reserve
  • Well-built khaki bands
  • Its small size may seem unattractive

It’s compact, slender, matte-finished, and driven by a hand-winding movement, albeit with an 80-hour power reserve in the twist of the movement. A slightly domed sapphire crystal also protects the watch dial. This is a wonderfully simple watch from a manufacturer that has been creating military timepieces since 1914, and it offers the quality that many people identify with as “Swiss Made.”

The Hamilton Khaki Field is victorious in several ways. To begin with, it stays authentic to its roots in vintage military pieces. Despite the growing popularity of large watches, it has a tiny diameter. Since its inception, however, it has transitioned from acrylic to scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Finally, despite being a manual-wind watch, the Hamilton H-50 has an 80-hour power reserve. Hence, it’s good for the full weekend.

The Hamilton Khaki is a genuine field watch, with the only reworking being made to boost its field capability. While some may be thrown off by this because they want a watch that seems like a flashy status symbol, those who desire a watch that works as hard as they do will be pleased with this iconic emblem. It still remains to be among the best automatic field watches under 500.

  • Easy to read dial
  • Water-resistant
  • Sapphire crystal
  • The winding mechanism might break

Rugged versions meant for the outdoors are a big part of Momentum’s watch ranges. They create the field, diver, and dress wristwatch. Their timepieces feature a distinct house style, with a 4 o’clock crown being prevalent. In terms of the case, it’s made of titanium. Titanium is lighter than steel, which can only be a good thing when you’re in the Army. In a fighting scenario, the darker, Matt finish is especially helpful.

The screw-down crown has a shaft finish and is a decent size. The big numbers on the dial are a nod to Momentum’s house design.

We have a slim, moderately sized, and lightweight military watch thanks to the quartz movement and moisture resistance. For me, that deserves an appraisal. Ranking it as one of the most rugged field watches under $500, it has unbeatable 100-m water resistance. Therefore, it is best for water activities such as scuba diving and skiing.

  • Super luminous display
  • Titanium case
  • 100-m water-resistant
  • The band absorbs sweat which may cause an odor

Best Field Watches Under $500 Buying Guide 

Before you purchase a filed watch, it is great to have these essential considerations in mind. They will guide you to picking the best filed watch under 500 bucks.

High-Contrast Dial

A legible dial is one of the most distinctive features that a field watch has. Unaffected by external weather conditions, you must be able to read the time accurately and without strain. While being in the hot sun during outdoor activities you should have the ability to tell the time. Therefore, consider buying a field watch with visible dials.


There are field watches that can illuminate in the dark after being exposed to light during the previous hours of the day. To achieve this, watch brands use phosphorescent paint, Supernova Light, or top-tier technology such as tritium.

Crystal Strength

The watch glass should be of durable material to withstand the harsh outdoor environment. Some of the key elements that the companies use include acrylic plastic, sapphire, and anti-reflective covering. Acrylic plastic is ideal since it does not easily break while sapphire has high rankings in its value and hardness. Anti-reflective coatings come into play when protecting your vision from bright sunlight while using your watch.

Band Types

You can pick from four different strap materials. Metal is the first. Metal bands, commonly known as bracelets, give a manly appeal. Metal bracelet watches are adaptable and can be worn in both official and casual contexts.

Leather straps are an excellent way to style your field watch. This material has a vintage, unchanging appearance. Leather bands are the most formal of the watch band kinds, as they are slender and sleek. Leather watches, on the other hand, can get hot and can be destroyed by sweat.

Canvas bands, often known as NATO straps, are an excellent choice for a less formal watch band. NATO straps differ from conventional bands in that they have a single material construction.

People presume rubber watches as a casual style, yet depending on how they look, you can pair them with official wear. Unlike other alternative watch bands, you cannot consider rubber-strapped watches as jewelry.

Watch Sizes

A decent rule is that if your wrist circumference is around six and seven inches, you should opt for a watch with a case diameter of 38 to 42 mm. If your wrist is longer than seven inches, you should seek a watch with a case diameter of 44 to 46 millimeters. The typical men’s watch is 37 to 39 mm in diameter. 

It would be ideal to try on the watch if you have easy access. Then you can have a second opinion to help you in your purchase.

Watch Price

We can classify the price of field watches based on the range of cost. Budget watches cost from $50 to $150. They have mineral or acrylic construction or other low-quality materials. Most of them have Chinese or quartz hand movements. Although you can discover a treasure within this budget, the chances of buying knock-offs are also high.

The second price range is from $150 to $500 which is a fair price for the majority. Brands can get a profit while supplying quality products at the same time. You can get a decent watch within this mid-range category. They have smooth finishing, clear crystals, and durable bands together with quality movements.

Finally, the premium class of field watches has prices surpassing $500 up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can obtain mass-market luxury watches which have top-notch materials and construction. They are of high-quality glass and sapphire which match the value of the watch. While buying a watch you can also put in mind that the payment covers the brand name too.

Although rare to find, true luxury watches are purely handmade with a heavy investment in time and creativity. Such watches cost thousands of dollars. There is a wide room for you to explore and work within your budget. I am sure you will find what’s best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good field watch?

Listing from the 50s, field watches are timeless and offers a classic feel to the wearer. The manufacturers focus more on the quality to ensure their durability. Longevity has always been a priority since the advent of field watches because of the purpose it held on to.

A good field watch is durably enabled by a stainless-steel coating. Also, the dials should be luminous for readability in the dark. On top of that, large texts are a big role player in the legibility of numbers. The straps should be of leather, khaki, or NATO which is tough nylon.

A field watch ought to be water and dirt resistant to prevent damage. They were originally suitable for wartime; therefore, they are more than qualified to help you with your outdoors and daily tasks. Additionally, the watch face should be anti-glare for easy visibility in the daylight.

Can I wear a field watch with a suit?

Yes. Formal wear matches perfectly with leather straps or khaki material. Hamilton Khaki men’s watch is a stylish choice of suit accessorizing. Most modern field watch manufacturers have appraised their versatile use and styling. Even better, they pair ideally with outwear and casual outfits for engaging outdoors.

What is the use of a field watch?

Considering the heritage that a field watch bears, it is ideal to withstand the wear and tear of time. It has a simplistic design with readable dials to tell time effortlessly. You use a field watch to tell time. So why not buy other watch types? They are modeled for physical outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, trailing, rock climbing, and other exciting hobbies.

During the World War II phase, the military men improvised their pocket watches by tying them to their wrists with a cloth. Inevitably, it led to the rise of field watches that could tell the time efficiently. Until recently, they have won a spot in other field events.

Overall, wristwatches offer you the benefit of being discreet. Then the bigger advantage is that you cannot misplace it unless the band loosens on rare occasions.

Which is the best size for field watches?

37 mm to 44 mm. Initially, the A-11 and A-17 created watch patterns with a diameter of 36 mm. Advances over the years have made room for ladies and gents to have a custom fitting for the field watches. Most women’s wrists begin from 37 to 42 mm in diameter while men’s from 37 to 44 mm. The range is compatible with worldwide users. Additionally, the 36 mm size watches used hand-wound movements while the latest ones utilize quartz and automatic motion.

Why is field watches small?

Field watches have a compact, simple and lightweight design due to their previous use in the war. The soldiers wore them beneath their coats for discretion. Thus, it made it painless to wear it for prolonged hours during the attacks. Also, it will be unlikely to mislay it for its accurate fitting.

Final Verdict 

We have explored the best field watches under $500 ranging expressing the most desirable qualities impeccable for the field. Among them, some bear an illustrious history whose advances are still evident in the present features. They create an old-school touch that I find endearing. 

Even so, the best qualities you should look out for include a legible dial with luminous elements. Preferably, the crystal should be resistant to light reflection. Durability will not be an issue since the leather and khaki strands have a decent reputation for longevity.

Your filed partner is only a click away, so make up your mind already because the answer is within your reach. We are all about the outdoors and pairing you up with the appropriate equipment. Be sure to stop by more often.

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Matt Bartlett

Outside is always better .I'm an avid Traveler, Cyclist, Paddler,Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Sports Lover & Wannabe Runner. I write about adventures and share them on my website and for other outdoor publications. . Wannabe Runner Love being outdoors.I enjoy sharing outdoor experiences with others.

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