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Watch Out for Three Men's Field Watches of The Week!
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Watch Out for Three Men's Field Watches of The Week!

Hamilton, Orient Star, and Marathon steal the spotlight this week. Check it out!
May 15, 2021

The field watch has a long history, with its original intent as a war watch. Field watches have changed in style over time, but they will still be tough and dependable. A good field watch will usually have a stainless steel case, a canvas or leather band, and a reliable movement. With a glare-proof crystal, a high contrast dial, luminous hands, and big numerals, it must be easy to decipher. Above all, the field watch is built to withstand the elements. The field watch today comes in a variety of styles, all of which incorporate modern design and new features. We've rounded up three field watches that are designed to last, ranging from rugged to military-inspired timepieces. Check out our three field watches of the week!

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Chronograph Ref. H71616535

With its retro military looks and adaptation to modern male aesthetics, the Hamilton Khaki remains one of the best "field-style" watches available. Hamilton has produced an endless variety of Khaki styles over the years, and the broader Hamilton Khaki range now includes timepieces that aren't commonly associated with the Khaki watch family. The Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Chrono is a modern watch that still feels like it blends into the historic concept of what a Hamilton Khaki should be.

Case

The watch has a 42mm steel case that is PVD-coated in black on the all-black edition. The case is 14.5mm thick and 100 meters water resistant. An exhibition window on the back of the case allows you to see the Hamilton caliber H-21 automatic chronograph action.

Movement

Hamilton is able to obtain exclusive movements because of his position within the Swatch Group, which also owns the movement manufacturer ETA. The H-21 is a modified version of the Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph, with sparse decoration except for a repeated "H" pattern on the bridge under the rotor, which can be found on the movements within some Hamilton watches. The H-21 increases the power reserve to 60 hours from around 42 hours, which isn't much more than a day, but it does make the campaign stand out a little more. The running seconds indicator, which would usually be at 9 o'clock, was also removed, leaving only the two chronograph subdials for the hours and minutes.

Dial

The dial would have a more symmetrical appearance as a result of this design decision, but functionality will be compromised. The watch's most unique aspect is that it has complete day and date windows but no running seconds, which is an unusual layout to say the least. You can use the chronograph function if you really want to calculate the seconds.

Hands

Hamilton's hands and face are classic Khaki, with Arabic hour numerals and hour markers. Some models of the Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Chrono resemble a pilot watch, but this black and tan style, at least on the reference H71616535, is a decently winning design. A flat AR-coated sapphire crystal covers the dial.

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Chronograph Ref. H71616535 is available on Gnomon Store for $1,610.00 USD.

Orient Star Sports Outdoor Green PVD Ref. RK-AU0208E

It's a field watch, according to Orient. The solid “Flieger” or German pilot watch style of the Second World War, with its dark matte dial, brightly luminous sword hands, and similarly bright Arabic and line-shaped markers, is what most people (including myself) would note at first glance. Its aviation-style DNA is also revealed by the onion crown. Nonetheless, the scale and the presence of a power reserve indicator distinguish it from a pilot watch, according to the brand's official description. 

The Watch

The RK-AU0208E is made of stainless steel and is protected with a black PVD coating. The watch has a screw-down diamond-shape crown and measures 41 mm wide, 12.1 mm thick, and 48 mm lug-to-lug. The watch casing is satin-brushed and polished, while the back of the watch is completely polished and the semi-concave bezel is satin-brushed. The whole timepiece weighs 91 gm and is paired with a double stitched leather buckle. The use of a flat sapphire crystal adds to the watch's luxury feel, justifying the Orient Star branding.

The Dial

The matte dark green background of the Orient Star Outdoor model I selected is a nice touch. The chapter ring is a black-painted vertical wall.

Just one timing scale track is present, with minute markers in short white lines, Arabic numbers, and capsule-shaped hour markers. A white dimple was applied to the outer edge of each capsule-shaped hour marker.

The antique cream color-tone luminous with the hour markers is carried over to the broadsword-like handset. On both the hours and minutes hands, the Lumibrite is painted inside a thin white line. Both hands are semi-skeletonized to varying degrees (the hours hand is more skeletonized than the minutes hand) and painted black to make referencing easier. The seconds hand is decorated with white paint rather than Lumibrite. Despite the inclusion of the power reserve indicator, text lines, and logo on the dial, the dial remains visually balanced and uncluttered.

Case & Bezel

The back of the case is screwed on and is not PVD black. Instead, it's made of polished stainless steel with a center display window protected by a mineral glass crystal. The watch's standard information is written around the edge. The back of the case is domed rather than flat, which is unusual. A small fixed bezel was inserted where the crystal begins to lift the section higher.

Movement

The in-house 'Made in Japan' Caliber F6N43, one of the brand's top of the line automatic movements mounted exclusively on Orient Star watches, is visible through the screw-in caseback. The accuracy of the Caliber F6N43 is measured at +25 seconds per day to -15 seconds per day. It has a power reserve of around 50 hours and runs at 21,600 BPH (or 3 Hertz). The power reserve indicator and a quick-set date wheel are two complications on the 22-jewel movement. It has a seconds hand stop function and can be wound manually.

Orient Star Sports Outdoor Green PVD Ref. RK-AU0208E is available on Gnomon Store for $630.00 USD

Marathon GPM NGM Sage Green Mechanical Ref. WW194003SG-NGM

To ensure the highest degree of quality and accuracy, Marathon watches combine military reliability with Swiss engineering and craftsmanship. All of these characteristics are shown on the Marathon GPM NGM Sage Green Mechanical Ref. WW194003SG-NGM, which is based on the 1960s MIL-W-46374 military watch.

The Watch

The acronym "GPM" stands for "General Purpose Mechanical," and these officially issued field watches are given to appropriate military personnel. Since this model was designed to be used primarily on property, it is an excellent match for the ground trooper division. The GPM Mechanical is a non-flashy watch that celebrates form over function, but it was designed with an intent to help the army with their missions. The sterile dial distinguishes this relation from its sibling (Government Standard); the "NGM" acronyms confirm the dial's "No Government Markings."

Marathon entered the field watch domain with the MIL-W-46374 specifications, which were developed for the US army between 1968 and today with many revisions, making them the longest-running specifications needed by the US government. To summarize what the MIL-W-46374 is all about, it needs a mechanical movement with 15 jewels (or more) and at least 36 hours of power reserve, as well as a hacking device that is shock resistant and waterproof. 

Strap

The watch must also have a nylon strap and use tritium for its luminous hands and markers, which must shine for at least 8 hours in complete darkness. The case is made of steel and plastic resin, which makes it anti-magnetic. The size was held between 34-36mm, similar to other military watches, with the military 24-hour dial indicator. Many of these characteristics can still be found in Marathon's GPM Mechanical, which stays true to what field watches are all about.

Case

Moving on to the case profile, the GPM Mechanical has a sleek and masculine appeal to it, as well as a rare outdoorsy color option not seen much in the industry. When viewed from the outside, the watch appears to be a simple compact tool watch, with short lugs and a smooth bezel to accompany it. When viewed from the sides, however, it really shines with its distinctive case profile, with the lugs blending together to form a masculine side profile. This creates a striking balanced profile that makes the wearer feel substantial while compensating for the 34mm tonneau case's ickle appearance.

Movement

The epoch of Marathon's field watch requirements is held in its middle. The robust Japanese Seiko Instrument automatic caliber NH35 is housed inside the Marathon GPM NGM Mechanical sports. The dual-wind movement, which has 24 jewels, runs at 3Hz (21,600bph) and has a 41-hour power reserve. The government-approved mechanical movement is tough enough to serve as a reliable workhorse in a military tool watch. The movement is referred to as "dual-wind" by Marathon. Marathon stresses precision under all situations, just as they did in the 1980s, with the use of this campaign.

Marathon GPM NGM Sage Green Mechanical Ref. WW194003SG-NGM is currently on sale on Gnomon Store for $288.00 USD.

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