6 of the Best Seiko Field Watches For Every Budget
James Elliott10 June 2021 | 8 min read
As a daily beater, there aren’t many better categories of watch to stick on your wrist than a Seiko field watch. Originally used during world war two, field watches are designed to do two things very well – keep accurate time and be tough.
At Watch & Bullion, we’re also big fans of Seiko. The budget-friendly Japanese watch company offers some of the best quality watches on the market at this price point, and the great news is they have a wide range of fantastic field watches.
In this article, we will pick out the six of the best Seiko field watches on the market. We’ll compare them on their design, specs, and price to help you decide which is the best field watch for you from Seiko’s legendary brand.
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Seiko 5 SNK805/807/809 (Budget)
What makes it a great field watch? – It has it all for a budget field watch. Classic field watch design, tough NATO strap, and an automatic self-winding movement. Oh, and a choice of three colors too.
To get started, we’re actually spoiling you with three watches in one, with the Seiko SNK805/807/809 variant.
When you’re shopping around the budget watch market, the Seiko 5 range is one of the most popular on the market. Whilst known mainly for their sports watch models, the SNK805 combines all the best features of a field watch into an excellent budget package.
At 37mm, it’s a watch that’s small and light on the wrist whilst staying relatively low in profile at just 11mm thick. The dial is quintessentially military, with large numbers and large sword-shaped hands matched against a fairly simple dial design.
Whilst most field watches stay pretty basic, it’s nice to also see a day/date window at 3 o’clock on this watch, with the red tip on the second’s hand making it even easier to read. As with most field watches, it comes equipped with a canvas strap that’s easy to wear whilst being tough enough to withstand a bit of damage.
Inside the case, you get an automatic Seiko Caliber 7S26 self-winding movement, which is a real treat at this price point. That movement delivers 40 hours of power reserve and is resistant to 30m of water depth.
The best thing about this watch is the variety. Look up the SNK807 model if you’d prefer something in blue or the SNK809 model if you fancy black. The watches are entirely identical but offer a choice for those with particular colour preferences.
These watches offer great value and are probably the best field watch you can buy from any brand at that price point, especially when you throw in that automatic movement. If you need a field watch on a budget, there’s nothing better on the market!
2. Seiko 5 Black Dial Stainless Steel SNZG13J1 (The Best All-Rounder)
What makes it a great field watch? – A classic field watch that looks great on a steel bracelet, delivering functionality, robustness, and great design at a super-affordable price point.
Our next watch is a great one for those that love a steel bracelet. While many field watches opt for a synthetic strap, this SNZG13J1 model from Seiko delivers an awesome sports/field watch combo.
At 42mm, it’s a great size for most wrist sizes, with the steel bracelet and case matching nicely with the dial. Speaking of the dial, this watch adds a little more complexity to the field watch style, mixing large hour numbering, with smaller 24-hour indicators and large hour markers. You’ve also got a day/date window, large hands, and a red-tipped seconds hand to round off a really smart package.
A scratch-resistant hardlex crystal keeps the dial safe, with the watch also rated down to 100m of water resistance. Inside the case you’ve got a Seiko Seiko Caliber 7S36 movement, delivering 40 hours of automatic timekeeping which is a nice surprise at this price point. While this article is focused on Seiko, this is a great alternative to one of the best budget field watches around, the Hamilton Khaki Field.
This is one of the best Seiko field watches around and only gets better when you consider the price point. You’re getting a nice field watch design, on a steel bracelet, with an automatic movement and 100m of water resistance – what more could you need?!
3. Seiko Solar SNE329 (Solar Powered)
What makes it a great field watch? – One of the easiest-to-read dials you’ll ever see on a watch that’s rugged, waterproof and fully solar-powered.
For the next watch on our list, we’ve pulled out the Seiko SNE329. At 43mm, it’s a lot beefier than our last Seiko, so it will suit those with bigger wrists or just those that need an oversized watch. Surprisingly, it’s just 10.7mm in thickness, meaning it will stay low and tight to the wrist.
If you like clean and simple dial design, you’ll love this watch! The shiny black dial matches with large white hour markings, with numerals dominating the 12,3,6 and 9 positions. Short and slender arrow-shaped hands do a great job of making this watch easy to read, with a very subtle day/date window blending into the large 3 o’clock marker.
Many watch fans will love the solar movement on this watch, meaning there’s no need to change batteries or wind the watch manually. Instead, a solar dial charges the Japanese Quartz movement, all of which is kept safe by Hardlex glass and a case design that’s waterproof to 100m.
If you’re after a classic, no-nonsense field watch, this is the one for you with the solar movement offering unlimited power when out and about.
4. Seiko Men’s 5 Sports SNZG07J1 (Light Mode)
What makes it a great field watch? – Think of it as a field watch on a light theme. It ticks all the field watch boxes for those that need something functional and stylish for the desert.
It’s true to say that most field watches are made for the dark side. Especially in the field watch category, you’ll come across many greens, blacks and blues, so it’s nice to see something brighter in the SNZG07J1.
The 42mm case houses a sandy coloured dial that matches the canvas strap. You get all the classic field watch features, though, with the large numbers in black, complemented by blocky white and black hour markers. That colour scheme is copied onto the pointed-baton hands and almost gives a cartoon-like look and feel to the watch.
Like with the first watches in this roundup, it’s great to see an automatic movement inside the case. That movement leverages its 23 jewels to deliver 40 hours of power reserve and drive a day/date window found at 3 o’clock on the dial. A hardlex crystal and 100m of water resistance round off the overall package very nicely too!
There’s a lot to like about the SNZG07J1 model. It’s packed with great features, but it really stands out thanks to its light sandy-coloured design that’s perfect for those heading to the beach or working in the desert.
5. Seiko Men’s SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch (Additional Functionality)
What makes it a great field watch? – Looks like a field watch on the surface but offers a little more technicality for those that need the features of a chronograph too!
The Seiko SNN241 is the watch to have if you need some chronograph features without sacrificing classic field watch stylings.
On a 42.6mm dial, you’ll find the large number, large hand combinations we’ve seen before, but this time on a deep brown dial that’s matched to a leather strap. In the centre of the dial, you’re getting two chronograph windows. One, a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock, and the other found at 12 o’clock for tracking for up to 60 minutes.
Inside the case, you’ll find a Japanese quartz movement that’s pretty standard for budget watches at this price point. You do get some excellent additional features here, though, with a hardlex crystal accompanying 100m of water resistance and a date window that’s hidden in the lower chronograph window.
Some may argue this isn’t a ‘pure’ field watch, and in many ways, they’d be right. But with all the large number stylings, the durable case, water resistance and ability to swap out the strap if required, you’re getting a great looking field watch with the bonus of a chronograph, what’s not to like?
It’s a watch that ticks so many boxes and gives you features many of the other watches we feature in this roundup simply don’t have!
6. Seiko Mens Alpinist SARB017 (The Premium Pick)
What makes it a great field watch? – It’s not just one of Seiko’s best field watches, but one of their best overall thanks to the classic field watch stylings additional premium features.
We’ve undoubtedly saved the best until last with the Seiko Alpinist. Whilst this is a great field watch, it’s one of Seiko most popular watches full stop, and it’s easy to see why.
The classic field watch design of large numbers is found on the Alpinist in the form of gold markings sat atop a khaki green dial. The hands utilise the lollipop style made famous by Rolex, but with Seiko own unique twist. Compass markings around the edge also add to the overall design whilst making it functional as a hiking companion.
With the Alpinist, there’s a significant step up in terms of specs from other watches we’ve seen before. Here you’re getting a high-quality automatic movement that keeps going for 50 hours and drives the date window found on the dial. You’ll also benefit from a sapphire crystal and 200m of water resistance on a case that’s just under 40mm wide.
This isn’t a field watch for those on a super strict budget. It’s at least double the price of all the other watches in this roundup, but it’s not hard to see why. If you’re after a field watch from Seiko, this is the best watch you can buy, thanks to its gorgeous design and top-quality specs!
Field watches are some of the most famous watch categories thanks to their simple, easy-to-read designs and robust performance. Luckily for Seiko fans, there’s a range of great Seiko field watches on the market. We also covered the Best Seiko Automatic Military Watches on the market in our previous post if you are looking at more options.
We’ve just scratched the surface today, so be sure to do your research before picking up your next awesome field watch!