What Is the Best Seiko Field Watch?

Seiko SRPH21

A field watch is a type of wristwatch originally designed for military use but now popular among civilians for its ruggedness, simplicity, and practicality. It’s characterized by its durable construction, clear legibility, and often features a simple, easy-to-read dial with Arabic numerals or indices.

Seiko, a Japanese watchmaker, has a rich history of producing high-quality timepieces, including field watches. The company’s involvement in the field of watchmaking dates back to the late 19th century, but its focus on field watches, specifically, emerged in the mid-20th century.

During World War II, Seiko played a crucial role in supplying timepieces to the Japanese military. The company’s watches were known for their accuracy and durability, making them suitable for military use. Seiko began producing field watches in the mid-20th century, catering to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and military personnel. These watches were designed to withstand rugged conditions while providing accurate timekeeping and legibility.

After World War II, Seiko continued to innovate and develop new technologies in watchmaking. In the 1950s and 1960s, Seiko introduced several groundbreaking watches, including the Seiko Sportsmatic and Seiko Marvel, which laid the foundation for their future field watch designs.

One of Seiko’s most iconic lines, the Seiko 5 series, included field watches among its offerings. Introduced in the 1960s, Seiko 5 watches were known for their affordability, durability, and reliability. Many models within the Seiko 5 lineup were suitable for field use, featuring robust construction and practical design elements.

The Seiko “Alpinist” is often regarded as one of the earliest and most iconic Seiko field watches. The Seiko Alpinist was first introduced in 1961 and was designed for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly mountain climbers and hikers.

The original Alpinist models featured a simple yet robust design, with a highly legible dial, luminescent markers, and a durable case. These watches were equipped with manual-wind movements known for their reliability and accuracy, making them well-suited for use in rugged outdoor environments.

Over the years, the Seiko Alpinist has undergone several iterations and updates, each maintaining the spirit of the original while incorporating modern advancements in technology and design. The Alpinist remains a popular choice among watch enthusiasts for its combination of functionality, durability, and timeless style.

In recent years, the company has continued to produce the best Seiko field watches, incorporating modern advancements in technology and design. These watches often feature an automatic movement, stainless steel or case, and enhanced water resistance.

Seiko SSK023

The Best Seiko field watch with the GMT function

  • 4R34 automatic movement
  • 100m water resistance
  • The GMT function
seiko ssk023

The Seiko SSK023 watch offers a blend of style and functionality, catering to travelers and enthusiasts alike with its notable features. One of the standout features of the SSK023 is its fixed bezel adorned with numeric markers, providing a distinct and practical touch to the watch’s design. This bezel not only adds visual interest but also aids in tracking elapsed time or additional time zones, enhancing the watch’s versatility.

The GMT function is another highlight of the SSK023, allowing wearers to track multiple time zones simultaneously. This feature is particularly useful for travelers or individuals with connections across different regions, providing convenience and ease of use.

Seiko SSK023 GMT watch dial in macro

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Check another list of watches featuring the Seiko SSK023

Complementing the watch’s functionality is its stainless steel bracelet, which offers durability and a classic aesthetic. The bracelet adds to the overall robustness of the timepiece while ensuring comfortable wear throughout the day.

However, it’s worth noting that the SSK023 comes equipped with a hardlex crystal, which, while providing decent scratch resistance, may not match the durability and scratch resistance of sapphire crystal. Given the price point of around $400, some enthusiasts may expect the inclusion of a sapphire crystal for added protection and longevity.

In conclusion, the Seiko SSK023 impresses with its fixed bezel, GMT function, and stainless steel bracelet, making it a practical and stylish choice for those in need of a reliable timepiece for tracking multiple time zones. While the hardlex crystal may not offer the same level of scratch resistance as sapphire, the overall package of features and design elements makes the SSK023 a compelling option for discerning watch enthusiasts.


  • GMT function: The SSK023 features a GMT complication, allowing wearers to track multiple time zones simultaneously, adding practicality and convenience for travelers and global enthusiasts.
  • Stainless steel bracelet: The watch comes equipped with a durable stainless steel bracelet, offering longevity, comfort, and a timeless aesthetic.


  • Price tag of about $400: The SSK023’s price may be considered relatively high for some buyers, especially given its features and materials.
  • Hardlex crystal: Despite its decent scratch resistance, the inclusion of a Hardlex crystal instead of sapphire at this price point may disappoint enthusiasts seeking superior durability and scratch resistance.

Seiko SRPH31

The Best Seiko field watch with a nylon strap

  • 4R36 automatic movement
  • 100m water resistance
  • Hardlex crystal
seiko srph31

What captivates me about the Seiko SRPH31 watch are its distinctive features that exude a blend of style and functionality. The brushed 40mm case not only imparts a rugged elegance but also ensures durability, perfect for everyday wear. Complementing the case are the hands, styled in a classic “pilot style,” adding a touch of aviation-inspired charm to the timepiece.

Moreover, the dial of the SRPH31 is a standout feature, boasting an intriguing granularity that enhances its visual appeal and sets it apart from other watches. The strap, crafted with attention to detail, impresses with its quality and features an orange leather backing that beautifully complements the orange pips on the 12, 3, 6, and 9 markers, adding a subtle pop of color to the overall design.

However, there are a few aspects that could be improved upon. I find the orange-tipped second hand to be slightly narrow, which may hinder quick and easy readability at a glance. Additionally, while the crystal serves its purpose, I would prefer a double-domed design with ample anti-reflective coating to enhance legibility, especially in varying lighting conditions.

In conclusion, the Seiko SRPH31 offers a compelling alternative for enthusiasts who appreciate the charm of the SNK models. Its combination of distinctive design elements and practical features makes it a worthy addition to any collection. Looking ahead, I hope to see modders develop enhancements such as a double-domed sapphire crystal and an “airplane” style seconds hand, further elevating the appeal of this already impressive timepiece.


  • Versatile blue design: The SRPH31 features a stylish blue dial and bezel, making it suitable for various occasions and outfits.
  • Day and date indicator: The inclusion of a day and date complication adds practicality and convenience to the watch, enhancing its functionality.


  • Nylon strap prone to wear: The included nylon strap may wear out relatively quickly, typically lasting around two years before showing signs of deterioration.
  • Poorly readable second hand: The narrow design of the second hand may detract from quick and easy readability, particularly at a glance or in low-light conditions.

Seiko SRPG31

The best Seiko field watch with a NATO strap

  • 4R36 automatic movement
  • 100m water resistance
  • Hardlex crystal
Seiko SRPG31

The Seiko SRPG31 presents itself as a promising option for enthusiasts seeking an automatic field watch at an accessible price point. The model impresses with its blend of classic aesthetics and modern functionality. The stainless steel case and bracelet exude durability, while the black dial, adorned with large Arabic numerals and luminescent markers, ensures clear legibility even in low-light conditions. The inclusion of a nylon NATO-style strap offers versatility and comfort, catering to different preferences.

The SRPG31 embodies the aesthetic and build quality I anticipated. The nylon NATO-style strap, boasting durability, and comfort meet my expectations. The watch’s appearance fulfill my criteria and offers the features most buyers would need. However, my optimism began to wane upon closer inspection.

Regrettably, the SRPG31, billed as a field watch, proved more fragile than anticipated. The brushed metal case and bezel are susceptible to scratches, while the domed crystal appears prone to damage. Although I appreciat the aesthetic appeal of the domed crystal, its vulnerability became a concern. Additionally, the absence of crown guards left the crown exposed, a potential area for improvement.

The disappointment truly sets in regarding timekeeping and movement reliability. Despite Seiko’s claim of a 41-hour power reserve, the watch may require winding after a mere weekend’s rest. More concerning is the sporadic halting of the movement, which occurred approximately a dozen times over the past six months for some weares on the Internet. This issue, whether related to the movement or a specific watch, disrupts my trust in the timepiece’s functionality.

Ultimately, while the SRPG31 offers certain merits, including an attractive design and affordability, its shortcomings in durability and movement reliability warrant caution for prospective buyers. You will need the thorough research and consideration when investing in a timepiece.


  • Affordable price point: Priced around $200, the SRPG31 offers excellent value for an automatic field watch.
  • Day and date indicator: The inclusion of a day and date complication adds practicality and convenience to the watch.


  • Sporty design limits versatility: The watch’s aesthetic leans towards a sporty style, making it less suitable for formal or dressy attire.
  • Easily scratchable case: The brushed metal finish of the case is prone to scratches, detracting from its overall durability and appearance over time.

In conclusion, for those navigating the vast landscape of Seiko field watches with a budget of around $400, there are three standout options to consider, each catering to different preferences and lifestyles.

Firstly, the Seiko SSK023 emerges as a top choice for its versatile features, including the GMT function and stainless steel bracelet. This timepiece offers practicality and style, making it suitable for various occasions, whether it’s traveling across time zones or attending formal events.

Alternatively, the Seiko SRPH31 presents a compelling option for individuals seeking a classic field watch with a modern twist. Its distinctive design elements, such as the brushed 40mm case and pilot-style hands, add character to the timepiece, making it a stylish accessory for everyday wear.

Lastly, for those who appreciate the rugged charm of NATO straps, the grey Seiko SRPG31 proves to be an excellent choice. With its durable construction and comfortable strap, this watch combines functionality with versatility, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures or casual outings.

Ultimately, the best Seiko field watch for you depends on your preferences and needs. Whether you prioritize functionality, style, or comfort, Seiko offers a diverse range of options to suit every taste. By carefully considering the features and characteristics of each model, you can find the perfect Seiko field watch to accompany you on your daily adventures.


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