Whether it’s an EDC situation or you’re a mechanic that gets dirty, your average $20 watch usually can’t cut it for long. You need something tougher and more durable.
There are three types of work watches to look for – a field watch that has a slim profile and that is simple, a pilot watch that has a larger face and more features like a chronograph, and a heavy duty digital that has extra features like shockproof and waterproof.
You’re not looking for a luxury watch though, so it needs to have a reasonable price tag too.
The Top 3 Best Work Watch Reviews
These are the best work watches of all three categories so you can decide what works for you.
With a simple and durable finish the A-2T is scratch resistant and very easy to read, even in poor lighting conditions. It’s also conveniently waterproof and fits well into most budgets. The diameter is pretty small and the curved case makes it comfortable for everyday wear. You can also screw the crown down to make it watertight for up to 100m which is nifty.
It has a simple Japan quartz movement which is battery powered this is a rugged watch that can stand up to whatever and the cloth band allows your skin to breathe and prevents reflections. You can also step up to the A-4 if you want a larger face. Choose a field watch if you want a watch, not a computer or something that looks fancy.
- 100m waterproof
- Easy to Read
- Sapphire glass
- Black ion non reflective coating
If you want a simple watch that will suffer mud, sand, and other injustices and keep going then this is it. It seems deceptively simple but it’s much tougher than it looks and it’s especially comfortable for EDC. The housing is titanium rather than steel which means it’s extra tough and it’s been coated in a matte finish so it’s also non reflective. The inner hands are luminescent too for better viewing in low light and it comes in both green and black.
The battery life could be better and not having a date feature can be annoying. The night illumination is also not as bright as comparably priced other brands like Seiko which is a let down.
A simple stainless watch that has much the same look as the Bertucci only it also features a date too. The watch is similarly waterproof but it’s made of a less durable steel instead of titanium which means it will scratch.
The movement is solar powered which works great since you don’t have to worry about battery life and it’s protected behind a mineral crystal window. The watch also has luminosity, a buckle closure and a textured crown so it’s easy to adjust. Get a pilot watch if that date feature is the deal breaker from a field watch.
- 100m Waterproof
- Stainless Steel
- Chronograph dials
- Luminous hands
Citizen has a good name and this has a familiar design which makes it easy to use. The light-driven technology is something that has been around for over 20 years now in their products and it works on artificial and natural light. The mineral glass might not be as strong as Sapphire glass but it’s a good start and still more resistant than plastic. The watch is still fairly low profile at only 11mm thick and it’s also light enough that you won’t notice it. The eco drive holds charge longer than many automatic movements which is a bonus and means you can take it off without worrying that it will lose time.
The canvas band quality is poor and it won’t last long so you’ll definitely have to invest in a new one within a year or two. The original is fairly stiff and takes a while to break in, by which time it’s showing some wear. The big numbers are a little overwhelming in the face and make the chronograph dials seem harder to see.
The G-Shock series is iconic and it’s very recognizable which is why the modern and more rugged military version is perfect for someone who wants familiarity but needs the toughness.
It’s ultra shock resistant and has features like a stopwatch, led backlight, timer and 200m of water resistance. It’s battery powered and has world time for 48 cities. There’s also a selection of formats and it’s got an analog face as well. The design comes in tan or black and the window itself is made of mineral crystal to resist scratches. It’s even suitable for diving and water sports.
- 200m water resistant
- Shock resistant
- Analog and digital
- Stopwatch and alarm functions
This is a good in-between for someone who isn’t quite yet ready to risk a smartwatch but wants extra features that pilot watches and field watches can’t provide. The added timers may be really useful depending on your work and the backlight certainly makes it more visible than simple luminescence
The analog hands get in the way a lot and depending on the time you may not be able to see some of the features properly at all. The tan color is also more of a gray which is disappointing, especially if you’re trying to match a uniform.
If you really need the extra features then you have to go with the Casio, but otherwise the simplicity and toughness of the Bertucci really sets it apart.
The Bertucci also has a more “grown up” look, where the Casio still reminds many people of being a teenager in the 90’s when the Baby G was all the rage. The best work watches aren’t hard to choose from, it’s just a question of how many functions you need since they’re all built tough.