Watches that mix modern technology with old-school appeal.
Tsovet SVT-RM40 ($325)
It was the Tsovet’s minimalist design that won us over. The solid stainless-steel case is water-resistant to 100 meters and houses a simple face meant to mimic the readout on an old fighter jet. Even more subtle: the date shows through a slot resembling a ship’s porthole. Only the metallic-blue hands convey a bit of flash.
Szanto Officer’s Classic Round Automatic 6304 ($375)
Szanto nailed the fieldwatch look with a round-edged case, subtle wave pattern on the face, and deco-like minute and second hands. Bonus points for the one-piece stainless-steel construction and SuperLuminova application, which makes the hands glow bright after dark.
Luminox Carbon SEAL 3813 ($675)
Where other brands merely copy military badassery, the SEAL lives it. Carbon woven into the polycarbonate case offers the toughness of titanium at one-third the weight for a barely-there watch that won’t fail you when things get gnarly. Tritium-tube hands and numbers stay lit for 25 years. Other features include an antireflective sapphire crystal and precise Swiss quartz movement.
Timex IQ+ Move ($149)
Appearances suggest that this is a basic analog wristwatch. But press the crown and it pairs with a free app (Android and iOS) to auto-set the time and log daily distance, calorie, and sleep data on your smartphone. A small subdial on the watch tallies your steps. Kudos for the one-year battery life.
Standard Issue Instruments Field Navigator ($250)
The Field Navigator is a stripped-down yet hardy watch made by Huckberry in the spirit of the mission timers used by Vietnam-era Special Forces. With a reliable Ronda quartz movement, this timepiece is a great value if you’re looking to keep a low profile.
Momentum Torpedo Blast 44 Rubber ($114)
Dive watches often break the bank. Not this one. For a little more than a Benjamin, you get 200 meters of water resistance and some nice details, like the offset crown to avoid wetsuit snags and bright luminescent hands and markers for underwater clarity.