When it comes to outdoors-oriented brands, Filson is one of the longer-running names that are around today. This has allowed them to expand what they offer in a variety of directions, say, like their collaboration with the US Forestry Service (got to love that logo, right?). As they’re owned by the same group running Shinola, an expansion into watches made sense. An earlier outing had very much a Shinola feel to it (see here), but they’re expanded into stuff that is all their own. One of the latest is the Filson Field Watch, which we recently spent time with.
The Filson Field Watch is a classic look, available in two case sizes. While many might gravitate towards the 41.5mm version, we opted to take a look at the smaller 36mm size. Why is that? Well, 36mm is going to be quite versatile across many wrists, male or female, and we thought it was time to go in a different direction as well. Particularly for those who are into vintage watches – where 36mm is considered a larger size – something like this smaller one may be a more natural fit. Whatever your reason, we knew we wanted to go smaller.
For a smaller watch than I’m used to, the Filson Field Watch is surprisingly legible. This is due, in no small part, to the adherence to field watch principles. The dial is uncluttered, numerals and main hour indices are quite large, and the handset stands out crisply against the dark blue dial (you knew that was the one we’d request, right?). Those lumed indices and numerals are applied, standing up a bit above the slightly pebbled surface of the dial, which also (I believe) helps get more paint in there, as the lume on the watch was rather nice as well. So, you’ve got legibility day or night, at a top-notch level.
What about if you, you know, actually head out into the field? Will the Filson Field Watch stand up to the activities? Well, given Filson’s outdoorsy orientation, you’d certainly hope so. And, considering you’ve got a steel case (with screw-down crown) topped with a sapphire crystal, and a 100m WR rating, I would say the answer is yes. Even the leather strap it’s paired to should be up to the task. The leather was thick – but not too thick – and seems to conform to the wrist nicely. Here, it’s also surprising that Filson doesn’t offer a strap with it’s tin cloth, as that seems like it would lend itself quite well to a watch headed for the potentially wet and muddy outdoors.
No matter – for our time with the Filson Field Watch, it was confined to a more mundane existence, at the office and around the house. Given it’s legibility, it was a very able day-to-day companion. Filson also did not make any mistake pairing this dark blue dial with the deep brown leather strap. It’s a classic combination, and this – along with the smaller size – definitely caught the eye of my wife. If this was one I had purchased (and was keeping) rather than it being a loan, I think it could very easily be ending up on her wrist.
And really, so long as it’s being worn, that’s the main thing – the Filson Field Watch was built to be worn. Sure, if you’re not wearing it, the quartz movement inside will keep things running along, no problem (and that quartz movement certainly will help the watch be robust for the outdoors). With the 36mm case size, you can quite easily see it being a watch that goes back and forth between you and your better half, whether the order o the day is just commuting into the office, taking care of the kids, or off camping in the woods. And, at $350 it’s definitely not breaking the bank. There are other dial colors available, and as mentioned above, there is the larger case size as well (perhaps for a two-unit his-and-hers arrangement). I’m glad to see Filson experimenting with designs outside of the Shinola catalog, and would love to see this Field Watch line continue to be refined and grow. filson.com
- Brand & Model: Filson Field Watch
- Price: $350
- Who’s it for? You want a watch that can easily be shared between you and your spouse, and keep up with your daily activities, whatever they are
- Would I wear it?Certainly – expect I think my wife might grab it first!
- What I’d change: Let’s explore getting that tin cloth on the straps
- The best thing about it: For how compact this case is, the dial is more legible than some 40mm+ dials that I’ve run across
Tech Specs from Filson
- ITEM NO.: 20147996
- MATERIALS: Metal + sapphire crystal + leather strap
- DIMENSIONS: 36mm case; 18mm strap
- USAGE: Everyday, Field
- CARE: Ensure crown is screwed down snugly after setting.
- ORIGIN: Imported
- 36mm case for a streamlined appearance on any wrist size
- Accurate and maintenance-free quartz movement
- Brushed stainless steel case protects from shock, dust and water
- Screw-down crown provides reliable seal against water ingress
- Made from one of the hardest substances on earth, the sapphire crystal is virtually impossible to scratch
- Super-LumiNova® hands and markers provide low-light visibility
- Leather strap with stainless hardware for a custom fit and durability