Monochrome Watches
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Buying Guide

Six Flawlessly Stylish Budget-Friendly Adventure Watches

Whether you're tackling the urban jungle or the rugged outdoors, these watches will not let you down.

| By Robin Nooy | 7 min read |
Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition Collection

Regardless of whether you’re actually going to the jungle of South America, the Australian outback or perhaps even the peak of Mt Everest, it’s always comforting to know your watch is up to the task. Recently, we’ve seen an impressive number of cool and stylish adventure-ready watches, all perfectly suited to tackle at least the urban jungle but also the more rugged outdoors. With this in mind, and with an eye on the budget, here are some of the most flawlessly stylish adventure watches for you to consider. And just to give you even more options, we’ve included a range-topping sports watch for those with a bit more to spend.

Baltic Hermétique Tourer

Baltic has recently launched the sensible and stylish Hermétique Tourer collection, its take on a classical field watch. And with the typical Baltic flair, it has some very interesting features. Available in beige, green, blue or brown dials and on a Tropic rubber strap or two types of steel bracelets (Beads of Rice versus Flat Link), the brand gives you plenty of options. The compact 36mm wide case has a hidden crown, double-domed sapphire crystal and a solid caseback. Power comes from the automatic Miyota 9039, which has a running time of 42 hours. And all this can be yours for as little as EUR 550 or EUR 630 if you opt for one of the two steel bracelets.

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Quick Facts – 37mm x 10.8mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – double-domed sapphire crystal – solid caseback – hidden crown – 150m water-resistant – green, blue, beige or brown dial – applied Super-LumiNova indices & hands – calibre Miyota 9039, automatic – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds (hacking) – dial-matching Tropic style rubber strap or Beads of Rice or Flat Link steel bracelet – EUR 550 (rubber strap) or EUR 630 (steel bracelet)

Yema Urban Field

Historic French watchmaking company Yema has been hard at work to expand its portfolio of accessible yet very good tool watches aimed at life at sea or in the air. The recent Urban Field collection, however, is more geared towards land-locked adventures, although it could take a proper dip in the ocean thanks to 100m of water resistance. The Urban Field comes in two sizes, 37.5mm and 40mm, and in multiple dial colours. It relies on the slim Sellita SW210-1B, which is manually wound and has a power reserve of 42 hours. For a price of EUR 1,099, you get a Bonklip steel bracelet and a leather strap, or you can go for the combination of the multi-link bracelet seen here for EUR 1,249, also with a leather strap.

Yema Urban Field Collection

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Quick Facts – 37.5mm or 40mm x 7.80mm – stainless steel case, polished – sapphire crystal – see-through caseback – 100m water-resistant – white, black, blue, green or light brown grained dial with field-type design – contracting markings – hands and indices with Super-LumiNova – Selita SW210-1b, hand-wound – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – leather strap and steel multi-link bracelet or Bonklip bracelet – EUR 1,099 (Bonklip) or EUR 1,249 (multi-link bracelet)

Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition

With a name like ‘Expedition’, Hamilton is not hiding its intentions with the newest member of the Khaki Field collection. This rugged tool watch has a stainless steel case of 37mm or 41mm in diameter and 10.45mm in height, topped with a bidirectional compass bezel used for navigation. The dial is finished in either black, blue or white, with large luminous hands and indices to aid legibility. Flip it over, and you’re treated to a view of Hamilton’s automatic H-10 movement that provides up to 80 hours of autonomy. Priced at EUR 1,115 on a leather strap or EUR 1,195 on a steel bracelet, it’s a rock-solid value proposition.

Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition Collection

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Quick Facts – 37mm or 41mm x 10.45mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – screw-down crown – bidirectional rotating compass bezel – 100m water-resistance – black, white or blue dial – indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – calibre H10, automatic – 21,600vph – 80h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds – leather strap or stainless steel bracelet – EUR 1,115 (leather strap) or EUR 1,195 (steel bracelet)

Seiko prospex Alpinist GMT spb377 & spb379

Seiko has a very extensive history when it comes to robust and adventure-ready watches, predominantly under the Prospex line. The blue dial SPB377 and black dial SPB379 expand the functionality of the brand’s long-running Alpinist collection with the introduction of a GMT movement (albeit an Office GMT and not a Flyer GMT). This means the Alpinist is fitted with a fixed 24h bezel and a red-tipped GMT hand to track a second time zone, along with the signature inner rotating bezel. The added versatility is courtesy of the Calibre 6R54, with a power reserve of 72 hours that can be seen through the back. Worn on a dial-matching leather strap with a folding buckle, both will set you back a reasonable EUR 1,200.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist GMT - SPB377 & SPB379

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Quick Facts – 39.5mm x 13.6mm – stainless steel case, hard-coated, brushed & polished – fixed 24h bezel – sapphire crystal on top with see-through caseback – second crown for inner rotating bezel – 200m water-resistant – blue or black dial – applied indices & hands with LumiBright – red-tipped GMT hand – calibre 6R54, in-house automatic – 21,600vph – 72h power reserve – hours, minutes, hacking seconds, date, (office) GMT – black or blue leather strap with folding buckle – EUR 1,200

Alpina Alpiner extreme automatic

The Alpina Alpiner Extreme Automatic (or Regulator) has always been aimed at people with an adventurous spirit. Since last year though, the rugged watch has been massively updated. The cushion-shaped case was completely redesigned with an edgier profile, enhanced by a raised bezel, rubber-clad crown and new dials. Available in black, blue or green, the dial is finished with a triangular pattern, applied markers and a framed date window. The sapphire caseback reveals the Sellita SW200-based Calibre AL-525. Next to the integrated rubber strap, Alpina now also offers a stainless steel bracelet that complements the look of the case perfectly. This does up the price from EUR 1,595 to EUR 1,995, though.

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Quick Facts – 41mm x 11.5mm – 3-part stainless steel case, brushed & polished – screw-down crown – raised bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – 200m water-resistant – blue, black or green dial with triangle pattern – applied hour indices & hands with Super-LumiNova – framed date window –  calibre AL-525 (Sellita SW200-1), automatic – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds (hacking), date – integrated rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet – EUR 1,595 (rubber strap) or EUR 1,995 (steel bracelet)

Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 39

We’re stretching the budget a bit to offer you something more chic, yet still quite adventurous-minded; the new Nomos Club Sport Neomatik 39. This set of three (for now) introduces a new size that sits between the previously known 37mm and 42mm versions. The dial has a sunray brushed finish and comes in Tabac (brown), Ember (salmon-ish) and Smoke (anthracite) colours. It’s equipped with Nomos’ DUW 3001 automatic movement, which is either covered by a closed caseback or revealed by a sapphire crystal one. Fitted to a stainless steel bracelet, it has a subtle Explorer-esque vibe but with the typical Nomos identity. The price is a bit higher than others on this list, at EUR 2,820 (closed back) or EUR 3,120 (open back).

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Quick Facts – 39,5mm x 8.4mm (8.5mm with open caseback) – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front with closed or open caseback – – screw-down crown – 200m water-resistant – Tabac, Ember or Smoke dials with sunray brushed finish – hour indices & hands with Super-LumiNova – small seconds subdial – calibre DUW 3001, in-house automatic – 21,600vph – 42h power reserve – Nomos Swing System escapement – three-link stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp – EUR 2,820 (close caseback) or EUR 3,120 (open caseback)

1 response

  1. Finely a great selection of affordable well designed timepieces.


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