When it comes to watches, nothing is more synonymous with adventure and the outdoors than a good field watch. It’s the one watch that should be in everyone’s collection and is probably one of the most useful of all the watches you will own. The traditional field watch exudes stability and ruggedness and is always up for a challenge.
As with many things on the internet, there’s always debate about what exactly a field watch should be. To me, it’s a very legible, simple watch with a full metal case, clean analog dial, that’s built for abuse. The question is, how do you find a good one to spend your money on?
The Bertucci A2-T recently made our list for The Most Durable Quartz Watches
In this review, I’m going to look at the Bertucci A2-T Vintage, a 40mm titanium beauty that’s lightweight, super strong, and has a classic look.
Bertucci has a long history of producing quality watches over the last 16 years. They have a unique look to them that would make you think the watch has been around forever.
In fact, Bertucci set out to build the ultimate field watch in 2003 with a quest to raise the bar for a quality, dependable, field-style watch. I’ve worn mine for several months and I can attest to its performance capabilities. A visit over to their website is well worth the click to read their story and check out all their models.
The reason for my review is simple; I attempt to answer the most important question when it comes to buying watches and outdoor equipment,“Is this watch worth my money and should I buy it?” Well, this is a watch I purchased on my own and it was not sent in by the manufacturer.
I was looking for the ultimate field watch, something that would be my ‘go to’ watch, handle lots of abuse and something I could wear all the time.
Is This The Ultimate Field Watch?……It’s Close!
Is this the ultimate field watch? No, it’s not. But I haven’t found that watch yet and I doubt it exists. Should you buy this watch? Yes, if you are looking for a titanium case field watch, it doesn’t get much better than this. Bertucci also offers this watch in a fiber-reinforced polycarbonate case that is also outstanding….and priced where it’s a no-brainer. The DX3 is worth checking out and can be had for less than $45 almost all the time on Amazon.
[blockquote text=”What makes this watch so special that you should buy it?” show_quote_icon=”no” text_color=”#4d4d4d” width=”95″ line_height=”32″ border_color=”#c89454″]
I was so impressed with the Citizen Titanium Promaster that I started looking for other titanium watches, but the issue is that most of them are just outrageous in the price department. There are a few budget brands out there, but nothing I was interested in. Then I stumbled across Bertucci when I saw my friend’s DX3. The watch intrigued me immediately.
Here is where the first design feature had me hooked: the solid lug bars. Most Bertuccis don’t have spring bars, they have a solid, fully-integrated piece in place of the bars to loop a nato through. I thought this was cool and made sense if you were really going to abuse the watch.
Even on a nato strap, spring bars aren’t the most secure thing in the world. I’ve popped a few over the years by catching a watch on a door latch and even a shopping cart. The solid, integrated bars take that issue out of the picture.
Picking a Bertucci is tough; they have over 30 different watches and offer 14 different titanium models. Then each model has a few dial color options and styles. I chose on price because I wanted to see what these watches were and not spend a fortune. The A2-T comes in at $75, mere pennies compared to some other brands out there.
Money Well Spent On The A2-T!
To me, if the watch was constructed well and lasted a few years, it would definitely check off the value box. A closer look at the specs also shows that your money is well spent: a Swiss quartz movement, 5 year battery, Swiss Lume, screw down crown and 200meters of water resistance. When you look at those details, on paper the watch seems like it’s ready for action.
Be aware, not all the A2-T models have sapphire crystal, some of the models have hardened mineral crystal, so if you’re picky, make sure you choose wisely. I chose the mineral crystal to save a few bucks.
Before we move on, I know many folks complain about quartz watches. I’ve heard it all before. But, personally, I’ll take a nice quartz watch over an auto any day. I like automatics, I think the movements are cool, but have you ever chopped wood all day or bushwhacked, or cleared brush with an automatic?
The majority of them just can’t take that kind of abuse for very long. My opinion, I know, but it’s also my website! Here is another point where the Bertucci shines: the movement inside is an all-metal, Swiss-made quartz.
It doesn’t say directly on their website, but several message boards reference that the movement is a Swiss Ronda Quartz….about as dependable as they come for quartz.
They’ve built a tough, dependable watch
Picking a watch is always a challenge, and you’d like to think that there was time and effort put into the design and building of the watch on your wrist. Sadly, that’s not always the case, but here, Bertucci goes the extra step.
From case design and materials, movements, crystals, and even their watch straps, an extra effort has been put into each phase of design and development. They’ve built a tough, dependable watch.
I appreciate that the watch was built from the ground up to be the real deal; so many watches out there today seem to be built just for looks and not as an actual tool or something reliable.
The Bertucci A2-T Vintage was inspired by classic, military field watches from history and the dial and layout can attest to this. The classic analog dial is laid out with 12/24 hour markings, bright white hands, and a generous helping of Swiss Super Luminous material.
I found the lume to be decent, it did not sail through my nightstand test (where I leave it under a lamp in the evening and see how long into the night it will last) but performed solidly.
After a good charge, it only lasted about five hours. I will note that when exposed to daylight, even for a short while, it seemed to really ratchet up the brightness and longevity.
The water resistance is surely helped by having a screw down crown
It’s interesting to note that the A2-T’s water resistance is rated at 200 meters, definitely head and shoulders above a lot of other watches in general, but definitely a strong point in the field watch category. The water resistance is surely helped by having a screw down crown.
This is a great feature, because you can actually keep the watch on your wrist for more than just hand washing or filtering water while camping; this guy will actually do some serious swimming.
In addition to the water resistance, the titanium case will rise to the challenge when it comes to being exposed to salt water, even more so than the normal 316L stainless steel that many dive watches use.
The strap is extremely well made with matching hardware
The A2-T comes from the factory with an extremely durable zulu nato. For those not sure what a zulu nato is, it’s a single pass or single layer nato strap. There is no second piece that you feed back into when you put your watch on the strap. The second layer of a regular nato is designed to keep the watch attached even if you break or pop a spring bar.
Since the A2-T uses integrated bars, there is no need for the extra portion of the strap and hence you can safely use a single pass nato. The strap is extremely well made with matching hardware.
You can tell here that a lot of detail was built into even the strap. It’s double stitched with sealed holes and has two rows of heavy stitching on the end to act as a keeper.
This is a nice feature if you have larger wrists and can’t fold and tuck the end of your nato strap. The only downside to the integrated bars is that this watch can only be worn on a nato, so if you’re a strap junkie, this will be strictly for nato straps.
A watch warranty says a lot about the confidence a company has in its products. The A2-T comes with Bertucci’s 3 year warranty on the watch and a 1 year warranty on the strap. So, based on this above average warranty period, I’d say this watch plans to be around for quite a while.
It’s interesting that they warranty the strap too, but reassuring when you think about it. I have had several aftermarket natos fray or break hardware in less than 6 months of normal use.
You might notice from some of my pictures that I swapped out my nato strap. I did find the factory strap to be perfectly fine, but a tad on the thicker side for my taste. I also like to swap straps all the time, so right now I have it on a Clockwork Synergy nato, by far one of the best aftermarket natos out there.
The A2-T wears extremely well; besides the barley-there weight, the lug and case design ensure that the watch sits almost perfectly on the top of your wrist. Even without ratcheting down the strap all the way, the watch sits well and doesn’t bobble around, a design feature I really like.
The bottom line: this watch is a high performance, well-designed, and good-value timekeeper that will serve you well. The A2-T Vintage has a more utilitarian, simple design that I find very attractive. If you need a reliable watch that will survive most situations, then buy this one!
I have seen this watch referred to as a “no frills” field-style watch, but I have to say that statement is doing the Bertucci A2-T Vintage a disservice. The specs alone rank it in the upper echelon of watches and the design intent that Bertucci put into it warrants more praise. This watch definitely has my “you should buy one” recommendation.