When I first stumbled across Weiss Watch Company, I knew I would eventually have one to call my own, but I had no idea which model, and while I loved the concept, no single model was calling to me. This past summer, that changed, as Weiss Watch Company released two limited edition models of their Standard Issue Field Watch, both in 38mm Titanium cases. The Blue Ocean and Pink Sand models are limited to 30 pieces per dial.
I picked up a Blue Ocean model, which arrived at the end of August — it’s a tremendously good watch.
Specs & Movement
Here’s the rundown on the spec sheet for this watch:
- Made in the USA with domestic and imported components
- Movement: Weiss Watch Company Caliber 1005 mechanical movement, 7001 base, finished and assembled by hand
- Functions: Manually wound, 21,600 beats/hour, 42-hour power reserve, incabloc shock protection
- Case: Titanium, 38mm diameter, 46.2mm lug to lug, 9.2mm thick (including crystal)
- Weight: 46 grams with strap
- Dial: Hand-painted naval brass finished with high visibility numerals and Super-Luminova BGW9 applied to dials
- Hands: Black oxide steel with white Super-Luminova BGW9 paint
- Front Crystal: Double-domed and beveled sapphire with multi-layer anti-reflective coating on the inside surface
- Water Resistance: 330 feet/ 100 meters
- Band: hand-stitched Tan Horween Leather strap, 20mm lug width.
The specs are pretty good, and while the movement is not hacking (the second-hand doesn’t stop when you pull out the crown to the set position), it’s overall a straightforward but well-executed watch. The thing that is hard to wrap your head around from the specs above that you need to know about this:
- It weighs nothing on your wrist.
- It is substantial for a 38mm watch, filling the wrist without being LOOK AT THIS DIAL.
- It’s also very thin and drops under your cuff amazingly well.
- Even though I am a movement and power reserve snob, this is all good here.
Many people complain about these specs for the current list price of this watch, which for this variant is $2,500. That’s not an inexpensive watch, and the stainless version indeed went for significantly less pre-COVID — but it is also true that this watch is still an outstanding value proposition. Even the finishing on this watch is quite lovely, with a very nice polish on the titanium bezel and clean and sharp machining all over the watch.
So, let’s talk about why this watch is so good.
When I bought this watch, I assumed I would mostly wear it on the weekends and vacations—a fun watch with an equally fun dial and solid specs. What I didn’t anticipate is that I would want to wear this watch all the time and want to buy another one because of how much I love this one.
So the question is, why? And the answer comes down to this: this watch is straightforward and executed exceptionally well while at the same time not being pretentious about any of it. And then, you add that it is so easy to wear and legible to read, and you have the makings of a great watch.
It takes a day or so to adjust to this watch when you first start wearing it. The lugs on the watch are very long and flat, with flat machining, which means they have rather acute drops/angles/bevels — they feel like a ‘sharp’ corner. Visually, this makes the watch look flatter on your wrist, which is quite neat. But practically, it makes the watch much larger than you would suspect that a 38mm watch would wear — this wears much closer to a 40mm/41mm watch.
That will take the most time to get your head sorted around, as it will bother some. It simply felt uncanny on the first day for me.
In practice, this watch’s overall lug-to-lug wearing size is fully offset by the sub-10mm wearing height. The overlap of the strap/buckle is just as thick, if not thicker, than the case height with crystal. That’s astonishing in person, as it allows for a wearing experience where almost every shirt cuff drops right over the watch.
This brings you to the weight or lack thereof; in the case of this titanium model, it’s sub-50 grams, which is wild. It weighs nothing. And when you combine that with the thin case, you end up with a wearing experience that is supremely comfortable and utterly invisible. There are comfortable watches, and then there are watches you could forget you even have one — this one falls into the latter camp.
All of that is great, but if your watch doesn’t tell them, then what’s the point? First, I need to tell you about the legibility of this watch, because it’s unreal. The contrast between the light blue dial, the black gloss outline of the hands, and the white lume fill on the hands is tremendously legible. I can’t recall a single time I could not read this watch easily, from any angle, in any light.
The lume itself is also quite good. While there’s not much for the indices, the hands remain glowing throughout the night, with my standard UV light charge/wear test. I’m more than happy with the lume on this watch, which is integrated very well.
Okay, but what about that movement? It doesn’t sound overly impressive, right? I agree; on paper, it’s whatever. Viewing it through the case back, it looks lovely, so it is worth discussing more. Weiss gives you no indication of the regulation, and since the movement is non-hacking, I don’t have a good way to measure things. What I can say is that I’ve never noticed the watch to be very far off from what my phone says, indeed no further than my Grand Seiko’s or Rolex — so I’ll call that a passing grade.
The bigger question for me is the power reserve or lack thereof. At 42hrs, it’s scant at best, given that most watches are now trending at or above 60hrs. And, being manually wound, this essentially means you need to remember to wind the watch daily. I thought this would be a huge issue, but it’s yet to be an issue. Winding the watch is very easy, given the crown size and placement. And I’ve found that I wind all my watches every morning while getting dressed for the day — easy.
And the non-hacking nature, with the second hand continuing to run, has not bothered me in practice. I wore this watch traveling and was relieved that the seconds kept running when I set the time to my new local time — it felt GMT-Flyer-esque in a good way, without actually being that. And given that the seconds is a small seconds, it feels less noticeable as well.
I wish the movement were hacking, and adding 60 hours of power reserve would be fantastic — but either of those coming at added thickness would not be worth the tradeoff.
The strap this came with is a ‘hand-stitched Tan Horween Leather strap’ which I’ve found to be vastly better than most leather straps you buy/get with new watches. A lot of the time I swap to another strap (I did swap this to another strap to play with here and there, 20mm is great for this type of thing), but with this strap I’ve found that it’s well made and well balanced. The width, minimal taper, and thickness of the strap balance this watch case nearly perfectly. It’s also been a very comfortable strap to wear all day long and then some.
A few other notes:
- The presentation box is quite nice and compact.
- I ordered online, and had the watch shipped to my door without an issue.
- The lugs are not drilled, nor are the straps quick release — adding either of those would be fantastic.
- The crown is very easy to grip for winding and setting the watch. It looks small but the diameter is just large enough that winding it is quite easy.
The Weiss Field Watch is easily the most no-nonsense watch I own, and in that sense, I’ve found this watch to be a gem to own and wear. I’ve now put the navy dial model on my wishlist, as I would love to have another, even if I have no reason to need another — a true testament to how nice this watch is.