GPW Field Uhr

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I absolutely love the idea of a field watch. Having something rugged, reliable and able to go anywhere with you is a comforting and enabling feeling! So when the opportunity for me to get my hands on this watch presented itself I jumped on it. 

 

This is the Field Urh from GPW, I hadn’t heard of them before so after some research learned that they’re part of Arctos watches which has a somewhat extensive and elaborate although on and off history. You can have a read about that Here. Now I’m not the type of reviewer who likes to spew specifications in my reviews, because those are readily available on the watch’s website. Instead I prefer to try to capture the soul of the watch, or give it a personality so that the reader gets an idea of what it’s like actually owning the pieces. However! In this particular case, the personality of this watch is very, very regimented and militaristic. So I feel I owe it to the watch to lay out some specs.

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Titanium case: 62 grams 
  • Crystal : Sapphire
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Movement: NH35 automatic 
  • Crown and case back: Screw down 
  • Lug width: 22mm
  • Price: regularly $845, but currently on sale for $349 on their Website
  • I hate lists: check! (Moving along)

I was very excited opening the package the evening it arrived. Then I did what I always do, set the time and date and threw it on my wrist. This particular model came with 2 straps. A black leather bund and A NATO (which was on it.) I hate NATO straps and don’t like to get leather wet and sweaty, so I put it on a nice textured rubber strap I had with a titanium deployant clasp that matches the case! Much better. The first thing you notice once it’s on the wrist is how incredibly light weight it is, it’s practically not there. You have to check to make sure it’s still on. It clearly bears similarities to a Rolex explorer, especially with the Mercedes style hands. But this is a watch you don’t need to worry about getting dirty. It’s more aggressive than an explorer, there’s nothing dressy about it, it’s not a watch that’s made to impress. (Except maybe your drill sergeant) it’s also a lot more low profile than I would have expected. In fact it’s only 13mm to the Apex of the domed crystal! It’s so low profile I had to read the case back again to make sure that I’d got the water resistance rating correct. And yes it definitely says 200meters! Impressive. Speaking of the case back, this one is what you would expect from a military style watch. It’s a list of specs, no display back or fanciful engraved or etched imagery here. Just something a quartermaster would jot down then issue to a soldier, like any other piece of kit, tool or weapon.

So after wearing it around the house for an hour I found myself getting a bit sick of it. I’d glance down at it and wouldn’t get that thrill that wearing a new watch usually gives me. I tried to figure out why, but couldn’t put my finger on it. In fact, I quickly got frustrated with it, took it off and put on another from my collection and figured I’d give it another chance the next day. So the next morning I decide to take it into the back country for a full day in the alpine to see how I like it as a hiking companion. As I mentioned before, it’s light, it’s comfortable, it’s got a bead blasted titanium case with a satin finish, great for hiding scrapes. Crystal is sapphire and virtually scratch proof and the thing is as water resistant as most dive watches! The painted luminous markers are very legible and glow impressively, even in daylight. The lume also glows all night long and is legible till dawn. The date window is at 3 o’clock and contrasts nicely in White against the black dial. To my surprise after last night’s disappointed, I found myself enjoying wearing it immensely out there in the mountains! The frustration and boredom I’d felt towards it the night before were gone. It was in its element doing what it was designed to do, and excelling at it.

I realized that the gripe I’d had the night before that I couldn’t put my finger on was that this watch lacks a personality. It’s like the trained assassin in the movies, that’s had all emotion and evidence of soul drilled out of it. What’s left is an efficient, highly effective tool of its trade. There’s no frills to this watch, there’s nothing extra, yet nothing lacking (except maybe a place to afix a bayonet!) So this watch really is a tool watch, it will go and go and go. Meet every task it’s given without complaint and follow every order to the letter without question. It’s a good soldier. It belongs on your wrist in the field, or in a bug out bag. It’s not a watch for the dinner table or the desk at work. When it’s alone at home or in society and idle it reminds me of a military personal haunted by demons and battling the memories of atrocities of war. It’s awkward, brooding and out of place. So if your looking for a fantastic field watch I’d very much recommend this one. Just know that it has one purpose. This isn’t a versatile all round watch, but it certainly is good at its job.