Bertucci Field Watches Review
When it comes to watches that you strap on before heading off into the great outdoors, you’ve got no shortage of choice. Then again, when there are a class of watches known as field watches, well, that seems like an appropriately named device. While most brands might have one or two models in their lineup that could be called a field watch, Bertucci actually opts to keep their whole lineup conforming to that mold. As you’ll see in our review, however, they do manage to mix things up a bit within that singular design idea.
The first watch we’ll take a look at (of the two we were sent) is one of their “retro” models, the A4-T Vintage 44 (ref. 13401). In our particular configuration, we had the black dial paired with their “vintage brown” band. Before we get to that, though, it’s probably worthwhile to discuss the case of the watch. For starters, it’s made of titanium (something most, if not all, of their lineup has in common). This is a handy material to use for two reasons – it’s strong, and it’s lightweight (in the case of the A4-T, we had a weight of 70g on the strap).
They further carry along the idea of toughness by making the lug bars (also titanium) integrated to the case. In other words, you don’t take any spring pins or posts out to change the strap (because you can’t). This explains why we see the large screw heads on the strap. These are functional – not just decorative – and would be utilized if you wanted to swap the strap out. So, let’s get back to that band. The lighter brown color certainly goes give an more vintage feel to this particular watch. Quality-wise, I’d call it middle-of-the-road.
It’s by no means a cheap, plasticky feeling (or smelling) strap, nor is it the most luxurious leather (I tend to judge this based on feel and smell) I’ve run across. It’s perhaps a tad stiffer than you’d hope to have out of the box, especially for one that isn’t particularly thick, but the waterproof top grain leather should break in and conform to your wrist in the long run. For my test period, I just had a bit more of a on my wrist than I’d prefer, which was due to two factors – the squared-off lug geometry and the stiffness of the leather. Then again, this particular watch (with it’s 44mm case and 1″ (~25.4mm) band width) is aimed at larger wrists (mine comes in at 7.25″).
On the dial front, they carry forth the vintage feel with what they label as an “authentic” WWII dial. I’m not intimately familiar with the watches of the era, so I can’t speak to that. I can say that it’s a cleanly-styled dial, and one that’s rather easy to read at a glance. This is due in large part to the contrast of white on black, the lack of anything too extraneous, and the luminous diamond handset spinning around. There’s not much more I can say about this dial. Covered up by the scratch-resistant mineral crystal, it’s a dial that just plain works.
All in all, this is a watch that should stand up to whatever abuse you might throw at it in the outdoors, keeping accurate time (courtesy of the Swiss quartz movement) while it’s 5-year battery keeps things running. Should you not be a fan of the somewhat military-inspired look, but like the idea of a titanium cased field watch, then you just need to cast your eye around the rest of the Bertucci catalog. To that end, we were also sent over a model from their Super Sport lineup.
While the A4-T presented as a no-nonsense watch in it’s brushed finish, the A2-T Super Sport (ref. 12065) brings a lot of color to the table (in this case, blue; the others in the line offer brown or the aforementioned brushed finish). As we saw before, the case is made of titanium, has integrated titanium lug bars and a titanium screw-down crown. The case size has dropped to 40mm, and the band is 7/8″ wide (~22mm), which makes for a more compact watch, better equipped for smaller wrists. Swapping in the nylon band for leather also helps to cut some weight; our sample measured in at a paltry 62g.
Of course, when it comes to nylon B10-style straps, you can introduce a lot of color to a watch as well. In the Super Sport lineup, Bertucci goes with a color pallete that matches what you see in the dial, as well as creating a racing stripe pattern that continues from the strap on to the dial. This is something I’ve not seen very often, and I find it to be well-executed here. They even went so far as to re-orient the numerals at the 12 o’clock position to keep the line clean, which is a nice design touch.
We also have a change of handset on the watch. While I do wish the hour hand was a tad longer, the tower-style hands complement the overall design of the watch, and I suppose follow the 60s inspiration they were going with here. Of the two watches we had in, I found the Super Sport to be the more comfortable of the two. I think this was in large part due to the smaller case size, combined with the overall flexibility you have from a nylon strap. That’s of note here, since we have the same squared-off lug geometry seen on the Vintage. For my wrist, the nylon just helped the fit be that much better.
In daily wear, both watches performed quite nicely. With their light weight, you can practically forget that you have a watch on until you need to check the time. When you add the 100m WR rating and 5-year battery to the weight, you’ve got a watch that’s truly set it and forget it, because it’s just going to keep running. The Vintage model is definitely the bulkier of the two, but I was still able to slip it under a cuff easily enough. It’s also the model that I’d say is the most likely to work if you’re wanting a watch for both the office and the weekend – it’s overall styling is subtle enough to work for a business casual setting.
That said, I think the Super Sport was my favorite of the two. This is primarily due to the overall styling and use of color – with warmer weather on the way, many (myself included, it seems) will be looking to brighten things up a bit, and a bright watch is certainly one way to do that. It was also helpful that the smaller size of the A2-T and it’s nylon strap just plain fit my wrist better. Of course, should you prefer the larger and more sedate A4-T, you can opt for one of their nylon straps (or pick up a spare) instead of the leather. At the affordable prices Bertucci is asking ($229 for the A4-T Vintage, $199 for the A2-T Super Sport), these are a good choice, I’d think, for a watch to take you into the summer – lightweight, and ready to head out on whatever ventures lay in store. bertucciwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Bertucci A4-T Vintage and A2-T Super Sport
- Price: $199 (A2-T), $229 (A4-T)
- Who’s it for?: This is for the guy looking for a tough and lightweight watch, either in a military-inspired style or with some bold coloration
- Would I wear it?: The Super Sport would definitely see wrist time; I’m not quite as certain about the A4-T Vintage
- What I’d change: For the A4-T, a smaller diameter would be nice. On the Super Sport, some adjustments to the handset seem to be in order
- The best thing about it: First and foremost, the lightweight; secondarily the toughness of the titanium and fixed lug bars.