Can a new coat of paint help this field watch stand out from the pack?
In the world of budget-friendly field watches, Bertucci has become something of an icon. Founded in 2004, the company offers dozens of adventure-themed models, each with their signature Active Comfort crown nestled away at the 4 o’clock position.
But for all these models’ popularity, it’s a brand that frequently leaves me twisted. I’m a fan of its general shape and aesthetic, but my 2018 review of its popular DX3 model left me with a sense of something missing.
Perhaps a little gold would sweeten the deal? With their new A-2A Golden Field Watch ($145), Bertucci aims to bring together “durability and comfort in a dress look.” But what really piqued my interest were the telltale signs of an upgrade to the company’s movement.
New quartz is always worth celebrating and, with a healthy application of gold tone, Bertucci was gilding the lily. When the brand reached out with an offer to test their new A-2A Golden Field, the prospect was too good to pass up.
In short: The Bertucci A-2A Golden Field is a solid, classically designed watch that should stand up to years of use and abuse. It remains faithful to the company’s outdoors ethos while employing respectable materials and an upgraded, highly accurate movement. But with a few stumbles in finishing and quality control, it struggles to outshine the competition.
Bertucci A-2A Golden Field Watch Review
Bertucci A-2A Golden Field Specs
- Case diameter: 40 mm
- Lug-to-lug: 49.5 mm
- Weight: 1.9 oz. (53.8 g)
- Case material: Gold-tone aluminum
- Band size: 22 mm
- Crystal type: Hardened mineral
- Movement: Japanese Miyota quartz
- Water resistance: 100 m
Let’s start with what the timepiece does well. This particular Bertucci utilizes a 40mm, painted aluminum case, with its unibody-integrated lugs stretching the overall length to 49.5 mm. Though this is a bit large in the classical “field watch” sense, the A-2A sits comfortably on the wrist.
Beyond the new movement, one of the upgrades that put this watch on my radar was its uptick in water resistance. With its new chassis and well-placed 4-o’clock crown, the Golden Field is good for 100 m, while the model from a few years back topped out at 50 m.
Here’s the dirt on the new movement: At its heart, the A-2A employs an all-metal Miyota quartz module, made to Bertucci’s specifications. Per founder Mike Bertucci, it features “a covered coil for reliability” and should hold to an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month, with an estimated battery life of 4 years.
It should also be noted that the previously reviewed DX3 now sports a similar battery life, hinting at a movement upgrade in its lower lines, as well.
I can certainly vouch for the timekeeping, as the Miyota gained less than 2 seconds per week. And while some basic quartz movements can be annoyingly loud, this may be one of the quietest tickers I’ve come across. Even when pressed against your ear, the hand moves with little more than a whisper.
And speaking of quiet, the “Swiss super luminous hands and markers” are likewise subdued. But while not as bright as something from Orient or Citizen, I was still about to roll over and read the watch in the middle of the night.
The band offers another positive. As much as I enjoy NATO or pass-through style straps, I generally distrust them around water. Not this one.
Per the company’s website, its “B-TYPE Heavy-Duty Nylon Webbing Band offers long lasting durability and comfort … Featuring military spec nylon webbing, heavy-duty stitching, and [a] solid stainless steel buckle and dual loop keepers.”
It’s thick, rugged, and has an almost military-surplus feeling that I appreciate.
The Double Edge of Simplicity
As much as I love the straightforward nature of the A-2A, some aspects of the watch are perhaps too basic. Take the dial, for instance. It’s clear, sure, and easily readable. But it’s also completely flat, with no raised indices or numerals to add visual interest.
Then there’s the matter of the included band. While I praised its thickness above, take a look at the bend radius.
Because of its hefty material, the strap doesn’t exactly fold on a dime. You’re going to be left with some open space until the heavy-duty nylon wears in. Neither of these things is necessarily bad.
There are two aspects of the Bertucci A-2A that show a lack of polish for a watch in the $150-range. The first is the finishing on the aluminum case. Not so much on the front, or in the places where your vision tends to land, but take a look at the uneven metalwork around the aluminum lugs.
True, your eye won’t notice these during daily wear. What you will see, quite frequently, is the poor alignment of the second hand.
At least on my tester, each tick of the new movement lands about halfway between the indices. That’s fine on a $40 watch, but at $145, I have a hard time swallowing this issue.
And a look at the competition doesn’t do the A-2A many favors. The Citizen BM8180 “Garrison” ($142) offers a more interesting dial and solar charging, and Timex’s baseline Expedition North Field Post (mechanical version shown above) throws both solar and sapphire into the mix for around $25 more.
In the end, the Bertucci A-2A is a good watch. I enjoy the company’s designs, and its dedication to the no-frills, mil-spec. approach. But with the Golden Field, customers are getting “basic done well,” when reviewers like me are looking for “basic done better.”
Bertucci has carved out a solid niche for itself as a maker of rugged, reliable field watches, and the A-2A certainly lives up to this billing. But I can’t help but feel that there’s room for improvement.
Perhaps some gold stamping on the logo or indices, or some other touch of flair would send this watch over the top. The new movement and boost to its water resistance provide an excellent start.
With a few extra touches and subtle tweaks to alignment and finishing, the Golden Field could make the leap from good to great.