In the past 7 years, my Bertucci A-2T Super Classic has been inside no fewer than six wild game animals. It has been at the top of a dozen or so 14ers and countless lower summits. It’s been deep in frigid Rocky Mountain streams while I unhooked trout or went for a brisk swim.
It has, quite literally, been covered in mud and blood, dropped, and stepped on.
And regardless of the time of day or night — in bright sun or the blackness inside a tent at 4 a.m. — the A-2T has told me the time and date, clearly, without doubt. It does exactly what a field watch should do and at a price that allows me to actually do it without wincing every time I whack it on a rock.
To me, is is the best field watch you can buy.
In short: The Bertucci A-2T Super Classic is a tough-as-nails quartz watch with bright lume and easy-to-read face. At 40mm, it’s a small watch whose titanium case and sapphire bezel disappear under a jacket sleeve until needed.
And, at $200 retail, it’s the right price for a watch meant to be abused. The original A-2T gives the same performance minus the R-type sapphire crystal bezel, solid titanium case, and 10-year battery for $155.
- Case diameter 40 mm
- Movement Quartz
- Water resistance 200 m
- Hardened sapphire crystal
- Very durable
- Recessed crystal won't scratch
- Luminous hands are easy to read in dark
- Meant for the field, not the office
- Won't impress your colleagues
Bertucci A-2T Review: 5 Years of Abuse and Running Strong
Before I continue to heap praise on the Bertucci A-2T Super Classic (and I will), I want to call out its shortcomings.
The Bertucci A-2T will not get noticed at happy hour. The A-2T will not impress your business colleagues. It isn’t automatic, relying not on mechanical springs and movement, but instead on humble (and more accurate) quartz to keep time.
So no, it’s not going to impress anyone — except for you, when you shake the crud off and it keeps on ticking.
But, that’s not to say it won’t slide quietly in a suit. It will. Just be sure to wash off the dirt and blood before you stain your good clothes, because where this thing shines ain’t shiny. It’s the dirt, the dark, and the rough-and-tumble places where a field watch should excel.
So, if it’s not a showpiece, what is the A-2T? It is, in the simplest form, the perfect field watch for those who actually go in the field.
It keeps near-perfect time. I picked it up to go hunting after leaving it on my dresser since spring. The time was right, just off one hour. Thanks, Daylight Saving Time. It has a 3-year battery life. I’ve changed the battery once so far in my ownership. Otherwise, it just keeps ticking along.
And it’s light — 2.2 ounces. The 40mm face is small and unimpressive, but does not encumber movement or get in the way. The burly 22mm nylon webbing band is as secure as they come and doesn’t seem to hold stains much. Given the amount of blood I’ve gotten on this watch, it should be stained and nasty by now. But no, it still looks, generally green.
Beyond that, it’s the simplest of watches. It displays the date in a small window behind the sapphire bezel. Hour, minute, and second hands glow well in the dark. If you need to adjust it, the screw-down crown is consistently easy to use and feels stout.
And finally, at $200 ($155 for the base model), it won’t make you cry if you mash it up. That makes it a lot more field watch than most of the best field watches, which I would cringe to actually take on a rugged adventure.
Bertucci A-2T: Who Should Buy It
I’m not here to hate on your pretty watch. I love the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into a fine automatic wristwatch. And I have no problem with the fact that, in essence, most expensive watches are primarily jewelry. Heck, pretty things have their place.
But, that place is not very often on the side of a mountain, in the mud, or in the literal belly of the beast. For the truly tough missions, my pretty watches will stay at home in the nightstand. And then, I’ll grab the Bertucci, strap it on, and forget it’s there — until I need to know what time it is.
Then, reliably, it will tell me. Nothing more, nothing less. Just like a field watch should.
So, if you want an unassuming, rugged watch that does the job at a fair price, get one. When things get real, leave your Rolex or Tissot or Zodiac or (insert Swiss brand here) at home and grab this little timepiece.
And if you love those tough missions, those moments will become, as they have for me, some of your favorites. Because when you grab the Bertucci A-2T Super Classic, you, too, will know — it’s about to get real.