Review: SOKI Field Watch

This SOKI Field Watch is styled after military field watches. Originally required to synchronize ballistics with infantry movements, field watches provided minimal, easy-to-read dials; with emphasis on no-frills, sans-serif fonts and few if any additional complications were employed to emphasize readability. SOKI’s version of the field watch is an adequate representation of such a watch … not great buy not horrible either.

Lacking any definitive model number or name (as far as I can tell) I will simply refer to this as the SOKI Field Watch. You can find it online by searching on “SOKI Military Watch”. I prefer “Field” over “Military” as it’s more specific to the style. Anyway … I digress …

Conclusion & Rating

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Cons

It’s hard to say that you don’t get your money’s worth when purchasing a watch for $5 and the SOKI Field Watch is no different. It didn’t knock me over with it’s style or durable construction but it is a nice watch for the money. It’s not that there is anything particularly wrong with this watch as much as there isn’t anything particularly spectacular with it either. In general, I really like the utilitarian look of field watches. I think, however that these SOKI Field Watches photographed more convincingly than they delivered in person. But this really is a personal preference. If you can’t stop looking at them then you will probably like these more than me.

If I have any specific complaints about the construction, it would be that the watch bands are a little chintzy in the leather department and there is something about the edge of the case, where it meets the crystal that makes it resemble a powder coated, yet durable mint tin.

Pros

Oddly enough however, while the band material is a bit of a downer, the design of the band, and in particular the buckle, are some of my favorite features of this watch. I love the double-pin buckle, and while the metal that the buckle is made of is what I have come to expect from cheap Chinese watches, the double-pin makes it more sturdy feeling when buckling it. I also love the look of the double row of rectangular holes down the length of the band.

I’m not a particular guy and subtle details can get lost on me. I only need a watch to do two things, however, and I judge it primarily on those things …

  1. Keep accurate time.I have not had to , after a month’s time reset the time on the SOKI Field Watch. Being a quartz movement I expect to not have to reset the time very often, and so far the SOKI Field Watch has delivered without fail.
  2. Look and feel great. Although the SOKI Field Watch fulfills the promise that it looks like a field watch, I was kind of expecting and hoping for more. More rugged, more … in the trenches.

Recommendation

Would I recommend this to a friend? I think if you were really taken with the design then this would be an OK purchase. The case actually feels well made and the dial is easy to read. If you were “so-so” on the design then I would recommend that you keep looking. There are several nice, cheap Chinese field watches available. The SOKI W035 is an under $5 watch that looks like it might have more promise. I will have to try this one sometime soon!

$_35[1]

SOKI W035

Interested in further “deets”? Feel free to continue reading to get additional thoughts and feedback of my experience with the SOKI Field Watch.

Details

Brand: SOKI
Model:
Style: Casual
Movement Type:  Quartz
Case Shape: Round
Case Material Stainless Steel*
Functions: Date
Crystal Material: Glass
Clasp Type: Double-Pin Buckle
Display Type: Analog
Band Material: Leather*
Water Resistance: 200M**

 * Seller claims unverifieds
** Safe for washing hands and getting caught in the rain, swimming and snorkeling. Some charts say it’s OK to scuba dive others say no.

Measurements

Measurement Mfg BG**
Case Diameter: 40 mm 40 mm
Case Thickness: 9 mm  10 mm
Lug2Lug:  46 mm
Band Width:  22 mm 22 mm
Band Length*: 26.5 cm  27 cm

* Band length includes case and buckle
** Bourghetto Gentry Measurements

Transaction Details

Seller Name: GearBest.com
Date Purchased: Apr 20, 2016
Date Delivered: May 2, 2016
Purchase Price:  $5.35 USD
Shipping Cost:  Free

Ordering & Delivery

After all the horror stories and negative reviews I had read about buying Chinese products online, I was anxious and, if I’m being honest, I had not really expected to  receive anything at all, or if I did, whatever I received would arrive after many months of waiting and would be delivered in pieces.  My experience at Gearbest.com could not have been more opposite.

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The package arrived after about two and a half weeks from placing the order. Considering it was sent from clear on the other side of the world, this seems like a pretty reasonable wait time.  The six watches I ordered were packaged together; wrapped generously in bubble-wrap and tucked (maybe a little stuffed) into a cardboard box. I felt like the packaging was adequate. The cardboard box was unexpected. Most of the reviews I had seen or read indicated that they would simply be shipped in an bubble wrap envelope, so the box was a pleasant reassurance. There were no gift boxes or anything of course, just the watches. Each watch was in an individual plastic sleeve and wrapped in bubble-wrap. So while the packaging was less than inspiring, it did the job of keeping my treasures safe, and keeping in mind the price I paid this was not an issue.

 

Examining the Watch

Unlike most of my other purchased this was ordered and arrived individually. So there was no distraction. As soon as I opened the package, the watch was on my wrist.

Crystal & Case

The crystal is, I regular glass. It’s a flat top with a beveled edge. It’s clear and gives an undistorted view of the dial. A feature of the flat top crystals which I am really starting to appreciate.

 

The case, as I mentioned above has a sort of “mint tin” feel to it. Something about the way the edge of the case and the crystal meet, I think. The case however, feels more substantial and significant than most of the other similarly sized cheap Chinese watches I own. So while it looks like a mint tin it certainly does not feel like one.

I do like the detail of the dial including the small 24 hour hashes along with the regular hours indicators we expect to see on a watch.

Straps and Buckle

The strap material for the SOKI Field Watch is not the most compelling leather I’ve ever seen but not the worst either. The real nice feature of the band is the double-pin design and the elongated rectangular holes in the band.

The double-pin seems to lends a bit of stability to the buckle. A feature sorely lacking in most other cheap Chinese watches I have worn. Besides, that with the studs and stitching make the band look very nice.

 

Functions

Water Resistant

The dial face of the SOKI Field Watch clearly states that it is supposed to be water resistant up to 200m which is actually very ambitious for this class of timepiece. 200M resistance would suggest that you can do everything short of scuba diving, and there appears to be some debate over that as well, depending on which chart you consult.

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Although this is not my favorite watch I typically do not perform water resistance tests as I do not want to needlessly damage or destroy the watch. I also don’t generally swim with a watch. If I was a diver or something where a timepiece performed function critical to the activity then that would be one thing, but even then I certainly wouldn’t rely on a $5 Chinese watch to do it. So … if this is important to you then I may be convinced to test it, or, better yet, if you have some experience with this feature of this watch please feel free to share in the comments below.

Date Window

The SOKI Field Watch also sports the traditional rectangular date window and keeps it in its traditional 3 o’clock location. On the white dial in particular, I have found that on occasion, the date often get shadowed so that it is difficult to read. I don’t typically look to watch for the actual date so this is not a serious problem. Otherwise once, the date has kept up as you would expect.

 Conclusion

All-in-all it’s an OK watch. If you’re particularly smitten with the design then I would say go ahead and go for it. I was only so-so to begin with and felt a little let down when I received it, so if I were to do it again I would look for another military field watch. Otherwise the watch performs as you would expect; it keeps time, keeps the date and after 2 months I have never had to re-set either.

Photos

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