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As much as we appreciate the high-tech navigation and communication capabilities of smart watches, they certainly have their trade-offs. They're large and heavy on the wrist, potentially fragile, dependent on frequent battery charging, and (most notably) very expensive. If all you need is the ability to tell time, a simple analog watch is a great way to go. Specifically, we're fans of field watches. This genre was inspired by classic military designs with easy-to-read markings, slim cases, and replaceable NATO bands.
Bertucci is one watchmaker that specializes in analog field watches — we've written in-depth reviews of a few of the company's models in the past. This week at the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver, a new entry-level model was released: the Bertucci A-1R. At a $55 MSRP, it's certainly not going to break the bank, but it comes with some appealing features for outdoor use.
The new A-1R is based on a 36mm fiber-reinforced polycarbonate Unibody case that weighs just 1.6 ounces. It has integrated solid lug bars, so the watch band runs over the bars and underneath the body without the need for spring bars or pins. This makes swapping out the band extremely simple — a Comfort-Webb nylon-blend band is included, but Bertucci offers a huge variety of interchangeable nylon and leather bands that will fit the watch.
The A-1R features a Japanese quartz movement, hardened mineral crystal, and push-in crown at the 4:00 position. The hands and markers are equipped with a Swiss super-luminous coating for nighttime visibility. Water resistance is 50M, expected battery life is 3 years.
If you'd prefer a steel case instead of lightweight polycarbonate, Bertucci offers the virtually-identical A-1S model for $95.
The A-1R goes on sale in August. For more info on the new Bertucci A-1R once it is released, go to Bertucciwatches.com.