At Home in the Field, the Orient Chicane

chicane 1796The field watch is hard to define, it’s a genre blurring timepiece. It’s sporty, yet has classic tendencies. It’s robust, but not bulky like a diver’s watch. It has the straightforward military style design, but yet is not a military watch per se. The field watch is a watch that is at home out in the wilderness. What makes a field watch begins with the dial.

It is commonplace to note a watch is highly legitable and readable, but this is a chief concern when creating a field watch. Intended on being worn in less than optimal conditions, bold markers and numerals are used on the dial. The Chicane is a prime example of this as it uses the Arabic 12, 6, and 9 and bars for the rest of the indices. Using bold Arabic numeral is purposeful in orienting the watch both on and off the rest and for other’s to identify the time while being worn on another’s wrist. Indicating the time is a set of dauphine style hands, which add a bit of a classic look to the watch, once again allowing the Chicane to blur it’s category. But this was not done to simply add a new level of visual appeal, the taper of the dauphine hands enable a very precise telling of the time. Lume has been applied to all hour markers, as well as the hands, to ensure reading the time is still possible when lighting becomes less than optimal. Light Bulbs are typically found when one is out exploring. Found with dark dial for best contrast against the white markers, even the white dial Chicane is able to achieve contrast by using stainless steel to outline the hands and hour markers.

Under the dial is the ORIENT in house caliber 48743 automatic winding movement, which can be found in the Flight and Symphony models. Not only are Orient Watches known for their mechanical movements, a mechanical movement is a fitting choice to power a field watch. With the intent on being far from civilization and modern conveniences, one risks having a quartz battery die. And carrying spare batteries would prove impractical for the fact that opening the case to replace the battery would expose the watch to many damaging elements such as moisture, dust, and other harmful factors. The 48743 movement has been equipped with a date complication to increase the functionality and give further reference to the wearer. By using a automatic winding movement, the wearer normal motion keeps winding the watch, very efficient when out on the trail.

Moving to the case, the Chicane uses a 39mm stainless steel case. The 39mm case is ideal for a field watch for many reasons. It is small enough to stay out of the way, avoiding accidental bumps, but it remains large enough to quickly reference. Using a beveled bezel aids the watch in avoiding being hung up and caught on obstacles. A larger bezel found on diver watches could and would easily snag while out in the brush. And unlike military timepieces which are primarily in brushed stainless steel finishes to be as subdued as possible, the Chicane uses a combination of both polished and brushed finishes. This adds visual depth to the watch as well as styling flair. With a 50m depth rating, the Chicane will be able to handle daily abuse as well as the unexpected rainstorm.

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