Field Test: the Affordable B-1T Titanium Field Watch from Bertucci

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When I was tasked with field-testing the Bertucci B-1T Titanium Field watch, I went into the job blind. I knew very little of the brand other than having come across some of their wares on countertop displays in men’s shops and outfitters across the country. To be perfectly honest, I had always assumed Bertucci produced a low-end product given their price point. So, I had never really paid their watches any attention despite the aesthetic appeal of many of their models and my personal love for tool watches. I was certainly surprised when the B-1T—now in hand—did not reflect a low quality watch, but rather one that was quite substantial, not to mention attractive. This was going to be a fun one to play with.
bertucci-b1-field-21Bertucci began in 2003 as M.H. Bertucci. The focus was, and remains, field watches backed by Bertucci’s ethos of “Promise of Performance,” which is, as they put it, a commitment to “durability, value, singularity of purpose, and versatility.” To that end, Bertucci produces original products that look great and are designed to be rugged enough to survive the challenges one might encounter in the field.

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bertucci-b1-field-2The standout feature is definitely the case; Bertucci builds many of their watches around a titanium case (something that you’d normally only see out of much more expensive watches) that features integrated fixed lug bars. (In addition to titanium, other case options include stainless steel, resin, and polycarbonate—all available in a multitude of colors and finishes.)  At 41mm, the B-1T is not an overly large watch, but the hearty lugs and aggressive crown guards flanking the crown at four o’clock give it some extra visual heft.

Due to the titanium case, however, the watch is quite light, coming in at 57 grams (two ounces) on nylon, so the watch is easy to wear on the wrist. Furthermore, the positioning of the crown and its size ensure that it doesn’t dig into the wrist. However, one downside to the size of the crown is that it is a bit difficult to grasp, especially if you have larger fingers.

Powering the B-1T is a Japanese quartz movement with a lofty four-year battery life. Nothing too exciting here, but given the price point and utility of the watch it makes sense and is a preferred option for something that is likely to be roughly handled. The watch is backed by a three-year warranty and a very fair refurbishment program for watches out of warranty, all delivered at a price point that’s typically at $150 or less.

bertucci-b1-field-18In learning the background and ethos of the brand, I set out to wear the B-1T in every situation that I could think of to test its versatility. I took it boating, swimming, and kayaking on the lakes of Maine. I helped crew a friend’s sailboat on the coast of New Hampshire. I took it to the track for some workouts. And yes, I even took it desk diving and on the occasional errand. I didn’t know right off the bat that the case was designed for long wearing comfort, but I will say I found it among the most comfortable watches I’ve ever worn. I flipped a 250-pound tractor tire and did pushups wearing it, activities that normally would have any watch grinding into my wrist and hand. No problems here. On the sailboat I accidentally snagged it on one of the mast stays, which likely would have popped a spring bar loose, but the solid lug bars didn’t budge. The field dial features a classic 12/24-hour layout and was easy to read at a quick glance. The 100-meter water-resistance was an added benefit for a watch at this price point, and a must for someone like me who loves the water.

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After diving into their history and testing the B-1T, I couldn’t help but be very impressed by Bertucci. At a price point that other brands often treat as disposable territory, they are set on producing great utilitarian watches and standing by them. It leads me to wonder why more lower priced options can’t or won’t do the same, but I digress.

bertucci-b1-field-6Ultimately, the Bertucci B-1T Titanium brings a lot to the table at a price you wouldn’t have to rationalize to yourself or sell off part of your collection to finance. It’s a great weekend watch that you can take anywhere, do anything with, and not be worried about. With other quartz watches providing a lot of fluff and not much substance at much less wallet friendly prices, the B-1T Titanium, as well as much of Bertucci’s range, just makes sense.

photo credit: Jon Gaffney and Gale Straub

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Jon is a native New Englander who enjoys traveling as much as returning home. He has a passion for watches that his significant other kindly tolerates whilst shaking her head in consternation. A tendency to plow through life with little finesse has led him to appreciate and pursue the utility of a good tool watch.
thevanman
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  • David Tyne

    Solid looking piece of kit. I think, with the overall shape, it would be interesting to see one with a square face as well. I also like the their logo; I think too many brands (across all price ranges) have boring fonts and I hope this brand keeps this look. Btw, how good is the lume?

  • Tom Vogt

    I have the classic bertucci A2-T (I think) and wore two versions of it daily from 2011-2016. The first one I had died after about 3 years, but because I purchased it at REI they replaced it for free. I’ve worn it for three months in the Australian rainforest, and while backpacking, kayaking, swimming, working in a production woodshop, and every other beater task you can imagine. The raised bezel on my model goes a long way towards protecting the crystal, and the Bertucci Zulu straps are very high quality. The dial says “super luminous”…not sure if it’s actual super luminova. It’s brighter than my SKX, but less responsive and the lume pips are too tiny to read more than maybe 12” away. The dial is otherwise extremely legible, especially the white dial version I have.

    As for cons, first would be that titanium, while light, eventually loses its matte finish and becomes a mass of scuffs and scratches. Not too big a deal for a tool watch. The other con for me is just the brand identity. Obvious this had nothing to do with the watch, but the obviously faux-Italian name comes across as cheesy to me, given the apparent lack of any Italian connection. I always grimace when I say it’s a “Bertucci”…sounds like I’m pretending to be posh. Anyway, I’m keeping my A2T as a beater watch and I’ve replaced it in everyday rotation with an SKX007 because I wanted an automatic, but they’re still awesome watches for the price.

  • Spaceguitar

    Good comments here already.

    I really like the vibe of this watch. The price lends itself to being an incredibly valued conversation starter too. If this were only available in a manual wind (or better yet Miyota auto movement!)…I’d look past the mineral crystal. But yeah, then it wouldn’t be a “beater” I suppose, more like a direct competitor for a SKX or similar.

    Very, very fun looking watch.

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