In just the first two episodes alone, The Last of Us has paid quite a lot of attention to the watch on Joel Miller’s wrist.
The watch is a black field watch on a two-piece nylon green strap, repaired as a birthday gift from his daughter.
Let’s take a look at the watch in closer detail and, more importantly, show you some ways you can get the same look with real watches and straps that actually exist!
What Watch Does Joel Wear?
Joel wears a black military field watch on a two-piece nylon green strap. It’s unbranded, and is rather plain, barring just a few standout features.
- Coin edge bezel along the case. This just adds some texture.
- A satin finished case. This is typical in military watches, as it helps mute the tone of the watch to prevent glares and reflections. In the case of a zombie apocalypse, this could mean the difference between being spotted by an enemy or staying covert.
How To Get The Look
There are a couple of Etsy artists that make fan-made replicas of Joel’s broken watch before it was repaired. They are so accurate to TLOU that they’ve even taken the liberty to break the crystal (the glass screen) and remove the battery to stop the watch at 2:15, the same time Joel’s watch was in the game.
If you don’t care about having a working watch, check out the replica renditions of the watch.
But, if you want an actual watch from a reputable brand that actually keeps time (and isn’t broken), check out our suggestions below.
Field Watch + Nylon Strap
To recreate the look with a real watch, first, you need a field watch with a black dial. This is one of the most ubiquitous watch styles, but there are three in particular that I think are worth taking a look at.
Then, you’ll need to pair it with a green canvas strap. Don’t worry about finding a watch that already has the right strap, as you can always purchase the strap separately and replace it with the strap it comes on. Just make sure to choose the right strap size, which always matches the watch’s lug width.
Watches Similar to Joel’s
The Sinn 856 is one of the most similar to Joel’s I could find. The dial is extremely minimal and has a lot of negative space, but still has very large hour markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9:00, just like in TLOU. The case is sandblasted as well, and shows minimal wear and tear, even after heavy use. If I was the set designer for the show, this is the watch I would have given Joel.
This is a watch enthusiast’s watch, as it’s not overly flashy or complex. Its beauty is in its simplicity. It is a lot of watch, however, and you’ll pay close to $2,000 for it.
If that’s too much, I wouldn’t blame you. Our next pick is a much more affordable option.
The SNK809 is the most affordable option but is still a great watch. It combines a military field watch look with that of a pilot watch. Unlike the Sinn, it has hour markings around the entire dial, so it doesn’t look as much like Joel’s up close, but will still give you the same overall vibe.
It also comes with automatic movement, meaning it doesn’t need a battery to run. This is rare in more affordable watches, so bonus points for that.
The watch is likely a bit smaller than Joel’s, at just 37mm in diameter. While we aren’t sure exactly how large Joel’s watch is, I would guess it’s somewhere between 38mm – 42mm by eyeballing the proportions on his wrist. So, if you do want a slightly larger field watch, our next pick is for you.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
One of the most popular field watches ever, the Hamilton Khaki Field is not just a prop watch. It was actually used in WWII. It has large, white hour markers across the dial making it extremely legible, and easy to read the time, even in dimly lit conditions.
It comes in both 38mm and 42mm, so you can pick a size that suits your preference and wrist.
Complete The Look: Green Nylon Strap
To complete the look, the watch alone won’t do. You’ll need to pair it with the perfect green nylon strap. And don’t worry, it’s easy to swap out an existing watch strap with a new one, and they aren’t too expensive. Just make sure you pick a strap size that matches the watch’s lug width (typically 18mm, 20mm, or 22mm).
You can also try a NATO strap, which is one long piece of nylon instead of two. This has the advantage of keeping the watch on your wrist even if one of the spring bars, the metal piece that holds the strap in place, falls off. And they’re surprisingly comfortable to wear, even when it’s hot out. Can’t say the same about leather straps.
Still need more help choosing the right strap or watch? Drop us a comment! We’ll be glad to help.
- Joel wears a plain black field watch with a green two-piece nylon strap.
- You can get the same look by:
- Picking up a replica on Etsy that is intended to copy the style
- Picking up a real black field watch from a reputable brand such as Sinn, Hamilton, or Seiko, and combine it with an aftermarket green nylon strap.