Nestled in the heart of the midwest is Kansas City-based Dryden Watch Company — a small brand with some of the best offerings in the microbrand watch space. Dryden initially offered an affordable mech-quartz chronograph and then quickly followed it up with a slim, capable dive watch. This meant it was only a matter of time before the classic three-hander came to market. However, Dryden did far more than create a fantastic field watch, it created the perfect go-everywhere-do-anything watch with plenty of options to choose from.

Advertising Message

At a glance, the Dryden Heartlander comes in two classic flavors of field watch. The first is a 3-6-9 dial without a date that the brand calls the “Classic Sport.” The second is a fully graduated dial with the date nestled at 6 o’clock. Dryden appropriately dubs this style the “Traditional Field.” The two dial layouts combined yield eight tasteful options ranging from a futuristic and sterile, fully luminous white to sunburst black and gilt, and even a vintage patina for those trying to scratch the “fauxtina” itch. Dryden sent over four versions for me to check out, and I found myself changing watches multiple times each day, becoming increasingly smitten with the options.

Heartlander Field WatchNormally, I would try to choose a standout dial that was my favorite, but I am genuinely torn. The two sunburst dials I received were both “Classic Sport” dial layouts with applied numerals and indices. Tasteful pops of color grace all the dial options but are most obvious on these two. The blue sunburst dial is accented with a glossy orange seconds hand and matching “Heartlander” cursive script, while the gray sunburst features a vibrant Tiffany Blue seconds hand and matching script. A coarse sandy texture is found on the reddish-brown dial that has a gradual fumé effect as it fades to black at the edges. The brushed gilt handset and tan luminous material and minute track provide excellent contrast. However, the playful “Heartlander” script is sometimes lost to the dial color and texture due to its reddish-orange color choice. While this variant is dubbed “Autumn Rust,” I think it is an excellent example of using tan lume as a stylistic choice instead of a faux patina.

Heartlander Field WatchThe last dial I experienced is the “Classic Field” watch with a fully luminous dial. This one is certainly for the lume junkies out there, as it glows bright and evenly for hours. I had to remove the Heartlander one night when I fell asleep with it on because the lume was bright enough to rouse me from my slumber. I appreciate the choice of a blue BGW9 Super-LumiNova because it prevents the sickly tinge that can often be associated with luminous dials during the day. Glossy black hands, numerals, and dial text provide excellent contrast and legibility in all conditions. While these are only four of the dial options available, please take a look at the gallery below to check out the other dial options in images provided by the brand.

Advertising Message


Great dials are always appreciated, but no matter how good the dial is, it doesn’t matter if the watch isn’t wearable. The excellent design choices found on the dial of the Heartlander follow through to the case. Crafted from stainless steel the 38mm-wide case has a lovely 46mm lug-to-lug distance and is only 11.2mm-thick from solid steel caseback to domed sapphire crystal. These dimensions are in the Goldilocks region for an everyday watch for me and my ~6.5-inch wrist. The cases are predominantly brushed except for a thin highly polished bevel that flanks each side of the lugs. This polished accent follows the gentle curve of the lugs from tip to tip. The subtle curvature hugs the wrist and helps the watch sit very low, resulting in an extremely thin on-wrist experience.

Heartlander Field Watch Heartlander Field Watch

On the bracelet, the Heartlanders wears so thin that the tabs of the quick-release bracelet links may be felt by some wears. The “Traditional Field” variants are decorated with a polished bezel while the “Classic Sport” features a circularly brushed bezel. Both variants have a 6.5mm screw-down winding crown at 3 o’clock without crown guards. While the crown is large, functional, and easy to use, it sticks out a bit too far for my liking and may irritate those who wear their watch closer to their hand.

Heartlander Field WatchThe Dryden Heartlander comes fitted on a tapering 20mm-to-16mm president-style bracelet. The links are fully articulating leading to incredible comfort. With four micro-adjustment holes in the dual push-button clasp sizing is easy and comfortable. The bracelet is finished nicely with fully brushed links. The clasp is branded with “Dryden” and has two polished bevels that aid in its slim wearing stature. Quick-release spring bars in the end links and drilled lug holes make strap changes a breeze and Dryden offers a variety of quality straps that I was able to try out, as well.

Heartlander Field WatchPowering the Dryden Heartlander are the Miyota 9015 (date) and 9039 (no-date) movements. These are reliable, affordable, and versatile movements that have a 42-hour power reserve and beat at 28,800 beats per hour. These movements also allow the watch to be a bit thinner than other affordable off-the-shelf movements. Dryden assembles its watches and regulates its movements in the U.S.

Heartlander Field Watch

This wouldn’t be a thorough review if I did not mention the Heartlander’s similarities to other watches on the market — especially the Tudor Ranger. In the Heartlander’s Classic Sport variant, the combination of the 3-6-9 dial and the spade-shaped hour hand is very reminiscent of the Ranger. As a former owner of the previous generation Tudor Ranger (and a fan of the model in all its forms), on the wrist, the Heartlander is entirely its own design. Not to mention it blows the Ranger out of the water when it comes to lume. Overall, the Heartlander is more elegant and has plenty of character. These similarities may make some write it off as an homage, but in the metal, it is anything but.


Finding the perfect watch to wear under all circumstances is no easy task, even in today’s golden age of options, but Dryden Watch Company has gotten as close as I have seen at the spectacularly affordable price point of $500 USD. The Heartlander is as much a field watch in its most elegant form as it is a dress watch in its most casual. The midsize case, a mix of brushed and polished finishes, and dial plenty of dial options make it an incredibly compelling option at its price point. The Heartlander has quickly become one of my most recommended affordable watches, and I look forward to seeing what the brand comes out with next. Learn more about Dryden Watch Company, the Heartlander, and other models on the Dryden website.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Dryden Watch Company
>Model: Heartlander
>Price: $500 USD
>Size: 38mm-wide, ~11.2mm-thick, 46mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: Hiking, out for dinner with friends, casual everyday wear.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone looking for a high-quality versatile watch at a reasonable price.
>Best characteristic of watch: Very thin with plenty of variety in dial colors.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Quick-release spring bars may rub wearer’s wrist and cause irritation.

Advertising Message

Subscribe to our Newsletter