I have been musing about the essentials of a man’s wardrobe lately. There is a ton of intriguing stuff coming out these days from different manufacturers that are modern takes on age old classics that are still staples of men’s style. It’s not always just about nylon combat gear or guns n’ ammo.
There just are some things a man should have and one of the things is a proper wool watch cap. Be it on the heads of British commandos or stern sailors of old, this iconic hat has etched itself into the image of a man who’s not afraid to tackle the odds.
I have used one from the infamous Mil-Tec for years, mainly for outdoors, but sometimes for EDC too. But the construction of it and the quality were not great, to say the very least and so I sought for a better one.
So about a half a year ago I decided to go with the Prometheus Design Werx A.G. Watch Cap. It’s been my go to hat for cooler days this autumn and start of the winter and I am ready tell you my two cents on it.
To those who are not familiar with PDW, you can check out my previous review of their EWBC compass, where I have a bit longer introduction. But in short: they are an US company, based in San Francisco area, and they thrive to produce well thought through, exceptionally designed products made of the highest standard materials. And they have some pretty darn cool patches!
The A.G. Watch Cap
So here is some basic information of the cap.
The cap is made of 100% merino wool that is sourced from the EU, or so I have gathered. The wool is machine washable for ease of care.
It is made with a medium rib knit and constructed to shape when knitted. The cuff folds up 3’’ and is heavy enough to keep your nugget warm for 2+ seasons, as they state on the website.
It is finished off with a subtle but stylish woven PDW tag. And from the inside you can find the tags with the bear flag of California, stating that the cap is indeed knit in California.
PDW’s price for the A.G. Watch Cap is $39.
The above information is true to the original black version of the watch cap. There are two new special editions of the A.G. Watch Cap just released by PDW, in Heather Wolf Gray and a Danger Ranger Bear Team Z red caps.
One of my strongest reasons to buy the A.G. Watch Cap especially was the look of the cap. Because there are a lot of watch caps out there that look somewhat the part, but I always thought they lacked something in style.
The A.G.’s medium rib knit and the three inch up folding cuff make the cap look amazing! The a bit odd looking “circles” on the top of the watch cap are a bizarre feature at first. But with time you get used to them and even accept them to be a part of the combination of unique and classic look.
There are a lot of caps that fold just a bit from the cuff, making them look a bit weak or flimsy. But PDW’s cap keeps your forehead behind a double barricade of warm merino. It’s the kind of hat you could picture a true man of the sea wearing.
And the style of the cap has not gone unnoticed either! My friends have complimented me about the cap and the black colour means that it works on many occasions, even on some of the most formal events I need to do on my job.
My only concern with the look was: will it hold? Out of the box the wool felt so soft and the construction, while strong looking, gave me some worry because of the softness of the fibers.
And on my first trip with the cap, a week long hike in the national park of Oulanka, my fears seemed to come true. At first I fell in love with the cap, how it sat on my brow and how it warmed me on a chilly morning eating porridge in the woods.
Then the rain started. And the cap got wet. For a long time. It started to stretch out a bit and I had to store it in a bundle in my pack. Later when we got to our hotel I put it in a dryer and hoped for the best. It returned to its shape quite nicely, but just not quite. It was not until I washed it and dried it that really took some of its initial elasticity and form back! And thank God it did, I was starting to get really worried.
Now it has molded to my head so well it fits like a glove. This is a feature of the combination of the quality merino yarn and the well engineered construction of the cap.
The thing I have ended up loving about the cap is the versatility of it. As I said earlier, it works well for work and as a EDC hat it is brilliant. But this does not mean it could not handle high intensity activities, no sir.
I have used it on brisk walks, even when climbing and bouldering. The watch cap has kept my hair out of my face and my head nicely warm, and surprisingly dry too! I have found that sometimes the breathability of merino is a bit overstated, but with the A.G. Watch Cap this is not the case. The long hike with its heavy loads was a bit trying on the cap, which was partly due to the humidity of the environment too.
The A.G. Watch Cap is a brilliant modern iteration of the old classic design. A watch cap is a must have in any man’s hat shelf. And honestly you could do a lot worse than with the PDW’s cap. But not much better I would say. And even if the price tag seems a bit high, considering what you get with it, it really is not that much. Even if some might think it is just a woolly hat.
In fact I am so pleased with the cap personally, and it has been in my constant use for the past few months, that I am getting another one just to give the old one a little break now and then!
But, the knit has started to come a bit loose. One loop is hanging from the edge, probably due to a snatch, and I am afraid it will unravel the construction at some point. So even still I have my doubts about the durability of the A.G. Watch Cap, but the good qualities of it immensely surpass the bad.
The timeless look
The softness of the wool
Promise of adventure
The unrivaled quality, at least to my knowledge
Slight threat of stretching out
This article was first published in the Noble & Blue. Noble & Blue is a small Finnish outdoor and tactical gear reviewing blog, that also shares stories of learning and adventure. Click here to know more about Noble & Blue and to read more articles like this.
I received this product via my own funds. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.