You make some good points. But I like a watch that is easy to look at while walking, which is on the wrist. Especially in poor weather. I look at my watch a couple times an hour to match my progress against the map.
Some things about good quality military spec watches:
Pins - not spring loaded. The holes are drilled completely through the housing and you need a friggin' tool to drive them out :)
Staps - yes, I agree. My oldest watch is only 16mm wide and a thin quality NATA strap really holds up and is super light. Even if you could break the pin, the strap is double-looped under the watch, so unlikely you could loose. Double-D keepers keep the excess strap in place, and all metal parts do not touch the wrist, including the base of the watch. The buckle is really secure with this kind of strap.
So this kind of watch set-up might be a solution for many folks.
I have tried several times to hike without a watch, but find I am much more efficient with it. Plus, without a watch I once got home a day late and missed work -- didn't know what day it was :(
Vietnam era military watch with updated NATO band. The military spec for this watch is W-3818B. Watch was issued in 1970.