Just a week ago we posted about two crowd sourcing projects for watches. One inexplicably affordable and fashion oriented, the other mighty expensive with an eye towards modern design. It seems like most of the watches that go up on crowd sourcing sites are geared towards mainstream tastes and audiences. Well, the newest watch to seek crowd sourcing that has caught our attention is not that. It’s an overbuilt tactical watch, designed with the interests of military and law enforcement professionals in mind. The Smith & Bradley Sans-13 is not pretty, it’s not elegant, it’s not trying to prove a point…it’s just a big manly watch that is meant to be easy to read and take a beating.
The Sans-13 starts with a 43mm PVD steel case that is all business. The screw-down crown is fully shrouded by guards to protect it and prevent any snagging of the crown. The lugs are tall are feature screw-bars as yet another toughening and protective measure. On top is a bold uni-directional bezel with wide grips. Currently, the watch is slated to have a mineral crystal, though there seems to be some discussion of stepping up to sapphire as a reach goal. The current crystal features a “Cyclops” magnifier for the date, which I happen to think looks great on the watch. Mineral is more shatter resistant and easier to buff than sapphire even if it scratches more easily, so I think it suits this watch concept. And I certainly wouldn’t want to lose the cylclops if they upgraded.
Moving in, the dial is no-nonsense white numerals on a black face. If you haven’t noticed already, yep, that’s a radiation symbol on the dial as well. This watch uses Tritium Phosphor tubes for extra long lasting lume. They are placed on the hands and around the edge of the dial. A Ronda 6003.D 4-jewel quartz movement powers the Sans-13. While we typically hope for mechanical movements, there is a logic to a tactical watch having a quartz, which is shock-resistance. Hit your automatic into the wall and it might stop working… do that with a quartz and damage is less likely.
The Smith & Bradley Sans-13 will retail for $425, which isn’t bad for a Tritium tube watch. For their kickstarter campaign, they are looking to raise $16k, which it seems like they are on track to do. Should you want to pledge, the clear choice is to go for their $220 option, which buys you a watch for about 50% off. Clearly, this watch will only appeal to you if you are into that tactical look, but if so, there is something particularly stark and purposeful about the Sans-13 that is appealing. It looks like something you are issued, not something you buy.
images courtesy of Smith & Bradley
By Zach Weiss