August 11, 2013
Right next to that cyclops is another feature that everyone seems to love to play with – the unidirectional bezel. This was easy to grip and rotate thanks to its fluting, and it does click nicely into place. There is a little bit of play in the spring that clicks the bezel into position, but that springiness also pushes it to the correct spot. In other words, you can jiggle it around a bit, but it doesn’t feel loose or sloppy, per se. Last but not least, we’ve got the rubber strap.
I can confirm that the narrow strap did indeed remain comfortable, even in the sauna-like heat and humidity we’ve had in Chicago as of late. Visually, it’s perhaps a bit narrow against the 43mm PVD case, but it does get the job done of holding the watch in place. And whatever the activity, this watch should stay in place. I wore it through a variety of activities, and it held up well (and even withstood the attention of my youngest, who was fascinated by the watch). Per Jerommie, he wears the watch through his daily swims, and has had it on while doing some backyard construction, and hasn’t had any hiccups with it.
All told, it’s an interesting take on what we’ve seen in the tactical segment – embracing some truly useful functionality for that arena, while simultaneously “softening” some of the edges a bit to make the watch work just as well in a civilian setting. You’ve still got some time to get in on their Kickstarter project (project ends August 23rd), with an entry price of $220 on Kickstarter (retail is anticipated to be $425 which is probably too close to Traser/Luminox prices), which really isn’t a bad price considering you’re getting a Ronda 6300.D quartz movement and 100m water resistance along with the tritium. Oh, and if you want one of the low-light versions? While those are normally reserved for law enforcement / military, Smith & Bradley will have (25) pieces set aside at the $220 price point on their website, to match the Kickstarter offering.
With the project, there is one thing to note. While the Sans 13 currently has a mineral crystal (with no AR coating), they’ve set a stretch goal of $24,250 (as of this writing, they’re fully funded at just over $23,000). Should they hit that funding goal, they’ll add a sapphire crystal with AR coating into the mix, which every backer would get (as an additional bonus, it would bump the WR rating to 200m as well).
While this particular model from Smith & Bradley was fun to experience, it wouldn’t necessarily be one that I’d purchase, but that’s due solely to personal preferences, not because of construction or quality. I will, however, be following this brand to see what’s coming up for them. I can’t say too much at this point, but we’re privy to some very interesting things that they have in the works (mechanical movements and American-made components) that will likely be of interest to a great many of you. smithbradleyltd.com
UPDATE: Smith & Bradley have hit all of the stretch goals for the campaign, so they’re going to be adding the following to the Sans 13:
>Brand: Smith & Bradley
>Model: Sans 13
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Not in the current iteration
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone looking to pick up a tactical watch that would actually be used by police and military.
>Best characteristic of watch: The amount of thought that went into bridging utility and styling.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Cyclops can feel out of place on this style of watch.