Smith & Bradley Sans-13 Tactical

I wanted to approach this review a bit differently than other "gear" tests in regards to presentation. The Sans 13 is not a watch where you just slap a dial on it, make it glow and make it black and call it tactical.

It is a well thought out design based on hundreds and thousands of repairs by Jerommie Smith and Ryan Bradley. These two guys have spent years noting how and where other watches break and coming up with simple but aesthetically pleasing solutions to these shortcomings.

With Social media and crowd funding at its core, the Sans-13 is a do-it-all watch that won’t break the bank. We were very drawn to Smith & Bradley as a company because like us, they created their brand and product from nothing but their desire to do something better, do it for a wider demographic and do it with the backing of the public supporting them. The Sans-13 is a great watch that delivers a lot of notable features to a very wide gamut of customers without really harping on the "Tactical" aspect. This timepiece also does not sacrifice the ability to be a tactical watch in order to reach a wider audience either.

Starting with the band, it is not to be trifled with. The proprietary rubber band it is only an overshadowed but the girth and ruggedness of the thick strap. It’s like you stacked 3 of your favorite watchbands together and decided it needs to be able to support 300lbs. With that kind of strength the only way to connect it to the watch itself is with a screw system. No more of those pins that rocket across the room and get lost, or impossible to find micro holes to rest the end in. Screws, plain, simple and much more secure.

As for the case, it has just enough heft to it that you know it can take a beating, but not so much that the case is uncomfortable or a burden to wear. Clean lines and purpose built, it is a little on the thick side compared to others, but this only enhances the overall feel of durability. I am confident I can throw this watch at almost any wall and it will live. My fondness of it however, stops me from doing so.

Sitting on top of the case is the obligatory bezel with markings, arrows and glowing shenanigans that most on’t even understand the purpose of. The snag proof chamfered edges are both top and bottom which helps ensure you can turn it easily without any chance of catching it on something and snapping it clean off. A problem I have seen on many a tactical watch myself. The bezel clicks are smooth and solid, like a really nice scope turret, ensuring it doesn’t go spinning on its own like a bicycle gear. It is also worth noting that I did try this… several dozen times and continue to do so. It is showing no signs of giving in.

The Ronda Swiss Quartz movement is precise and solid with almost no over travel or give with every tic of the second hand. When doing the video for this watch, especially up close and personal it was really interesting to see just how little this watch flinched past a number than some other "ticking" watches I have. The black face has clean and very easy to read white numbers with a simple and elegant S&B logo under the 12. This is an often overlooked aspect of many "tactical" watches and can be a nuisance when you want to see the time. The style of this watch can be worn with more than just camo without drawing attention to itself.

Smith & Bradley opted for a proprietary "Lume Tube" instead of tritium for illumination and it does not disappoint. It lasts longer than most luminous paints and inserts remaining visible for over 6 minutes to the naked eye with as little as a 5 second burst from just about any light source. The macro shots really make it look a lot larger than it really is, but they really do hold light VERY well. The video shows the illumination from a desk lamp, but when you use something like say a Surefire X300 Ultra 500 Lumen weapon light… this thing is borderline nuclear. Short story endless the Lume tubes work really well, better than I expected.

I could have drowned this watch, thrown it out the car window on the highway or even shot at it with a variety of calibers to test it’s true quote un quote tactical abilities but all that really proves is that I can break nice things. Instead, focusing on the details and what separates this watch from others while I wear it for all my pseudo tactical day to day activities has yet to leave me disappointed.