We’ve scoped out the SANS-13 Tactical Sport Watch from S&B (formerly Smith and Bradley) before and found it to be an exceptional field timepiece, but the watch recently underwent a redesign that was informed heavily by feedback S&B received directly from military and law enforcement users. The result is one hell of a tough duty watch that’s got a clean, tactical aesthetic that doesn’t look all that out of place in any social setting either.
This new version of the SANS-13 added 100 meters worth of water resistance over the model we previously reviewed, bringing its rating up to 300 meters, or just about 1,000 feet. Among other improvements, they also added a one-directional 120-click ratcheting bezel that I had no trouble manipulating with and without my gloves. You can get the watch with a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating to protect against moisture and other corrosives, or in a stainless steel variety that, while lacking a bit of the toughness allotted by the coating, has an even better overall aesthetic.
The dial window is my favorite part of the watch, only because I found myself constantly banging this watch against gear I was testing out, the metal counters in my workshop, my daughter’s toys and just about anything else I could flail my limbs at. Maybe I’m always this clumsy and I just don’t normally notice, or maybe all the years of drinking are catching up with me, but in either event, the Sapphire Crystal S&B used for their dial window took each and every impact like a champ. This watch still looks brand new despite my best efforts at beating the hell out of it.
This watch is a great choice for military and LEO guys that are in need of a solid, reliable duty time piece, but it’s also a good choice for outdoor adventurers that need their watch to survive getting banged against rocks during a climb or being drenched in rain while camping. At around $400, this isn’t the cheapest duty watch you’ll find, but it keeps pace with far more expensive alternatives and looks just as good as a timepiece you might spend three times as much on.