submitted by Chris Van Hoven
In 1953, Robert Maloubier, commanding officer of the French Nageurs de Combat (or Combat Divers) of the French Navy, approached Switch watch manufacturer Blancpain to develop a watch suitable for underwater combat while withstanding the extreme conditions faced by his men. The result was the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms—one of the first true dive watches ever sold, and one of the most iconic dive watches to this day.
Taking inspiration from the legendary military dive watch, Redwood’s Tactical v2 Diver’s Watch imbues much of the same spirit, updated to even better specifications thanks to modern technology. Designed and manufactured in Canada, the Tactical v2 features a 40mm brushed 316L stainless steel case, with the option for black PVD coating for a full stealth package. Large lugs provide added rigidity, drilled through to make strap and bracelet replacements easier. Redwood equipped the Tactical v2 with a flat scratch-resistant sapphire crystal measuring 2.0mm thick, designed to withstand the strong hydrostatic pressure experienced at depth. The Tactical v2 also features a 60-minute, 120-click, unidirectional bezel with a coin edge for easy manipulation, even while wearing diving gloves.
Unlike the original Fifty-Fathoms, which had a depth rating of, er, fifty fathoms (300 feet), the Tactical v2 achieves a depth rating of 200 meters (660 feet) thanks to a screwed-down crown and caseback equipped with high-quality seals. Four variants are available: Black, White, Stealth, Frogman, and Mil-Spec. All dials feature Arabic numerals at the 9, 12, 3, and 6 o’clock positions except for the Mil-Spec variant, which has hour markers all around. White dial automatics feature a fully luminescent dial printed with Super-LumiNova coating, whereas other models have luminescent numerals or hour markers also using Super-LumiNova. Lastly, distinguishing the Stealth variant is a PVD-coated case to match the black dial, with strap options limited to Black Ribbed Nylon and Black Tropic Rubber to emphasize the all-black aesthetic. All other variants can choose from Black Ribbed Nylon, Olive Drab Ribbed Nylon, Khaki Ribbed Nylon, Black Tropic Rubber, and Tobacco Leather as strap options.
Add one to your cart, and you’ll be able to choose your movement, whether automatic or solar quartz. Both the automatic and the solar versions are independent of external power sources, so you won’t have to worry about replacing batteries on occasions when you need your watch the most. The automatic version uses a Miyota 82S0 automatic movement, which offers smooth sweeping seconds, a 42-hour power reserve, and is powered by the movement of your wrist. The solar models use a Seiko Epson VS17 solar quartz movement equipped with a miniature solar cell behind the dial. Short exposure to sunlight or strong artificial light provides enough power for up to 6 months. Unlike conventional quartz watches, this watch does not use a silver oxide battery, eliminating the need for battery replacement.
Specced to the hilt and coming in at a remarkably affordable price, the Redwood Tactical v2 Diver’s Watch not only carries the spirit of the original military dive watch forward but does so with quality craftsmanship that’s easily accessible by anyone looking for a reliable, go-anywhere, do-anything watch. Pick yours up at the link below.