Posted on December 22 2013
When we speak about the "Lume" in watches we are speaking of how much light the indices of the watch put out. So why are we concerned with light output in a tactical watch? Does this not violate all of the principals of tactical? Let us address the theory behind the SANS-13.
We have heard the same old song and dance, " I want my watch to be brighter!" We only know what we know until we learn something new! Most will want to light up and area that is dark, well you now just became a target. So lets assume you are clearing a room with pistol at the hunt and you are using low light clearing techniques. Forget about something, that brighter watch you always wanted just put a 10 ring on you. We are to use light to our advantage, not become disadvantaged by it.
Let us address a few principals of being tactical. A bright watch is NOT one of those principals. For 15 years I was concerned with tactical due to my years of SWAT and a K-9 handler. Do you think when the suspect/target is in a dark place to hiding his eyes are not acclimated to his environment? Does a suspect not look for the darkest place to hide to evade apprehension? You are entering his environment as he is evading you. I have been guilty of the brighter watches in these scenarios and found myself trying to cover up. I even went as far as buying a cover for it. This began our journey to the SANS-13
Now introduce light tactics. Are you going to enter the environment all lit up like a beacon? I fully understand the situation will dictate our tactics. Are we using light for sensory overload or are we on the hunt? I understand both fully and have implemented both. In all my years on the street I was alone with very distant backup. You learn quickly what gives your position away. The mainstay of my back up was my partner, K-9 "Banker". I was always concerned while in the bush with my K-9 at my side if would jeopardize his position due to the lead being opposite strong side/pistol side which was my wristwatch side.
Now enter the scenario you are searching for a suspect/target, its dark and you are now in his environment. He is acclimated and you are on the hunt. A watch with 16 tubes of tritium will show your position. His eyes are already in tune to the darkness. A majority of us use Tritium night sights, but there is a reason they only use small dots of tritium, 3 dot alignment is all we need, but 16 vials of tube tritium and now you may be a target.
So let us look at why we developed the SANS-13 in the fashion we did. We developed this for a TRUE tactical purpose. Better yet the user can control the light output. How is this you are wondering? If we use the SANS as it is on our wrist in day to day function it will produce a glow that is only visible for the user. It does NOT produce enough light output to be seen farther than 3 feet away. Do you require more light, not a problem. Shine your flashlight on it for less than 2 seconds and you will have one bright watch, brighter than tritium. This will last for many hours with a super bright output.
The construction was many hours of putting all the elements to work. We chose to construct every detail with a purpose. While it appears to be a watch, it is a tool. The case construction is a matte finish PVD coated black. This will not produce a flash/reflection. The crystal is an anti reflective coated as to reduce the opportunity to give off a reflection of light. The dial is also matte black as well.
Now lets move under the glass. The Tubes are Tritium painted and injected with phosphorus. This allows for the absorption of light with phosphorus and the retention longer with Tritium paint. There is a point where we will have a light balance in low light situations. This is where we have tritium tube watches not having a "glow effect" because the background light is just enough to not allow us to see the glow, even if it is hard for us to see the environment. We answered this. By using chrome hands and a black inner reflector ring. We are able to have a "black chrome" look. The chrome hands will allow the user to use the ambient light to use the hands in a reflective fashion to tell time. This reflection cannot go past the user as the black reflector ring absorbs the light as not to flash/reflect.