A Watch That’s Tactical and Tacticool – The Smith & Bradley Ambush

Smith and Bradley, a rather novel young watch company, has put up its “Ambush” Digital/Analog watch on Kickstarter. The watch is inspired by the AR-15 with the two hands lining up like a sight picture 24 times a day.

Okay, that’s a little gimmicky, but the watch is quite the timepiece. The Ambush is a combined digital/analog watch with compass, chrono, LED back-lighting, good in water to 100 meters, and more. Hit the KickStarter link or read below for more details.

The Ambush: Formulated in the Field

For our Third Project Smith & Bradley is Bringing Digital Analog to a New Level (White Board and Sketch Pictures) For this our third Kickstarter campaign, lead designer Jerommie Smith went back to the drawing board (literally) to design a first-of-its-kind digital analog tactical watch that blends form & function, by melding Swiss precision and accuracy with rugged styling present in all Smith & Bradley watches. Drawing inspiration for years of real-life SWAT experience, and blending it with the straight-forward and clean lines of an AR-15 assault rifle, Jerommie imagined a true masterpiece of a tool. Tool is the operative word. In an ever-changing world where preparedness is paramount, we wanted to produce a watch that will be strong and durable in the field, and at the same time have the functionality that is necessary for travel and other high-pressure situations. Sometime a watch has so much usefulness built into one case that it transcends the role of timepiece and becomes a tool.

Relevant Specifications

  • Swiss Digital Analog movement
  • 316L stainless steel PVD coated
  • 44mm case without crowns
  • Sapphire crystal that is Anti-Reflective coated
  • EPDM rubber strap
  • Production will have DLC coated strap buckle
  • Alarm, Chronograph, Compass, Dual Time zones functionality
  •  Blue back-lit LED digital display
  • Superluminova on Analog hands Designed in Sidney Illinois Our Design inspiration The bezel is designed drawing inspiration from AR-15 top rail.

Aggressive Design for an Aggressive Watch

The side of the watch emulates an AR-15’s heat vents. The analog watch hands are another design feature we are proud of. Since the compass utilizes the hands to show true north (the digital field shows all data of direction and heading in degrees, all program done by user) we built the minute hand to have rear sights at the end and ghost ring circle in the middle. The minute hand will point to true North and the hour hand is your heading during compass mode. Now the hour hand has a red dot on the end. This makes it very easy to keep position on your heading. A small detail, but one that we agonized over for weeks. The unique factor is when the two cross every hour you have ghost ring sight alignment!

Technology at Work 

The Ambush is no simple stopwatch. It features two time zones, an alarm, chronograph, and digital compass. These features are easily toggled between by using the main crown as the master control. Similar to the design used in fine automobiles, we tried to use the toggle function to provide accessible full function feature that is usable with one hand. Additionally, we use a Swiss Renata battery to power the movement which includes the digital and analog feature. The Reneta provides a theoretical 39 month battery life (depending on how you use the watch.) Despite the extreme length of the battery life, we built into the Ambush an end of life battery function wherein the Ambush will show in the digital background and continue running. This provides ample warning on when to the change the watch battery so you will never be caught off guard.

The functionality of the movement is astoundingly complex yet at the same time simple and intuitive. For instance, the hands of the watch always move to the 10 and 2 (open) position when the digital fields in the background are activated. The user will never have a digital field obstructed by the hands when the digital fields are in use. The hands operate like a conventional analog watch until the digital fields are activated.

The bezel unidirectional, that is it moves one way, this is because the bezel is used as part of the Ambush’s navigation system. Insert Bezel picture. The user’s home time is set in the TIME1 this allows for Zulu time to be set on TIME2. This is a very useful feature if the user travels between different time zones since its as easy as pressing one button to toggle between two zones. The CHRONO feature is for any timing with digital accuracy and functions like a conventional stop watch. Set ALARM feature is also straightforward and a feature not usually included on a tactical watch. The compass on the Ambush is electronic and programmable. The compass is programmable for heading in degrees and declination. This makes navigation accurate and precise. The Low Light Settings We utilized reverse LED for the digital function. This will allow us to use light from our environment to utilize the LED. This LED will give off no light unless it is activated. Therefore, similar to the San-13, the user has control over the lume of the watch. We opted for the low level blue LED to illuminate. 

The Kickstarter campaign is now fully funded, but you have until September 11th to place an order. If you like it, you may want to hurry; there are only about 10 slots lefts at the lowest contribution level.


I have been in the market for a solid casual watch for some time and this looks to be just the ticket. I just placed my pledge and will do a review of the watch here on TFB.

Smith-Bradley-Ambush-Digital-Analog-Watch-3 Smith-Bradley-Ambush-Digital-Analog-Watch-4

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Nimrod

    How many times do these people need to be told that the AR15 is not an freakin’ assault rifle? When are people going to stop playing into the anti-gun lobby’s games to socially condition society by redefining things? You know what? Screw Smith and Bradly and their BS watch.

    • Commonsense23

      Well if you really want to get technical, the AR15 as designed by Eugene Stoner is a Assault Rifle.

      • iksnilol

        Not really, the M16 was full auto while the AR-15 is semi-auto IIRC. Take this with a bucket of salt, I am an AK guy afterall.

        • Commonsense23

          You realize the M16 is the military designation of the AR-15. As designed and named by the company that built it, the AR-15 was a select fire weapon. So might want to brush up your history.

    • Blake

      Does it really mater when the mass media can’t tell the difference between a semi-automatic & a sub-machinegun?

      • iksnilol

        Semi-automatic? What about those automatic semis?

        I propose a new category to simplify things: Assaultgat. This would refer to all guns we find scary.

  • iksnilol

    If you ambush or get ambushed by a watch you should reevaluate your career choices. -_-

    Not for me TBH, I prefer autos (specifically Seikos). That and the whole “Inspired by the AR-15 assault rifle” failure.



    • Sam Schifo

      Mil-Spec Monkey actually makes a patch similar to this: http://milspecmonkey.com/store/patches/243-shuttle-doorgunner.html

    • Jarvon Stalagtite

      OMG DUDE!!! This watch is everything!!! AHHHHH it will even line up the sights for your AR for you!!!! DUDE!!!! AND IT HAS ZULU TIME!!!!!!!!!! Merica fu*k yea!!!!!
      Dude this is gonna go so great with my kerambit hawk combo yo!!!! AHHHH DUDE!!!!! OH OH OH and my new sidearm!!!! SAWEEEEEEEET!!!

      • Zachary marrs

        I lost it

        • Jarvon Stalagtite

          Don’t worry there’s MOAR!!!!! Military Obvious Actual Reality!!!!
          This shit is HOT HOT HOT FIYAAAAAA!!!!!

          Never think that a Seiko or a POS TIMEX can ever do the job! Of what a REAL OPERATOR watch does!! BAAAAAAAAA Get the fu*k back to garrison you boot!!!! This is the most technologically advanced over match capability, in 1 in $500 bazillion force strength. My underwear are still dry with this shit, UNDERSTAND THAT? Now that we let you know ( super undercover III MASON USMC TUN TAVERN …. SECRET ULTIMATE!!!!) The secret is out. So let it ride ,lil crazies. LET it ride. And the rest is for you to decide. But don’t get too close, because. FIRE BURNS!!!

          • Jarvon Stalagtite


          • gunslinger

            pork chop sandwiches

          • Sparkler Cat Fancy

            OK this is getting out of hand here! Let me cut the drama. And show how razor sharp our attention is. Right Meow!

          • gunslinger

            *holds up 9 fngers

          • Barkalounger

            You dun got Bambushed!!!

          • iksnilol

            NO! Just no! We draw the line at Honey Boo Boo. We may be unhinged and crazy but we are civilized… to some extent.

            Also the GIF isn’t working.

          • Sam

            “I don’t know much about computas other than…other than the one we got at my house my ma put a couple games on there and I played ’em…”

  • Zachary marrs

    Doesn’t really look like the ar’s sight picture, which has been the same since 1936, when the m1 garand was adopted. The only way this relates to firearms is that they said “assault rifle” oooohhh soo edgy

    • Zachary marrs

      Also; why trust a watch company that is #1; relying on kickstarter even though they are up and running. #2 has absolutely no reputation, and #3 is trying to cash in on the long dead tacticool craze? Just wait, in 5 years they will release the zombie green version!

      • Blake

        Why not kickstart the zombie version now while it’s still a trend ?!?

        • Zachary marrs

          Seeing as how late they are to cash into the tactical craze, you have to wait for the zombie craze to die down more

  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    Looks like a nice enough watch. I’d consider it for a sub $200 purchase. I’m not into the digital/analog combo. But, like anything else, taste is subjective. Good luck to them.

    I don’t understand the kick starter thing. If you pledge “$315 or more” you get $250 off the $565 retail, but if you pledge “$350 or more” you only get $215 off retail?

    The days have long since gone by for me when I was way too into watches. I’m down to three workhorse Seikos and a few German watches that I’m keeping in pristine condition for my boy. My Seikos have been running trouble free after 10-12 years of abuse. Nothing but strap changes.

    • iksnilol

      Meh, you don’t need much more than a Seiko 5 (a rotating bezel is nice but not a dealbreaker). It fits everything IMO, I have worn one with a steel bracelet/strap (I don’t like leather bracelets/straps) with a 1000$ suit and with a T-shirt+shorts and it never looked out of place.

      Sure, you can argue it is harder to fix than a regular battery watch but they don’t really need fixing. I have one that is 30+ years old (my grandfather bought several as gifts for his sons and brothers) and the only thing I had to fix was one of the hour markings had gotten loose.

      Back on topic (sorta): Is it damaging for a automatic watch if you wear it while shooting? I can’t find a clear answer to this question and it has been bugging me, for now I take off the watch when shooting since I really don’t want anything happening to it (only thing I have from my grandfather).

    • Man pippy

      Once I went Casio digital watch, I couldn’t go back to analogue. Although it’s the favored watch of terrorists and nerds, I wish it didn’t look so cheap.

      • iksnilol



        Watch guys won’t approve… at least I don’t.


  • Vhyrus

    “Okay, that’s a little gimmicky…”
    I think this wins an internet for ‘understatement of the day’.

  • greasyjohn

    Still needs to show me my health and armor.

    • Blake

      & ammo

      • Zachary marrs


  • DaveP.

    All those generations of soldiers, forced to get by using nontactical wristwatches. Poor saps- if they only knew…

  • 转载

    互联网时代,传统媒体加速转形。(来源:中国日报 罗杰 英文《中国日报》2014年8月9日5版)

    (版权所有 未经授权不得转载)

  • beyourself

    I wear 5.11 pants and have a para cord bracelet and work all day in a office and just grew out a beard…where can I get one of these..Im one of those duche bag gun fighter urban hipsters and I have to look the part…I will write the company asking when will it be out in kryptek camo, because thats what everyone ells is doing to their guns and gear.

    Lol…I cant believe all you sheep…You will all follow anything that some internet dumb ass tells you is to do…I can not wait for the day…maybe 4-5 years after we fight the Russians in Alaska. All you sheep will be painting your guns white and wearing winter parkas around the streets.

    Note to self…you do not fight or live in the sand. The only thing you are probably fighting is obesity.