Well, as I mentioned when I finally got our long-awaited review of the Division Furtive Type 40 up, the review of its younger brother, th Division Furtive Type 50, would not follow that far behind. This is for a few reasons. One, it just plain made sense to group them together, as they are rather similar watches. More importantly for you, our reader, is the fact that the Division Furtive Type 50 is available to buy now, whereas the Type 40 has been long sold out. So, with that, let’s see what the Division Furtive Type 50 has to offer.
Looking at the two watches side-by-side (above and in the gallery below), it is easy to see that the Division Furtive Type 50 is very similar, and has also had some tweaks and improvements, made from the Type 40. First and foremost of those changes is the case material. Rather than the plastic resin we saw in the Type 40, the Type 50 instead uses a PVD-coated metal case. Things still come in at 50mm wide (and 16mm thick) so the weight has gone up a good bit – 118g from 72g. Next of note is that the display has been cleaned up a bit – things are a little less cluttered, and the use of sapphire up front just gives it a literal cleaner look.
The most blinding change (almost literally) to the Division Furtive Type 50 are the LEDs. Gone are the soft amber ones of the Type 40, instead replaced with ultra-bright white LEDs. These are a bit smaller, so you will notice that the cutouts on the dial are much more precise, helping that clean look. Though they are smaller, they are certainly plenty bright. So bright, as a matter of fact, that there is actually a flashlight mode built in to the watch. It certainly won’t help the battery life any (though, you do still have a battery gauge function), but it’s pretty cool to have that right on the wrist. Forget pulling out the phone, just get a couple of taps going on the wrist and light up the room.
In terms of basic functionality, aside from that flashlight mode, the Division Furtive Type 50 is very much the same as the Type 40. Which also means you do have a learning curve to ride once again. Once you are familiar with the owner’s manual, though, there is a very handy flow chart cheat sheet printed on the reverse of the watch. Yeah, it’s a bit tight for my eyes, but I like the fact that the crib sheet is right there – you don’t need to pull up a PDF or your phone to get this watch working in the mode you want. Though, you do still need your phone, of course, to set the basic data (time, date, etc) on the watch.
As with the Type 40, I found myself really not using the various modes of the Division Furtive Type 50 all that much. I instead relied on the time function, which is of course activated by bringing your wrist up (more on that in a moment), and the date mode, which you can access once the display is lit up. As far as activating the display goes, I did find the Division Furtive Type 50 to be a big improvement over the Type 40. For starters, the 3-axis accelerometer is vastly improved, meaning I could reliably engage the display. I also found the tap functionality much cleaner in terms of it picking up my taps. Whether this is due to the improved crystal (sapphire now) or a better sensor, I do not know – I just know that it worked much better for me.
In the end, I find the Division Furtive Type 50 to be very much an upgrade to the original Type 40. While I think I may appreciate the dimmer LEDs of the Type 40, just about everything else on the Division Furtive Type 50 is a vast improvement in my book. Add in the fact that they are currently available too (for around $300, or $360 with a sapphire case back) and then they do of course win out over the Type 40. Also of note, we’ve spoken with the brand about the brightness of the LEDs, and it sounds like a future model may indeed incorporate a sensor to automatically adjust the brightness (which you can manually do in the flashlight mode).
When it comes to $300 watches, you have all manner of options, both mechanical and quartz. When it comes to quartz watches, I find that they really need to do something a mechanical watch cannot for them to stand out in my book. The watches from Division Furtive do indeed meet that criteria. They offer a unique way of reading the time, along with a host of other complications. The Division Furtive Type 50 in particular is not the smallest or lightest watch you will run across. It is by far the brightest, and likely one of the most conversation-starter-likely pieces you can put on your wrist. division-furtive.com
- Brand & Model: Division Furtive Type 50
- Price: $300 (up to $360 for a sapphire caseback)
- Who’s it for?: The Type 40 caught your eye, and you’re ready for current-generation
- Would I wear it?: Yes. As with the Type 40, it sneaks into the rotation now and again
- What I’d change: Having the ability to control the brightness of the LEDs (when not in flashlight mode) would be awesome.
- The best thing about it: Still one of the most interesting (and bright) watches I have run across with a whole host of functionality in a unique linear display package
Features from Division Furtive
- Day (units on top cursor and tens on bottom cursor)
- AM/PM (AM or PM on bottom cursor and current hour on top cursor)
- Day of the week
- Triple Time zone (Home, Travel East & West)
- Phase of the moon
- Battery life indicator
Tech Specs from Division Furtive
- Production: Limited to 1000 units (shared with Type 50X production)
- Price (w/ mineral back glass): 395$ (Canadian dollars, approx. 300$US*) with free worldwide shipping
- Price (w/ sapphire back crystal): 470$ (Canadian dollars, approx. 360$US*) with free worldwide shipping
- Case: Metal with black PVD
- Diameter/Thickness: 50 mm/16 mm
- Dial: Gold plated mat black
- Crystals: Sapphire is standard in front but optional in back
- Cursors: 25 White LEDs (12 for hours and 13 for minutes)
- Sensor: 3-axis accelerometer with tap detection
- Battery: User-serviceable AAA/IEC FR03
- Power reserve: 9 to 24 months (usage dependent)
- Band: Ultra-smooth silicone
- Buckle: Stainless steel with black PVD finish and logo
- Warranty: 1 year