The Redwood V2 Tactical Diver’s watch offers exactly what it says on the tin – a cool, well-made tactival divers watch with an interesting pedigree and excellent build quality. But, in an era of endless microbrands, is that enough?

When I first saw the Redwood V2 online I was impressed. It was a great diver with a nice provenance and looked like something that would havebeen strapped to a soldier walking the streets of Paris in 1945. The 40mm watch features bold, lumed cardinal numbers and lumed hands and pips. It comes on a rubbe strap and is available in solar-powered quartz and with an automatic movement, a Miyota 82S0. The quartz model costs $189 while the auto costs $269.

The company is based in Canada and founded by a pair of brothers who love watches and ran a few successful Kickstarters. The company makes a number of military-inspired watches including field-style watches without bezels. They come in multiple colors including black, white, and olive.

The Good

I can’t complain about much in the V2. Design-wise it is a complete package with a lovely face and bold minute-measuing bezel. It’s water resistant to 20 ATM – it’s a great beach watch – and because it’s so simple you won’t have to worry about getting water or sand in the crown or pushers. The V2 is quite thick – it has a large bezel and nice case – and the rubber band is thin but well made. The crown and buckle are signed and the back features Bulova-style markings that describe the watch. I especially like the “Assembled in Montreal, Canada,” words you rarely see in the watch world.

In all, it’s a nicely-sized diver for those with medium to small wrists. As a big watch guy I found it a bit small on me but your milage may vary. It has great lume once charged and the black model looks great and is supremely legible in the sun and under water. In all, Redwood did a great job.

The Bad

The watch itself is a smaller than it looks. The face is nestled inside the large bezel, giving the impression of a smaller watch that definitely doesn’t look like a 40mm piece. That said, the unidirectional bezel is snug and well-made, making an excellent tool watch for egg/explosives timing (it is, after all, styled on military divers.)

The Miyota movement is the workhorse of microbrand watches and suffers from Miyota’s tradional second hand snap back when setting the watch. This is to be expected. Interestingly, the 82S0 features no date complication so the watch only has one setting position, something that microbrands often forget.

Is the Redwood V2 Tactical Diver a good watch?

If you’re looking for a low-cost, high quality automatic timepiece than look no further than the V2. A less than $300, it’s on par with similar Seiko divers and has far more historical provenance than an Orange Monster or the like. The piece is well-made and assembled in a unique location and the guys who built it tried mightily to make something that is both desireable and usable. I’m very impressed.

I wouldn’t wear this thing every day but as a beach watch it will give my Tissot Seastar, another low cost diver, a run for its money. I’m a firm believer that you don’t wear complicated watches in sand and this piece is probably one of the best examples of a rugged, inexpensive tool watch I’ve seen in a while.

By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

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