The Drop: Redwood Recon Pilot Chronograph

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It’s a big EDC market out there, and tons of awesome gear is released all the time. We made The Drop to help you discover the latest and greatest essentials worth a spot in your EDC.

Taking cues from the classic chronographs on the wrists of WWII pilots, the Redwood Recon Pilot Chronograph blends old-school style with the latest in watch tech. It bottles up the daring vibe of early aviation and caters to today’s thrill-seekers with an impressive list of specs. At the heart of the Recon is the Seiko VK64 hybrid meca-quartz movement. It’s a movement that offers the best of both time-telling worlds, combining the pinpoint accuracy of quartz with the attractive smooth-sweep of a 5Hz chronograph seconds hand. Unlike manual-wound pilot chronographs of the past, the Recon is all about dependability and precision, thanks to modern horological advances.

You can pick from three unique styles: the Commando with its sword-like hands, the Dakota with all-black hands, or the blacked-out Commando Stealth, which features a smooth black PVD-coated case. All three versions come with a date indicator and large numerals on the dial, so you can read the time with a glance, precisely what pilots needed from their watches back then.

The Recon isn’t just about looks; it’s also surprisingly robust. It’s water-resistant up to 100M/330 feet, thanks to modern polymer seals on the crown, pushers, and screw-down caseback. Its durability is boosted by a sapphire crystal cover on the dial. The Redwood Recon is incredibly easy to read even in tough conditions, thanks to the bright glow offered by Super-LumiNova on the hands and numerals on the Recon Commando and on the entire face of the Recon Dakota. The pigment looks white when it’s bright out and turns into a cool green glow in the dark after it’s been in light or under UV rays.


What we like: Despite its impressive specs, the Redwood Recon is highly affordable. It’s also got an awesome backstory connected to the Civil Air Transport company that the CIA acquired and utilized for covert operations in East Asia in the ’60s.

What to watch out for: Built primarily with legibility in mind, pilot’s watches are naturally large. The chronograph movement also adds some thickness to the case.

Final verdict: The Redwood Recon is a tip of the hat to the daring pilots of yesteryears, packed with the latest tech to meet the demands of today’s explorers.

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