One to Watch: FourSevens Knight and Paladin
Tony Sculimbrene 11.10.15
Flashoholics were poring over pictures of SHOT 2015 on the various interweb fora, and at the FourSevens booth was a curious looking light–squat and more technical looking than the average FourSevens light. There were a pair in a few fuzzy pictures–one was black and the other was a full on blinged out specimen. They were not really discussed, except on a few back channels and over private message. There was no press release or information, just a few grainy photos. In short, they were the Bigfoot of the flashlight world.
Then, this week, FourSevens dropped the bomb. For the first time in a long time they were introducing an entirely new light, actually a pair of lights called the Knight and the Paladin. The Knight was the blacked out number we saw in those flashlight Zapruder films, and the Paladin was the blinged out number. We now know why they were so technical looking: they were the design child of perhaps the greatest light designer in the world, Paul Kim. Kim’s work is most famously part of the Surefire lineup and he now sells a brand of his own lights. All of Kim’s stuff shares a design language–one of knurling, complex shapes, and deep thoughtful features. The Knight and Paladin are no different.
The specs are, of course, great. FourSevens is always at the leading edge of light design and here you get 450 lumens on a single CR123a, quite competitive and very similar to the Olight S1 Baton (for good reason: Foursevens and Olight products are made by the same people). The light is also a 25 lumen low that goes for 30 hours. I hope it has a moonlight like all previous FourSevens products do, but the specs page is pretty sparse right now (the light comes out in November).
Beyond the numbers it looks very interesting. There is a two way pocket clip like the one found on the Surefire EB1. It appears to be a washer style clip. There a very small emitter head, which, given the shared manufacturing with the S1, makes me hope for a TIR optic. But the real Kim innovation here is the built in and removeable strike bezel. I am not a strike bezel fan, but I am a fan of options, and it looks like the Knight and Paladin give you a bunch.
There are a few things I am curious about in addition to the inclusion of a TIR optic. First, why did they opt for such a high low? Second, why are the specs so sparse? There is no indication of UI, though I hope they either use the S1 UI or a selector ring. Third, why so much secrecy? They announced the two lights this week and made pre-orders available, but the light ships on November 23rd, according to the FourSevens site. I am not sure why they decided to give us such a small lead time. There are a lot of questions around the Knight and Paladin.
One thing that isn’t in question is the heritage. A collaboration between Paul Kim and FourSevens has the potential to be a huge winner. Oh, and the two tone blue and polished titanium version looks incredible.