The MTM Special Ops watch is a nice-looking, rugged, functional timepiece. Apparently having previously only been available to the military and to law enforcement agencies (the Secret Service, Navy Seals, Air Force, Delta Force, Army Rangers, Special Forces, Swat Teams, FBI, DEA, Police Officers, SAS, and Special Forces worldwide), Multi Time Machine, Inc. is now making the Special Ops watch available to the general public.
The fist thing you will notice about the MTM Special Ops watch is its weight. If you prefer light-weight, inconspicuous timepieces, the Special Ops is not for you. If you like your watches substantial and solid, keep reading. The watch isn’t so heavy that you will eventually lose the use of your left arm, but the Special Ops is a dense and solid piece of stainless steel.
The next thing you will notice, after removing the watch from its packaging, is that the MTM Special Ops is a pretty nice-looking watch. It’s not Rolex or Breitling good-looking, but it’s unique and handsome. All three hands are easy to see against the black dial, and the Arabic numeral hour markers are large and clear. The 12, 4, and 8 are interrupted by the watch’s lighting system (more on this topic below), but if you don’t know where the 12, 4, and 8 are on your watch, you should probably just be wearing a digital, anyway.
The next thing you should notice about your new watch is that you won’t have to take it to a jeweler to get it resized. This is something I really have to commend MTM for. Having to get a watch sized at a jeweler is extremely inconvenient. More and more watches are available over the internet, so having to take them somewhere to get them sized after they arrive in the mail can be a huge downer. And I’ve found jewelers can be compete jerks about sizing watches that weren’t purchased in their shop, or they will charge ridiculous amounts of money (or both). The MTM Special Ops watch, on the other hand, is simple to size right at home. It comes with a small hex key that you use to easily remove pins from links. And if you gain or lose weight, give the watch away, or eventually sell or trade it, it can easily be readjusted. (The only other watch I’ve come across that the owner is encouraged to resize himself is the YES watch. I should also say that I can resize most watches myself, but that’s because I’ve had no choice but to learn. Unless the watch is designed to be sized at home, I always recommend taking it to a nice and cooperative jeweler, if you can find one.)
One subtle characteristic of the MTM Special Ops watch that I like is that the second hand stops when you set the time. It drives me crazy when second hands don’t stop when the crown is fully extended because I like to set watches down to the second. The Special Ops watch is not amazingly accurate (±20 seconds per month — pretty standard for a mid-range quartz watch), but I don’t mind resetting a watch each month or so to keep it accurate to within a couple seconds. I was also impressed with how easy the crown is to unscrew and pull out. The crown is large and textured, making it easy to grip and maneuver, most likely so that it can even be operated while wearing gloves.
Features of the MTM Special Ops Watch
- Dial illumination. Press the button above the crown once, and the three LEDs at the 12, 4, and 8 o’clock positions bathe the face of the watch in a gentle blue hue, allowing you to easily read the time in complete darkness for about 5 seconds until it fades out. The hour and minute hands of the watch, and the hour markers, are coated in luminescence paint for additional readability in low light, but the dial illumination feature is really the way to go for quick and easy reading in the dark.
- External illumination. This is really the feature that makes this watch special. Press the illumination button above the crown a second time, and the LEDs at the 12, 4, and 8 o’clock positions turn orange and increase massively in intensity to turn the face of your watch into a miniature torch which can be used for reading things like maps or notes, or for signaling other parties up to a full mile away. In this mode, the watch will remain illuminated for up to 20 seconds, or until you press the button again. Make sure you aren’t looking directly into the face of the watch while in external illumination mode or you will be seeing three bright orange dots whenever you close your eyes for hours. In fact, an undocumented use of this watch might be blinding assailants.
- Rechargeable. The MTM Special Ops watch contains a rechargeable battery. The watch recharges by being placed on a sort of pedestal or a dock where the back of the case rests on the charger, and the bracelet hangs down below. The watch does not charge through metal contacts, but rather through an elegant electromagnetic charging system, which means the battery is actually charged through the caseback (some Seiko Kinetic watches can be charged this way, as well as the Fossil Wrist Net watch). It takes about 8 hours to fully charge (plan ahead and charge it while you sleep), and will run for approximately one month on a single charge, assuming you use the dial illumination and the external illumination systems an average of once per day.
- Rotating bezel. The MTM Special Ops watch has a unidirectional rotating bezel to allow you to use the watch for timing purposes.
- Double locking clasp. The clasp on the MTM Special Ops watch has a double locking mechanism which feels very secure and robust.
- Low power indicator. The Special Ops watch uses the second to indicate that the watch needs to be charged. When the second hand starts jumping ahead 2 seconds (every two seconds, which means it is still keeping accurate time), your watch is telling you that you have a few days worth of juice left. Once the second hand starts jumping ahead in increments of four, you have a matter of hours to get the watch recharged. Once the watch stops, well, I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. You waited too long.
- Water-resistant to 100 meters, or 330 feet. The crown screws down and the caseback locks down to keep the case water-tight.
If you like what you have been reading, you are probably wondering how to get an MTM Special Ops watch. They are only available online, and only from the Special Ops Watch site . There are two models available: The Thunder Hawk, and the Black Hawk (pictured here), and both models go for $395.00, or $404.95 after shipping. If you have a need for the external illumination feature, and you want a nice, solid, heavy stainless steel watch, I think you will be very pleased with the MTM Special Ops.
By Christian Cantrell