Today, only 18 hours after ordering on the phone I took delivery of an MTM BlackHawk Special Ops watch in titanium.
I imagine there has never been a complaint of any MTM watch arriving damaged as the case it arrived in was an incredibly sturdy, watertight ballistic ‘seahorse’ case. With the watch already being water resistant to 330Ft and it’s case made from solid titanium, I imagine the post office could well drive off a cliff into a quarry and you would still get to receive a shiny new timepiece.. albeit a day or so late.
As soon as you take the ballistic case out of the cardboard box you feel you have purchased from a company that take great pride in it’s products.
I have only worn it for the last 14 hours so this is more like my first impressions rather than a review. Here is a video of the un-boxing..
[Video company no longer exists so i’m afraid the video is no more. Imagine a funny and informative video unboxing]
I ordered the optional nylon strap as I have never really got on with metal ones. I want a watch that is substantial and solid but not one so heavy as i’m always aware it’s there. Nylon softens with time and really trims the weight of a watch down. Combined with the lightness of the titanium and this timepiece is not too weighty at all. I imagine the steel option is heavy enough to throw through a double glazed window though.
One of the main reasons for me wanting this watch apart from it’s apparent durability and use of hi-tech materials was the innovative addition of four LED’s embedded in the carbon fiber watch face. According to MTM’s website the Special Ops lighting technology was (alledgedly) requested by the Special Forces in their original design specification.
Everyday I carry a torch (flashlight) with me as living in rural British countryside I often find myself in unlit spaces. I may not ever need to signal other members of an elite squad of Special Forces or scour a map in pitch darkness as I calculate the coordinates of an air strike, but just today I found the more than adequate illumination offered by the watch assisted me in plugging an additional HDMI cable in a tricky spot and remove a thorn from my dogs foot on a late walk. This is more than enough for me to be impressed and tomorrow I shall leave the little ARC-P flashlight I wear round my neck in my bedside drawer.
There are two types of light settings, an internal lighting mode uses the three bulbs with a blue diffused light for illuminating the watch face and the external lighting mode uses another set of three extremely powerful led’s emitting a bright orange light.
You may be wondering where all the energy comes from to power these lighting options as the watch is normal size and does not seem to be packed with an oversized battery.
Very cleverly the MTM BlackHawk also employs a unique recharging system. With no need to ever replace the batteries, you just place the watch on the specially designed recharging stand for a few hours every month. You are notified well in advance of the battery running flat by a second hand notification system that discreetly lets you know when power is running low. This is the first electromagnetically charged device I think I have owned but I imagine there will be many more to come.
I was a little concerned by the need to recharge a watch even this infrequently but am never away from home that long so it should not really be a problem and the charging stand isn’t ridiculously oversized so at a push it could be taken with me.
So.. It’s early days as far as my opinion goes and although my first impressions of this watch are good, I do have a habit of destroying watches that do not live up to their reputation and will report anything that may be amiss.
As I write this though I have just let the dog out for a wee in the back garden and was almost as amazed as she was as the watch illuminated the area of the garden she had snuck off to. Not really a life saving use of this great looking piece of hi tech engineering but one of the reasons for it being my choice over the many other hard wearing watches out there.
Already, this watch has liberated me from carrying a separate piece of kit (flashlight) in my everyday list of gadgets and paraphernalia I feel I must carry incase they’re needed.
All I need now is a watch that also incorporates a phone, a Leatherman, a wallet, my keys, a USB drive… …and so on.
[There were some cool videos embedded here but unfortunately Seesmic stopped doing video.. leaving holes in many peoples blogs across the world. A lesson to us all.]
(I have recieved no payment or perks in exchange for writing this review. This is just my honest opinion.)
In the UK this particular model retails at £399 ($499) and the steel version can be bought for £329 ($412). Prices in the US about a third lower.
At time of writing this watch can be purchased from SpecialOpsWatch.co.uk
..and in the US SpecialOpsWatch.com
Update: Four years and two days later and the watch is looking battered and worn but the glass is unscratched and the LEDs work as well as they always have.
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