I did my first review of an MTM Special Ops watch almost exactly two years ago. If I remember correctly, it was the only MTM model available at the time. MTM is now up to no fewer than eight different models with a very impressive selection of materials, finishes, and features. Although each MTM model is interesting in its own right, the new MTM Black Seal Xtreme Dive Watch stands out as an unusual and impressive feat of engineering.
You may remember the MTM Black Seal from an article we did last month on extreme dive watches. The most notable feature is the fact that it’s completely waterproof. What’s the difference between being waterproof and water resistant? The easiest way to explain it is that the MTM Black Seal is completely unambiguous in its claims regarding water and pressure resistance: the Black Seal has been proven in a Swiss laboratory to remain fully intact at the deepest known point on earth, the Mariana Trench, which is about 12,000 meters, or about 39,370 feet.
MTM’s secret is the silicon oil filled case which is designed to equalize the pressure exerted on the watch in a way which makes it virtually compression-proof. There are a few other watches out there which make the same claim, but none with quite the unique feature set of the MTM Black Seal:
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Dive watches come in all shapes and sizes, and are available at all different price points. Most watches with a uni-directional rotating bezel and the ability to fit over a wetsuit claim more water resistance then most of us will ever need: usually around 100-200 meters. But the watches I cover in this article go way deeper than your typical diver; deeper than the current 1,220 meter Rolex Sea Dweller; deeper, even, than the Breitling Steelfish which maxes out at a comparably casual 2,000 meters. There are a handful of watches out there that can literally scrape the bottom of the deepest known parts of the ocean, and I call these watches "extreme divers".
The TechnoMarine Abyss
First up is the TechnoMarine Abyss. This avant-garde brand throws down an interesting looking watch that is ready to dive. The Abyss is a 42.5mm quartz-powered stainless steel dive watch which, at $650, represents the cheapest of the extreme divers. Although suspiciously light on details, TechnoMarine claims the Abyss can withstand 12,000 meters of water, or about 39,600 feet, which is about as deep as deep gets. This model comes in a choice of dial colors (blue, black, orange, silver, and yellow), and is outfitted with a mineral crystal. Something that sets the Abyss apart from the other extreme divers is the day of the week in additional to the date. Like all the extreme divers, the case of the Abyss is filled with silicone oil to keep the pressure equalized, and it has a very prominent air bubble which will undoubtedly draw bewildered looks and plenty of questions from perfect strangers.
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We wrote about the
MTM Special Ops Watch
in September of 2005, and found them unique, functional, and durable. We can now add "stealthy" to the list with the release of their three new models available in a camouflage
finish. Stainless steel is difficult to paint, so MTM had to PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) them
first, then apply paint. Not only is each watch individually numbered since this is a limited edition series, but each watch also has a slightly different paint
job, so no two are alike. From MTM's site:
Each Camouflage Hawk is unique – no two are the same. The patented Camouflage finish is a painstaking process with each watch showing variations and slight imperfections in color and design. These variations are not defects but rather they add to the character and uniqueness of each and every Camouflage Hawk.
MTM has also added four watches in
titanium for those preferring a lighter-weight timepiece. The titanium
pieces are PVD and plain — no cool camouflage. I was a bit surprised that
the crystals are mineral instead of sapphire, which would be more
durable, but would also drive the cost up.
If you're looking for a rugged watch with an unusual look and some interesting history, go see what MTM has to offer.
By Paul Hubbard
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.
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