There are phrases, parables and colloquialisms abound that deal with time. Being in the right place has only ever been half the recipe for success. The accurate keeping of seconds and minutes is imperative to many, but of the utmost importance to some. With that in mind, it is easy to see a thriving niche in the marketplace for those who require an precise, durable timepiece.
I’ve had a few watches over the years that I can say met my expectations but my favorite has spent considerable time off my wrist as the OEM strap is prone to breaking. When MTM Special Ops passed along one of their Gray Falcons for review, I was really excited to get a hold of it. A dependable watch is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to being prepared.
MTM watches are designed with input from US Army Special Forces and Navy SEALS. Working hand in hand with elite warfighters, MTM wants to provide a hardcore watch for any mission profile.
The Falcon comes in an impressive waterproof hard case. While awesome, it did seem a tad unnecessary for a product that is intended to live on my arm.
This series of watches are built as rugged as they come. The case is milled out of a solid block of titanium, lending to the watches weight of 5.8 ounces. This is about 3 oz lighter than the steel variant. This is still a hefty watch despite the titanium frame. Waterproof to 330 feet, when you get to the depth where you’re worried about popping the seal on your watch, you may want to worry about the kraken you’re fighting instead.
The case is 44mm x 14mm. I found this to be bigger than I prefer, by a good margin.
The sapphire crystal glass is both anti-reflective and scratch resistant. By resistant I mean unless you’re juggling chunks of shrapnel you’re not likely to mar up the face of your timepiece. The dial is NASA type carbon fiber and the hands are luminous. A quick recharge from an external light or the included internal lights (more on those in a second) and those hands will be glowing bright all night long.
The three features that really make the MTM Falcon stand out among other mil-watches are these:
- The lights. Featuring five inward facing blue LED’s and three outward facing LED’s, this watch has the capability to double as an effective flashlight. The blue “stealth mode” lights recharge the luminous hands as well. The blue LED’s are still pretty bright despite facing inwards. There are multiple illumination modes such as five seconds on, twenty seconds on and emergency flashing mode. I’ve found myself using these lights more and more every night.
- The rechargeable battery system. The internal ten year rated lithium-ion battery is recharged by placing the watch on an small pedestal. The magic of electromagnetic fields does the rest and your watch is recharged while in close proximity to the charging stand. No plugs, no unscrewing the back to dig out a battery. This prevents you from opening up a part of the sealed watch which invites both seal failure and contaminant entrance. This is somewhat offset by the one-to-two month expected battery life. I’ve been on deployments where we went months between electrical plug-ins.
- The band. While the online store shows thirty-eight different watchband options for the Falcon, the one included with my T&E unit was the NATO band, in green. Most of the band is just fine but the joining clasp has some seriously sharp edges that stick out a good ways. Being carved from stainless steel, these corners are punishingly sharp. Not just a minor annoyance, the band snagged on many an object and scratched up people walking in my bubble. If I owned this watch I’d be ordering a different band.
All things considered, there is no doubt MTM has built a watch meant to keep you on time when the bombs are droppin’ and the boots are marchin’. While the Gray Falcon is built tough and the lights are useful, the size, weight and band are issues for me. If you enjoy a certain G.I Joe aesthetic and leave discretion to the spies, this may be the timepiece for you. The Gray Falcon can be found here and retails for $695
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