5 key characteristics to look for when investing in a special ops watch

5 key characteristics to look for when investing in a special ops watch

Tactical or special ops watches are not going to be the same in design and performance as an everyday watch that is worn for style or simple timekeeping. They need to excel in the most uncompromising of conditions and environments and, when looking to buy a timepiece of this nature, there are certain design elements that you should definitely be on the lookout for.

Special ops watches need to stand up to the frontline in a warzone or the rigors of a police officers daily beat so can’t be made of materials not fit for purpose and has to have all the right stuff both inside and out. When you find yourself in the market for a military / tactical style timepiece you need to carefully vet the available options on the market and find the right fit for your budget and profession but there are some general characteristics that you should definitely look to feature in your purchase and we’ve outlined 5of the most important below:



In most military and frontline professions, chances are you’re going to get submerged from time to time and having a watch that is ready and waiting for this type of scenario is one of the primary features to look for in a special ops watch. For those working in the military in particular a minimum water resistance is always advisable and this is usually considered to be around 10ATM. Even if contact with water is not supposed to transpire as part of the mission objectives, by default those in the army, particularly those operating on or close to the frontline need to be ready for every situation that could arise. For those in the Navy and the Marines, it might be more advisable to add a dive watch to your wrist given these types of timepieces are purpose-built for water based missions day in, day out.




You’re obviously not going to want to draw too much attention to yourself when you’re in a combat situation so any special ops watch will need to have a more understated, muted design than a watch worn for fashion. Those engaged in frontline operation will often need soldier camouflage or cover-up for their mission so a vibrantly designed timepiece isn’t going to fit the bill. Any watch that is chosen for those in the military should merely go about its work with a quiet elegance and, ideally, must be nigh-on unnoticeable because drawing an unwarranted attention could be the difference between life and death. A tactical watch will also need to look the part with the uniform being worn and you should choose the aesthetic of your timepiece in accordance with the style of uniform being worn. Due to this fact, the majority of special ops watches are normally army green, black, dark brown, black or with a camouflage design aesthetic.




It is clearly apparent that a military watch is a tool that a soldier will rely on and anything but exceptional readability whatever the scenario is not good enough. Army missions can take place at any time and in any weather conditions so having a timepiece that can handle this is essential. Having a watch that can be read instantly can be instrumental to the outcome of the mission and definitely a feature you should be looking for when purchasing a special ops watch. Typically speaking, slightly larger numbers with high contrast in the dial are what you’ll be looking for in a military-style watch.




Obviously, war-zones and the scenarios faced by police officers and firefighters are some of the toughest, most uncompromising imaginable and, as such, your choice of watch needs to reflect this and be made of durable, hard-wearing materials. Today’s military watches are some of the most impressive pieces of design on the planet and are typically made from some of the highest-calibre materials so as to be capable of standing up to anything that a hostile situation, terrain or weather condition can throw at them. Sapphire crystal glass, stainless steel casing, carbon fiber, titanium are just some of the materials that you’re likely to find to be used in the crafting of a special ops watch and when you’re looking to purchase one, make sure it is crafted from the highest quality components on the market.




Reliability in your watch is something that those in the armed forces will demand and one of the most important features for any special ops watch to possess. Without the knowledge that you can rely on your timepiece in the heat of battle or to ensure the synchronisation of attacks, for example, the battle may already be lost so that’s why it’s so important for special ops and military personnel to pick wisely when it comes to their timepiece. Automatic or manual winding timepieces might not be suited to battle scenarios as if you don’t have the opportunity to keep the mechanism wound, you’ll lose track of time and that could have dire consequences. As such quartz watches are usually more suitable for those in the armed forces. Doing away with the need to worry about winding the mechanism or generating enough movement to fuel the watch, you can concentrate on the mission in hand knowing your timepiece is delivering an accurate representation of the time.

At MTM, we are delighted to be considered one of top watchmakers for the special forces, military personnel, police officers and firefighters and that’s because they know they can rely on our timepieces when the time comes. We use nothing but the finest materials and all of our US made watches are stringently tested to make sure that they never buckle under pressure.