What type of watches do special ops personnel wear?

It’s a generally accepted fact that those who are accepted into the special forces are a rare breed indeed. Invariably the best and brightest that the armed forces have to offer, these brave men and women are in a league of their own and should always wear a timepiece which reflects their excellence.

Needless to say, Special Forces units are called upon to carry out missions in some of the most uncompromising conditions on the planet. These conditions will change dramatically depending on the sort of mission that they are carrying out and may in some cases, they may need to endure long stints away from civilized society and because of this fact, the watches worn by the Special Forces must be as robust and adventure-ready as the seasoned men and women who are relying on them during active missions.

Back during the Second World War, those in the Special Forces used to be kitted out with standard timepieces that their military superiors picked out for them but this is no longer the case and they are now free to choose the watch of their liking. Most Special Forces personnel have received sufficient training and have the in-field experience to know exactly the sort of features that they’re going to require from their chosen timepiece.

There are a few different types of watches that Special Forces operatives typically gravitate towards and we’ve outlined the main ones below with an example of an MTM watch that fits perfectly into this bracket if you’re in the special forces and in need of a new timepiece:




Special Forces will often opt for sport watches for their wrist because they are robust and ready for physical activity day in, day out. They are purpose-built to be lightweight and resistant to harsh climates and this fits in perfectly with the requirements of those in the special forces. Sport watches usually put high priority on being both water and mud resistant and typically put robustness amongst their chief characteristics. Sport watches usually boast features such as timers, alarms, activity trackers or a combination of the above.

MTM PICK: Black Predator II – The reinvented MTM Special Ops Black Predator II Watch with Blue Dial and Rubber III Band definitely sets the standard by which all others will be judged.








Analog watches are the most traditional and simple timepieces that have withstood the test of time and have a conventional dial that is both easy to read and understated. Top quality analog timepieces are designed to be incredibly robust and many of them today will have unparalleled duration of use, and in some cases, have unlimited durations of use when they are made from some of the toughest, no-nonsense materials on the market. Longevity, an understated design, and an adventure readiness are some of the main features that those in the Special Forces are on the lookout for and an analog watch can tick all these boxes and more. They are the most traditional type of watch on our list and still a favorite amongst the armed forces the world over.

MTM PICK: SILVER HYPERTEC CHRONO 2A – The MTM Silver Hypertec Chrono 2A watch is an exceptionally well-made, luxury watch built for ultimate durability. The Silver Hypertec Chrono goes through the same watchmaking procedures and materials as all of MTM’s watches and will deliver a great performance out in the field.








Another popular choice of timepiece for those in the Special Forces are what are known as hybrid watches. These are so-called because they make use of both an analog movement in conjunction with digital technology as well so they offer the best of both worlds as it were. The analog does what it says on the tin – namely, tells the time, whilst the digital components of the timepiece are there to offer additional (and often vital) information, such as calendar, alarms, timers, and even sometimes basic navigational data. A hybrid watch is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those in the Special Forces and with good reason because they can be relied upon in any scenario that is likely to unfold in the day to day rigors of battle.

MTM PICK: AIR STRYK II – The MTM Air Stryk II Watch is an elite analog-digital aviation timepiece and an update to the original MTM Air Stryk model.

Black Air Stryk II

Black Air Stryk II WATCH






Clearly, smartwatches aren’t something that Special Forces personnel would have worn traditionally but they are becoming an increasingly obvious choice for battle-hardened individuals out there. A smartwatch typically entails the use of Bluetooth enabled technology that can deliver impressive amounts of data including O2, sleep data, activity data, GPS, SOS functions, and even sometimes communication capacity. For obvious reasons, Bluetooth enabled watches are not typically permitted in highly classified areas or buildings due to their ability to record and store data. The most obvious downside of a smartwatch for special ops professionals is their often quite short battery life. Many Special Forces missions will require days or sometimes weeks out in the field and you don’t want to have to worry about the battery on your smartwatch running out. However, battery life is improving with more recently released smartwatches and many have low-power modes which can extend their lifespan considerably before recharging is required.

MTM PICK: BLACK STATUS – Connectivity and limitless potential are the stand out features of our new MTM Black Status watch with black lumi II dial and black rubber II band that is about as adventure ready and robust as they come. At MTM, we’ve made some innovative design choices and engineered our Smartwatch for live-action and all-terrain messaging that will never let you down. It is designed to allow for endless and uninterrupted streams of connectivity. 


Black status






In many scenarios, those engaged in Special Forces missions might need to head beneath the waves and into the deep blue sea. For these situations, a dive watch is a must and these will be amongst the most hard-wearing accessories on the market both on and off land so make the ideal choice for those in the Special Forces. At MTM, our dive watches are engineered to withstand extreme depths and each will be water-resistant up to 1,000 meters or 3,300 feet without worry. They have screw-down crowns with thicker rubber gaskets to allow for enhanced protection against water damage in any underwater missions afoot. In addition, the unidirectional rotating bezels give divers the ability to effortlessly track the amount of time underwater and coordinate with other members of their squad.

MTM PICK: SILVER SILENCER – Born from the endless pursuit to design and manufacture cutting edge tactical timepieces, MTM proudly presents the Silver Silencer with black nylon band.


silver silencer