A lot of guys like to be seen in dark and moody special forces watches, even though in reality the average special ops mission is nothing more risky than a trip to the local DIY superstore to pick up some drill bits. Many is the time I have made unofficial and deniable forays to 7-eleven to rescue a 2 pint tub of strawberry ice cream. My watch of choice, a mean black Casio G-Shock.
But some brave and highly trained guys actually do go on special ops missions, the real special ops missions where people get taken out and shiny black boots get wet and muddy. What watches do they wear?
Here’s a selection of some serious special ops watches, glowing with tritium gas tubes and black PVD coated to the max. Any one of these watches will do you proud next time you rappel out of the bedroom to fetch a late night pint of milk from the corner shop.
MWC Black Special Forces Divers Watch
The black PVD-plated MWC Special Forces Divers Watch with date is current naval specification and water-resistant to 300 m (990 ft).
This Special Forces Divers Watch has a special matt black finish as required by many Special Forces units. The steel is not black all the way through because the black finish is created by a special chemical PVD plating process which is vastly superior to the painted finish used on some watches which can quickly fade or rub off.
The PVD process means that the colour of the steel is altered at a molecular level, therefore it will not deteriorate even during heavy usage although it can be destroyed if the case is badly damaged by a piece of metal being gouged out or if the case is worn down by really heavy abrasion against rocks or something similar.
With its covert black finish this is a discreet military specification watch. A bargain at just $316.00
Traser H3 Classic Chronograph BD Pro Watch
All Traser H3 watches feature trigalight technology (Gaseous Tritium Light Sources – GTLS) to make them probably the easiest watches in the world to read in low light or even total darkness. This technology does not require a battery or external power source in order to work and never needs recharging or servicing. Guaranteed for 10 years, this technology fitted to the dial and hands of all traser H3 watches makes them ideal for military and emergency services personnel as well as the outdoor adventure enthusiast. $565.00
MTM Tactical Dark Ops Black Warrior
In recent years, the popularity of military style watches with tritium gas tube lighted dials and hands has increased dramatically. MTM was commissioned to engineer a battle tough, tritium gas tube lighted, navy seals type watch that could withstand the rigours of battle, both on land and at sea.
The Dark Ops Black Warrior fills that need perfectly. The movement is totally Swiss made and the dial is made of a carbon fibre compound similar to that used by NASA. The sapphire crystal, along with the 316L solid stainless steel case, band and bezel make it a tough and reliable timepiece. US$1000.00
Kobold Phantom Black Ops
Designed by watchmaker and company founder Michael Kobold, this watch is assembled and tested in Kobold’s facilities in Pittsburgh. The Phantom Black Ops features a stainless steel case entirely made in the USA. Hence, the Phantom Black Ops proudly displays its city and state of origin on its dial.
The surgical-grade steel case is DLC-coated and matte black in appearance. On the dial, the subdials, chronograph hands and day/date display stand in reduced contrast to the main time display, while the luminous hands and hour markers are finished in a distinctive green color. As a result, the Phantom black Ops is the most legible chronograph Kobold has produced in its brief 13-year history. $4,650.00
CX Swiss Military Delta Evo 2221
CX Swiss Military Watch’s history goes back to 1963. The quality of their timepieces is legendary and won the CX Swiss Military Watch company worldwide acclaim.
The Delta Evo 2221 is a multi-functional ana-digital timepiece. All digital functions are activated by using the crown only. There’s a new split-crown which allows the Delta Evo to be water resistant to 30 atm / 300 metres – unlike competitors using the same movement. The Delta Evo offers plenty of functionality including a chronograph, alarm, 2nd time zone, day/date, timer, tachymeter.$1,785.00
Casio Baby G
If you read Andy McNab novels on a regular basis you will know that his freelance ex special forces hero Nick Stone often favours just a straightforward Casio Baby G on many of his dangerous exploits. And why not, they are supremely tough, reliable and easy to read in the dark thanks to the press button light and cheap enough to replace when lost while scaling walls or squeezing under barbed wire fences. approx $100.00
Lion King Watch
Perhaps to demonstrate that in reality many Special Forces guys don’t actually rely on fancy Navy Seals special forces watches on their missions, Andy Mc Nab’s character Nick Stone was even wearing a “Lion King Watch” on one deniable op. He bought it for a couple of dollars in Finland, and instead of “checking Baby G” it was “…checking Lion King”…but maybe it’s a case of those who can, don’t wear such watches, and those who can’t, do. The Lion King watch has no tritium gas tubes, no chronographs, no black PVD plating, but being fitted with a cheap and reliable quartz movement can at least be relied upon to tell the time – with a bit of luck. $Not a lot.