First Look MTM Black Falcom
I’m not a flashy type of guy. I tend to spend my hard-earned money on gear designed for hard use and made to take a beating. For things I wear and use everyday that’s especially important. While for some a cell phone can act as their time piece, I find it annoying and prefer a watch. I am not nice to my watches. I forget to take them off when working on vehicles, and they end up getting beaten on just about everything. Needless to say, I don’t buy flashy watches for that reason. MTM Special Ops watches has been making purpose built, hard use watches for 27 years. When I was given the opportunity to try out one of their watches, I jumped at the chance to see if they lived up to the hype.
MTM is based out of Los Angeles, California. With twelve current models and multiple variations of each, they make a watch style for just about everyone. Watch prices run anywhere from $295 for their Hyper Tech all the way to $10,000 for the ludicrously nice 3-GER. After looking through their catalog of watches, I took custody of an MTM Black Falcon.
“The original MTM Special Ops Black Hawk Watch was the first to incorporate a rechargeable system with the brightest lights ever offered in a wristwatch. The new MTM Falcon watch ups the ante by including 3 bright white LED torch lights and an emergency strobe light. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium ION battery rated at 10 years. Recharging the Falcon is as easy as placing it on the included electromagnetic induction charger overnight. It is available in either 316L stainless steel or titanium. Each recharge will last for approximately one month, and each watch is equipped with overcharge protection and a low battery alert. This watch also contains 5 blue LED lights in the dial for easy to read usability in the dark and harsh conditions for long periods of time.”
Once I received the watch and was able to open the package it immediately became clear that MTM does not mess around. The Black Falcon came housed in its own military-type hard case with custom cut foam housing the watch and charger.
Removing the watch from the foam you can feel how solid the watch is. The thing is not light yet isn’t annoyingly heavy. The machining of the housing is really good, with a nice black DLC coating. The dial is easy to read with large luminous numbers and hands on top of a carbon fiber face.The bezel around the watch face is easy to rotate with clean, distinct clicks for each second. The band for mine is nylon with velcro closure. Nothing overly fancy and the velcro holds closed with no issues.
The unique thing about the Black Falcon was the three small LEDs that can be seen sunk into the face of the watch. A small button on the right side of the watch activates the lights and rotates through its different modes.
-Blue LED face illumination 5 second
-White LED external lights 5 second
-Solid Blue LED Face illumination for as long as the battery lasts or you turn it off
-White LED external Lights for as long as the battery lasts or you turn it off
The button is protected by a threaded shroud. The shroud has to be loosened to activate the button and protects the user from activating the lights inadvertently. The main watch dial is set up similarly, requiring the wearer to twist it away from the watch to adjust time. The shroud on the button and dial are both easy to grasp and nicely knurled for ease of manipulation. While the white LED’s won’t replace a small Surefire flashlight for heavy light use, they’re plenty bright enough to find your keys under a car in the dark, help find a damsel in distress’s contact in the bar, or any other emergency situation you may find yourself in without a primary flashlight.
The watch comes with a charging station you simply set the watch on. There are no plugs or connections to keep clean. The nylon band is made to slide around the lip of the charging station and lightly holds it in place. The three LED’s blink while the watch charges and are solid when charged. I placed the watch immediately on the charger when I received it and it was fully charged by the next morning. MTM watches come with a three year warranty, and the claimed lifespan of the rechargeable battery is ten years. I obviously have not been able to test that claim, though the warranty had to be utilized. The initial watch I received had slight issues charging and holding a charge for more than a week. With a quick email to MTM customer service, who were incredibly helpful, I had a return label and within a few days my watch back with a new battery. It’s been over a month since I got the new watch and charged it, and it’s still ticking away with no recharge yet. It’s kept perfect time and aside from the little battery hiccup has been a really nice piece of kit.
I’ve been wearing the watch every day with little regard for its safety. I’m not one to take my watch off for fear of scratching it. If it has “Special Ops” written on its face I’m not going to treat the thing like a princess. The crystal has yet to scratch and has taken all the accidental abuse I’ve given it. It’s advertised as water resistant to 330 feet and while I have not gone diving recently, I have taken it swimming multiple times and have had no issues with internal fogging.
I’m typically not one to buy things marketed to Special Operations fanboys. But MTM delivered a clean looking watch that’s as practical at a USPSA match or hiking the woods as it would be using its LEDs to signal aircraft or send morse code while you’re escaping some foreign country. The watch has met every expectation I had for a good timepiece and has since replaced my trusty G-Shock for daily wear. Overall the MTM Black Falcon has proven to be a robust, sturdy, reliable timepiece at a very good price for what you get. The company stands behind their product, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you check out one of their watches for yourself.
For more information please visit them online.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
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About the Author: John Darwin (a pseudonym) has been a [redacted] for over a decade now, choosing this career when he found out Tubby’s Golden Lantern wasn’t hiring full-time dancers. He scribes for a number of publications and consulted with everone from industry heavyweights and local LEOs. He is a family man and enjoys teaching, shooting, working on his Bronco and farting in the bathtub with equal passion.