MTM Special Ops Falcon: A Tool Watch with an Actual Tool Built-In [Review]
“Tool watch” is a term that is thrown around the watch industry a lot. KeepTheTime is known for specializing in some obscure tool watches over the years, but the MTM Special Ops Falcon tactical military watch goes beyond the call of duty by incorporating and actual tool…
We’re not talking about a gimmicky light you would find on those disposable squeeze light keychains. The light on the Falcon is a full-fledged three LED torch, powerful enough to brighten up the path ahead during a night hike and perfect for helping your key meet the hole when you forget to leave the porch light on.
The flashlight is strong enough to be seen across a dark field. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to be found, the watch also has a strobe mode for signaling purposes. This function will make the bright white LEDs blink every second. Even if you’re not on active duty in the dessert, the pulsating flash is surprisingly useful for connecting with friends in large parking lots or as an emergency beacon if you’re stuck on the side of the road.
The dial also has an effective amount of traditional lume applied on the legible Arabic markers. But, alas, what’s the point of lume if it starts to fade after a few hours? With the Falcon, that is not a problem. Also incorporated into the watch face are 5 internal blue LED bulbs that glow for 5 seconds after triggering the control button. This allows you to see the time without activating the flashlight. MTM calls this Stealth Mode. We would have liked to see the blue LEDs actually work in a way that charges the regular lume, but it definitely comes in handy for a quick glance at the time in dark conditions.
The FALT0575 model shown here is full titanium and weighs in at only 5.8 ounces. The watch is also available in stainless steel if you prefer a heavier watch (about 9.4 ounces). You can choose between three colors: Black DLC, brushed silver, or sandblasted grey reviewed here. The grey looks amazing, but the other two variations have a purpose to serve. Get the DLC if you want something more tactical, or the silver if you are harder on your timepieces.
The uni-directional bezel gives off a nice clicking sound with a smooth rotation, but not too smooth as to accidentally advance it forward. the 5 minute increments are perfect for timing things such as your scuba tank or parking meters. The outer edge of the bezel is a particular favorite of ours with a diamond style grip that matches the crown. Another example of MTM using design cues that actually make a difference in the field.
Speaking of the crown, it’s screw-down style with a single click for setting the time. The control button for the light system is also screw-down. This helps the Falcon earn its 300m/1,000ft depth rating. They want you to be so confident of the water resistance that they even pack the Falcon in a watertight tactical gear box.
On the Wrist
MTM knows most tool watch enthusiasts like their pieces on the big side, but they also know there’s a line for practicality. They managed to pack all the features of the Falcon in a reasonable 44mm diameter case that sits 14mm tall on the wrist – just 2mm higher than a Rolex Submariner for comparison. The case is surprisingly comfortable thanks to being a sort of cushion case with tapered lugs.
Running through the lugs are hex wrench screw bars with o-rings. This gives extra peace of mind that your choice of band is fitted securely against the case. Most manufactures do not go as far as including gaskets in the lugs and it’s a nice touch that prevents over-tightening.
You can go for a fully adjustable metal bracelet (choose between three link types!) with an included Allen wrench for the screw links.
Other choices include a heavy duty natural rubber with matching tang buckle, a ballistic Velcro band, Italian leather, or the MTM P66 nylon strap. Actually, the Falcon would look just as good on a plain NATO strap as well. Keep in mind that the lug-width is 24mm if you want to try something different.
NASA Type Carbon Fiber
The carbon fiber dial on the Falcon is striking. MTM refers to it as “NASA Type Carbon Fiber,” and we’re not sure what that means, but you can see the crisp strands very clearly, unlike some other timepieces that have CF dials.
Of course it wouldn’t be a real tool watch without a sapphire crystal to protect the face from scratches, and MTM also made sure to apply some anti-reflective coating for extra clarity when using the flashlights.
The time is powered by an Elemex caliber 8J81-M4 quartz movement and the light system is made possible thanks to the built-in 10 year rechargeable 3.7v lithium ion battery. Learn more here.
The movement uses electromagnetic induction technology to deliver charge to the movement without having to connect any wires directly into the watch itself. Just pop the watch on the included base for some overnight charging action and you’re good to go.
You already heard about the airtight plastic case the Falcon ships in, but we should also point out the other goodies, that are included: lug bar tool, bracelet link tool, plastic warranty card, instruction manual, and a standard issue MTM Special Ops dog tag keychain with the MTM dagger logo.
The Falcon is covered by MTM’s 3 year in-house warranty and carries a retail price between $595 – $1,070 depending on the configuration.
By the way, MTM Special Ops is a GSA Contractor and offers a 10% discount for purchases made directly by Military, Law Enforcement, Fire Department & Federal Govt. personnel.