Watch Review: MTM Special Ops Cobra



MTM Cobra

Company: MTM Special Ops


Model: Cobra


MOVEMENT | Highly Calibrated Japanese Quartz Chronograph With Alarm
CASE & BAND | Solid Titanium
BAND | Adjustable Links Are Connected With Allen Screws, Making Band Easy To Adjust With The Allen Key Supplied. Compatible with all other MTM bands
FINISH | Black DLC Coating
BEZEL | Unidirectional, Ratcheting Bezel
CROWN AND PUSHER | Locking, Screw Down
GLASS | Sapphire Crystal with Ultraviolet, Anti Reflective, Protective Coating
DIAL | Carbon Fiber or Brass – Black  Color
HANDS | Luminous (Super LumiNova)
WATER RESISTANCE | 660 Feet / 200 Meters
CASE SIZES | 44.0 mm & 47.5 mm (Without Crown) x 15 & 15.5 mm (Thickness)
WEIGHT | 6.6 oz (44.0 mm) & 7.1 oz. (47.50mm)
BATTERY | Manufacturer Rated At 3 Year Maximum
WARRANTY | 3 Years
LIMITED EDITION | Each Watch Individually Numbered
PACKAGING | Securely Shipped In Its Own Watertight Tactical Box

Growing up I fondly remember playing Gi Joe with my friends. For those of you who grew up in the 1980’s, it always came down to Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, Gi Joe vs Cobra. Two of the coolest characters from the 1980’s series. Even if you didn’t grow up with that Gi Joe, playing army was always a staple game in most childhood memories. MTM Special Ops watches connect to my memories from childhood. Today I have the appropriate model in for review, the Cobra. I very excited to take a look at this model up close.

First glance impression is tactical stealth. There is no denying the large presence of the 47mm case. Yes it’s large but it’s extremely light weight thanks to it being made of titanium and the black DLC finish gives it a stealth under the radar appearence. That stealthy finish actually allows the watch to wear “smaller” than the 47mm size. If this case was polished stainless steel, it would be a different story. The crown is something that will surely be noticed no matter what finish or material. As you would expect the canteen style crown functions smooth when screwing/unscrewing. When you unscrew the canteen it exposes the actual crown which is used to set the time and date. The Cobra also has a series of button pushers which are used to operate the alarm and the chronograph. All the pushers are easy to push and operate.


I firmly believe that a bezel can make or break the overall appearence of a watch. The Cobra’s compass bezel hits the mark on awesome. Compass style bezels just add a touch of toolness to a watch. Which makes perfect sense since tactical and special ops is what MTM does the best. Not only must a bezel look good, but more importantly it needs to function. Smooth, ratcheting action is what you get with the Cobra’s bezel. This bezel makes me happy on all fronts and it even lines up perfectly with the dial markers.


The thing that I have come to really appreciate on MTM watches is the square case shape. Now yes the case is 47mm, but MTM planned out the lugs to allow the watch to wear smaller because they kept them short thus cutting down on the wrist overhang. The drilled lugs feature hex head screw bars that are robust and easy to operate for strap changes because MTM includes the tools to do so. This being a tactical watch, I personally want it on the larger size, as a 40mm case would lose its rugged look and become more danty which is the exact opposite of what MTM is trying to achieve here. The Cobra features a screw down case back that has their large knife logo right in the center. I can always appreciate a good, solid case back. It’s an extension of the watch’s personality.


I think the dial on the Cobra is just awesome. There is so much to look but not in an overwhelming way. The two sub dials is what I actually noticed first. These dials work in conjunction with the chronograph function. The sub dial at the 12 o’clock market counts the minutes and the sub dial at 6 o’clock is the chronograph 1/20 second hand. The sub dials feature gloss frames that are screwed into the dial itself giving the Cobra a nice aircraft instrument panel look.


I’m going to jump to what I noticed next about the Cobra, and what I couldn’t help but notice is the slide rule inner chapter rings. MTM includes a specific set of instructions on how to use this awesome feature for measurement of time, speed, travel. My first experience with this type of bezel/chapter ring system was on a Breitling Navitimer. It was cool then and it is still cool now. Even if you don’t ever use this function, it’s ok because it still looks pretty bad ass. I love how precise MTM was about making certain that everything and I mean everything lines up without fail. If you are using this as a measurement tool, you want it to be as precise as possible. Am I right?


The dial features some great lume and large indices that ensures legitability in all lighting situations, dim light, bright light, no light. 12, 3, 6, 9 are all accounted for and the other numbers are represented by large rectangle indices. You may notice the small sub dial at the 9 o’clock position and an even smaller one at the 8 o’clock position, these are used for the Cobra’s alarm. A helpful feature for those on the go. I find this feature very useful when I’m spending time in the great outdoors. Connecting to the basics without relying on extra tech such as smart phones or tablets. Keeping it simple is sometimes really refreshing. An escape from our busy, over complicated life.


The hands on the Cobra are a first for me actually. It’s nice to see something different, especially when it works.The hands are matte gray and black. I have never had a watch with matte grey hands like these. The hour and minute hands are coated with lume of course and the arrow tip of the second hand is as well. All the sub dial hands are also matte grey, but do not feature ant lume. All of the hands on the Cobra look great. The Cobra also features a date window at the 3 o’clock position, a traditional white wheel with black printed numerals. MTM kept the text on the dial to a minimum, ‘MTM SPECIAL OPS, USA 660FT/200M WATER RESISTANT. The subtle touches of color found throughout the Cobra’s dial offers a balanced and an aesthetically pleasing look.

The Cobra gets its power from a highly calibrated and extremely accurate Japenese quartz movement. With my time with the Cobra, I never lost or gained any time. It’s very, very accurate as you should expect from a quartz movement. It has a battery life of 3 years. I was a little disappointed that the Cobra didn’t use the same battery system as the Silencer that I reviewed last year. The Silencer uses a rechargeable battery that lasts several months on a single charge. Honestly this was my only disappointment with the Cobra.


As with most of MTM watches, you have several choices in customizing it to your personal preferences and that is what I did with the strap. My last MTM review was on a bracelet, so I wanted to see what else MTM had to offer so I decided to go with the Ballistic Velcro strap. The strap gets some getting used to in terms of functional looping it and getting the keeper in place can be a little tricky. But once you get it down, everything functions great. I like this strap because you can easily wear it over a jacket  which translates into the field excellently. Plus it keeps the watch light and retains the stealth style.


The Cobra achieves what MTM wanted to provide the wearer, a tactical watch, that has useful features that can be easily used in all settings, especially out in the field. This watch is extremely durable and is assembled within the United States. I like that it’s made of titanium which makes it very light weight and this also translates well into the field as you don’t want any unnecessary added weight. The 660FT of water resistance comes in handy as well. Not that I advise abusing any watch purposely, the Cobra is made to handle abuse. This is an advantage of having a quartz moevement because it elimates extra parts that have the potential of getting damaged from extreme impact shock.

The Cobra is a great companion for those who are in the military or in the police line of work. It also is a great companion if you are like me and do a lot of outdoor activity. It can handle it all because it was made for it. $1500 price point some may deem this pricey for using a watch for such activity, but I for one don’t want to worry if my watch can keep up with me when I’m doing such activities. Some things come at a price and I don’t necessarily mind paying a bit extra for such reassurance. You won’t have to worry about the Cobra failing you and looking great on the wrist is an added bonus.

Thanks to MTM for allowing me to do this review, it was an honor. Thank you all for reading and as always I am happy to answer any questions. Feel free to comment or ask below.

Wrist is 7 1/2″ for reference





  1. Today I await the arrival of my MTM Cobra 47.5mm. I’m my son my first MTM. MTMs are simply the perfect watch; like a gorgeous piece of art that is as tough as a tank! I looked at Tags and Omegas, which are awesome, but when compared to the Cobra they morph into what appears to be ladies watches! Having owned my first MTM watch for two years, I know that they are reliable, waterPROOF and the best military watches ever made.

  2. Possibly the nicest watch I’ve ever worn. I Know everyone has gone digital at this point but there is something unique about a nice looking watch, thats tough and hold features like what MTM can provide.

  3. Hi. Thank you for your helpful review. I purchased a new MTM COBRA after reading you review about it. But i want get the most of the watch.
    I found NAUT, STAT, KM and onother nombres like 1:10,1:20……9:00.


    • Hi there. Thank you for your kind words, glad my review was some assistance to you. To answer your question about the tachymeter abbreviations STAT for standard mileage, KM kilometers and Naut is for nautical miles. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. I’m wondering why MTM removed the Alarm and 2nd timezone hand on the newer 47mm Cobra models. Any ideas? Would be nice to have an alarm when outside or other times. And the 2nd time zone for those of us that live in 2 different countries would be helpful at a glance. I really don’t want a 44mm just for these functions. Oh well..

    • My educated guess would be for cost. MTM started on a strange path a few years ago. I’m not sure if there is new management wanting to take the brand in a new direction or what.

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