Watch Review: MTM Special Ops RAD


MTM Special Ops Watch | RAD Watch Collection

It is no secret that I love the outdoors and it is also no secret that I love tactical watches, watches designed to handle the abuse that you can dish out. That is what MTM Special Ops has been doing for years. “For over 25 years, MTM (Multi-Time Machine) established itself by creating tactical timepieces for the watch industry. Over those years, the company founder (ex-military) and MTM team kept their ears to the ground and were quick to respond to the needs of their peers still in service. When called upon, MTM developed and engineered watches to withstand extreme conditions. Crafted like an instrument and designed with unparalleled accuracy, MTM Special Ops Watches are built for action.”  I for one do not want to be worried if my watch can handle whatever adventure I take it on. How will the watch that came in handle itself? Well let’s explore it together.


Today I will be looking at the MTM RAD. I was so excited to get the packaging opened to see the watch in person. As I am sure you guys are when you order a watch. There are two types of package openers out there, my wife is one kind and I am definitely the opposite. She will savor every moment, carefully peeling back each individual piece of tape. It probably takes her 10 minutes to open each present on Christmas. I on the other hand rip into a package like Arnold did back in the day tearing into the enemy’s base. Speaking of Arnold, when I finally got to the watch, I immediately thought that I could see him wearing this watch either in Commando or Predator.


The case is definitely a focal point of this watch and that is definitely what I noticed first. The matte finished dark grey solid Titanium case definitely sets the tone for this menacing piece. The bead blasted finish looks fantastic and gives the watch a stealthy appearance. The last thing you want to give away your position is your high polished stainless case glistening in the sunlight. That’s how I also feel about flashlight lume on a “military” themed watch, but I will talk more about that later.


The RAD(short for Radioactive) case has a complete and finished feel. After spending a lot of time with this watch, that is one thing that I noticed. I could tell that MTM spent quite a bit of time in the planning and design phase with this watch. Each of the pushers follows the lead of the large, oversized screw down crown, all of which have knurled edges. All of which are extremely easy to grip and extremely easy to operate. Each functions with absolute precision. The knurled edges look badass and add to the overall presence that this watch has. Another detail that shows MTM’s commitment to design is how each of the pushers, crown and screw bars have a hexagon shape. This shape is carried through to the 4 screws that are located on the top of the case in each of the 4 corners.


The bezel on the Rad has a nice staggered, 3 dimensional look. This look was achieved by staggering the height of the bezel in an alternating fashion. For example the 60 position on the bezel jets out, then the 10 position is in, this alternating pattern is continuous around the entire bezel. This detail on the bezel doesn’t stand alone and I will explain this later in the review. The bezel detail adds to the ease of operation in terms of gripping the bezel to rotate. This detail of the 3 dimensional bezel also helps for reference in low-lit situations where you have to rely on your sense of touch for orientation to the bezel/dial correlation.


The RAD case size is definitely large coming in at 46mm x 20mm. I absolutely appreciate the size of this case and it’s practicality. A small, dainty case wouldn’t work for this watch. Some will complain that it’s large case will create a banging hazard on door frames and door knobs, if this worries you this isn’t the watch for you. This watch is not meant to be babied. It was intended to be used in the field, to take the abuse that comes with that line of work. The last thing on your mind is worry of your watch and if it is going to fail you. And that should be your last thought, MTM designed this case with that in mind. The short lugs on the RAD allow the watch to sit well on the wrist and cuts down on wrist overhang for those who have smaller wrists.


The large dial is extremely legible yet retains an overall stealthy appearance. The dial is a combination of analog and digital display. The digital display is responsible for displaying the Time, Date, Alarm (RAD), Backlight. These functions are accessible via the button pushers that are located on either side of the case. There is a slight learning curve with navigating through the functions and figuring out what does what. But after a small amount of time, you will be navigating through this watch like a pro.


The matte grey backdrop of this dial is stunning. There are so many subtle details on this dial that I absolutely love. What I like about this dial first and foremost is that it seemingly disappears until you need it. The combination of dark and light grey keeps the dial stealthy like I mentioned before. I also mentioned earlier that the bezel has a close relation to the dial. Just as the bezel alternates in height, the inner chapter ring color correlates directly to the bezel, by alternating between light grey and dark gray, in sections of 10.  Under certain light the inner chapter ring completely disappears, just as the radioactive symbol on the dial does. A detail that took me a few weeks to notice. The raised hour markes give some depth to the dial on the RAD. At first I thought the hands on the RAD could have been just a little bit longer and thicker. But as I spent more time with this watch I realized why the hands are this way. If the hands were bigger then they would block the digital display and again I find another detail that shows MTM gave serious thought to the design of this watch.


Now let’s tackle the RAD name for this model. Yes it is a pretty rad watch, but RAD in this case is short for radioactive. This watch has the ability to detect Gamma-Radiation with A Geiger-Muller tube. The watch is able to record this data which can then be downloaded with a it’s included  flash drive. This isn’t some gimmick faux military themed watch, this watch was designed for field use hands down. I won’t bore you with the technical details. The video below does a good job of showing off what this watch can do in terms of the technical features.

The MTM RAD is a rugged watch with some amazing tech features some that are range from the typical such as day/date digital display, minute/second digital display, backlight, alarm, analog display to the more complex like the Geiger Counter. The watch is very well made, designed to handle the terrain and abuse that transpires out in the field. Even if your field isn’t a military field, this watch will be a great companion for your field, whether your field is hiking in the woods or snowboarding down the mountain side, or mountain biking, whatever your field may be the RAD will handle it. That is part of the reason why MTM went with their proprietary quartz movement with Swiss analog.


I will address my nit-picky areas of recommendations for improvements on an already well designed watch. The bezel has a little more play in it than I like on a bezel. If you are someone who gets bothered by hairlines on your watch then the sandblasted finish shouldn’t be your first choice of cases. Luckily MTM offers the RAD in a silver and black. Personally I think the hairlines add a badass look to the watch. I call them hairlines because they aren’t scratches in the Titanium, they are superficial hairlines in the finish. Since the RAD was designed for use in the field, the Tritium lume doesn’t glow bright like a flashlight for the reason no to give away your position in dark situations. That is where the backlight feature comes in handy, to light the digital time display to be used at your discretion. For my fellow fans of cartoons/comics from the 1980’s, if Firefly or Snake Eyes from Gi Joe had a watch this would be it.

Some people will be turned off by the case size on this watch and some may say that the trend of watches is reverting back to smaller sizes. My personal view on trends is that they are just bullshit tatics set by the some in the industry to keep you spending money. My feelings on the matter is buy what you like and what makes you happy. So if you are looking for a well made watch, with a killer case, the MTM RAD is a great option. The RAD comes in at $1500 with the military style NATO strap with a large sandblasted signed buckle, the Titanium bracelet is also an option which comes in at $1700. This is a specialty and limited edition watch.

I want to personally thank MTM Special Ops and you all for reading. As always I welcome your questions and comments below.


GLASS | Sapphire Crystal; Anti Reflective & Scratch Resistant
WATER RESISTANCE | 100 Meters / 330 Feet
CASE SIZE | 46mm (Width) x 20mm (Height)
WEIGHT | 7.5oz (With Titanium Bracelet) 5.0 oz (Non-Metal Strap)


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