• Sidetracked

    Debrief: MTM Blackhawk Special Ops Watch

    So, I’ve been using the MTM Blackhawk for two and a half years now, and I must regretfully report that it broke. It broke faster than any watch I had before (that I paid for). The only watch that failed faster was the digital watch that came with a Happy Meal when I was 10 years old.

    The short version is that the screw stem broke off from the casing and now the crown cannot be screwed back in. The watch will not tick until the crown is pressed in. Without the screw stem, the crown pops back out, therefore, rendering the watch useless.

    I did have my doubts about this watch for heavy duty use since day one, but I didn’t think it would die during casual use. I am a world traveller and although I do sometimes visit rugged countries, most of my travels take me to civilized places. The most testing thing I do to my watch(es) is to fast forward (or rewind) time 14 hours at a time when I land on the other side of the globe. I don’t swim with the watch, I don’t fight with the watch, and I never use it for anything other than telling time (no thank you MacGuyver). So I was surprised and very very disappointed when the metal just twisted off the case like it was tin foil.

    What I presume is that most of the parts for the Blackhawk is made in China and the final product is only assembled in the US. There is a reason why MTM only warrants the complexities (inside mechanism) of the watch and not the case, backing, bracelet, or the glass. The mechanism is a run of the mill generic LED quartz watch (Dakota’s Torch series uses the same mechanism) that is mass produced and easily swapped out. But the case and all external parts are semi-custom and are probably only produced in quantities less than 10,000. That’s why MTM isn’t able to pass on a mass-production savings for the warranty, and has to keep an eye on inventory.

    By the way, my MTM Blackhawk did not come in a watertight SeaHorse case as promoted on their website. 

    My main reason for getting this watch was for memorabilia purposes. I should have left the watch in a case instead of wearing it on my wrist. Damn it!