Okay, okay, when a manufacturer suggests I drive over their product, shoot it, or catch a shark with it, I immediately gotta have one. If not to try all that, at least to put it through its paces in my own world. REACTOR watches sent a couple of their new “Titan” tactical models and I have hunted with one on my wrist for most of the season. But that’s not all. I put one on Manny’s collar several times., and if he could tell time, he’d probably wear one too.
My only complaint would be it is a little heavy and bulky, but so are most serious watches designed for military use.
On the surface, the Titan is a simple timepiece, analog, literally, except for the battery powering its movement. You’ll know what time and what date it is. Two movable bezels let you track elapsed time. That’s it. No digital gadgets or technical gizmos. When you hunt, you want to spend your time finding birds and keeping track of your dog, and frankly, I’m frustrated enough when I use a GPS collar and don’t need more technical challenges.
No, I didn’t shoot it with my .22, as the REACTOR folks did …
But it survived a couple nasty falls on lava rock, and Manny carried it through grouse woods, quail hunts and snow as well as into a couple water retrieves. I dropped it – on purpose – several times on my concrete shop floor with no effect. It survived a squeeze in my vise, a whack with a 2-1/2 lb. sledge hammer, and an overnight soak in a bucket of water.
Having led a deprived childhood, I was less inclined to perform some of the more violent tests I’d watched on company videos, and possibly destroy a perfectly good watch. I doubt you’ll do anything harsher than I did, and bet you’ll be happy with the outcome … as the saying went “it keeps on ticking.”
But what good is a watch that doesn’t keep time? I don’t know, because the Titan does. A high-torque (read: long-lasting like a diesel engine) Swiss movement is powered by a 10-year battery. That is then enveloped in steel, and that in turn is encased in what REACTOR calls “Nitromid,” a scratch- and impact-resistant polymer that’s 50 percent lighter than steel. Watch geeks might initially look down their nose at a K1, hardened, high-ceramic glass crystal (versus most high-end watches’ sapphire) until you understand the company’s rationale. Glass may scratch but it’s shatter resistance is exponentially greater than sapphire. You don’t need to be a special operator to appreciate the practical advantages in the field.
Another old-school feature: the only electronics are in the Swiss timekeeping guts. Illlumination of numerals and the dial are new twists on a proven technology. A phosphorescent, extremely bright “Superluminova” coating is applied to the dial’s hands and markings, so you’ll be able to tell time in a black hole. When it wanes, tubes of tritium will glow in the dark for years. When you return to Earth, simply expose the watch face to the sun, ambient light or (more likely) your office lamp, and the Superluminova “recharges.” The company’s goal was a watch you could read all night (one of the less-exciting tests I conducted, but true), without having to push a button … because your hands have more important things to do.
Other components and features are just as well thought-out: NATO-style nylon web band coated in rubber is comfortable and virtually indestructible; the band is attached to the case with screw-in pins, not spring bars; the “crowns” used to adjust time and date keep water out even if you forget to screw them all the way in; and you can toast your investment with a tall frosty one because the package becomes a beer koozie that may last as long as the watch.
Like most things these days, the Titan is a United Nations of manufacturing and parts: movement and some parts from Switzerland, others from Japan and the U.S., with assembly completed in China.
If you’re with Delta Force (don’t tell me or you’ll have to kill me), or your law enforcement department has a big budget, you might have one issued to you. If not, you’ll pungle up $500 for this watch, but it will last a couple lifetimes. Start saving up. Or enlist.
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