When Dumbass is not Dumb Enough.
A Whole New Level of Stupid.
The world of military watch collecting is fraught with all kinds of stupidity spouted by sellers and marketers trying to profit from some supposed “military” allure. And perhaps it’s to be anticipated when brands like Chase-Durer and Luminox have built entire brands around ostensible military connections that have often been tenuous at best.
But these watches are the most breathtakingly stupid things I have seen in a long, long time.
And that’s even before we consider that the Rogue Warrior himself, Richard Marcinko, ended his naval career in disgrace with a year-long stay in a federal prison. Yes, really.
To their credit, Rogue Warrior watches have at least attempted to include some genuine innovations. However, they are finally lumped together in a product that is considerably less than the sum of its parts.
For instance the cases are filled with Krypton gas, a noble gas that is essentially chemically inert. The Rogue Warrior page makes a great big deal about the Kryton and takes pains to point out how krypton 30 times more expensive expensive than argon. Argon is indeed cheaper and is used used by very few makers like Sinn to purge the watch case of atmospheric air that may contain water vapor. However, even argon is already overkill in a sense. Few brands even bother with gas-filled watches for this reason, and filling the case with even cheaper nitrogen accomplishes the same thing and is used in applications like night vision optics. And although they tout Krypton’s expense, Rogue Warrior Watches does not even try to explain how exactly it is that Krypton is supposed to be superior or provide any additional benefit.
As well, the Rogue Warrior watches make use of a new d30 impact-resistant material, ostensibly to guard the movement against shocks. The thing of it is, perhaps the major advantage of d3o is that it is flexible and pliable in its resting state and stiffens only on impact, making it comfortable to incorporate into clothing and protective gear. However, the d3o material probably doesn’t do much good inside a watch case, where its flexibility is unneeded and presumably the integrity of the rigid steel case structure would have to be compromised before the d3o would stiffen and provide any advantage. At which point of course the typical wearer is probably much more concerned about whatever trauma caused the event than knowing the time or looking badass. And this is aside from the fact that well-made quartz movements lack a mechanical balance wheel and are already inherently shock resistant to begin with.
It’s also not at all clear how the special Kryptolite™ system using Super Luminova and krypton gas would make the watch any easier to see in the dark as Rogue Warrior Watches claims. In fact, if anything I would expect that the heavier-than-air krypton gas might actually allow slightly less light to pass through. And that’s even before considering that a highly luminous watch is not always a tactical advantage in the situations these watches are supposedly intended for.
The Rogue Warrior Watches web page is filled with comically overblown hyperbole. I swear this is actually on their site and I’m not making this up:
“The anti-glare crystal is protected by two solid steel bars. Some operators hone these bars to a sharp point. One operator casually mentioned that ‘It’s not just a watch it’s a weapon‘.”
Utterly ridiculous. I’m not sure who would think it safe or even slightly advantageous to be carrying sharp edged instruments in such a manner. It would be hazardous and dangerous in just about any environment I can think of, posing a hazard to skin an equipment alike.
And here’s something that starts to make one wonder about the sort of people marketing these things. As of the time of writing, a quick look at the page title (look up at the top of your screen) seems to indicate that Rogue Warrior Watches is actually peppering their page code with the word “Luminox”, perhaps in an ill-founded attempt to SEO their way into becoming perceived as a viable competitor to Luminox:
Elsewhere trademarks of other brands like Chase-Durer and even MTM appear hidden in the code, some of which may even be visible when hovering the mouse pointer over images depending on your browser. It’s hard to tell which is funnier, the idea the super-commando manly man watches would need to try to promote themselves using others’ names, or that the names they’ve chosen to mis-use are silly pseudo-military brands. Of course, this isn’t usually a strategy used by reputable brands as mis-using someone else’s trademarks as such can potentially expose one to a lot of legal liability.
Here’s an excellent rule of thumb to remember if you’re trying to figure out if a watch brand’s claims of military association are authentic: if a brand makes a great big stinkin’ deal about said military association, it’s probably not altogether genuine. If the claims feel overblown, they probably are.
Corrollary #1 to this rule is that most to all of the brands actually issued by modern militaries and/or favored by military members don’t make much of the association. Suunto, Casio G-Shock, Timex, etc. make no or next to no mention of any military connection in marketing materials, yet these are among brands actually favored by military members or even issued by military organizations.
And for whatever it’s worth, the actual US Navy SEALs commonly issue Casio G-Shocks to the teams. Imagine that.
So if you’re in need of a good laugh, or want to see what aspiring Mall Ninjas everywhere will be wearing this winter, check these out: