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Rogue Warrior Watches

When Dumbass is not Dumb Enough.

A Whole New Level of Stupid.

When Dumbass is Not Dumb Enough?

When Dumbass is Not Dumb Enough?

Rogue Warrior Red Cell Silver.  Photo: Rogue Warrior Watches.

Rogue Warrior Red Cell Silver. Photo: Rogue Warrior Watches.

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:

Snippet of HTML code from Rogue Warrior Watches page showing frequent use of the word "Luminox."

Snippet of HTML code from Rogue Warrior Watches page showing frequent use of the word “Luminox.” (Click for larger view)

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:

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Posted in Military Watches, Modern Watches.

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15 Responses

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  1. Frank K. says

    You are right about Mr. Marcinko, He did indeed spend a year in Federal Prison for Misappropriation of funds. He was railroaded by the same Navy & Goverment in which He served Faithfuly for 30+ Yrs. In which He did not PLAY NICE IN THE SAND BOX with most of His Superior’s! And as far as Mike Gee goes, the man was part of MTM for quiet some time. I am waiting on My RED CELL watch & will let You know how it is. ROUGUE WARRIOR RULES! Thank You for Your Time, Frank K.

    • Rrryan says

      When there’s a simpler explanation it’s frequently closer to the truth. If the navy had wanted to “railroad” Marcinko they could have just kicked him out of the navy for the good of the service with just about no effort. Instead they went to the trouble of trying him under the due process afforded by the UCMJ and Federal law and he was convicted by a jury of his peers. Might it start to make more sense to think that maybe, just maybe, he might possibly have been guilty?

      The man is a convicted felon. That’s usually only helpful to a career in the hiphop music industry. Instead he’s built an entire brand around this illusion of the misunderstood and persecuted maverick who incurred the wrath of the System™ and garnered this huge following of fanboys who like to indulge in the badass fantasies of his ghostwritten fiction without having to do things like, well, enlist.

      There are plenty of veterans out there who serve and continue to serve their country with honor and distinction, and who manage to exit the service of their country without felony convictions. Perhaps they might be more deserving of your admiration and business in my opinion.

      And regardless, these watches are about as stupid as stupid gets in my opinion.

  2. john greer says

    Krypton Gas molecules are twice as large as Argon and are far more effective in spaces of 1/4 inch and less as in a watch. Krypton gas used in car headlamps and flash cubes to increase brightness.

    • Rrryan says

      How is a larger molecule going to make it more effective?

      And krypton is of just about no utility in non-electric lighting. It allows for brighter light in incandescent automotive bulbs by allowing higher filament temperatures and thus more power and light output. Its mere presence does not make ambient light any brighter at all.

      It serves no purpose in these watches.

  3. john greer says

    Krypton molecules being 4 times larger than air prevents air molecules entering the watch case when the crown is pulled out. Same goes for Sinn watches using Argon.
    My neighbor got his RW watch on monday and at 6AM in the morning he showed me and it was glowing as bright as it was 8 hours earlier.

    So regardless of what we say or think ,the question is does it work. Ive seen it work , have you ?.

    • Rrryan says

      How is the krypton achieving this? Magic?

  4. john greer says

    If the Krypton gas serves no purpose someone should tell Sinn at $2500 a piece using Argon.

    We also did our own test by placing the watch in a freezer for 20 min and then heated it up with a hairdryer to 140degrees and we did not see any condensation forming. The guy at RW watches said it was OK to try this and if it was to fail just send back for a refund.

    • Rrryan says

      Not only should little to no condensation form in most any well made watch in good repair, but you also got the water test procedure backwards, which goes a long way toward explaining why no condensation was observed.

      Please take the inept pimping elsewhere as I don’t wish to continue providing an outlet for this foolishness.

  5. Hank says

    The real question is, are these $50 watches being sold for $400 – or are they worth $400?

  6. nucsol says

    If this watch is as cheesey as his self absorbed, self glorified novels I’ll stick with timex.

  7. AS says

    Sinn uses Argon to slow down the aging process of the oil (that needs O2 to proceed), and to provide a ‘dry’ atmosphere. This is part 1 of their dehumidifying tech; part 2 is the copper sulphate capsules that absorb H2O molecules left in the case and indicates level of saturation.

    Krypton is similarly inert but doesn’t make light brighter. It doesn’t make the watch interior any more less moist than a normal watch filled with ‘dry’ air.

    There is no advantage, in fact it’s costlier – but maybe you pay for the name….

  8. R.K. says

    I met CDR (ret.) Marcinko´s successor in command of DEVGRP back in 1997. He came to the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum in NYC with his family and was wearing a ballcap with a tiny Trident logo on it. Assuming that he was related to NSW, I asked about Dick Marcinko as I had read every book written by him to that point (which, I think were two or three at that time, if memory serves). The man just rolled his eyes and said, ¨The Navy handled it, and I think it was done right.¨ And, that was it. Later, I purchased a book written by this same man. The book is called ¨Combat Swimmer¨and it goes into the other side of the story with CDR (ret.) Marcinko´s trial and conviction. It opened my eyes. I entered active service shortly after having met this gentleman (also in 1998) and I applied, was selected and assigned to SOF in 2003 and have been there since. Looking back, based on what I do know now, CDR (ret.) Marcinko broke the law because he thought he could; not because of how ¨unconventional¨ he was. The man served his time and is now capitalizing on his notoriety to make money – such is capitalism. Personally, I would not have wanted to have such a commander. For selfish reasons (mainly, pride and arrogance), he forfeited his units´ prestige and name. We have to be greatful for his accomplishments, but let´s keep our feet on the ground as well. Don´t believe the hype. BTW, I own the Rogue Warrior ¨Red Cell¨and I actually like it.

  9. G says

    Well written commentary/comments. Question: What mechanism prevents the krypton gas from escaping once the crowns are pulled? Have a g’one. TM et V/R

  10. Steve says

    Wow, someone’s got their jimmys rustled. I’ve seen numerous positive reviews of these watches all over the interwebs: http://www.ablogtoread.com/rogue-warrior-red-cell-watch-review/

    http://www.watchreport.com/2010/05/review-of-the-rogue-warrior-avenger-chronograph.html#more-29

    http://m.techcrunch.com/2009/11/16/review-rogue-warrior-red-cell-watch/

    Seems pretty legit to me. Oh and I can’t help but question your comment about Mr. Marcinko ending his career in disgrace due to his time in prison, a result of his frequent toe stepping and roguish way of operating. I refer you to his autobiography “Rogue Warrior”. Have you read it? I think you should, maybe then you would have a little (or any) background on the person you’re talking about. And as for what military personnel are issued (you’re comment about Casios being used by the teams), the fact that they are significantly cheaper is usually a plus when it comes to organizational clothing and individual equipment. On a different note, I would like to know you’re background and expirience in regards to this quote: “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.” After being in the Army for four years and talking to numerous members of the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force, I’ve never ceased to be amazed at some of the modifications some people have done to their equipment. Anyways, your post seems a bit extreme in your bashing of a specific product, I suggest you sit down in a nicely sunlit place with some soothing music playing and take some slow deep breaths and calm down.

    • Rrryan says

      You drank the Kool-Aid, Steve.

      Those “reviews” you linked to were marketing placements for which watches and/or other consideration were provided, which some of them admit freely. Marcinko’s ghostwritten Rogue Warrior “autobiography” states that it is a work of fiction, which conveniently allows it to be stuffed with BS and exaggerations.

      My background includes quite more than four years of military service and included combat service. My military career didn’t end in prison either.

      Also of interest: the Rogue Warrior video game released around the same time is frequently regarded as being among the worst video games ever: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_Warrior_(video_game)#Reception

      Commenting for this post is closed. Too much fanboy fapping.