MTM's RAD watch packs a built-in Geiger counter
By David Szondy
July 24, 2013
There are few things more embarrassing than being caught in an all-out thermonuclear war and realizing that you've forgotten your Geiger counter. To prevent this social faux pas, MTM has released its Special Ops RAD watch. Available in black or silver (gray has already sold out) titanium cases, the RAD watch includes an integrated Geiger-Müller tube for measuring exposure to harmful ionizing radiation.
We've seen a Geiger counter peripheral for an iPhone before, peripherals that turn an iPhone into a Geiger counter, but the RAD watch is the first time we've seen such a particle detector integrated into a wristwatch – if you ignore the watch James Bond wore in Thunderball, of course.
The watch doesn't just measure single-dose gamma ray levels, but also cumulative exposure from 0.0001 to 9999 millisieverts and dose equivalent rates up to 4,000 microsieverts per hour. Additionally, the wearer can preset a maximum radiation threshold up to 9,999 millisieverts, after which an alarm will sound.
Users can switch the display between dose equivalent rate or accumulated dosage radiation readings, which can both be displayed graphically or as a digital readout. And for those with trouble deciphering analog watch faces, the digital readout also offers a third display option – the time.
According to MTM, the RAD watch is not a toy, but is intended for "radiation related professionals and radiologic technologists." As such, the readouts are designed for someone already familiar with such measurements and what they mean. The included manual reflects this, though it does provide basic explanations for the collector or casual user. However, MTM points out that its customer service will not answer more technical questions.
The RAD watch runs off a replaceable lithium battery with a life expectancy of up to three years. Its hands are permanently illuminated by tritium gas tubes and the digital display features an electro-luminous backlight. Water-resistant to 330 ft (100 m), the watch sports a ratcheting bezel, a sapphire crystal and the option of a link or nylon band.
The RAD watch is limited to 1,000 units and is priced at US$1,500.
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