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02/08/2005

5.11 Tactical Introduces the H.R.T. Tactical Ballistic Computer Watch at SHOT

This product is, hands down, one of the coolest new tactical products DefenseReview got to view and handle at SHOT Show 2005, and it's not even a weapon system. Rather, it's what one might call a weapons accessory. It's called the 5.11 H.R.T. Watch, or 5.11 H.R.T. Tactical Watch, and it's the product of a rather wonderful symbiotic partnership between 5.11 Tactical Series and Horus Vision, LLC.

The Lowdown:
When I ran into Bill Berry, 5.11 Tactical Series' Executive Director and all-around great guy, at their booth, he said "David, I'd like to show you something." He was sporting a rather large grin on his face, as he said this. He then brought his wrist up into my view, and on it was this coollooking sports watch that looked like a diving watch (As it happens, you can dive with it, since it's water-resistant to 100 meters.). He immediately started punching numbers up on it, and that's when I felt a fairly large grin forming on my face. Right in front of my eyes, Bill was punching in calculations, as if he were working a computer. In fact, that's exactly what he was doing.

As it turns out, 5.11 Tactical Series and Horus Vision, LLC have teamed up to design and develop a ballistic computer in the form of a titaniumcased divable sports watch for long-range interdiction specialists (i.e. snipers), and, well, it's REALLY cool. With the 5.11 H.R.T. Watch/Ballistic Computer, a military Special Operations (SPECOPS) sniper, law enforcement (LE) sniper, or civilian competitive (or recreational) longrange shooter can...calculate all their comeups really quickly and easily. The best part is, the 5.11 HRT Watch/Ballistic Computer puts this capability all right there on their wrist for them. So, they can take their ballistic computer with them anywhere. And, it even tells the time! When Bill let me strap it on my own wrist, my smile became even broader. The watch felt light on my wrist (it's titanium-cased, remember?), and looked GOOD. Bill almost had to wrestle it back off me. I believe I offered to buy it from him, right there, because I remember Bill informing me that it was a prototype, and, therefore, not for sale. It flashed through my mind, for a splitsecond, that I might be able to take him. Just two things: there were witnesses, and I happen to like Bill. O.k. Plan A was a loser. So, I considered making a run for it. But, then, I remembered that Bill knew who I was. I figured--I think, correctly--that the authorities would probably track me down and apprehend me sooner rather than later, and make me give it back. Darn it. There went plan B. Foiled again. I returned the watch.

So, imagine my surprise and chagrin when, while I was walking around the show, shortly afterward (somewhat despondently, I might add), I ran into another gentleman wearing the same watch! "Oh, man, you gotta' be kiddin' me", I thought. I mean, seriously, what the heck's goin' on, here? When I exclaimed, "That's the 5.11 Tactical ballistic computer watch!", he looked at me for a second (a little quizically), smiled, and asked me, "How did you know that?" "It's my job to know that.", I replied, perhaps a little wryly, and handed him my card. Then I asked him, somewhat annoyedly, how he had come to acquire his little wrist accoutrement. "I designed the software for it", he said. Ah, haahhh. O.k. Got it. The gentleman standing before me was, in fact, Larry Chao, Software Designer for Horus Vision, LLC. Just like Bill Berry had done, Larry (who's another great guy, by the way) happily took me through all the features on the watch and displayed some seriously-justified pride as he did so. Just FYI, DefenseReview plans on interviewing Mr. Chao, very soon, about the project, and publishing the results of that interview for our readers.

Here's DefRev's prediction: This watch is going to sell like HOTCAKES. Yours truly already has his watch on order, and he can't wait to get it-- although I guess he'll have no choice. Oh, well.

If you use a rifle for a living, or even just for fun (or even if you just like really cool tactical gadgets), my suggestion is that you run, don't walk, to purchase your very own 5.11 H.R.T. Watch/Ballistic Computer for yourself, ASAP. All I ask is that you don't butt into the line in front of me, when you do.

Pricing and Availability:
The suggested retail price on this titaniumcased little wonder is only going to be $249.95. In DefRev's opinion, that's a heck of a lot of watch, for the money. Even better, DefRev has already seen the watch advertised on certain tactical retailers' sites for $199.00. O.k., that's the good news. The bad news is that, right now, there are only 37 of these watches in existence, all of them prototypes, and the production version won't be out until May 2005. So, if you want one, DefRev suggests you place your order now. Otherwise, you're probably going to be waiting for awhile, even after it's released.


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