Ares Triple Aught Design TAD Diver 1 Mission Timer Limited Edition Military 42mm


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Ares Watch Review

Matt Graham is best known for his work running Graham Combat. For over 20 years he has been training our nation’s warriors, law enforcement and even intelligence operatives to prepare them for operating in harsh and dangerous environments. He spent 12 of those years in the Central Intelligence Agency. He still runs many training classes and they are sought after but operators and civilians alike (see a previous SpotterUp AAR here), but these days Matt can more often be found in the PNW making time pieces.

What? Watches? Yup. Matt started Ares Watch Company in order to produce the watches he had wanted when he was operating overseas. Rugged, reliable, easy to read and still good looking. And he wanted to make them in the US with a lifetime guarantee and a reasonable price. After working with the Seattle’s Watch Technology Institute, late last year Matt launched the Ares Diver-1 Mission Timer watch. The name Ares is an homage to the Greek god of war and this watch is designed for today’s warriors.

The ARES DIVER-1 is an American Made hard-use mission-timer tool watch, created in limited numbers, and manufactured in the US from domestic and internationally sourced components.

Each individually serialized DIVER-1 is guaranteed for life and is created, assembled, tested, certified, and serviced by hand in Seattle.

The DIVER-1 has undergone over 20,000 hours of hard-use, mission-driven, operational test & evaluation around the world.

Case, Caseback, Crown & Bezel

41.0mm 316L stainless steel bead blasted two piece case with individually serialized, engraved, screwback construction

42.0mm 316L stainless steel bead blasted bezel, featuring countdown timer with C3 Superluminova, clear coat finish, aggressive ‘no slip’ teeth, and 120-click uni-directional countdown mission timer

49.5mm lug to lug 22mm drilled lugs with 1.8mm shoulderless spring bars, supplied with an OD green and a black 3-ring ARES LASH ballistic nylon strap 

Anti-magnetic rating 18.8Oe, shock resistant to NIHS-91-10 standards, and thermo-compensated -0 to 50+ C 

13.3mm overall thickness, 3.3oz total weight with LASH strap

This watch is a workhorse. I’ve worn it while skiing, diving, surfing and fishing. I’ve shot a couple thousand rounds while wearing it. It held up when I pounded fence posts with sledge hammers and cut up a 75 foot red oak with a chainsaw with it on my wrist. I’ve used it to time my backcountry hikes and how long I’ve been in meetings. It has never skipped a beat throughout.

I’m not alone in my praise for the Ares Diver-1 functionality. According to a senior SOF NCO, US SOF personnel used the Diver-1 in all phases of their workup for a deployment last year. Those same troops are still wearing it down range. According to the team, it worked flawlessly. According to him, they “conducted helicopter rappelling, urban CQB and cold water (sub 36 degree F) diving operations with multiple operators wearing the watch. No issues encountered and watch performed in arduous conditions as designed with the additional feature of clear visibility of the dial, hands and bezel in cycle of darkness operations”.

The lume is out of this world and holds strong for hours after going dark, typically 2-3 times longer than the other watches on my nightstand, including from some pricey luxury brands. It is also worth noting that the bezel is rock solid. It may be the first dive watch I have had where the bezel has NEVER moved accidentally on me. When I need to move it, it is easy enough to move. But when I want it to stay in place, it doesn’t move.

In addition to the ruggedness, it is a great looking watch. I am regularly asked to take it off so folks can check it out. When I saw the initial photos of the watch, I was concerned that the aggressiveness of the bezel would mean it would catch on clothing. As soon as I received it I knew that my concerns were unfounded though, as Matt machined the angles such that it is easy to grip, but not such sharp angles that they grab fabric.

Probably the biggest question most watch fanatics ask about is the Mission Timer feature. From the website:


The Mission Timer bezel functions as a 60-minute countdown timer. The 0 is indicated by the illuminated bezel pip symbol: ▼

For example, with the pip in the 12 o’clock position the minute hand will indicate – point to – the remaining countdown time to “0” on the bezel. To set, move the bezel counter-clockwise to place the desired bezel number onto the minute hand; the pip indicator will then mark the “END” time.

Users in online forums seem to get wrapped around the axle about not having a traditional dive bezel (which tells elapsed time) vis the mission timer (time remaining on target). I asked Matt about the controversy about it and he said, “Knowing the remaining time on target (Mission Timer) is easier to note and calculate than the elapsed time on target. The face of the watch tells me how long I’ve been there, the bezel tells me how long I have remaining: both sets of information are critical yet traditional dive watches and bezels only give you one.”

Matt has delivered what he set out to do. A rugged, highly functional yet good-looking watch that will withstand anything you can throw at it. On top of that he guarantees it for life.


Before I became a watchmaker, I worked for the CIA.  My entire professional life had been in service – from police officer to Federal Air Marshal Service to the Central Intelligence Agency.  When it ended, I had to decide what was next in my transition to a different kind of life. “Well, if you could wake up tomorrow and be anything, what would it be?” my wife wondered, a challenge in her voice.  My answer came clearly and quickly. “I’d make watches,” I said. “I’d be a watchmaker.”


I have been fascinated by mechanical wrist watches and pocket watches and clocks my entire life.  Cheap or expensive, vintage or modern, cuckoo clocks like the one hanging at my Grandma’s house, or mantle clocks, like the one that kept time in my childhood home, with large brass hands and a sing-song quarter hour chime.  Each in their own way are regal keepers of the past and guardians of the future.  I love them all.  I bought my first watch when I was 14, after a summer of picking spinach and saving my money.  My Citizen Promaster dive watch arrived in a yellow scuba tank package, and today, 35 years later, it sits next to an heirloom Rolex- a gift from a mentor and friend.  To me, they are equally wonderful. 


My professional life has been built on precision, integrity, and commitment to hard work and exceeding expectations. These same values are the heart of ARES.   We commit to excellent craftsmanship, service, and exceeding your expectations. We are excited to create our own vision of the regal keepers of the past and guardians of the future. 


Time is the single characteristic that binds all of our lives equally, regardless of who or where on this earth we are.  Time is the only constant that we note as a species, both when we are born and when we die. 


All I have to add is that in todays uncertain times, what better watch to be equipped with…just in case things truly get out of hand!!

NOW COMPLETELY SOLD OUT! LIFETIME WARRANTY! Also Includes a Brand New Prometheus Compass!!



MODEL: Diver 1 Mission Timer TAD Edition #054/250

MOVEMENT: Swiss Quartz

CASE: Bead Blasted Stainless Steel

CROWN: Screw Down Crown

SIZE: 42mm

LUGS: 22mm

DIAL: Black Dial

BEZEL: rotating diver

CONDITION: Brand New! – Unworn! Lifetime Warranty

BOXES/PAPERS: 100% Complete Set & Includes the Brand New Prometheus Compass!! – Everything as shown in pictures!


STRAP/BRACELET: – Original Brand New Ares OD Green Military Canvas NATO Strap with Black DLC Blasted steel buckle.



Let us know what you have in your collection!! I consider all watches in trade! Please upload pictures and include details of your trades through my Trade/Buy tab at the top of my homepage.