When it comes to Swiss watches built for the extremely rugged requirements of first responders and military personnel, only a handful of brands come to mind — Traser is among this specialized group. The brand’s combination of proprietary trigalight tritium tube illumination technology, robust case geometry, and reliable movement choices make it a contender for those looking for a watch that can take a beating and brush it off with ease.

The Traser P99 Q Tactical takes the existing tool watch DNA and evolves it into a special forces-specific model with everything you need and nothing you don’t. While the watch leans more toward special forces/tactical operator styling with a stealthy blacked-out color scheme, it actually checks plenty of boxes on my list as an emergency medicine first responder. For those who are not a fan of all-black watches, the watches also have navy blue or OD Green dial colors as well. Before I found myself working in the watch industry, I was a full-time emergency medical technician working plenty of overtime to fund my watch hobby. While a variety of dive watches graced my wrist over years in the field, I never found the right watch that filled the specific requirements I had. The Traser P99 Q Tactical is a solid contender, and I took it into the field to see how it stacks up in action.

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Finding a balance between size, weight, and durability for a wristwatch almost always comes down to materials. Often, titanium is the metal of choice, but it isn’t the only functional one. Traser has opted for a hybrid case construction on the P99Q Tactical to bridge this gap between size and weight. The outer shell of the case is constructed of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. Portions of the mid-case and lugs have been hollowed out to give the exterior a dynamic appearance in combination with the fine-grained effect of the carbon reinforcement. The interior of the case is a steel container that houses the movement and dial. The two-part construction results in a large overall package coming in at 46mm in diameter, 53mm from lug-to-lug, and 13.7mm thick. Featuring an 8mm screw-down crown, solid steel caseback, and sapphire crystal, the case is water resistant to 200 meters.

The Traser P99 Q Tactical is no small watch, but it’s not unwieldy on my 6.5-inch wrist (seen in the photo above). Despite its dimensions, the hybrid case construction and slimming nature of the case’s black outer carbon fiber reinforced shell make it surprisingly comfortable to wear. Coming in at 100 grams on the fitted rubber strap also makes it a very lightweight alternative to other watches with similar dimensions. This larger size also prevents it from sliding under the cuff of a shirt or jacket, which, contrary to most watches, is preferred in the emergency medical field. Sliding a cuff back to check the time with soiled gloves is not ideal in most situations. However, the aggressively ribbed bezel is easily gripped with gloves of any kind or amount of soiling. The bi-directional 60-click bezel is a pleasantly functional addition. While traditional dive bezels are unidirectional, the versatility and adaptability of equipment for field use are appreciated. If there is one thing I would change about the bezel, it would be the option to swap to alternative scales to fit mission requirements.

Powering the Traser P99 Q Tactical is a Swiss quartz movement and the brand does not specify the exact caliber. However, as with many quartz movements, you can be sure it will handle impacts and shocks better than mechanical alternatives. Matte black hands display the time with each containing a tritium tube for illumination. The black hands disappear against the black dial, but the tritium tubes remain legible. A military time scale is found on the interior of the dial, while trigalight hour markers take the place of hours 1 through 12. The periphery of the crystal is also illuminated, albeit with Super-LumiNova pigment, which is also found on portions of the bezel.

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The case is mounted on a fitted rubber strap that is stiff at the initial downturn but increases in flexibility along its length. During the first week of wear, the strap attracted quite a bit of lint, but this quickly wore off and has not been a problem since. Minor venting is present on the rear of the strap, which helps with moisture evaporation and does not leave a significant imprint on your skin like other rubber straps.

Upon first wearing the watch, I was concerned that the flanges on the bezel or overall large size would be problematic in the field. In emergency medicine, we often need to carry patients up and down flights of stairs, through tight spaces, and work as part of a large team in a small environment. My concerns were quickly quelled, and I had no snags or issues. Over the few months I’ve worn the watch, I have also loaned it out to other healthcare providers to give it a spin. Despite the watch colliding with doorframes and knobs, equipment such as AEDs, oxygen tanks, radios, and even the occasional combative patient, I cannot find any notable damage.

The carbon fiber-reinforced polymer case has shown impressive resiliency in action. Some of the impacts the watch sustained while on my wrist are similar to those that have removed bezels, bent bracelets, and shattered crystals on other watches I have worn over my years in emergency services. However, there is one downfall to this case in a medical environment. The fissures and skeletonization of the mid-case are perfect areas for bacteria and other organic materials to become lodged. Fortunately, this watch is not targeting the medical field but rather the tactical operations field, where this issue is less relevant.

All in all, the Traser P99 Q Tactical has held up effortlessly to the rigorous emergency medicine field tests I have put it through, and while I am leaving this portion of my career behind after 2023, it does make me wish I’d had a capable companion on the wrist for the duration of my time in the field. Additionally, despite its large size, it has been a supremely comfortable watch to wear and renewed my appreciation for large function-first tool watches. The P99 Q Tactical has everything you need and nothing you don’t for the entirety of your mission. The P99 Q Tactical comes in three colors and is priced at $595 USD on the fitted rubber strap and $555 USD on a Nato-style strap. You can learn more about Traser Swiss Watches on the brand’s website.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Traser Swiss Watches
>Model: P 99Q Tactical
>Price: $595 USD on rubber, $555 USD on NATO-style strap
>Size: 46mm-wide, 53mm lug-to-lug, 13.7mm thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: On emergency services calls, volunteer firefighting, hiking, climbing, camping.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: A friend who wants a durable reliable analog watch.
>Best characteristic of watch: Trigalight luminous indices and luminous crystal ring.
>Worst characteristic of watch: The large diameter and lug-to-lug might deter some  who would normally be interested.

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