Watch Review: MARATHON Navigator Type III, Class 1 - Watch Freeks


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Old 03-21-2012, 10:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name of Reviewer:¬* four20 (Erik S.)

Name of person who took pictures in review:¬* four20 (Erik S.)

Watch Name / Model Being Reviewed / Brand:¬* Marathon Watch Co. Navigator Quartz with Date, Type III, Class 1¬*


Company Info - from the Marathon website:
The company that was to become Marathon Watch was founded in 1904 as Weinsturm Watch, later to be named Wein Brothers. In 1939 Morris Wein founded Marathon Watch in Montreal, supplying fine precision timepieces to retailers throughout North America. In 1941 Marathon began manufacturing timing instruments for the Allied Forces. Marathon’s tradition continues today with its fourth generation manufacturing fine quality innovative instruments measuring time, temperature and distance. Marathon’s manufacturing facilities include Switzerland, Canada, and the USA!

SPECIFICATIONS (from Marathon website):
Case size 1 11/16 inch or 42.8625mm
Intended Use: High altitude, Pilot/parachute - Law enforcement
Bi-Directional Time Zone Ring
Analogue dial with 2 time scale
Date between the 3 and 4 o'clock position
Water resistant to 6 atm. atmospheres
Stop Second (hack) high torque movement
Fibreshell high impact case with stainless steel engraved back. Hesalite Crystal forgives¬*excessive external pressure changes.
Fibreshell high impact, waterpoof and dustproof case.¬*
Black face features both 12- and 24-hour dials, with luminous hands and hour markings, white numerals and a sweep second hand. Luminous Features are indicated by self lighting tritium tubes
This watch is made in accordance with MIL-PRF-46374G Type III, Class 1
This watch comes with black nylon mil-spec strap (Xtra long to fit over uniform). This strap is manufactured in accordance with MIL-S-46383B, Type III.

NEW FEATURE : This watch comes with EOL (End of Life) display where second hand advances in 4 second increments when battery needs replacing. Replacement Battery #371

Price: $ 230.00

stock photo:




How Watch Was Obtained:¬* Watch was donated to me for review by David Sultana of Marathon Watch Co.


First Impressions & Thoughts:¬* very light.. simple... bi-directional bezel is great for the GMT function.. fixed lug bars seem very strong.. asymmetrical case is very reminiscent of the Benrus military watches of the the Viet Nam War era.. Hesalite crystal is very clear.


Packaging: Packaging is very simple- a small cardboard box and a single sheet of instructions. The watch came pre-set by David Sultana with a nice hand written note. A second, identical box contained the optional longer strap.



Non Crown Side: Only thing to note here is the bezel overhangs this side by a hair (.5mm). I found this aided in getting a grip on the bezel.



Crown Side: The crown side reveals the integrated crown guard that makes the case asymmetrical. Crown is a simple pull out design.



Case, Crystal, Dial & Hands: The case and bezel is a composite material that is very durable and light. There is a bit of molded knurling on the bezel for grip, but the grip is far from positive. I found it to be difficult to turn (which can be a positive) especially when hands are cold and dry. This isn't necessarily a bad thing- rotating bezels should stay put and I have no doubt that this won't turn if it gets bumped inadvertently. The lugs are quite short and house fixed bars- as opposed to springbars- for strength. No wearing leather/rubber straps or aftermarket bracelets with this watch unless the bars are clipped (which would severely compromise the strength, IMO)

The Hesalite crystal will be a scratch-magnet but can be polished with Polywatch. It will not fragment upon impact like sapphire or mineral glass, which is why NASA required it's use in the Omega Speedmaster issued to astronauts.

The dial is a typical mil dial with 12 hour Arabic numerals on the outer part of the dial and smaller 24 hour on the inner. There is a date window on this model at 4:30. The markers are H3 T25 tritium gas tubes which are all green except at 12, which is orange for orientation in complete darkness. The pip on the bezel is also a green tritium tube that appears to have been embedded horizontally into the bezel. I like this design as I have heard of tubes inserted vertically falling out. The minute and hour hands are a typical mil style with different length green tubes, while the un-lumed second hand is red tipped for contrast.






Case Back: Case back contains the name of the watch as well as various information related to the mil-spec, amount of rads in millicuries, and the company website. It is a press in type and has a slot to ease removal for battery changes.




Strap/Buckle: Strap is a 20mm nylon with a PVD buckle. The buckle on first glance appears thin and flimsy. After some use, I have come to the conclusion that is is far from flimsy- in fact it is quite rigid and well made. The keeper is as wide as the strap and is heat-welded (as are the edges and holes) to the strap in a fixed location. The standard length 25mm strap was more than adequate for my 8.25‚ÄĚ wrist and the tail tucked neatly into the keeper with none showing. The optional extra long, 30mm strap was included for review and can be ordered with the watch in place of the std length for those with large wrists or if you wish to wear it over the cuff or sleeve. I found it to be plenty long for strapping the watch on over a very thick, long sleeve flannel shirt.







Lume:¬* As mentioned before, lume is provided by 15 H3 T25 tritium gas tubes in the dial, hands and bezel. The 12 o'clock marker is orange for orienting the watch in the dark, while the rest are green.



Movement Testing or Info: Earlier models of the Navigator were powered by the ISA Quartz 1198 but this contains the updated movement- an ETA F06.111 3 jewel high torque quartz. I have found it to be quite accurate in that it has not gained or lost a second in the 6 weeks I have had it. The second hand nails each marker without any hint of lash.


Summary:¬* I have come to appreciate the style of this watch over the last year after reading some history of the Benrus watches used in Viet Nam by US special forces / covert ops guys. This watch was far from being on my scope however, and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to review it. It is very light and with this being my first real experience with tritium tubes I am now sold on the technology. This is a purpose-built watch that will take some serious punishment without fear of failure.
This watch was very difficult to photograph, and as a result I tried to capture it in different lighting conditions to give a clear idea of it's shape and features. Some photos will appear over exposed to better capture the matte finish.

Lastly, I would like to thank David Sultana for providing the watch for review. During my review period, I did quite a bit of research on these types of watches and I would like to suggest to David that this watch in a stainless steel case like the models Marathon/ADANAC made in the late 80's early 90's might indeed sell well these days to collectors/enthusiasts.

Thanks for reading!¬*
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice review Erik.
Good info and pics.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Excellent review and pics. I really enjoyed it.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice. I was thinking on getting one a while back.

What's the L2L on that?



I think I found it
[*]Case dimensions: 42mm without crown, 48mm lug-to-lug, 19mm (3/4″) lugs
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice review Erik! Thanks for taking the time to get some great info out.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice review! I like the looks of it though likely too small for my liking (did I miss the case size)
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks everyone

tinknocker wrote:
Quote:
Nice. I was thinking on getting one a while back.

What's the L2L on that?

¬*

I think I found it
[*]Case dimensions: 42mm without crown, 48mm lug-to-lug, 19mm (3/4″) lugs
those are about right :c

apologies to everyone- i had used a digital caliper to measure the dimensions. i have a feeling that those were in the rough draft i had started but disappeared on me

i'll put up some specific dimensions later this evening when i get home.

ky70 wrote:
Quote:
Nice review! I like the looks of it though likely too small for my liking (did I miss the case size)
it's funny you say that, Ken- this whole experience was completely outside my comfort zone and i came away thinking this is a great watch i would never would have experienced. so many strikes against it in my normal buying evaluation and yet it changed my mind on a few of them. i didn't find the size to be an issue (and it's at my lower limit), i was genuinely surprised at the clarity of the Hesalite and the brightness of the T25.

i think if you're bored with the current offerings and want to try something new for not a lot of coin (i've seen these FS new under $150) this is a great piece :c
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Pretty cool watch ftm.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's actually the size I like, L2L.

I don't care for the solid lug bars though.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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four20 wrote:
Quote:
it's funny you say that, Ken- this whole experience was completely outside my comfort zone and i came away thinking this is a great watch i would never would have experienced. so many strikes against it in my normal buying evaluation and yet it changed my mind on a few of them. i didn't find the size to be an issue (and it's at my lower limit), i was genuinely surprised at the clarity of the Hesalite and the brightness of the T25.

i think if you're bored with the current offerings and want to try something new for not a lot of coin (i've seen these FS new under $150) this is a great piece :c
Good Point as I'm starting to consider watches I once thought too small. Case in point...I put down a deposit on a Tsunami and am super excited to experience one first hand.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice review and photos. A watch I never heard of before, but looks interesting. thanks
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Great review and pics thanks for the good work. I do like the watch and it small but great for on the job. My marathon (sorry left at work don't know model non diver bezel and auto mov't swiss)crystal is scratch up so thanks for the advice on how to repair it. Lastly the tubes are always off the chart for working in low to no light conditions.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Erik what is the precise lug to lug on these?

Very nice write up and pics.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Enjoyed the review. Cool watch.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Nice job Erik!
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great review Erik!:c
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Great review.

As a former grunt, I love a good tool watch like the Marathons.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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UKWolfeman wrote:
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Erik what is the precise lug to lug on these?

Very nice write up and pics.
19mm. the strap is a 20mm. there's a little "bulge" but not really noticeable and i think it helps the strap to stay put
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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nice,does the bezel rotate?
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Great job Erik......Pretty cool watch.Cheers mate!
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