Watch Review: MARATHON USMC Automatic Watch - Watch Freeks


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Old 06-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Watch Rebiewer: Mike W. aka UKWolfeman
Watch Being Reviewed: Marathon USMC Automatic

Company Information:

Marathon Watch Company Ltd.
10 - 30 Mural St.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Canada L4B 1B5

Email: info@marathonwatch.com
Telephone:
1-800-822-4329 Fax: 905-764-0035
Website:
http://www.marathonwatch.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MarathonWatch?ref=ts

History (Direct from Marathon): "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!"

Stock Photo:



Specifications:

US Marine Corps Logo
Made in Switzerland
Intended Use: Dive, Search, and Rescue (SAR)
ISO 6425
Automatic self-winding ETA movement 25 jewels
Tritium gas tube illumination on hands and dial
Stainless steel case (316 L)
Sweep second hand with MaraGloTM luminous tip
Screw-down crown
Water resistance: 30 ATM (300m/1000ft)
Easy-set date function
Sapphire crystal
Uni-directional bezel (120 click)
Includes vulcanized rubber strap with stainless steel buckle
Optional stainless steel bracelet with U.S. Great Seal on clasp available: NSN 6645-01-550-7391 Part # WW005005US
Each wrist watch is individually numbered
Designated space on case back for personalization
Hologram seal of authenticity
Hand engraved case
Replacement rubber strap available (Part No. WW005006)
Weight on bracelet: 179grams
Rubber strap weight: 25 grams
Price: $1118.00 USD w/ bracelet $1303.00 USD

Watch Donated for Review

First Impressions: I can say I wasn't surprised. Not the first Marathon I have ever had the chance to examine and again the products just do not disappoint. Very impressed.

Packaging: The packagingis an area where Marathon just flat out gets it right. Many companies spend a lot of resources in creating large watch boxes, jewelry cases, tubes, etc while nice typically just end up in the closet taking up space. The majority of Marathon products including this particular model come in a small rectangular box that has a padded interior to protect the watch. Just plain simplistic and welcomed as I do prefer placing the majority of the resources into the watch itself which Marathon has done in this case. The optional bracelet also comes well wrapped and packaged in a brownish cardboard box which again is small,simplistic and once again welcomed.









Case (Crown Side): Like all Marathon SARmodels the case side viewsprovidefor a greatprofile of the awesome bezel which we will talk more about later in this review. The stainless steel case has a nice brushed finish throughout. The crown is the screwn down variety, unsigned, knurledand isvery firm with no wiggle whenunscrewed. The crown screws down very smoothly as well. The crown measures in at6.5mm in diameter and around4mm in length.The case specifiationsmeasure in at 41mm and 45mm including crown. The case thicknessmeasures almost 14mm and finally for a 41mm watch a very substantial weight at179 grams on the bracelet. I would like to see GSAR models at some point in the future with a 43-44mm case size as at 41mm those wanting a larger case size can only choose from the JSAR or CSAR models.





Case (Non Crown): Normally with the non crown side of a watch case there is little to discuss. Again from this side one can see the nice brushed finishof the stainless steel case.One of the changes with this specific model is that US Marines has been machined into this side of the casefilled with black enamel. It should be noted that this particular GSAR is officially licensed by the United States Marines which makes it unique to the GSAR line. You will also notice on this side of the case as well as the crown side that there are machined lug holes that allow for easier strap/bracelet changes which is always a benefit in my book. Finally, the lug to lug measurement of the case comes in at around48mm.







Bezel, Dial and Hands:
The SAR models from Marathonas mentioned previously all have probably the most unique bezel of any watch on the market. This USMC GSAR model bezel measures in at around 5mm in height will be the first component that will draw attention. The bezel turns with adequate application of force and is very smooth with precise clicks. The bezel insert is a matte black60 second type format. No lume on the bezelexceptthe Maraglo PIP at the 12 position.

The USMC GSAR is fitted with a Sapphire crystal that is 3mm thick.The dial opening measures in at around 31mm. Beneath the sapphire crystal rests a black matte dial. I would clasify the dial as a military typeformat asthe military time is present surrounding the inner portion of the dial. A feature that I really like about this dial are the markers. Rather than using Superluminova Marathon uses Tritium T25 Tubesat each hour position that glow brightly continually without need for exposure to a light source.The tubesglow green except for the tube at the 12 position which glows orange. The dialnotates the brand and water resistance information that one would see on many watches as well as the radiation logo seen on some tritium watches. Again with this particular GSAR being an officially licensed product of the United States Marines Marathon has also placed theUS Marine logojust below the 12 position on the dial. A date window with white datewheel with blacknumeralsis position between the 4 and 5 positions and isquite large and very legible.

I would classify the hour and minute handsas Batonstyle. The hour and minute hands also haveT25 tritium tubes insetfor continuous lumination that will make telling time in any darkened condition extremly easy. Thesecond handglides around the dial withthe precisionone would expect of a quality Swiss Made ETA 2824-2 movement.While the second hand does not contain tritiumthe tip is lumedwith Maraglo and glows brightly for hours with an adequate charge.











Case Back: T
he case back on the this SAR modelis packed with tons of information about the watch. More information than what I have seen on the majority of other watches.Information such asserial numbers, manufacturing period, movement information Water Resistance of 300m, ISO 6425 certification notation, and with this particular model once again since it is an officially licensed productor the United States Marines the US Marines and their motto "Semper Fidelas" which means "Always Faithful" or "Always Loyal" isalso notated. I like the aspectthat pretty much everything you want to know about your watch is noted on the case back but surprisingly remains uncluttered. Possibly just the ordered arrangement.

For those interested in reading about ISO 6425 certification follow this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_6425



Movement: The movement used by Marathon for this model is a base grade ETA 2824-2. However it should be noted that each individual movement is calibrated at the factory during watch production. This particular movement has been spot on accurate since arrival.

Bracelet/Strap: The strap that comes standard with SAR models is a very nice Italian rubber that is vanilla scented. The rubber strap measures in at 20/18mm and has a thickness range of 4.5/3.25mm. The strap comes standard with a stainless steel buckle that is stamped with the Marathon name. The strap is extremely comfortable but as most know Iam a bracelet guy most of the time so on to the bracelet.While I found the strap to haveflaws for the larger SAR models it is very appropriate in size and fit for the smaller SAR models.As far as an upgrade it would be nice to see a more substantial clasp than the one currently being used such as a Pre-V or Thumnail with significant weight and thicknesssuiting the big bold watch case.


The bracelet measures 20/18mm and the links measure in at around 3-4mmin thickness depending on where you take the measurement as the center links jet out slightly toward the top of each link.The end links used for connecting the bracelet to the case are solid in construction. The bracelet comes standard withdiver's flip lockand safety as well as a stamped diver's extension. The claspcontains5 micro adjustments which makes getting that perfect fit much easier. As far as sizing the bracelet I will caution readers to not attempt to unscrew the links until you allow the bracelet to sit in piping hot water for 10-15 minutes. The precise machining and use of loctite by Marathon makes it almost impossible to loosen the screws otherwise. I am still holding out hope that at some point Marathon will make a slight modification to their bracelets and use the single headed screw format which I find much easier to size.





















If you like a NATO (not from Marathon)..........



Lume: Marathon uses T25 tritium tubes for the vast majority of lumination on this USMC GSAR. The tubesglow as one would expect for tritium tubes and will last for years. The tubesglow green in color at every hour position, hour and minute hands and orange in color at the 12.

Maraglo is used on the second hand tip and the lume PIP. Marathon describes the Maraglo treatment as: "Long glowing non-nuclear paint. Our MaraGlo not only glows better than any other non-radioactive treatment that we know of, but is totally environmentally safe!"

I would classify the lume as average to above averagefor a tritum tube type watch with T25 tubes. I would like to see Marathon look into using T100 tubes down the road to provide superior tube lumination or update the dial to accomodate the use of multipleT25 tubes at the 12, 3, 6, and 9.




Summary:Marathon has hit a home run again with the production of this GSAR model. A consumer should consider themselves as receiving a double bonus so tospeak with the USMCGSAR.Marathon with this particular modelwants the consumer to know that they are concentratingspecifically on the United States Marines and dedicated to a "good cause".Marathon has an official licensing agreement with them for this particular model.Royalties from use of the trademarks go towards funding important programs for military members. The hologram sticker on the lidof the watch box must accompany any of the licensed USMC watches that Marathon sells and can only be obtained through the USMC.On top of some proceeds going to military programs consumers are going to be getting a quality SWISS Made timepiece with quality specifications such as an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, Sapphire crystal, T25 tritium tubes to name a few. I still hold out hope that Marathon will look into upgrades in the strap and bracelet areas but those areas alone should not deter one from jumping on the Marathon bandwagon as the current straps and bracelets are quality components.

Thanks for reading and as always I look forward to your comments.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This one seems to have everything that you would expect in a Marathon. A hair on the smaller side at 41mm, but not much else to complain about. I have a JSAR with the quartz movement and it is a top notch watch. For the auto lovers you can grab this one and get a very nice movement. The use of Loctite in the links is both a blessing and a curse. My US Seal bracelet was the most difficult bracelet I have owned to size. I assume this is the same based on Mike's great review. Despite the fact that it is a tad undersized (for me) and the bracelet sizing issues, I'd still buy one without any reservations.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Spaceview wrote:
Quote:
This one seems to have everything that you would expect in a Marathon. A hair on the smaller side at 41mm, but not much else to complain about. I have a JSAR with the quartz movement and it is a top notch watch. For the auto lovers you can grab this one and get a very nice movement. The use of Loctite in the links is both a blessing and a curse. My US Seal bracelet was the most difficult bracelet I have owned to size. I assume this is the same based on Mike's great review. Despite the fact that it is a tad undersized (for me) and the bracelet sizing issues, I'd still buy one without any reservations.
Marc for those with wrist sizes such as yours one thing about this model as well as the GSAR models in general the 14mm thick case and thick bezel provide quite a bit of wrist presence so never fear in that regard.

I do hold out hope that one day we will see a GSAR model at 43-44mm as I am certain it would be extremely popular.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great Review!!!

I like the looks of the watch, a little small for my tastes, and I could personally not wear anything with Marines on it, considering I am not a Marine.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I saw this beauty yesterday and was somehow drawn back to see the pics again today. It sure does have that type of effect on me anyway. Thanks for the superb review and pics, too.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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muy bonita!!! love the look but too small, I sold my Gsar due to size, it wore very small.. but looks great!! not cheap though,
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great review and pics, thanks. I love the watch, just a little pricey for my tastes.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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nice execution, too small for my taste, and too expensive.
thanks for the review.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Fantastic review Mike!

I have owned a TSAR and GSAR and they were both very nice, rugged timepieces. Marathon makes some solid tool watches!,
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Nice review. Thank you.
Too bad that Marathon watches are less seen around Europe.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Great review Mike! That is a very cool watch and a great way for any American to show their support for the marines by wearing it. It would also be a perfect gift for a current or retired marine.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Tattoo Chef wrote:
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Great Review!!!

I like the looks of the watch, a little small for my tastes, and I could personally not wear anything with Marines on it, considering I am not a Marine.
Not about being a Marine my friend. It is also considered a tribute piece to show support for this branch of the service. Any purchase of this watch some proceeds go to funding programs for Marine families.

Not solely intended for purchase by Marines.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Great review Mike. Awesome looking watch.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Great review.
I like the details around the Marathon, makes an overall solid impression.

Wear it often and in good health

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Awesome piece! Great review.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Great review! Nothing better than a thorough review with great, detailed pics. Thanks for sharing.
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