The Marathon Watches Standing to Attention
Four generations of Marathon watchmakers, spanning 75 years, have furnished the US Marine Corps, US Air Force and Canadian Navy, among countless other international Law Enforcement and Peace Keeping units, with many thousand timepieces.
One can barely begin to comprehend the rigorous testing that each model has endured, in order to surpass the technical and practical performance specifications outlined by the military.
In this week’s blog we are going to delve into an exciting selection of just a few of our favourite Marathon watches, which all exemplify Swiss prowess and military innovation.
Each exhibits Marathon’s signature Tritium tubes on the hour markers and hands - a key feature for illumination at night. These provide a constant light source, with which you can read the time for 25 years without fading. Unlike standard photoluminescent paint, this will never dull. You’ll also find the watches’ individual serial number, military information, and movement inscribed on the case back.
Great care and attention was paid inside and out, to the Marathon Pilot Chronograph CSAR (Chronograph Search and Rescue). You'll notice that its pronounced unidirectional bezel is almost the same thickness as the 316L stainless steel case that it overhangs. It’s specifically bulky, at 17mm deep, to allow elite Canadian Navy divers to operate the watch while wearing meshed gloves up to 300m underwater.
Measuring 52mm from lug to lug, the watch is engraved with inserts which never fade and fuelled by a Swiss 7750 ETA Valjoux Automatic self-winding movement with rapid day and date correction function. You'll find far more expensive watches powered by the very same, which further illustrates the calibre of this timepiece.
It’s attached to a 100% vulcanised Italian-made natural rubber strap. Please note that, should you require a brush-finished metal Marathon bracelet, engraved with military emblems, we can source one for you.
You can watch our detailed review of the Marathon Pilot Chronograph below.
The Diver's Automatic Medium is one of the smaller sized timepieces, at 36mm, in Marathon’s line of diving watches, but built just as tough and water resistant as the larger pieces, to ISO 6425 military specifications in La Chaux de Fonds.
Here a 26 jewel Sellita SW200 automatic movement is housed within the 316L surgical grade stainless steel case - which is both watertight to 300m, and scratch resistant. For the perfect custom-fit, exclusive to your wrist size, carefully pierce the vulcanised rubber strap accordingly.
Occasionally, armed forces approach Marathon to request a horological solution for specific criteria. The Marathon Military Navigator, for example, was built at the request of the Texan Kelly Air Force Base who wanted an instrument for their pilots, parachutists and law enforcement officials.
Officially licensed for the United State Marine Corps, the Marathon Military Navigator is available in different colour ways including sage green and dark tan, as well as classic black. The timepiece can withstand altitudes up to 35,000 feet without cracking, the Hesalite crystal allows it to withstand the extreme, rapid variations in pressure that parachutists experience.
Not only does the bezel count 12 hours, in typical military fashion, but the 41mm asymmetric watch is larger on its crown side, to protect the most delicate part from damage. The fibershell case, sheltering the Swiss-made high torque 3 Jewel ETA F06 quartz movement within, was specifically chosen for being super lightweight. Soldiers and servicemen have enough equipment to carry on the battle, where every ounce counts.
Marathon never indulge superfluous design – every feature has a purpose. Marathon watches are delivered in authentic military packaging, arriving in small transportable cardboard boxes - the USMC versions embossed an official US Navy authenticity seal as well.
Similarly, the General Purpose Quartz is simple and sleek. Gone is the bezel, this stylish two time analogue dial watch is small and sleek designed with the infantry in mind.
Powered by a Swiss-made, stop second high torque 3 jewel ETA F06 Quartz movement, it’s shatterproof thanks to the specially chosen Hesalite crystal. This timepiece will never yield to the elements.
You'll receive a complimentary custom Marathon Official Canadian Government issue 'Toque', or knitted cap, with every purchase - money can't buy them. The first French and Matis traders kept these woollen nightcaps on during the bitter winter months, making them world famous.
Men have very literally entrusted Marathon watches, such as these here, with their lives while engaged in conflicts the world over.
We are more than happy to talk watches so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to find out more about any of the Marathon timepieces mentioned in this post.