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The brand Marathon might be new to some, but not for Canadians, Americans, and especially military watch fanatics like us. The moniker is better known to watch collectors be among the few that, until today, officially offers no-frills timepieces to the military. Those regimes include the United States and Canadian army since circa 70 years ago.
|Marathon GPM NGM Reissue Mechanical Ref. WW194003SS-NGM|
Let’s dive a little deeper. 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, supplying fine precision timepieces throughout North America. Since 1941, Marathon has been manufacturing timing instruments for the Allied Forces, and today the fourth generation of the family continues the tradition with a wide range of tools measuring time, temperature, and distance. Marathon watches combine military durability with Swiss engineering and craftsmanship to ensure the highest level of quality and precision. All these traits unveiled on the reissue of their 1980s GG-W-113 military watch- the Marathon GPM NGM Reissue Mechanical Ref. WW194003SS-NGM that we are going to introduce today.
The acronym “GPM” stands for “General Purpose Mechanical.”- where appropriate military personnel gets offered these officially issued field watches. Since this specific model built to be taken mostly on land, it fits appropriately for the ground trooper’s branch all round. The GPM Reissue celebrates form over function, a non-flashy watch for sure, but builds with a purpose to aid the army with their missions. This particular reference differs from its sibling (Government Standard) with its sterile dial; the “NGM” acronyms affirm the “No Government Markings” on its dial.
|Made in Switzeland, Approved by US Government|
Entering the field watch realm, Marathon has based on the GG-W-113 specifications and manufactured for the US army between 1967 till the late 1980s, lending them to be the longest-running specifications required by the US government. Summarizing what the GG-W-113 is all about, it needed to have a 15 jewels mechanical movement with at least 36 hours of power reserve, that has a hacking mechanism with shock resistance and waterproofness. Similar to other military watches, the size kept between 34-36mm with the military 24-hour dial indication. All these traits can be seen even today in Marathon’s GPM Reissue Mechanical, in keeping what field watches are all about.
The GPM NGM Reissue Mechanical starts with its 316L stainless steel case that measures 39mm wide, with a height of 11mm thick and 44mm lug to lug. Further, the finishing of the case gets a full sand-blasted finishing, removing any source of inessential reflections in this case, while still being immaculately executed. The matte case pays tribute to the original GG-W-113 specs with parkerized finishing that also serves to be anti-corrosion for that period. The case has a unique bezel-less design, where it gets a steep convex slope from the sides to the dial opening, which allows one to entirely focus on the essential time reading at any given time. The dimension of the timepiece enables one to feel its sturdiness and with all sense of purpose, to be out in the field.
|Based on the GG-W-113 specifications since 1960s|
Moving to the side profile, we get a unique protrusion that serves as crown guards that flange the push-pull crown for easy manipulation. Its L-shaped lugs are flushed together with the overall case, and further features the drilled lug holes to allow easy strap change. Flipping it over, we get the screw-in case-back, allowing it to withstand 50m water-resistant. Right on the case-back, we get the essential government markings and specifications engraved. These provide credentials on the GPM Reissue as manufactured following US Government specification. All that said, we assure it is safe to say that both us watch collectors and the US military for use in operations.
As you’d expect in a military-style watch, the dial needs all the right ingredients to live up its livery. Underneath its flat sapphire crystal, Marathon has applied tritium gas tubes with MaraGlo™, a total of 15 encapsulated tritiums (Isotope H3) on its hour markers and syringe-style handset. Even the second-hand gets its one at the tip, allowing one to view the time with maximum legibility even when you are in the dark for more than 24 hours. The result is a constant emission of light. No more charging them by external light sources like conventional SuperLuminova. The dial features Arabic hour markers right beneath the tritium tubes, only to flange further a set of 24-hour markers reading inside. Lastly, only essentials wordings are on board, having the “Marathon” logo at the top and “17 Jewels” at the bottom. The dial gets additional markings with the “H3, hazard emblem” to indicate the tritium gas usage. All this information on the GPM Reissue is easy to determine, even at a glance. The dial of Marathon’s GPM Reissue is a direct re-make of its 80s GG-W-113, saving from the use of the new applied tritium gas tubes.
|Tritium gas tubes and MaraGlow™ that glows 24 hours|
Inside its heart keeps the epoch like its dial, the traditional Swiss ETA 2801-2; a 17 jewels hand-winding mechanical movement, which operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) and a power reserve of around 42 hours. The use of this movement shows that Marathon emphasizes accuracy under all conditions, just like they did in the 80s.
Attached to the GPM Reissue is a 16mm high-quality black nylon textile strap. It further allows one to strap on the field watch like it supposed to, feeling sturdy and waterproof if it gets wet. The nylon strap matches with the adventure theme, elevating its sportiness and ruggedness as a whole.
|Manufactured in accordance to US Government MIL-PRF-46374G|
In all, Marathon products are manufactured with the utmost care and go through various quality control measures. This attention to quality presented in the GPM NGM Reissue Mechanical Ref. WW194003SS-NGM, combining military toughness with Swiss craftsmanship. The world of military-style tool watches ever populated in the industry, where consumers have the options to choose from. Still, not all have the right to get approved by the US Government until today and able to keep the original design. The GPM Reissue stands out from the rest in this way since day one, and besides that, their watches always built with a purpose in every aspect that offers startling value for money for us watch collectors.