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.
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 theMarathon GSAR NGM Diver Automatic on Rubber Ref. WW194006NGM that we are going to introduce today.
The acronym “GSAR” stands for “Government Search and Rescue.”- where appropriate military personnel in different branches and jobs get offered these officially issued watches. Since this specific model built to be taken mostly under the sea, it fits appropriately for the Navy branch all round. The GSAR Government Diver Automatic 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 (GSAR Government Standard) with its sterile dial; the “NGM” acronyms affirm the “No Government Markings” on its dial.
Made in Switzeland, Approved by US Government
The GSAR Diver Automatic starts with its 316L stainless steel case that measures 41mm wide, with a height of 14mm thick and 48mm lug to lug. Further, the finishing of the case gets a full satin-brushed polishing, removing any source of inessential reflections in this case, while still being immaculately executed. The 120-clicks bezel gets expansive grooves that allow one to rotate it uni-directionally in almost any conditions, especially when your hands get wet. The engraved black anodized bezel stays true to military format, having it in a 60-minute format, with a luminous triangle pip at 12 o’clock. The dimension of the timepiece allows one to feel its sturdiness and being built with all sense of purpose, to be out in the field.
Moving to the side profile, we get beefy squared crown guards that flange the nailed-textured screw-down crown for easy manipulation. Flipping it over, we get the screw-in case-back, allowing it to withstand 300m water-resistant. Right on the case-back, we get the essential government markings and specifications engraved. These provide credentials on the GSAR Diver Auto 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 on the land and water.
Full satin-brushed finishing throughout its 41mm case
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. The date is placed at 4.30 position so as not to disrupt the placement of the tritium gas tubes. Lastly, only essentials wordings are onboard, like having just the “Marathon” logo at the top and “Automatic, 300m/ 1000ft (in red)” at the bottom lending to have a cleaner look relatively. The dial gets additional markings with the “H3, hazard emblem” to indicate the tritium gas usage. All this information on the GSAR Diver is easy to determine even at a glance.
Tritium gas tubes and MaraGlow™ that glows 24 hours
Inside its heart lies the traditional Swiss Self-winding automatic, 26 Jewel Marathon M2 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.
Attached to the GSAR Diver Auto is the new 20mm high quality black vulcanized rubber with "Marathon" pattern on the inside. Manufactured in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the rubber strap is crafted from FKM Rubber, meeting the requirements of high-performance military applications. The satin-finished buckle has different facets and well machined with a sharp look. Paired on this premium rubber strap, it matches with the adventure theme, elevating its sportiness and ruggedness as a whole.
Manufactured in accordance to US Government NSN 6645-21-558-0133
In all, Marathon products are manufactured with the utmost care and go through various quality control measures. This attention to quality presented in the GSAR NGM Diver Automatic on Rubber Ref. WW194006NGM, 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, but not all have the right to get approved by the US Government until today. The GSAR Diver Auto stands out from the rest in this way since day one, and besides, their watches are built with a purpose in every aspect that offers startling value for money for us watch collectors.
Self-winding automatic • 26 Jewel Marathon M2 Movement
Black. NGM: "No Government Logo"
Tritium gas tubes and Maraglo™
316L Stainless Steel
316L Stainless Steel. Engraved, black anodized insert