My teammate Cory had been given the Marathon USMC Navigator to wear, and Nicki, the Marathon 36mm Medium Diver Automatic. Neither of these watches have the chronograph function I found so useful, but they did have the bezel for overall ride time and all three withstood the same frigid conditions. The bezel on the navigator is bi-directional and contains a small H3 tritium gas tube in the pip at the top. This is in addition to the tritium tubes at each hour marker and on both the hour and minute hands. If you are wondering why H3 tritium tubes are so important to the military, they provide a constant glow without needing to be changed by a light source. We wrote an in-depth article on tritium tubes here, and their functional appeal means they are present throughout the Marathon Watch catalogue.


For Cory, the Navigator has another feature that was of interest to him: it is light. This is due to the unique Fibreshell material Marathon has used in the construction of the watch, and also because of its ETA F06 Quartz movement. And to anyone who has forked out the big bucks on a carbon fibre bike or component upgrades, shaving off every possible gram becomes an obsession. Typically, you’d pay more for a more lightweight component on your ride, but the Marathon USMC Navigator comes in as the most affordable option worn by the team. Less weight, for less cash… And at 41mm x 13mm, it’s an easy daily-wearer to boot.

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I also enjoy that this watch will let you know when the battery needs changing. The seconds hand will jump every 4 seconds to save energy and let you know it’s time for a swap, and this feature would be incredibly important for the Marines who rely on it on active duty.


Nicki pushing ahead wearing the Marathon Medium Diver Automatic.

The Marathon 36mm Medium Diver Automatic is also something that can be worn more regularly at 36mm x 13mm. It has a 316L stainless steel construction with screw down crown and 30 ATM water-resistance. It is powered by the Sellita SW200 movement, which gives it an added date function at 4:30 on the dial. Again, we see H3 tritium gas tubes on the hands and at each hour marker. The triangle at the 60min mark on the uni-directional bezel uses MaraGlow lume, so that will eventually lose charge without exposure to another light source. Still, legibility is the theme that is carried throughout each Marathon watch and this Marathon Medium Diver Automatic is no exception.


The Medium Diver Automatic on my 7.25″ wrist. Training was snowed out, so I took this for a spin instead.

Although its tall presence on your wrist is somewhat atypical, it is strangely appealing. I wore it myself for a while to get a personal feel for it, and I thoroughly enjoyed its smaller diameter. I think that anyone who likes to wear vintage military watches would enjoy this model immensely, and you could definitely wear this in the pool or as a daily beater in any season.

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In contrast to both the Navigator and Medium Diver, the Marathon CSAR (or Pilot’s Chronograph Search And Rescue) is big, and it wears quite tall. At 46mm x 18mm and made from solid 316L stainless steel, this watch could hold double-duty as a close-quarters melee weapon. Forced to eject into hostile enemy territory? Lost your sidearm? Start swinging that bezel! So although this won’t exactly slide under the cuff of your shirt, that’s really not the point of the CSAR.

It’s an automatic chronograph and the Valjoux 7750 is the power-source selected by Marathon. However, the sheer size of this watch does more than merely protect its own mechanical guts. You see, the Marathon CSAR and entire “Search And Rescue” line from Marathon need to be fully workable with gloved hands. This means that you can screw/unscrew the crown and pushers, operate the chronograph, and set the bezel without first having to free your fleshy digits from their warm confines. And we definitely got the chance to test this out early in the season! Works like a charm.


The lug design also makes this watch wear quite comfortably, even at the 46mm size. Not only does it feel substantial due to its weight and size, but the fit and finish on the Marathon Pilot’s Chronograph Search & Rescue (CSAR) model makes it feel like the best-made watch in the line-up. Personally, I’d even go a bit further and say it felt like one of the best-made cases I have ever handled. The bezel click feels super precise and sharp, there are no overly sharp or overly dull edges… Heck, there’s even a special bevel on the inside of the lugs to help guide the spring bars into place!


Training food… For me. I can’t survive on CLIFF bars and gel packs alone.

Additionally, the main hands and indices are all fitted with tritium tubes for 24-hour visibility, with the smaller chronograph hands and bezel marker using applied MaraGlow. It also has both the day and date window and both set crisply after unscrewing the long knurled crown. It is quite the machine, and every consideration has been made in favour of function and ease of use.

Now later in the season when rides got hotter, we were extra enthused about the fact that our nylon Crown & Buckle #TimeForACure NATO straps were washable. We were glad to leave the frigid temperatures and extra layers behind, and donned our official flight-suit inspired team kit.

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