It was around this time when we found ourselves slightly lost and riding down an unfinished and very bumpy trail. Nicki had dumped her bike earlier on, and the Marathon 36mm Medium Diver had survived, but this road was ridiculous. All three watches were subjected to what I can only describes as “butt-hurty land-turbulence” as we rattled our way back to a main road.

This is where even I felt a bit uncomfortable taking the two automatic watches as the shock waves from the washboard surface below translated to our hands and wrists. However, 5km later, we were back on track and smooth pavement, and both the Marathon CSAR and Medium Diver Automatic were just fine. Was it sheer luck? Perhaps in part, but I can’t help but think after all the potholes bumps and scrapes that the construction of these military-grade watches had a hand in ensuring their survival.

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Through training and completing the 215km ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls, there were more than a few moments along the way where each of us thought “Uh-oh… That’s the end of that!” but our Marathon Watches really did just take a licking and keep on ticking. We also found collectively that these watches were useful, and when apps drained batteries dry or nighttime fell, these simple mechanical devices kept doing their job.

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We set off to push the limits of the Marathon CSAR, USMC Navigator, and Medium Diver, and indeed they passed the test. In a broader sense, I feel that this experiment helped demonstrate that mechanical watches still hold a place as functional tools that can accompany us on our own great adventures. They still have a place beyond style or status, and they can even help us do a little good here and there.


Lastly, from an emotional perspective, these watches became more of a symbol of persistence and endurance on our two-day Ride To Conquer Cancer. We were riding alongside survivors who endured painful and frightening treatments to emerge as victorious yet changed individuals. People who had lost loved ones wore brave faces and carried pictures or keepsakes to spur them on through the difficult segments. There were wipe-outs, mechanical failures and injuries, and emotions running high, yet everyone endured their own discomfort to just keep going. It was about the endurance of the human spirit as much as it was about the physical kind, and these watches were a great reminder and inspiration for me personally.

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Left: the team on our way across the finish line. Right: Still standing after 215 kms

Left: the team on our way across the Niagara Falls finish line. Right: Still standing after 215km!

Time represents a philosophical point for many, and one notion that comes to mind is that we never get to know how tight our own mainspring has been wound. Time ticks away with or without us, yes, and we must both endure and enjoy the portion we have been given. In a sense, watches are just like time itself: unfeeling and mechanical. It’s the associations and experiences that often make watches special to us as enthusiasts.

All in all, this experience has definitely been worth a piece of my time, and I thank Marathon Watches and Crown & Buckle for being a part of our adventure.

If you’d like to snag a Marathon Watch for yourself, the Marathon USMC Navigator is available for $345 CAD, the Marathon Medium Diver Automatic for $900 CAD, and the Marathon Pilot’s Chronograph Search & Rescue (CSAR) for $4,000 CAD online. Also, our team Time For A Cure NATO is available at Crown & Buckle for $12 USD with 100% of the proceeds going to charity for cancer research.

Necessary Data (1):
>Brand: Marathon Watch
>Model: USMC Navigator Quartz
>Price: $345 CAD
>Size: 41mm x 13mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone looking for a simple and durable watch they can wear casually.
>Best characteristic of watch: The unique asymmetrical case shape made from an odd “fibreshell” material
>Worst characteristic of watch: With no screw down crown, it couldn’t be worn in the pool with the other team watches after a ride.

Necessary Data (2):
>Brand: Marathon Watch
>Model: Diver Medium Automatic
>Price: $900 CAD
>Size: 36mm x 18mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone who wants a smaller military watch but doesn’t want a vintage piece
>Best characteristic of watch: The entire head of the watch. Classic and simple.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Have to punch your own hole in the stock rubber strap it comes with. I liked this feature as the rubber looked extra clean, but I also had the tools to punch a round hole – rather than just pierce the material, which may irritate some.

Necessary Data (3):
>Brand: Marathon Watch
>Model: Pilot’s Chronograph Search And Rescue (CSAR)
>Price: $4,000 CAD
>Size: 46mm x 18mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone big.
>Best characteristic of watch: Overall fit & finish is superb, even beyond other watches in the collection… And that is saying something!
>Worst characteristic of watch: Can’t be worn as frequently as the other watches the team reviewed. And you will want to wear it.

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