Founded in 1939, the Marathon Watch Company is a Canadian based company with all its watches produced in Switzerland. Marathon has been supplying timepieces to the US Military and multiple NATO forces since 1941. Marathon timepieces are now standard issue for the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, NASA, and Canadian Armed Forces as well as numerous law enforcement and government agencies worldwide. Marathon is currently the only active military watch contractor to the U.S. Government . Marathon watches combine military durability with Swiss engineering and craftsmanship to ensure the highest level of quality, precision and reliability.
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 instruments measuring time, temperature and distance.
Marathon products are manufactured with the utmost care and go through extensive quality control measures. This attention to quality is supported by a commitment to excellent customer support to ensure the best possible product experience.
Founded in 1939 in Canada, the Marathon Watch Company has been supplying timepieces to the US Military and multiple NATO forces since 1941. Marathon first hit the limelight when they started issuing the GG-W-113 general service watch to the US Military in the Vietnam War.
Up until the early 1990's, Marathon made all their watches in-house in Canada. However as contracts from the US Military and NATO arrived, they turned to the Swiss for manufacturing. And since the 1990's Marathon's watches have been made in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
The first watch manufactured by Marathon in Switzerland was the Marathon Navigator in the 1990's. The Navigator was made for the U.S. Air Force. It had to stay accurate at low pressure and low temperature and be able to withstand strong shocks. The watch featured a simple, easy to read dial, bi-directional bezel for timing or tracking an additional timezone and a high end, jeweled quartz movement for improved accuracy. The Navigator was ordered in large numbers by the US Air Force to fit out aircrews, especially during the Iraq War. The watch is still being issued to pilots and paratroopers today.
The next watch made was the Marathon SAR (Search And Rescue). It was made at the request of the Canadian Navy Rescue and Clearance Divers and was intended to be used as a professional diving watch. It featured a 41mm case and a Swiss ETA movement with date. It also featured luminescent indices and hands that could glow for eight hours after one hour of exposure to UV light. The case was very thick at 17mm due to the large unidirectional bezel - designed to be easily operated even when wearing winter diving gloves. The Marathon SAR became very popular with divers and the United States Military Marine and Navy diving units requested a version of their own.
In the late 2000's the Marathon GSAR (Government Search and Rescue) was released. It had a thinner case of 14mm thanks to the use of a different movement. This movement was the automatic Swiss ETA 2824-A2 which is smaller and thinner. The dial now also featured 12 and 24 hour markings because it was also issued to ground troops. And the luminescence was changed to tritium tubes which ensure continual readability in the dark. The GSAR has proven to an indispensable piece of equipment for many military personnel.
The GSAR led to a number of variants - the Medium GSAR (36mm case), the TSAR (Tritium Search And Rescue with Quartz movement) and the JDD (Jumbo Day Date GSAR with 46mm case). These watches have been issued extensively to pilots, divers, search and rescue divers and also ground fighters.
The Marathon Arctic MSAR Automatic features a white dial with black markings and a bright red seconds hand. A white dial watch is more easily read in very bright environments and conditions, such as in the Arctic during the summer months.
The Marathon Anthracite GSAR case has been completely sand blasted then treated with a full black anodized treatment which is three times harder than stainless steel, giving it a striking stealth-like appearance.
The Marathon Pilot Navigator gets an update. It now comes with scratch resistant sapphire crystal, a matte 316L stainless steel crown, and a battery hatch in the case back for easy servicing.