Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: MARATHON WW194013 Swiss Made Military Issue Milspec Navigator Quartz Watch with Date and Tritium
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on January 22, 2013
I have been wearing a Luminox "navy seal" watch with stainless body and black rubber band for about ten years and the brightness has faded a little. I was looking for a replacement watch that also had tritium tubes for night visibility. There are a lot more choices now than there were ten years ago. I kept coming back to this Marathon watch for it's simplicity and appealing style. I don't like the blue, orange, or red dials and faces from Luminox and many other newer watches. I also do not like the trend to huge watches that you are always aware you are lugging around. I read some poor reviews on the Smith & Wesson so I did not go there. The Marathon reminds me most of my original Luminox, and therefore there went I.

I could not be happier. The watch arrived as expected in a brown cardboard box. I do not know if it is a "real" military spec watch, but it definitely has that feel. The watch looks and feels great. I set the time and I have not had a problem with the watch since I first put it on over a month ago. I really like the bright night view with the tritium tubes. They glow all night without any reduction in brightness. I will never go back to the standard glow-paint that fades to dark after a short time.

The band is a nylon style strap that goes under the watch body. I am a big guy, and I have the watch on the third to last hole in the band (there are 8 more holes to use if you have a smaller wrist).

As an older person now (55) I like analog watches which are easier for me to read without glasses (I wear 2.5mag reading glasses). As much as I hate to say it, digital watches are difficult for me read. The white hands against a black background on this watch make reading the time as easy as a quick glance. The small orange arrowhead on the second hand is also a nice touch. The date is too small to read without glasses (but I usually know what day it is without looking).

Now the bezel: I am someone that actually uses the rotating bezel on my watches on a regular basis. I use it to measure cooking times, walking times or just about anything that I want to time that is less than an hour. The only negative I see with this watch is that the bezel is bi-directional. I prefer a unidirectional bezel. On the plus side, the bezel does not move too easily in either direction, so you have to put some effort into moving it (which is good). It was explained to me a long time ago, that for scuba divers, you want a unidirectional bezel for timing your dive: if you do accidentally bump and move the bezel, then you can only give yourself less time underwater. That could be a life-altering event if you thought you had more time remaining on your tanks than you actually do. That being said, this is not advertised as a scuba watch and so being able to move the bezel in either direction is probably not that big a deal. I am coping with it rather well.

Water resistance: I have not had it in the pool or in the ocean. I have had it in the bath tup and the shower and have not had any leaks or fogging. So far, so good. I will take it for a swim when it warms up and may re-post if I find any problems.

Odd shape to the watch case: I thought it was cool that the case protruded out on the right side to shield the knob from being damaged. I pointed this out to a friend, and he said that "should come in handy when you are out fighting bad guys". I am a 55 year old man with a military style watch. I guess somewhere deep down, I like to fancy myself still capable of getting out and fighting the bad guys, but my friends point is well taken.

The crystal does stick up above the face of the watch. I was worried about scratches, but so far so good - none that I can see.

FYI so you know my perspective: I am a boater and a an occasional hunter. I wear a jacket to work. I drive a mercedes and also a pick-up truck. I live in Texas. My other watches are a "navy seal" from Luminox (my favorite), a dress rolex from my first marriage, a sport rolex from my deceased father, a timex field watch, and about a half-dozen other sport watches that do not measure up (they look and feel cheap while they are trying to look and feel cool). About the rolexes - I would not buy one again - they look great and they are durable, but it now cost about $600 every two to three years just to keep them running with service from an authorized dealer. I prefer quartz to mechanical watches for timekeeping and maintenance. I like to be able to get my watches wet and dirty without worrying about their failure.

Overall - this is a good watch, has good timekeeping, is easy to read with old eyes, is great in the dark, is probably ok in shallow water, is a good price at around $150. I would have given this watch a 4.5 (but I had to choose a four or a five star raging, so I gave it a four). I hope this helps!
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on July 10, 2012
If you buy this watch, you probably know what you're getting yourself into. Marathon is not a brand one "stumbles upon". The watch itself is packaged in a small cardboard box, which I enjoyed. The tritium lighting is as expected, not SuperLuminova bright, but lasting. The 12 o'clock marker has an orange tube while the rest are green, a nice touch I think.

I was not expecting to have to cut the nylon to size, but I greatly enjoyed the process using a soldering iron, a flame, and sandpaper to get it as smooth as possible. The watch seems very durable so far, and I expect to continue buying from this company as the tritium wears out.

Edit:
Be very careful opening the caseback if you're curious to see inside it. I snapped the movement spacer and the case knife cut quite a bit into the "fibreshell". Worth the risk to me as a hobbyist, but might not be for you.
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on August 1, 2014
I'll agree with the other reviewers in saying that this is not a watch the casual watch buyer will normally stumble over. You'll probably only know about it if you are into military watches. I've had an awareness of this watch since shortly after I began to collect military watches years ago, and it still took me some time to seek it out. That said, this is a very capable and well-built watch for the task it is meant for. It is a military watch, through and through. Nothing fancy, and like most government spec'd items, is made to be inexpensive, durable and serve a specific purpose. "Fibreshell" case is a very hard, low reflective black plastic. Stainless back is well sealed and keeps the watch reasonably water-resistant (~180 ft I believe). Military dial with sealed tritium tubes is quickly legible in daylight and suitably bright in low light conditions, and the Swiss quartz movement is very accurate. One nice surprise is that the red-tipped second hand on my particular watch hits the hash marks dead-on; not something you see on very many quartz analog watches these days for some reason. The Hesalite acrylic crystal is nicely domed and is designed to withstand extreme pressure changes without cracking or popping out. I set it to the USNO clock when I got it and it has yet to deviate even one second yet. The fibreshell case makes the watch very light and comfortable despite its size. I find it much more comfortable than G Shocks or similar watches. Fixed bars limit your strap options, but I see no reason to replace the nicely woven and sealed Mil-spec Marathon strap it comes with. Case is a good size and looks interesting on the wrist without being obtrusive. Civilian pricing on Amazon is probably 100% marked up above the government price, but still worth it in my opinion. It's a nice addition to my growing collection of military watches.
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on December 9, 2012
I bought one of these in 2002. I have it on my wrist as I write this now. I have changed the battery twice in that time. It might have lost 4 minutes total time in the ten years I have worn it. I am using the original band. Just take it off and throw it in the wash and it cleans up fine; dries quickly, too. Over the years it has taken a beating, but has never failed. The tritium has dimmed a bit, but it is supposed to. The crystal has cracked, and it gets a bit of moisture under it from time to time but it never fails to keep me on time. It has also lost a few of numbers on the rotating bezel, but that's ok too. I bought it because of its simplicity to read, before my catarac surgery. I liked it so well, I just never stopped wearing it, even though I could wear one of my siekos or casios if I wanted to. It's a fantastic watch I can't praise enough. I'm about to buy another one and put this one out to pasteur. Oh, the stories it could tell. It has been a true friend and a faithfully companion.
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on July 28, 2014
This watch is pretty much as advertised. To paraphrase another reviewer you don't necessarily stumble across this watch, you generally have some a priori knowledge about it and Marathon, and possibly a deeper appreciation for watches in general. That being said there's one thing most, if not all, the other reviews don't mention...the rotating bezel has a lot of play and moves way too freely and inadvertently. I've been familiar with the navigator style watch for years and have another watch with the 12hr GMT bezel (MKII). I find this feature really, really useful for travel here in the US across N.A. time zones since you don't have to adjust the hour hand away from your "home" time zone. The first time I traveled with a watch with this bezel type I was shocked at how effective it was. I prefer this type to a 24 hour GMT bezel and GMT hand that I've had on another watch. At any rate, the fact that the bezel moves way too freely detracts a bit from this utility since it somewhat requires that you double check that the bezel setting is correct before accepting the time when traveling. If the bezel were a bit better quality with less incidentally movement I'd give this watch 4 stars. 5 stars with a screw down crown and screw on case back and 100m W.R. rating or more. I also wouldn't mind paying more for it if that were the case.
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on August 29, 2014
I'm very much enamored with this watch. I'd been needing a watch I could wear while hiking, camping, and doing other outdoorsy things. It's a military-rated watch that is intended to last through almost anything you could throw at it... But I really wouldn't recommend throwing anything at it, because of its acrylic window. My first day of owning it, I managed to briefly introduce the face to car keys, and caused some scratching over the 5. Fortunately, I had previously known about Polywatch, and a small dab of that and a microfiber cloth buffed out the scratches and made it look good as new. Aside from the risks to the watch's window, I believe this will be my daily runner for a very long time, and I'm certain it will be yours too should you get it.
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on November 3, 2015
I bought this after reading numerous reviews about its durability, wow was I disappointed on that front. I will start with the positive:

Pros:
Glow - You can see this thing in the dark and read the time from 10 ft away if you know what you're looking at but it isn't at all disruptive to the dark

Size - Finally a watch that is not stupidly oversized, I'm 6'4'' 225lbs big brawny guy that wears XL or XXL gloves and I still find most watches to be cartoonishly oversized, this watch is a perfect classic size and quite slim which helps prevent snagging.

Aesthetic - This watch was great looking when it came out of the box.

Cons:
Durability - This watch was billed as a Mil-Spec piece of equipment that would last for years, I have had it for a few months and I don't wear it everyday, and I am certainly not wearing it in the rough and tumble world of warfare and yet it has numerous scuffs and scratches and is losing paint on the bezel as well. Apparently Marathon can't deliver the durability of a TImex even at 5x the cost.
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on October 25, 2014
I have had this watch almost a year now. And wear it daily. I have not had any problems. The face of the watch is smaller than what the pictures show. That is why I gave it only four stars. The tritium still glows bright. I actually find it easier to read in the dark than during the day.
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on December 4, 2012
This was is very easy to read at night, absolutely wonderful and it is very comfortable with the 9" band. You will
not believe how accurate this watch is.
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on March 3, 2015
I purchased this watch about ten years ago when it was Army military issue. I like the look and it was not too big, unlike the chunky luminoxes. Two issues: The crystal is not crystal but some type of acrylic. The idea was that it would not break in the middle of battle, or something like that. The problem is that it scratches very easily and over time it looks awful. I was able to get it polished a couple of times but that did not completely solve the problem. Second, the waterproof seal broke resulting in water going right in as if there were no case at all.

What was important to me was that, at the time, it was the real thing, worn by officers in the field. If you don't mind buying a new watch every 5 years or so, this one is very cool.
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