Marathon has been producing watches intended for military and law enforcement, so they’re intended to withstand the most strenuous conditions. As much as we love mechanical watches, quartz movements are going to be able to withstand punishment better. We recently were reminded of a nice, affordable dive watch from Marathon that has a smaller case width (36mm wide x 12.5mm thick) and comes with tritium hands and markers, which don’t require a light source to charge.
It’s known as the TSAR (tritium search and rescue) and it’s ISO-complaint, rated to 300m water resistance and is available with either a rubber strap or metal bracelet, which we would recommend because it increases the overall size imprint on a smaller watch, which looks even smaller with a rotating bezel encroaching on the dial size.
This watch feels great on the wrist. The bezel action is snappy. It has drilled lug holes and a sapphire crystal. The movement is a ETA F06 high-torque 3 jewels quartz movement with end-0f-life indicator. It’s a grab-and-go watch that can take on whatever your, hopefully, adventurous day entails. It’s a solid choice for watch collectors that prefer to wear tough sport watches, but don’t necessarily want the larger case sizes that are popular in this genre.
What we don’t like about this model is the date window placement at 4 o’clock on an already busy dial. Readability has never been an issue, but there’s a lot going on with that military-style dial.
$700 (with bracelet) at Marathon.com