Probably one of my favorite aspects of the JDD is the bezel. Measuring a total of 6mm in thickness, the bezel is just like most first impressions: bulky and solid. The “gear inspired” bezel adds that rugged look to the JDD, and allows for superior grip of the bezel, again meeting the standards for extreme usage. The uni-directional, 120 click, bezel operates smoothly and has minimal to no play when set in place. Equipped with count-up timing, the 3mm bezel display field allows for easy reading of the engraved white font minute markers. The 60/0 minute marker of the bezel is set with a triangle marker that uses Maraglo™ luminous paint, which glows nicely in my opinion. Contained inside the bezel is a slightly domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial, an upgrade from the JSAR, which is equipped with a flat sapphire crystal. While definitely a fan of sapphire crystals, I like how Marathon stepped up the game with the JDD and added the slightly domed crystal. Domed crystals, in my opinion, add a touch of flare to a timepiece and are a nice touch. In this case with the JDD, the crystal is ever so slightly domed (truly hard to see with the naked eye) and, again in my opinion, refracts the light just right so the dial is clearly visible at multiple angles while on the wrist. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on domed-vs-flat crystals, so please feel free to comment in the section below and share your thoughts.
Getting to the dial of the JDD, you’ll notice it is very clean and easily legible. Lets not hide it and get straight to the point. The JDD is equipped with 16 luminescent tritium gas tubes. Tritium is a luminous property that will remain stable for 15 years (approx.) without charging with light source. This to me is the one thing on the dial that stands out the most. While I am a huge fan of luminescent paint, tritium tubes are…how do I put this? Badass. While not as thick and prominent as some luminescence on dive watches, the tritium tubes off the JDD assure you of 24/7 legibility of your dial. I found that once my eyes adjusted to the darkness, the tritium tubes enabled the dial to be easily legible. A 1-2mm tritium tube nicely illuminates even the tip of the sweeping seconds hand.
Arabic numerals are used medially to the tritium tubes to mark the hours. Unlike the JSAR and GSAR, the military hour numerals were moved to the outer chapter ring, thus de-cluttering the face of the dial. While you may think this would make it more difficult to visualize the military time, the chapter ring is cut on a two-part angle, allowing for the hour markers to be read easily while the upper portion of the ring tappers back ever so slightly. Strong touch by Marathon. In the upper half of the dial you will see the usage of “H3”, which is the scientific symbol of tritium and the radioactive symbol. Yes, tritium is radioactive, but no need to worry – the radioactive dosage is far below the safety threshold. The Day/ Date windows are rectangular cut and easily legible. The reverse contrast from the black dial allows the Day/Date window to “pop”, attracting the eyes with ease. The JDD is equipped with bi-lingual days, both being in French and English. Makes sense as the watches are used in both the Canadian and U.S military.
Powering the JDD is the SW-220 (Sellita) Swiss Made, 26 jewel, automatic movement. Many are quite familiar with the SW-220, as most companies these days are using this movement in replace of the ETA 2824-2, due to the discontinued production of the ETA movement. The SW-220 is a Swiss movement, offering a good reliable power source that will withstand the life of the JDD. Timed over a 24-hour period, this particular JDD ran 3 seconds fast, proving the reliability of the SW-220 movement.