Marathon MSAR Arctic White
The Marathon MSAR is one of the smallest watches offered from Marathon Watches and is now available with a white dial, dubbed the Marathon MSAR Arctic White. At 36mm and 14mm thick, it is a beefy but small watch, available in both automatic or quartz variants. Reviewed here is the automatic version, which will set you back about $850 on rubber, more on the stainless steel bracelet should rubber not be your style. As a long time fan of Marathon Watches, especially the SAR line in general, I felt a 36mm watch marketed to men in 2020 was an odd choice, and the video review comments echo that sentiment. I have mulled this over a little bit and have concluded that just like Oris, they want to have a size available for almost any wrist, and I believe they have accomplished that with the SAR lineup.
Marathon MSAR Arctic White Specifications:
316L Stainless Steel Case
18mm Lug Width
43mm Lug to Lug
30 ATM WR
Selitta SW200 Automatic Movement
$850 on Rubber as reviewed
Some of the video comments have very strictly pointed out this is more of a women’s watch than anything else, and to be fair, on my 7 1/2 inch wrist, it does not exactly evoke what many would perceive to be “manly”. Then again, we could get into a whole discussion of what is manly anyways, but this is a watch review site after all, and even though I have 20 watches on the studio table right now, I do not think any of us have the time for such philosophical questions. Yes, this watch looks and does wear small on me, but if you have a wrist smaller than mine, or just prefer a watch that is smaller and unobtrusive yet still easy to read, is rugged and built to take a lot of abuse, well I can definitely see the appeal. Of course, this watch would very much look just as good on a woman’s wrist, and probably even someone in their teenage years, although I do not know how many teenagers would plunk down $850 for an analog wristwatch these days unless it said Apple on it. Hopefully, some of you watch enthusiasts out there reading this and other blogs share your passion with your young ones so the love of traditional wristwatches does not go the way of the house phone.
The Marathon MSAR, which stands for Medium Search and Rescue, is as well built as any other watch I have seen in the SAR lineup. A solid and chunky stainless steel case with that patented and easily recognizable dive bezel- a dive bezel you can grip and rotate no matter the conditions, a knurled screw-down crown, solid case back and of course, tritium tubes. All of this combines with an easy to read dial, and you have yourself one hell of a watch, ready to take on any adventure. (I know, that sounds like a pure advertisement, but when you do a script for a video, then record that video and then have to do a written article, sometimes you just have to let the words flow and have fun with it).
As with most of the SAR lineup, the Marathon MSAR is equipped with tritium tubes for the luminescence, so you never need to worry about charging your watch to be able to read it when out for that late-night Taco Bell run. These days, most of us are not going anywhere at midnight of course, but hopefully, that will all change soon. Back to the MSAR-it is true tritium does not need a light source to glow, but for those unfamiliar with this type of lume, you do need to be in complete darkness for it to really take effect. Tritium doesn’t really glow in a dim room in the house, or when it starts to get dusk outside, but as soon as nightfall hits, or for whatever strange reasons you forget to turn the light on in the basement while you decide to wash all the table linens instead of going out to eat, well, you will be able to see the time on your watch, no doubt. (For those in the future reading some of these references to not being able to go anywhere or do anything, this article was written in 2020, if that was not already abundantly clear).
Marathon has always been known to be rugged and practical, and for the rubber strap offered with the MSAR, when you take it out of the box, you will notice something a little strange-the strap has no holes! Turn it around and you will notice that the holes are only half-tapped and you can use the buckle prong to adjust where you would like to put the hole to size to your wrist. I like the idea in concept, but deployant buckles can accomplish a clean look as well, but for those that like to sell their watches from time to time, it could be weird for the next owner to have to size it 3 holes up, and now just have a random hole down below. Also, the more I look at it, the more it just looks like a DIY project as maybe I could not afford a proper strap for my $850 wristwatch. Fortunately, other straps are available from Marathon, including a solid stainless bracelet, but you will then be looking at a price of over $1000.
I do not think I am overstating the fact that Marathon Watches are hard-use, rugged, do it all timepieces, I mean they are worn by Military, Police, EMT and more, and for good reason. The Marathon MSAR is a Swiss Made watch that should last for as long as you want it to, and if for some reason if it doesn’t, and even if you are out of warranty, Marathon will still go a long way to help you out to repair or get a new watch on your wrist. Yes, they are a business and just like any business, they want to make money, but Marathon also cares about their customers and the type of people who wear their watches to perform any task, from washing dishes to going into battle, to working on that old car in the garage again for the 10th time, these watches are built to last. Now, this particular model is not for me and my wrist, but Marathon, if you are reading this (AND I KNOW YOU ARE)-Arctic White Dial Automatic JSAR WITH MARAGLO. Yeah, just let that settle in. Okay, now make it happen.
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