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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've mentioned before that with our circumstances being what they are now (the kids grown & gone and my wife having stage 4 cancer), in the relatively near future I may well end up selling most everything and going “beach-bum/hippy” at least temporarily after she’s gone. I’ve been getting rid of toys & unneeded items, and thinking more along the lines of a borderline-minimalist lifestyle. Part of that has turned into thinking about what “one item” in a given category could serve all the aspects of that category, while being low maintenance and high reliability all in one. I’ve been a watch geek for a long time and back in February (right before our last trip to the ocean) I mentioned finding a new watch that might fit that bill, a solar-charged Alba. It’s a totally functional watch and less expensive than it should be for what it offers, but it’s not a particularly ‘nice’ watch; basically, it’s pretty cheap and looks it; to the point that I'm not comfortable wearing it in front of potential customer, etc. So other than at home on weekends when I’ve been wearing the cheaper Alba around the property, I’ve been pretty much daily wearing the same old Marathon dive watch that I have for years.

The Marathon is perfect except for one weakness. It has great water resistance, great shock resistance, stainless steel case (so it shrugs off saltwater,) at 36mm it’s substantially smaller than most modern (and idiotically large) dive-rated watches, is tough enough to survive anything I will, and while it’s not “pretty”, it looks decent enough to not be out of place if we’re out somewhere nice or if I’m in front of a customer or group. It also has tritium-based illumination rather than the more common phosphorescent paint lume. This means it’s readable 24/7, in any light from full daylight to absolute darkness. (Paint-based lume can be good, but it fades through the night, and by morning can be completely useless. This tritium-based lume is just like firearm night sights; visible in any level of light or dark.) The watch’s only shortcoming is that it’s quartz and so is battery-dependent – and it dies every couple years or less if I don’t pre-emptively replace its coin-cell battery. And changing its battery is a pretty meticulous thing, to do it without compromising its seal and ruining its water resistance. So it’s a constantly recurring thing that requires a particular mini battery, and also requires either a jeweler or special tools which I have but don’t plan to lug around with me if I’m wandering around. If only they made an automatic version of the watch, but all the auto ones are larger, which I just don’t like. After selling my old Mak-90 for such a ridiculous profit recently I decided to start half-heartedly looking for a watch that had all the attributes of the little Marathon that I've worn for years, but had either a mechanical movement or solar-charged movement, to get rid of the battery-changing crap. Until today, the closest I'd found was the slightly larger MWC TritDiver41, if anyone is looking for the kind of watch I've been describing and wants a larger, more fashionable example of the type.

Now I’ve been wearing Marathon for over a decade, but darn if I didn’t run across a watch of theirs today that I’d never encountered before. It’s simply the exact same watch I wear now, but instead of a battery-powered quartz movement, it's an automatic, using a better-than-average 26-jewel Swiss Sellita SW200 “M2” version specifically upgraded for Marathon. It uses a proprietary steel (instead of plastic) in-case suspension system, higher torque, a 40+ hour power reserve, hacking function, and has much better than average shock resistance. (If you’re not a watch geek, a lot of that won’t mean anything, but it’s one of my numerous shortcomings…)

I honestly don’t know if this is a new item in their catalog, or how I missed it all these years if it’s been there, but I couldn’t pass it up. Looking on ebay, Marathon has really held their value in the used market apparently; to the point where selling my old one will pay nearly ¾ of what the new one cost. So all this to say, “Yea for finding what should be darn near the perfect item for my purposes, after decades of getting closer and closer.” 🤠
 

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Hey, I resemble that remark! I went to my favorite indoor range today to ask a couple of questions seeing that he and I were out at the same gun show yesterday. 20 minutes later I'm walking out the store with a brand new Beretta M1301 Gen 2 Tactical Shotgun in 12 gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So far so good. The new one has tritium on even the second hand, where the old one's second hand used normal paint lume. Tritium is definitely better for seeing in failing light or full dark.

...the closest I'd found was the slightly larger MWC TritDiver41, if anyone is looking for the kind of watch I've been describing and wants a larger, more fashionable example of the type.
Correction - it's Deep Blue that makes the TridDiver41, not MWC. The MWC I was looking at was the Stainless Tritium GTLS Navigator 300m, but it's larger than I like as well.

...going “beach-bum/hippy”
Is it "hippy" or "hippie"...? I think "hippie", actually.
 

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John, can you give me a model number or something on that watch?
Not actually something I can afford or need personally at the moment but I'm curious.
And trying to do a search gets me stuff all over the place.

Is the one you mentioned above the self winding one?
The part about better than average shock resistance got my attention as I trashed out a old Baylor self winder...either shock or overwound from bucking haybales. Didn't even think about removing it from my wrist..oops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The one I bought is the Marathon MSAR (medium search and rescue) 36mm 300m: https://www.marathonwatch.com/colle...edium-divers-automatic?variant=31814986465322
(Marathon's website shows a silly MSRP on it; Optics Planet was the cheapest I found, more than $400 less than Marathon's list price. I also bought it with the rubber strap instead of the silly-expensive metal bracelet. They charge over $200 for the bracelet and that's silly imo.)
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Clock Silver



The Deep Blue TritDiver41: DAYNIGHT 41 TRITDIVER T-100 TRITIUM TUBES AUTOMATIC GREEN BEZEL - BLACK DIAL - DAYNIGHT 41 TRITDIVER T-100 AUTOMATIC TRITIUM TUBES ILLUMINATION
Watch Analog watch Clock Watch accessory Material property


The MWC Stainless GTLS 300m Navigator: https://www.mwc-usa.com/collections...tainless-steel-tritium-gtls-navigator-watch-1

Watch Analog watch Clock Watch accessory Silver


The MWC and Deep Blue are half the price of the Marathon, and probably objectively just about as good as it is. But I like a smaller watch, and had the Mak-90 money or I wouldn't have done it either. But I'm looking at this as probably a 'rest of my life' watch.

As far as damaging the Marathon, I have no worries about it. It has some unique shock-absorbing cage that the movement sits in, and its water resistance (and the MWC's) is the same as a Rolex Submariner or an Omega Seamaster Professional. So as long as you keep the crown screwed down and don't dink up the seal when you open the caseback for a battery change or something, it should never have a moisture problem. And its crystal is extra-thick sapphire (instead of the more common mineral glass), protecting the front side better than most.

What are you looking for - anything in particular? (I've been a watchaholic for a long time and might be able to point in a particular direction.)
 

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Ah groan I was typing a post and it went bye bye.🙄

So brief run down....looks not super important just not too big or franken tech looking. 40-42mm ish at the most. (For easy to read numbers.)
Self winding, shock proof killed a vintage Balor self winding watch when hauling hay from shock and/or over winding, waterproof for realistic actual dives but nothing super deep stuff.
Tritium hands and marks on face would be nice but the latter not essential.
Stainless steel body in case of solvent exposure. Had one g shock watch cover body die from that after exposure approximately 8 years prior.
For size comparison
Watch Analog watch Clock Everyday carry Silver
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like a really short bolt throw which is a good thing. Looks neat.
 

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Well I couldn't wait and I just had to take it to the range and fire a couple of rounds so I slapped on an old Red Dot from Bushnell and grabbed 3 types of 5.56mm. The first was cheap Chinese Norinco 55 grain that I picked up 5-6 years ago, the second Swiss 62 grain Match Grade ammo I've had for about 15 years and a box of 55 grain reloads using IMR 4895.

I have no idea what the Chinese use for propellant but the flash from the muzzle and and the concussion were unbelievable, this was an indoor range. The Swiss match ammo was the most accurate and pleasant to shoot and my reloads were good, but this was one load that is great in my AR but not for the BCL Bison. This would a great rifle for 70+ grain 5.56mm bullets, but I have a tendency to like the cheap 55 grain FMJ so I guess I'll have to work up a few different loads for spring.
 
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