April 2012


The Marathon CSAR is a pretty awesome Automatic Chronograph designed with Military inspired lines and practical sense. The watch is very large, which can be challenging for some, but very wearable if you can handle the size. Marathon designs a lot of products for military and government use in the US and Canada and the Marathon CSAR is the first Automatic Chronograph issued by the US Government.

The Watch is a large 46.6mm in diameter and 17mm thick with a 3mm thick sapphire crystal. The watch is a chunky affair with a 300m water resistance. The dial features H3 tritium gas tubes that glow continuously rather than require re-charging with light as traditional SuperLuminova does.

As you can see, the Tritium tubes are used for the indices and the hour and minute hands also feature the tubes. The remainder of the hands and subdial indices use traditional SuperLuminova. The dial lacks much decoration and is a flat black with painted arabics. Even though it is quite busy due to teh Chronograph subdials, the watch is easy to read.

As you can see, the bezel is very chunky and actually protrudes out from the case, making the watch wear even larger than its 46.6mm diameter would suggest. Of all the watches I’ve owned, this has one of the largest wrist presence. Even with the 17mm thickness, the watch is very wearable, in my opinion. Both case and bracelet are fully brushed.

The movement is an ETA/Valjoux 7750, with all features present including both the day and date. Works great and keeps time within COSC specifications. Given that this is a military inspired timepiece, the movement is a great choice because it is so robust and easily serviceable.

There’s the backside of the bracelet. You can just catch a glimpse of the solid caseback behind it. There are a few different bracelet versions, but the one I have here is the Canadian Maple Leaf one, which is the most appropriate for me since I am in Canada. The bracelet isn’t anything special, but its quite comfortable and has a neat pattern to it with the middle link as it is angled on the top side.

I really like the CSAR and think that its one of favourite tool watches out there. They are quite pricey at almost $3000US with the bracelet, but a very cool watch that really stands out from many of the other tool watch brands out there.

Announced as a “The Breitling seal of confidence”, Breitling has announced that they will be introducing a 5 Year warranty exclusive to their Manufacture Movements, which at this time include the 01, 04 and 05 movements.

This is a very impressive move by Breitling to provide such a long warranty. Given that they are in fact only providing it on their own manufacture movements says a lot about their confidence and pride in their own work. I’m curious when this new warranty will kick in and whether or not it will be retroactive to B01’s purchased before the announcement. At any rate, a nice move from Breitling.

I’ve been busy growing my collection of aftermarket straps for Panerai (and really any other 24-26mm lug width watches) and I have several new ones to report of in this video. Some very new and interesting pieces including a DaLuca Nato in Horween Shell Cordovan, and some new strapmaking companies that you may not have heard of yet.

See a complete list of written reviews on Paneraisource here:
http://www.paneraisource.com/aftermarket_straps.shtml

I realized I forgot to upload Straps video #2 to Youtube, so I just did that too! You get a two for one today:

Shortly after I posted the announcement of the inaugural watch from Egard Watches, Ilan contacted me asking if I was interested in reviewing the Shade when it was ready. I was excited at taking a look at the shade, and so I agreed. Ilan got the watch to me a week or two ago and I have been enjoying it for the past week or two at home, careful not to scratch the sample up. There will be an upcoming video review as well.

Gorgeous multi-layered dial with a peekaboo view of the skeletonized Miyota 8N24 movement. The front crystal is a curved, AR-coated sapphire crystal.. which for me is a very important feature. The roman numerals on the top half combined with the stick indices on the bottom half give the watch a pleasing look without being overly roman.

The hands are a softer, medium blue which reminds me a bit of JLC’s blue used on the Master Compressor Diver watches. A very pleasing color to me. The blue is continued on the upper and lower tracks for the roman numbers at 1 to 3 o’clock which adds a bit of continuity and is a nice touch.

Signed screw-down crown, which was unexpected to me. I thought it would be a pushdown crown due to the style, but screwdown is always a plus to me unless its a handwinder. You can get a sense of the case shape from the side view here – the watch is quite cylindrical. The bezel is rounded and stepped slightly, with angular lugs that are quite tight in to the case. The shorter lugs allow the 43mm case to feel a bit smaller, which is good since this is more of a dress watch.

A shot of the other side, which features an engraved “EGARD” name, which I found quite attractive. The fully polished case is quite well done and I really applaud the attention to design details. They didn’t just take something someone else made and change it a bit – its very unique looking.

Here’s a close up of the textured dial with applied romans, and all the various layers and dial elements applied as well. Its quite an attractive dial, but the vertical lines have sort of a wavey gloss to them that I would have preferred if it was a bit less glossy. More of a matte line would be my preference but still quite nice.

There’s a shot of the whole dial, and as you can see, there isn’t any lume at all on the dial. The hands actually look like they could have been filled with lume but were intentionally left skeletonized. The open heart feature shows the escapement quite nicely.

The back gives you an exhibition view of the Miyota 8N24 movement, which while not especially attractive, isn’t any less attractive than a bone stock ETA 2824 really. The exhibition glass is also sapphire, and the etched writing around the caseback proclaims the 200m water resistance, as well as the sapphire crystal and automatic movement.

Overall a solid first effort from a new watch company which I will be paying close attention to as they release more models. There are other models in the works, which are supposed to be higher end. I am excited to see what they have in store.

Specs:
43MM Case
Aerospace-grade 316L stainless steel
8N24 Skeletonized Automatic
Water Resistant to 660 feet | 20 ATM
Screw Down Crown
Sapphire Crystal Top
Anti Reflective Coating
Sapphire Crystal Bottom
High quality thick leather strap with butterfly buckle
Extra brown tang leather strap

I’ve been a big fan of Chronoswiss watches since as long as I can remember. They have always struck me as the perfect affordable Swiss Mechanical dress watch for men. I’ve owned a couple of their Kairos models, in the knurled bezel 38mm cases and liked them but always found the larger Timemaster series a bit too clunky-looking for my liking Perhaps its the dial or the onion crown, but they just didnt’ work for me. With the Pacific Collection, I see another Chronoswiss watch that works for me.

The Pacific series comprises the Pacific, Grand Pacific and Pacific Chronograph watches. The Pacific is a 40mm watch, while the latter two are larger 43mm affairs. All feature ETA 2892-A2 movements or Valjoux 7750’s in the Chronographs. I’m quite taken by the dials on these retro-inspired Chronoswiss watches as the markers remind of the ones used by Zenith in their latest watches.

Superb. I can’t wait to own one!

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