Marathon GSAR ‘Grey Maple’ Automatic Dive Watch

By: Michael Penate

Marathon is one of the few true military tool watch manufacturers around today and their designs are thoroughly appealing to a range of hardcore enthusiasts. The SAR line stands as their flagship collection, and is comprised of watches used professionally by the Canadian Coast Guard and a handful of U.S. government agencies. Quartz and mechanical models span several price points and the sporty, utilitarian design makes it easy for newer watch collectors to reach beyond the Seiko dive watch “comfort zone.” Today, Marathon honors their heritage and has announced a limited edition Marathon GSAR ‘Grey Maple’ Automatic. It’s an interesting balance of sport utility and charming decoration, which typically isn’t associated with a static design like the GSAR.

Jacques Viger – Montreal, Quebec’s first mayor – originally described the maple as “the king of our forest… the symbol of the Canadian people.” To see a brand known for traditionally restrained and tool-ish designs take on this kind of cool, lighthearted, and prideful spin on one of their products, is immensely satisfying. With the exception of the grey maple leaf at 12 o’clock, this really is your typical GSAR (Government Search and Rescue) but I think this simple change in the dial design will draw in plenty of collectors seeking something slightly out of the ordinary. In fact, even if I had a standard issue GSAR or a quartz TSAR (around $460 for the medium version), I’d still probably pick one of these up without worrying about collection redundancies.

The watch totally nails ISO 6425 standards with a fully graduated bezel, 300m of water resistance, and a 41mm case crafted from 316L stainless steel. One thing to note about these GSAR models, however, is that they are pretty thick at 14mm – but your mileage may vary. Besides the rugged dive watch styling, the GSAR also sports an array of hyper-luminous tritium gas tubes throughout the dial produced by MB-Microtec in Switzerland. These things are constantly glowing and until you’ve owned a Marathon (or Traser… or Ball), they can be difficult to understand.


 
 

Finally, the watch comes equipped with a 25 jewel ETA 2824-2 automatic movement and a 20mm black rubber strap. Marathon also specifies that the GSAR ‘Grey Maple’ Automatic will be available with a stainless steel bracelet or leather strap upon request. While we all know that the ETA 2824-2 is a solid choice, I still think that if I ever decided to vote with my dollar here, I’d probably end up getting a quartz TSAR version. Nevertheless, the Swiss automatic movement really elevates the entire package.

Marathon GSAR ‘Grey Maple’ Automatic Specs

  • Case Diameter: 41mm
  • Thickness: 14mm
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Water Resistance: Rated for 300m
  • Movement: ETA-2824-2
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Strap: Vulcanized rubber
  • Price: $1,280

The Marathon GSAR ‘Grey Maple’ Automatic dive watch is available in limited quantities and is priced at $1,280. Call me crazy, but I wish they did this with the quartz TSAR. I might actually be on board if that were the case.

Marathon

Images: Marathon


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