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Marathon GSAR 41mm Arctic Edition Review: Unmatched Reliability

Marathon GSAR 41mm Arctic Edition Review: Unmatched Reliability

The Marathon GSAR Arctic Edition is a robust and reliable timepiece designed for exploration in extreme conditions. Explore the detail here!
May 09, 2024

When it comes to reliable and rugged timepieces, the Marathon GSAR (General Search and Rescue) stands out as a pinnacle of excellence. Built to endure the harshest conditions, this iconic dive watch has been trusted by professionals, adventurers, and military personnel for decades. 

Among other models, Marathon introduced the Arctic Edition. Although it seems like the brand only changed the dial, it actually holds more than what you can see – it’s not a simple matter of changing the color of the dial. 

In this Marathon GSAR review, we will delve into the features, design, durability, and performance of the Marathon GSAR, highlighting why it remains a favorite choice for those seeking a timepiece that can withstand any challenge.

What to Expect from Marathon GSAR Arctic Edition

The Marathon GSAR watch is a timepiece designed as a tool watch, meaning it functions as an instrument on the wrist. In other words, fulfilling a specific function is the first priority while telling the time is the second. 

As such, the brand offers something new in its Arctic model, which is purpose-driven, rather than giving a unique aesthetic look. So, what can you expect from this Marathon GSAR watch?

Cold Temperature Endurance

The GSAR Arctic Edition is engineered to operate flawlessly in sub-zero temperatures. It undergoes rigorous testing to ensure its functionality and accuracy even in extremely cold conditions, making it a reliable companion for Arctic expeditions.

Rugged Construction

The watch maintains the robust construction of the original GSAR. It is built with high-quality stainless steel, providing exceptional resistance to corrosion and impact. 

Rugged construction watch case of Marathon GSAR Arctic Edition
Rugged construction watch case of Marathon GSAR Arctic Edition

It is also water-resistant up to 300 meters (1000 feet), allowing it to withstand the challenges posed by icy waters.

Tritium Gas Tubes

Like the standard GSAR, the Arctic Edition incorporates tritium gas-filled tubes for its hour markers and hands. These self-illuminating tubes provide continuous visibility in darkness for up to 25 years, ensuring readability on long dark Arctic nights.

Enhanced Legibility

The watch’s dial and hands are specially designed for increased visibility in icy environments. Large, luminous markers and hands provide excellent legibility, allowing for quick and accurate time reading even in low-light or snowy conditions.

Distinctive Dial Design

The Arctic Edition showcases a unique dial design, often featuring a striking white or silver backdrop. This design choice not only adds to the watch’s aesthetics but also aids visibility by contrasting against the snow-covered landscapes of the Arctic.

Arctic-Inspired Limited Editions

Marathon occasionally releases limited edition versions of the GSAR Arctic Edition, featuring unique engravings, Arctic-themed designs, or commemorative elements. These limited editions add an exclusive touch to an already exceptional timepiece.

Read also: Marathon Watches Review: Everything You Need to Know

Marathon GSAR Review

To get you started, the Arctic Edition does resemble the original GSAR with polished rehaut and stark Arabics. It showcases a robust and purposeful design that exemplifies its reliability and functionality. 

The one we’re going to discuss here is the Arctic model measured 41mm in diameter and is driven by automatic movement. It falls under the GSAR NGM Diver Automatic Arctic Edition Ref. WW194006 (with bracelet) or GSAR NGM Diver Automatic Arctic Edition Ref. WW194006-WD (with Rubber).

The GSAR NGM Diver Automatic Arctic Edition Ref. WW194006 with a stainless steel bracelet
The GSAR NGM Diver Automatic Arctic Edition Ref. WW194006 with bracelet

However, the earlier model was produced in 36mm (MSAR) and driven by quartz. But, a year later, Marathon introduced the new model measured larger at 41mm and is issued with ETA-based automatic movement. 

Talking about the look, you certainly consider the watch wears big and thick at 14mm. The truth is that the watch doesn’t wear large at all. If you notice, it is the bezel that takes up much space, leaving the dial space quite restrained. The result is the watch might seem big but once it is strapped on your wrist, the watch sits perfectly.

The bold and legible dial features large, luminous markers and hands, ensuring excellent visibility even in low-light conditions. That helps divers maintain their watch legibility, including when using the bezel function.

The tritium gas-filled tubes used for hour markers and hands offer consistent illumination for up to 25 years, without requiring any external light source or recharging. This feature ensures readability in complete darkness, making it an indispensable tool for those in search and rescue missions or night-time operations.

Moving on to the bezel, it becomes a crucial feature for divers. The watch features a uni-directional bezel with smooth operation and timing precision. It comes in black color that makes a great contrast against the white dial. As information, the white hue on the dial is specifically designed to reduce glare in cold. 

The white dial with date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock position
The white dial with date window between the 4 and 5 o'clock position

Marathon’s commitment to durability shines through in the GSAR’s construction. Designed to withstand the most demanding conditions, this watch has been rigorously tested in extreme temperatures, depths, and shock resistance scenarios. 

The robust case, sealed gaskets, and screw-down crown provide superior protection against water, dust, and debris. Further, the watch has also passed the ISO6425 for diving standard with a water resistance of 300m.

Powering the watch is the robust Marathon M2 self-winding movement based on the ever-reliable Swiss Sellita SW-200 automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve. It is a tried-and-tested movement equipped with a Novodiac shock absorber for enhanced durability. 

As for the strap, you can have some options here with the stainless steel bracelet or rubber band. Either way, both give a splendid look to match your occasion. 

For the price, you can find a list of Marathon GSAR Arctic Edition in our store for under $2000 USD. 

Final Verdict

The Marathon GSAR Arctic Edition exemplifies the perfect balance of reliability, durability, and performance. Built to meet and exceed the expectations of professionals in the most demanding fields, this timepiece has earned its place as a trusted companion for adventurers worldwide. 

With its impeccable design, robust construction, and exceptional timekeeping capabilities, the Marathon GSAR proves to be an investment that will last a lifetime, accompanying its wearer through every challenge and triumph.

Read also: 7 Best Military Watches to Complete Your Everyday Gear

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