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Maratac Mid Sized Pilot

Featured | Review | Under $1k | 02.20.2012

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Right around the time that Blake reviewed the Maratac Pilot, County Comm quietly released a second, smaller model. Dubbed the Maratac Mid Sized Pilot this 39mm version is the same in almost every way, it’s just smaller. It has the same Miyota 8245 automatic movement with small seconds, the same domed sapphire crystal, the same dial design and the same cool-little onion crown tucked away at about 4 o’clock. Ultimately, the qualities and aesthetic of the original Maratac Pilot have been successfully translated to the smaller sized body. In fact, since the Mid has a smaller diameter, but the same thickness, the overall stout build had an almost sportier and more aggressive look than the large sized.

Case: Brushed stainless steel
Movement: Miyota 8245 21 jewel automatic movement
Luminous: Super Luminova C3
Lens: Domed sapphire glass
Case Back: Screw-down
Strap: Maratac Brand Mil-series nylon
Water Res.: 100 M
Dimensions: 39 mm
Thickness: 12.5 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Crown: Screw down oversized onion
Warranty: Unknown

Thankfully, Mike over at County Comm sent us Mid to try out, and I can’t quite even express how excited I was to receive it. I had my eye on the original for sometime, then Blake picked one up for review. And though it tempted me greatly, 46mm watches are just not practical on my smaller wrist. This unfortunately makes many watches in the pilot genre, which often hit the 47mm mark, out of my comfort range. But I love the aesthetic, as I am sure many other watch wearers with smaller wrists do. So, a 39mm pilot, which will certainly fit any smaller wrist, satisfies that yearning perfectly. 39mm is a very interesting size for them to make it, since it is actually a bit smaller than what is typical for men’s sportier watches, which tend to hover in the low 40’s. This actually makes it a very viable unisex watch.

Having worn the Maratac Mid Sized Pilot now for a few weeks, I have to say it totally lives up to my expectations, and might even surpass them. Like I said, the 39mm case is actually very stout and with and aggressive profile. It sits on the high on the wrist, really feeling like some sort of tool that has been strapped to you. Yet, the size and weight are very comfortable, and the positioning of the crown makes it never interfere with your hand. I’ve been mostly wearing it on a green Nato from Maratac, naturally, which suits the pilot aesthetic perfectly, but I also tried it on a high quality black leather strap from Bas+Lokes, which gave it a more refined look. One slightly funny detail is that pins of the shoulder-less spring bars actually stick through the lugs. This is because in scaling every thing, the tips of the lugs became quite thin. At first I thought, what a funny thing to overlook, but I have actually grown to like it as an odd detail. Since everything about the case is so simple and utilitarian, this little reveal actually fits right in.

So, for a full write-up I’ll defer to Blake’s review, as most of the significant details are the same. That being said, I’ll just go on record as saying this watch is awesome. Is it perfect? No, but for under $200 it’s damn good and really satisfies the itch for a mechanical pilot watch. More importantly, it brings this aesthetic to a smaller and easier to wear (for the small-wristed) size. It already has a place in my regular rotation as both a pilot and a tool watch. Get one here, you’ll be glad you did.

Enjoy the image gallery!

by Zach Weiss

  • Richard

    This watch looks a lot better at 39mm, but the hands are sort of odd. More traditional flieger hands would have been nicer.

  • OhioHead

    Great review Worn & Wound – I am glad I picked mine up during Christmas Holidays – the watch has become my #1 daily wearer since I received in early January!

    Just wondering how yours in doing on accuracy? Mine is about 5 minutes fast when worn on the wrist over a week….

    Would love to see Countycomm also do a true 39/40/41mm field watch style watch as well.

  • http://noodlesaday.tumblr.com/ Lainii

    I’ve been eying this watch ever since I saw the review on the original. It took forever to get here, but it’s a great unisex watch.
    My wrist is on the small side (6″), and the watch is slightly bigger/thicker than what I expected, but I think I will get use to it fairly quickly.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v63/Reevely/watch1.jpg

    • http://www.zachstarrweiss.com Zach

      Hi Lainii,

      Congrats! Glad you like it. The watch has a distinct “chunkiness” to it, which I happen to find appealing. But it looks like it fits your wrist well, and has strong wrist presence.

      Awesome tumblr, by the way.

      Best,
      Zach

  • http://URL H.

    Based on the amount of good reviews I must be the unlucky minority, but I tried ordering a watch from them and it’s been a customer service nightmare. I needed an address adjustment, which they confirmed but failed to do (so the package ended up going to the wrong address), I took off that day from work since you have to sign for receipt (costing me money), they’ve ignored the several emails asking for updates, etc. I had to file a paypal claim, which they are also failing to respond to, so I’ll have to wait for it to default so I can get my money back.

    Absolutely terrible experience. I really wish these were sold somewhere else as well.

    • http://www.zachstarrweiss.com w&w

      Hey H,

      Very sorry to hear that! I personally have had no issue with ordering from county comm, which I have done several times now for different straps and such. While I’m hesitant to say they have bad customer service due to one unfortunate situation, I’m very glad that you reported it here for our readers, so they can be wary of similar issues. I think it probably boils down to them being a very small operation and just not having protocols for screw-ups. Well, I hope it resolves alright for you, and keep an eye on watchrecon.com for people selling them, they pop-up here and there.

      best,
      zach

  • http://URL Liam

    Hey W&W,

    Great review!

    Just wondering what the wrist size was in the comparison pictures?

    Do the lugs on the bigger watch hang over the edge of the wrist?

    Cheers
    Liam

    • http://www.zachstarrweiss.com w&w

      Hi Liam,

      My wrist is about 7″, the mid-size version sits comfortably on my wrist, no over hang at all. However, the 46mm large one does hangover.

      Best,
      Zach

  • http://URL Marvin

    If anybody knows where to get them from outside the u.s please let me know. I’m dying to get one of these yet I live in Amsterdam.

  • http://URL Chris

    I just ordered one of these today. They have changed the movement to a Miyota 8215 and added a central second hand instead of the smaller dial. I’m really looking forward to getting this on my wrist. The last time Countycomm had these in stock they sold out very quickly. If you want one you better act now.

    On a side note , if you are into pens, get one of the Embassy Pens from Countycomm. I have a stainless one and I love the feel of that pen. I ordered another one when I ordered the watch today, just to have an extra.

  • http://URL John

    Ordered one on Dec 1st, got a shipping notice on Monday, today my money was refunded because:
    “Due to a low allocation of watches from a Gov. contract our supply was lower than expected and we have to refund your order. The shortage only applies to Mid Size Pilot Watches. We will have more in the future.
    Thank you for understanding,
    CountyComm”
    This is the 3rd time something like this has happened. First two times a date was given the watches were in, the date passed and nothing. This time I made the order and than had it rejected. Countycomm should be ashamed.

    • http://URL Chris

      John, the same thing happened to me. I placed my order about 2 minutes after he had the watches listed on the website. I spent that whole day checking Countycomm’s site waiting for him to list those watches. I love the Maratac Mid Pilot but I think I’m moving on to a Steinhart for my next watch. I’m not quite sure I like the way that Countycomm is doing business. He needs to figure out a better way to get those watches. The other big question in my mind is , where are these made? It does not say on the watch and the only thing that has been talked about is the Japanese movement. Is this watch made in China? Is that why we now have to wait until February for the next run?

  • http://URL John

    Chris
    Im at a loss too. I have the large pilot and its a nice watch but that being said I may just pass on the mid-pilot if Countycomm doesnt learn how to do business. Don’t list something online if you dont have it ready to ship.

  • http://URL Scott

    It’s a very nice watch at an amazing price, if you can get one from Countycom. Problem is, they are available so rarely, irregularly, and briefly that the only reliable source is eBay, where they will cost $350 to $450.

    Dozens of people had their orders accepted, then refunded last time around. Countycom could sell hundreds of these, at a higher price if they chose to do so, but their business model is mysterious, and their customer service, on watches at least, is sub-standard.

    They could make huge points if they’d just be open about what happened, and tell what they’re doing to see that it doesn’t happen in the future. If they care.

  • http://URL Tony

    I have been checking out the SkyTimers on ebay. They have the same movement, (8245 self-winding), a smaller size (41mm which I perfer), great styling and they are made in Germany. The pricing as compared to the Maratac is very close. The one major difference is the stem is set in the usual 12 o’clock space but, hey, to me that is more true to form anyway.

  • http://URL Matt

    I ordered a Maratac Mid-Pilot 2013 with central secondhand back in February, and received the 2013 model with inset second dial instead.

    For the past three months I have had problems with the crown constantly catching on things – especially the inside of jacket sleeves – and twisting out from the case, often far enough to stop it from keeping time, or even setting the time forward – one day casually checking the time I panicked thinking I was an hour late for an appointment only to realize when I pulled out my cellphone that my wristwatch was completely wrong, the crown was out again, & I had more than 60 minutes to spare.

    And then this Tuesday – after wearing the watch for not even 100 days – the crown completely fell off. Have no idea where it went, and the watch is already 2-1/2 hours off, unable to be set correctly again. With a crown that large the case should really have guards it can recess between to prevent problems like this.

    Anyway, my girlfriend is pretty bummed she dropped $200 on this gift. Emailed CountyComm today inquiring about guarantees or repair, I will let you know what I hear back.

    • http://www.zachstarrweiss.com w&w

      wow! that is tragic. Sorry to hear that happened. Was the crown on the 2013 not a screw down?

    • http://URL Matt

      It was a screw-down crown. “Mike” from CountyComm replied to my email inquiry saying if I shipped the watch back to them they’d take care of it. Took the strap & spring bars off – just to have fewer things to get lost – zipped the watch in its taco (love that term) and mailed it off.

      Just got the watch back today, with a new strap & pair of spring bars installed! As the watches have no serial numbers & mine was too new to show any obvious signs of wear, I can’t quite tell if they repaired my original or just replaced it; either way the crown seems to be working fine. Took a while, but great customer service nonetheless.

  • http://URL John H

    Finally received my Mid Pilot from CountyComm. First I would like to say that CC needs to improve there ability to stock items, report correctly the stock on hand and lastly their customer service. That being said this is a great watch and is my new daily wear watch. the smaller size is a plus in my book but does mean the lume is not as good as it is on my first gen Pilot and Marathon diver. I purchased a 20mm Stainless Steel Super Oyster Straight End from strapcode a while back and it looks great on the watch. If you can get it from CC I would recommend it as long as you understand it may take a while before its back in stock and reported correctly as being in stock.

  • http://URL Corbin

    Wow, that green NATO looks gorgeous. I’ve got a green 2012 Mid on the way, and I’d love to get that same strap. Is it this one? http://www.countycomm.com/milnato.html And do you know if it’s the brownish one or the more green one? Thanks!

  • http://IronMikesMarathonSwims.com IronMike

    Zach,
    Here we are a couple years later, and I wonder if you think this mid-size Maratac is still worth it for $279. I’m in the market for a pilot watch, and love the look and size of this one. Just wondering what you think now.
    Thanks!
    Mike

    • http://URL Mike

      I second this question!

  • Pingback: Looks like original dial Maratac Pilots are back on sale for $195. Which size?

  • http://URL Porter

    All Maratacs are IMHO simply an amazing value compared to just about any other watch on the market.

  • Tabaka

    This article lists a retail price of under $200.00, but it’s closer to $300.00 from County Comm with shipping.

  • Mo

    How can I get my hands on one? I’m from the UK.