In partnership with Marathon

An Adventure-Inspired Gift Guide Featuring the Marathon MSAR


There are many brands that draw inspiration from the military, but there are very few brands that actually make genuine, military-issued watches. Marathon is one of those brands. Founded in 1939, the family-owned brand is based out of Canada, but manufactures their MIL-SPEC watches in Switzerland for the best quality. Ranging from resin-cased field watches, to search and rescue divers, Marathon’s watches are truly as tough as they get. But, that’s not all they make, with a variety of analog and digital clocks, as well other accessories, being a part of their diverse catalog.

For this guide, we wanted to focus on a few Marathon items stocked in the Windup Watch Shop, starting with the small, but mighty MSAR, and complement them with a few other goods that share their spirit for quality and toughness.


Marathon MSAR (Medium Search and Rescue Diver)

The MSAR is one of those watches that leaves an impression. At 36mm in diameter, it’s a rarity in the world of 300m meter divers, with all of the ruggedness of its larger brethren but in a package that fits any wrist. The design is then pure military (it is built to MIL-SPEC, after all). The dial feels like it’s pulled from a classic field watch, with both 12 and 24-hour tracks, as well as tritium tubes for high legibility in the dark. Syringe hands tell time at a glance, and the 60-minute bezel with full markings allows for easy tracking of elapsed time.

Inside of the MSAR is the Sellita SW200, Swiss-made automatic movement providing accurate and reliable timekeeping. Available with either black or white dials, this small and rugged watch costs a reasonable $1,130 and is the perfect companion for adventures.


James Brand Redstone

With the MSAR strapped to your wrist, you need some good everyday carry to accompany you on your adventures. The James Brand’s new Redstone knife is up to the task. Featuring a rugged single-piece steel chassis, it’s meant to take a beating, while the unique “island” grip scale design allows extra grip when needed. A partially serrated blade makes it easy to cut rope or dinner and both the wire clip and lanyard make securing it to your pocket, bag, or belt safe and secure. $89


Marathon Mechanical Alarm Clock

Windup alarm clocks are an uncommon find these days, but they provide a nostalgic charm that other alarm clocks, particularly those built into cell phones, do not. This model by Marathon features a large dial with big numerals and bold hands for easy reading and a no-nonsense style. Basically, it looks a bit like one of their MIL-SPEC watches. Just crank it up, set the time, and you’re good to go. $20


Nitecore TUP

Back out in the field, with your MSAR keeping time, and your Redstone available if needed, in the dark, you still need to find your way. The Nitecore TUP will do the job, and then some. Small in scale but incredibly powerful, this rechargeable, LED light can reach up to 1,000 lumens. That’s probably too bright for normal use, so there are various other settings that are easier on the eyes. The OLED display on top not only tells you what setting you’re at but how much battery life you have left, which is very important when charging isn’t easy. $65


Marathon Large Atomic Digital

If a windup mechanical clock isn’t your thing, the Large Atomic Digital might be just right. This huge LCD display syncs up to the atomic clock via radio signal (in the US) for the most precise timekeeping you can imagine. Meanwhile, the date, temperature, and even humidity level can be displayed. Basically, it’s an information station, and a great resource for setting your mechanical timepieces by, as you know it will always be right. $100


ADPT US-Made Mil-Strap 18mm

The MSAR comes mounted to a three-link steel bracelet, which is great year-round, but sometimes you want to dress the watch down and go with a more casual, lightweight option. The US-Made ADPT Mil-Strap in 18mm is a great choice. Based on a military design, it matches the style of the MSAR perfectly and is available in a wide range of colors from classic Black to earthy Coyote to unexpected Mai Tai. $46



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