Marathon Introduces a New Steel Navigator with an Automatic Movement

If you want immediate Watch Nerd cred with something coming in at around the $1,000 price point or less, there are a handful of options for any budding (or experienced) watch enthusiast. Seiko, of course. G-SHOCK, too. And you can have your pick from many great microbrands, including Lorier, Baltic, and Brew, and too many others to name. If your tastes veer toward the tactical, however, and you happen to be a lume connoisseur, Marathon is (somehow) still under the radar, makes a high quality, well designed watch that just about anyone who has been around the horological block will appreciate. Their newest release, an automatic version of their 41mm Steel Navigator, takes a classic Marathon silhouette and gives it an automatic movement. 


Marathon has been manufacturing timing instruments of all kinds for various militatires since the 1940s, and the Navigator case, with its familiar asymmetrical shape, will scream “issued military watch” to many collectors. The original Steel Navigator traces its roots to the 1980s, when it was developed in partnership with Kelly Air Force Base for use by pilots. Everything about the design is function first – this is a pure tool watch if there ever was one. It’s got a 12 hour bezel for foolproof tracking of a second time zone, a two-tiered hour track with a 12 and interior 24 hour scale, a 41mm case crafted from stainless steel without a polished surface in sight, and, maybe most notably, an array of tritium tubes on the dial and hands, for the type of constant illumination you’d need in a cockpit. This watch doesn’t have a millimeter of wasted space or a design flourish for aesthetic purposes only. 

According to Marathon, the watches in the Steel Navigator series are engineered to meet the needs of modern pilots, which means they are highly impact resistant and will not fail due to sudden changes in altitude and air pressure. The SSNAV-D Auto (the automatic version’s official designation) is powered by a Sellita SW200 caliber. 

The new steel version of the Navigator with an automatic movement fills out the Navigator collection nicely, which also includes quartz watches in steel and Marathon’s “High-Impact Composite Fibreshell” material. This one represents the top of the range, coming in at a price point of $1,050. More info at Marathon’s website right here.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.