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The Flight Plan: PT 2

The Flight Plan: PT 2


A direct descendant of Marathon’s original Steel Navigator developed in the 1980’s, the new Steel Navigator Series includes many upgrades inside and out. This redesign has been a central focus of Marathon President Mitchell Wien for over five years, working in tandem with Marathon’s talented team of watchmakers based in La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland and manufacturing in accordance with government requirement NSN: 6645-01-698-4275.

Perhaps the most noticeable update is the addition of a date complication – never-before-seen on any Steel Navigator. Available on the SSNAV-D model, the date feature was introduced to provide additional functionality to pilots on extended deployments. This, combined with the 12HR GMT bezel, allows for easy simultaneous timekeeping for two time zones. For more information on how to use a 12HR bezel, see our short video here 

Bezel of the Steel Navigator w/ Date

The steel bi-directional bezel has also seen an increase in thickness, creating a larger surface to grip while wearing flight gloves. Inset-painted indices have also been added to the bezel, enhancing legibility and durability of the markings. 

The Steel Navigator Series now includes an impact-resistant synthetic sapphire crystal, representing an upgrade from the original model’s hardened plexi crystal. This, coupled with our improved crystal-retention system, allows the watches to withstand extreme changes in air pressure – necessary for the watch’s use by combat pilots at high altitudes. This crystal also provides unparalleled clarity and increased viewing angle

Steel Navigator w/ Date

The watches are built from solid 316L surgical-grade stainless steel and feature a screw-down crown, making them operational even when submerged to 10ATM (100m/300ft). This increased water resistance was implemented due to the requirement for modern pilots and paratroopers to be capable of using the watches in any environment.  

The re-engineered case stays true to the iconic asymmetrical design of the original Navigator, now including enhanced tapering of the lugs. This more curved shape provides a comfortable fit and makes the Steel Navigator ideal for all-day wear. The lugs are also fully drilled, simplifying quick strap changes and allowing the users the choice of many different accessory styles. 

Self-contained tritium gas tubes are included on the hour markers, and minute/hour hands, ensuring constant visibility in low-light environments. Tritium tubes are self-illuminating, containing an isotope of hydrogen that won't dull down over time like standard photoluminescent paint, meaning the watch will remain fully legible at all hours.  

Caseback of the Steel Navigator w/ Date

On the caseback is Marathon’s signature easy-access battery hatch – a critical element that ensures easy battery changes for the end user. As with any quartz Marathon wristwatch, the Steel Navigator includes an EOL (End-of-Life) indicator which will display when your power supply is running low. Simply use a coin to twist the hatch open, replace your 371 battery, and screw the hatch back down. An improved water-tight gasket on the hatch means no fear of dust or moisture affecting your watch movement once the hatch has been fully re-secured. 

The caseback also exhibits brand-new markings, displaying the required spec and model information plus a nod to the North with the inclusion of the Canadian Maple Leaf. Designed right here in Canada, tap to explore the 41mm Steel Navigator (SSNAV) and the 41mm Steel Navigator w/ Date (SSNAV-D). 


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