Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?
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  1. #1
    Member Mr. Panerai's Avatar
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    Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    Hi guys,

    I have officially narrowed my choices down to the Armida A2 (ETA movement, domed crystal, since apperently they dont sell the non-domed ETA anymore, not that it really matters, I dont mind the dome, but its not a necessitiy for me and it costs $50 more, but whatever!), and the Marathon TSAR, however, I just can't decide which one to choose! As hard as I try, it seems the more reviews, research, and hearsay I encounter, the harder, and more complicated my decision becomes!

    Here's a bit about what I'm looking for to help you guys with the advice you give me.

    I'm a high school student, and although I've owned a Seiko, Wenger, and Fossil, this one will be the one I care the most about, no matter which one I get... It will also be by far the most expensive, thats why I'm having so much trouble deciding. I've saved up the money for one for a while, so its not like I can just get one, then another in a few months. (I'm a guy in high school, I have other things to spend money on :P)

    I will likely only wear this watch on the weekends, and during breaks from school, or vacations, because this watch will truly be like a child to me and I would find wearing it to school daily too risky, if It were to get bumped, scratched or stolen, it would almost certainly be at school.

    I do, in fact dive, so I'm not just one of those people looking for a dive watch to say "Well my watch is Water proof to 300,500, 1000 meters etc.", and I will actually be using it in underwater dive situations.

    After I buy this watch I will almost certainly stop wearing both my Wenger, and Fossil, and my Seiko will see a lot less wear... I want this watch to be durable enough to, as Timex said, "Take a likin' and keep on tickin' " I know both watches are workhorses, and that the Marathon is an absolute tank. So I guess what I mean is I dont want to get tired of the watches design and/or features.

    The thing I dont really like about the Armida is that it's a submariner homage, and while I wont lie, I like the mil-sub look, I'm not a huge fan of Rolex, and I'm also not a huge fan of people thinking I'm wearing a Rolex only upon further inspection, see I am wearing what almost all members of the non 'watch crazy' world, would consider a fake... which, containing a ETA movement, is surely not the case...

    The thing I dont really like about the TSAR is that it's a quartz, and that I wont be able to wear it during formal occasions, while I could easily pull off the Armida in a suit, or formal wear, with its bracelet or an aftermarket leather strap, the Marathon would look foolish, or even ridiculous in formal situations.

    What I like and dislike about both put them into a dead tie as of now... they both have signifigant pros, and realitivley minor cons that keep me from being able to decide on either definatley... One day I'll think I've decided on one, then look at a picture of the other and go back into a heated debate with myself.

    I've told you about myself, and what I'm looking for, so please request away! Also, if you think that there's another watch out there that'd do me well feel free to request it (No sumo requests :P)

    Thanks for taking the time to read, and respond,
    Max
    Last edited by Mr. Panerai; August 27th, 2012 at 10:07.

  2. #2
    Member camb66's Avatar
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    Hi Max,

    i would take the Armida A2- i think its a pretty cool watch and i agree thats its a little more versatile. good luck with the decision.
    Regards Cam

  3. #3
    Member cedargrove's Avatar
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    If you don't like the quartz then why not get the GSAR with an ETA movement? I'd go with a Marathon way before a Rolex homage.
    jrfisher likes this.

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  5. #4
    Member Wingman2384's Avatar
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by cedargrove View Post
    If you don't like the quartz then why not get the GSAR with an ETA movement? I'd go with a Marathon way before a Rolex homage.
    I'd second this. I had the A2 for a very brief time; excellent watch, but the GSAR would win this one with the tritium, etc. I had one of the ETA non-dome A2's...had no idea that they switched to domed crystals.

  6. #5
    Member Raza's Avatar
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    I'm sure the Armida is a very good watch, and cheaper than the GSAR on bracelet if you're looking that route. I doubt it would let you down. I'd love an Armida myself.

    But be advised that it's a lot bigger than a GSAR. At 42mm case and 43mm bezel, you wouldn't think it's much bigger than the 41mm GSAR, but the GSARs large bezel and small dial teamed up with the relatively short lug to lug distance--I believe it's 47 or 48mm compared to the Armida's 51mm mean that the GSAR will wear a lot smaller. I wear mine a lot, to the office and out in the woods and on the water. There's nothing it can't do.

    You can't go wrong, but they are different watches. It's going to come down to "Do I want a military look?" or "Do I want a classic dive watch look?". I'd wager that the Marathon is of higher quality and likely has the better bracelet, but that's not a knock against the Armida. The GSAR's just really good. And that bracelet--well, I don't like bracelets and I wear mine on a bracelet.

    By the way, I wouldn't wear either watch with a suit.
    Last edited by Raza; August 27th, 2012 at 16:30.
    jrfisher likes this.
    TAG Heuer Monaco LE|Omega Speedmaster|Seamaster 300MC|Rolex Submariner|Tudor Ranger

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  7. #6
    Member drickster's Avatar
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    The way I see it, is go for a GSAR. It will dress up nice enough and it has a lot of history (plus you are young, how often do you need to dress up anyway!). It is just cooler to say, this is my mil spec watch made in Canada v. this is my 2 year old watch company watch that really kicks a$$. Both are nice, but I think long term I personally would be more satisfied with the Marathon and more confident they will be around in 20 years.

    here's the about us from Marathon...

    The company that was to become Marathon Watch was founded in 1904 as Weinsturm Watch, later to be named Wein Brothers. In 1939 Morris Wein founded Marathon Watch in Montreal, supplying fine precision timepieces to retailers throughout North America. In 1941 Marathon began manufacturing timing instruments for the Allied Forces. Marathon’s tradition continues today with its fourth generation manufacturing fine quality innovative instruments measuring time, temperature and distance. Marathon’s manufacturing facilities include Switzerland, Canada, and the USA!


    This family photo was taken in 1892. Hersh Wein is seated and on his lap is Morris Wein at approximately one year old.



    There is no about us from Armida.

    Please note, I think Armida watches are nice and would own one, but they seem to be the flavor of the month. I don't think there is a post older than 2011 on them. This doesn't make them a bad watch, it just (to me) means they are new and who knows about them yet. If they take off then you are in on the ground floor, if not you are not out much money. But for my first watch, I wanted something with some history so I went for a Stowa.

    In any event enjoy what you choose!
    Raza and mebiuspower like this.
    Dan

    Not entirely sure what I'm collecting anymore....

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  8. #7
    Member Raza's Avatar
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    History isn't necessary, but it is always nice to have, isn't it?
    TAG Heuer Monaco LE|Omega Speedmaster|Seamaster 300MC|Rolex Submariner|Tudor Ranger

    How did it get so late so soon?

  9. #8
    Member drickster's Avatar
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raza View Post
    History isn't necessary, but it is always nice to have, isn't it?
    see, that's what I was trying to say! First I was just going to quote your post and say, "this." Then I decided to write a diatribe that basically means what you just said in a much more poorly worded form :)

    queue Wayne's World clip...
    Dan

    Not entirely sure what I'm collecting anymore....

    NS-13




  10. #9
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    I almost continually pimp this watch on the forums these days, since I've decided it's going to be my next purchase and first dive watch, but why not the Christopher Ward C60 Trident?

    Of the disadvantages you listed, I think the C60 avoids them. It's not a Rolex homage, though it has some resemblance to the Bremont Supermarine (but with different hands, including the unique trident seconds hand from which it gets its name). It can definitely be dressed up on a leather strap (see pic). It's got pretty good water resistance, 300m/1000ft, just like the Marathon. And it's in the same price range (under $600 on leather or rubber, $650 or so on a bracelet).

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    Last edited by gouverneur; August 27th, 2012 at 18:40.

  11. #10
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    Re: Marathon GSAR vs. Armida A2... which to get?

    Marathon watches are tough to beat for what you pay.
    Fan of manual winds and German makes.

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