options for subdued Marathon SAR

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  1. #1

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    options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Hi guys/gals?,
    This is my first post. I joined to buy a watch, but after spending some time browsing I feel that I've found a new source for like minded friends.
    I've always felt that I needed to hide my anal retentive side, but this place seems to let all sorts of quirky nitpicking and obsessive attention to detail flourish.


    Well, with that out of the way, here's what I'm trying to find out.

    I love my Marathon SAR w/bracelet but would like a more subdued finish.
    Thanks(?) to this forum I discovered the IWW site that offers PVD coating.
    This sounds like a good option but I worry about the long term durability and looks after prolonged wear.

    My SAR is my daily wear "beater" watch and I don't have a desk job, nor do I have any comprehension about all this
    "desk diver" swirlies? and wear often mentioned in the descriptions on the sales corner.
    How much damn wear and tear can you possibly inflict on a watch while wearing it at a "desk" anyway?
    hahaha sorry for the newbie joke, I guess I'd hate to see what your furniture looks like.

    Back to the PVD...I've never seen a black watch that ever looked worth a damn after some real use/wear. Despite my previous remarks about the "swirlies" I don't like wear and tear (scratches, dings, etc.) that would be made more obvious by a "coating". My gut instinct is that the underlying SS would quickly show through, no matter how "high tech" the coating. I'm glad I passed on that black/gold Heuer dive watch in the 80's. A dive buddy bought one and that thing looked like crap in short order. lol

    I've never had any custom work done on any watch I ever purchased.
    I just shop and compare obsessively before buying and live w/ my decision.
    I've been happy so far, but the more time I spend looking at all these watch crazy forums, the more I lust after something new and/or different.
    I fear I may need help.....


    Joseph

  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Hi -

    Yes, welcome ot the asylum...

    The early PVD watches weren't often PVD at all, but rather anodized or otherwise some sort of simple surface treatment that really didn't last.

    More modern PVD does handle quite a bit of abuse, especially if you add some of the modern variants, such as surface hardening that you can get from Sinn, for instance.

    If you are worried about beating the watch up, then take a look at the Sinn U series, which uses hardened submarine steel: not PVD, but you're not going to get anything out there harder than that.

    I've got a Poljot Aviator I with PVD that gets about as much wrist time as any of my watches and all I've seen in terms of wear is a tad on the crown, where the PVD is weakest. But no meaningful wear otherwise, and I don't baby the watch at all. And I have another PVD that is my sauna watch (one of Ray's specials) which means that it sees cycles from 100° C to 15° celsius inside of 10 minutes and there's nary a scratch there...

    Older black watches were coated and could wear heavily quickly: the newer PVD watches have the coatings bonded to the surface of the metal, meaning that there's gonna be a lot of wear before that disappears.

    JohnF
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  3. #3

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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Thanks for the reply John.
    After re-reading my post I may have rambled a bit and not made my
    intentions clear. I hope my opening salvo didn't cause any offense.

    You helped confirm what I have suspected, that the technology has improved.

    What I am really hoping for is someone to comment on the aftermarket PVD coatings like IWW offers HERE.
    With the many wonderful watch enthusiasts on this forum, I would suspect
    that someone would have some first hand experience on having an existing watch "blackened".
    Are they happy w/ the results?
    Would they recommend it for a work watch.

    In my thread title I asked for options.
    Even though I went on about the PVD black thing, are there other
    finishes that would cut down on the glare of a SS watch?

    I've heard of bead blasting but I don't know if that is an option for a watch.
    I have no idea what that would look like either.

    Even though I have never had any custom work done before, I am now
    considering it. After many years, I've learned it's nearly impossible to find the "perfect" watch.

    Thanks again,
    Joseph

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  5. #4
    RIC
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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    FWIW I think Jack has stopped doing PVD at this time. You might want to contact him though. Take a look at a Kobold Seal that he modded with PVD, dial flip, and a re-lume. I have a besel that he did in PVD, very tough stuff.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=53162

    Also here is a thread on PVD and who might be doing it now.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=52033

    I think you will be surprised at how durable the coating really is. If you find a reliable source, let us know...

  6. #5
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Hi -

    No offense taken where none was given.

    Looking at reducing the glare of a SS watch?

    How about parkerizing?

    I ran across this yesterday and it might be a solution (pun intended!):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ME:B:WNA:US:42

    It's a do-it-yourself parkerizing kit, but you need to take the watch apart, as the process does involved heat that would really mess up the innards of your watch.

    But I think it's a real option for you, all things considered. You could get your qualified local watchmaker to take the watch apart for you and give you the case: parkerize the case basically overnight, and get it back to him the next day for reassembly.

    I'd be tempted to do it myself, but transporting the chemicals to Germany is probably quite a bit of a hassle nowadays...

    JohnF

    PS: And it is almost impossible to find the perfect watch. Doesn't stop us, though.
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  7. #6
    Member Tragic's Avatar
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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Hi John!
    For a future purchase, consider a Damasko of some sort.
    The "subdued" virtually indestructible finish you like with superior timekeeping.
    Another plus is you'll have plenty of time to save once you order it, as time has no meaning to these good folks!
    3-4 months at least.
    Good luck with your Marathon!
    "Time is the school in which we learn. Time is the fire in which we burn."

  8. #7
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    blasting is a good option...

    Folks like Jack/IWW and Duarte/NEWW do different types of media blasting. I've had numerous watches blasted to reduce the shine.
    Aluminum oxide blasting also darkens the brightness of the sst, as well as imparting a satin finish. Other media will give the satin finish but not darken the metal: examples are the Sinn and Damasko pieces.

    Check Northeast Watch Works and Industrial Watch Works websites for examples of their blasting.
    Good luck.
    DW

  9. #8

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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Thanks all, for the good info and suggestions.

    I am glad that I joined and had the gumption to post some newbie questions.

    I appreciate the excellent technical help and also noted the suggestions of buying a new watch.

    I've come to a new revelation....
    What I realize is, that I'm going to leave well enough alone.
    After re-reading my above post, it reminded me that I have a working system.
    I bought my Marathon because I loved the look of it. (and the reputation)
    So what, if it's not "subdued" somehow?
    It has awesome character that is a part of me.
    Not that it's beat all to hell, just worn...and used, just the way I intended.

    John must have mind reading ability because I have lusted for a Sinn for many moons. It's on my short list, and God willing I'll own one soon.
    The Damasko is excellent too but I know little about them. Hopefully hanging out here will get me up to speed.

    David, thanks for the insight on media blasting. Your contribution helped educate me on a subtle difference that is often very important to me.
    I've seen bead blasting from my local machinist (auto & motorcycle racing), but I figured there would need to be something a little different for watches.

    Thanks and peace,
    J.

  10. #9
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Wayne View Post
    The Damasko is excellent too but I know little about them. Hopefully hanging out here will get me up to speed.
    Well, here´s some stuff to read from our review section:

    DA 36: https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=44342 and https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=7371

    DA 56: https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=475

    You may also search the German Watches Forum for some informations, for example: https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthr...hlight=damasko

    Enjoy reading.

  11. #10
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: options for subdued Marathon SAR

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Hi -

    No offense taken where none was given.

    Looking at reducing the glare of a SS watch?

    How about parkerizing?

    I ran across this yesterday and it might be a solution (pun intended!):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ME:B:WNA:US:42

    It's a do-it-yourself parkerizing kit, but you need to take the watch apart, as the process does involved heat that would really mess up the innards of your watch.

    But I think it's a real option for you, all things considered. You could get your qualified local watchmaker to take the watch apart for you and give you the case: parkerize the case basically overnight, and get it back to him the next day for reassembly.

    I'd be tempted to do it myself, but transporting the chemicals to Germany is probably quite a bit of a hassle nowadays...

    JohnF

    PS: And it is almost impossible to find the perfect watch. Doesn't stop us, though.
    That type of parkerizing will not work on the stainless steel alloys used in watch cases. In fact, they recommend using a stainless steel tank to keep the chemicals from eating through.

    What many people call parkerizing on watches, is not parkerizing at all, but a form of passivasion. Passivasion usually requires a high concentrate nitric acid bath.

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