Why Are Marathon Watches So Expensive? 10 REASONS WHY

Marathon watches are expensive because they are made with premium materials to withstand extreme environments, undergo rigorous testing beyond most watch specifications, and use high-precision Swiss movements - all resulting from niche focused manufacturing with tight quality control standards.

Marathon watches have earned a reputation for being some of the most durable and rugged timepieces on the market. However, with their exceptional build quality and specifications comes an equally exceptional price tag. Marathon watches are precision instruments built to withstand incredible extremes, which requires expensive materials and labor-intensive manufacturing processes. If you’ve ever wondered just why these watches command such premium prices, read on to learn about the top 10 reasons behind their lofty costs.

Top 10 Reasons Why Are Marathon Watches So Expensive

1. Rigorous Testing Standards

All Marathon watches are put through intensive testing beyond most civilian or even military specifications. This includes shock testing up to 5,000Gs, temperatures between -50°C and 60°C, vibration testing, impact testing from over 3 feet, and water pressure testing well beyond typical 100M dive watch standards.

Certifying performance under these extreme conditions significantly increases manufacturing costs.

2. Durable Cases & Crystals

Marathon cases are crafted from surgical-grade 316L stainless steel for impressive corrosion resistance. The double-domed sapphire crystals are virtually scratch-proof with anti-glare coatings on each side.

These ultra-durable external components ensure Marathon watches can stand up to hard use in the world’s toughest environments, from combat zones to the depths of polar exploration. However, these construction upgrades also make them costlier to manufacture.

3. Precision Movements

Within Marathon’s rugged shells beat high-precision Swiss mechanical and quartz movements. Low temperature compensation ensures chronometer-grade accuracy in extreme environments for their mechanical watches.

Thermocompensated quartz movements provide unparalleled accuracy. These movements are tested and certified for accuracy after full assembly. The research, development, and certification processes Marathon undertakes to deliver extreme accuracy drives costs upwards.

4. Tight Quality Control

As purpose-built extreme-duty tactical watches, quality control standards for Marathon watches are stringent. Each movement undergoes intensive testing and adjustment for accuracy before full assembly.

Additionally, water resistance testing takes place on each fully assembled watch along with battery life testing for their quartz movements. With small batch manufacturing and such tight quality control measures in place, per unit costs are substantial for Marathon.

5. Brand Heritage & Legacy

Marathon’s brand legacy as an official supplier to the military and strategic government agencies since 1939 also contributes to higher prices. Marathon was once owned by Timex but has since regained its independent status.

Its watches boast a long, proud history serving soldiers, navigators, divers, and adventurers in extremely adverse conditions. This powerful brand heritage and legacy drive up desirability and prices on the collector’s market.

6. Limited Production Volumes

As an independent watch company focusing solely on extreme-duty tactical timepieces, Marathon produces limited numbers of watches. Most models see annual production numbers in the few hundreds rather than thousands. Limited production volumes restrict opportunities for economy-of-scale cost savings in sourcing components and manufacturing.

Low volumes also fail to amortize high initial development and testing costs over long production runs. This necessitates higher per unit pricing.

7. Niche Market Focus

Unlike mass-market watch brands, Marathon focuses narrowly on very specialized niches – military personnel, first responders, adventurers and others facing extreme environments. Developing watches purpose-built for these niche applications requires substantial R&D investments.

With development costs spread over low production volumes catering to focused niche segments, prices must be set considerably higher than watches designed for mass consumer markets.

8. Swiss Movements

Unlike affordable watches using less expensive Chinese and Japanese movements, Marathon utilizes premium movements from Swiss suppliers like ETA and Ronda. Swiss movements are respected globally for their precision, quality and reliability but this comes at a steep price.

With base Swiss movements starting around $200-300 each, costs are driven up substantially compared to watches using movements costing under $50 apiece. This material differential alone creates a wide gulf in potential pricing tiers.

9. Assembled in Canada

While some watch components may be sourced internationally, final assembly for all Marathon watches takes place at their workshop in Richmond Hill, Canada. As one of the few remaining Canadian watch companies, Marathon contends with comparatively higher Canadian labor costs for technicians, engineers, quality control, etc.

Versus offshore assembly which could lower prices dramatically. However, in-house assembly allows Marathon to maintain quality standards and responsiveness when servicing these unique watches.

10. Value Retention

While no one buys a rugged tactical watch solely as an investment, Marathon watches hold value remarkably well on the used market. This speaks to their long-term durability and desirability as precision tools.

Considering that an average luxury watch may lose 40-60% of its value after purchase, Marathon’s comparatively slower depreciation makes them a wiser place to park one’s capital. Holding value better also necessitates maintaining consistently higher pricing.

Is marathon watches a good brand?

Yes, Marathon is an excellent brand known for making durable, high-quality tactical watches used by military personnel and adventurers in extreme environments since 1939.

Are marathon watches good?

With their rugged, waterproof stainless steel cases, sapphire crystals, accurized Swiss movements, and intensive testing, Marathon watches deliver outstanding performance and durability for demanding conditions.

Are marathon watches worth the price?

For professionals and adventurers working in tough environments, Marathon watches are well worth their premium price given their unparalleled durability, accuracy and reliability.

Where to buy marathon watches?

Marathon watches can be purchased directly from Marathon Watch Company online as well as authorized retail partners like Princeton Watches, Watch Buys, and Right Time Watch Co.

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