New 41mm Marathon Steel Navigator Date (SSNAV-D)


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NEW — Marathon Steel Navigator Date — Long awaited!

Marathon again shows why they are “Best in the Long Run”.  After more than 30 years since the originally issued version, Windy City Watch Collector is thrilled to officially announce the launch of the re-engineered Marathon Steel Navigator Date (SSNAV-D).
Case Size: 41mm
Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
Movement: 3 Jewel ETA F06.412 with HeavyDrive-PreciDrive with an accuracy of ± 10s/year (yes, year!)
Launch Date: April 21, 2023 <– Newest product
The original steel navigator was produced in the 1980s and features a dial and hand set with tritium pigmented indices.  In 1990, the US Government began requiring that radioactive tritium be encapsulated within small glass tubes for safety as well as the fact that doing so provided a self-illuminating light source.  The resulting steel Navigator watch was issued to US Military pilots and Navigators during the first Gulf War era.  These watches featured a Rhonda movement which has now been discontinued.  In 1999, a small batch of steel Navigators was reissued with an improved movement and orange tritium marker at the 12 position.  These can be easily identified with a small crown as well.  Windy City Watch Collector marketed and sold these here.  We recommended them to Military Watch Collectors.  Those steel Navigator reissue watches are now collectible and have appreciated quite a bit in value.
Jump ahead 24 years and the new Marathon Steel Navigator date is being released.
The new Marathon Steel Navigator Date’s design is very much like the original in appearance by quick glance. When examined closely, there are some significant enhancements…..

THE ENGINE of the Marathon Steel Navigator Date 

The new 41mm Steel Navigator Date (SSNAV-D) has received many engineering improvements when compared to the design of its predecessor. One of the biggest updates is in the form of the new quartz movement: the 3 Jewel ETA F06.412 with HeavyDrive-PreciDrive. 

Overhead view of F06.412 movement within Steel Navigator w/ Date.

Now the most precise watch in the Marathon watch lineup, the Steel Navigator Date features an accuracy of ± 10s/year, operating at 32’768 Hz. This is made possible by the combination of ETA’s venerable quartz technology, as well as customizations specifically for Marathon. 


Marathon has improved the shock protection of the Steel Navigator by improving both the movement as well as the protective cage surrounding it. 

Housed within this particular movement is ETA’s HeavyDrive technology, offering shock detection and management by way of an integrated circuit. When a shock is detected, the motor applies a counter force to prevent the hand from skipping and affecting the accuracy of the movement. 

Steel Navigator w/ Date revised movement mounting system.

Further stabilizing the movement is Marathon’s fully revised movement mounting system. Inside the Steel Navigator  Date is a steel ring that secures the F06.412 in place with three screws. This is engineered to protect the movement against unwelcomed forces such as torque, vibration, and impact. 


The Marathon Steel Navigator Date also features ETA’s PreciDrive technology.  This technology consists of a thermo-compensation unit that monitors and reacts to changes in the watch’s internal temperature as well as the temperature of the surrounding environment. The thermo-compensation unit of the F06.412 is sealed in a vacuum-insulated, brass-plated housing.  

These features, in combination with Marathon’s addition of a screw-down crown and improved water-tight gasket system, allow the movement to be unaffected by humidity. 


With the F06.412 generating a longer battery life – approximately 86 to 94 months – the watch poses benefits to the environment and consumers alike. Less batteries equals less waste, plus reduced hassle for users with fewer battery replacements over the watch’s lifetime.  

All F06 movements have a built-in EOL (End of Life) Indicator that will notify the user to change the battery within 3 months of the battery expiring. You’ll note that the secondhand will begin ticking in a pulsed, four-second interval pattern. The watch will continue to display the correct time until the battery is fully depleted; however, the visual effect will alert the user to the need of a battery change with time to spare. 

Steel Navigator w/ Date Battery Hatch

Another update to the internal design of the Steel Navigator Date is Marathon’s new battery hatch spring. In the past, models have featured a standard spring – a small piece of metal with prongs that sits in between the battery hatch and the battery itself. In this new version, the spring is mounted to the inside of the battery hatch cover, preventing the spring from being misaligned or lost during battery change. 


Date display of Steel Navigator w/ Date.

A first for any Steel Navigator, the new SSNAV-D model includes a date function. Historically the Steel Navigator was produced solely for government contracts and only with a no-date dial, as a date display version was never specifically required. This feature was introduced due to the popularity of the current composite 41mm Pilot’s Navigator with Date, as well as the understanding that modern pilots require a date display especially when preparing reports in the field.


A direct descendant of Marathon’s original Steel Navigator developed in the 1980’s, the 41mm Steel Navigator w/ Date (SSNAV-D) 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. 


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 the legibility and durability of the markings. 

The Steel Navigator w/ Date 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 watch 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 an increased viewing angle. 

Steel Navigator w/ Date

The watch is built from solid 316L surgical-grade stainless steel and features a screw-down crown, making it 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 watch 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 w/ Date 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 w/ Date 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. 


Additional information

Strap style

Both straps — Single piece + NATO, Defstan single piece (NATO), single piece nylon


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