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Old 06-22-2009, 04:54   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
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Default ISA 1198 Quartz Durability?

I want to have Watchdude put together a Marathon Mod for me. What I want is a 'Nightstalker' that looks like this:

I am hesitant about the ISA 1198 Quartz movement (mostly b/c its so inexpensive).

I want this watch as a power tool. Something I can beat on without regard. The quartz appeals to me for that reason, but I really want this to be a tough watch.

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Old 06-22-2009, 11:15   #2
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Location: Northern California
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Default Based on my experience, the price of quartz movements is not a reflection of quality

but availability. The more rare a movement the more it costs. I have seen generic movements for a specific hand/size requirement go for $40 and something just as good in a slightly different configuration go for $6. I used to see quartz movements with full jeweling such as ETA 11J, but this is not even mentioned on most ebauche. The ETA plastic Chinese movements look awful and are just steel pivots in plastic. Being an avowed hater of quartz, I simply look at it as the continuation of a flawed design scheme. Frei sells your movement for under $10 and it comes in different hand sizes. I think that it would be fine, it just reflects the direction the market is headed. I'd buy two so I had a spare when the new one dies. I would also try and find something that fits the dial feet so you will stay way from dial dots.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:41   #3
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I would hope that a military spec watch would have had some testing done on the quartz being put in it, but I could be wrong.

I have two Marathon Navigator MIL-PRF-46374G Type III, Class I, one from a few years ago and one NIB. In both models, the ISA 1198 continues to work. I actually purchased the older one as a replacemetn for an ADANAC (Ronda Harley 373 movement) that I wrecked while out hiking/scrambling...the Ronda movement stopped working when it was flooded but I think it was a seal issue first of all.

As for the Marathon Nav, the bezel is now stuck with crud but otherwise the watch ticks. I don't think twice about swimming with it. Hope this helps.


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Old 06-22-2009, 12:26   #4
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Default It's the same movement in the TSAR... well as the Marathon Navigator. A lot of us here have had experience with the TSAR, and they are very durable. The ISA 1198 is inexpensive, accurate and durable.

By the way, I've known Jeff for years, had many watches built by him, had a couple that were sent to friends for real world testing (including combat training dives) and they performed perfectly. I use one of his as my primary time source, as it is the most accurate watch I have.


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