Saturday, July 11, 2009

Adanac Navigator II

Wow, post number 100. Anyway, here is a review of the Marathon Adanac Navigator II. This is the second generation navigator from Adanac. Interesting to note that Adanac is Canada backwards. Marathon Watch Company is from Canada. The Marathon Watch Company provides watches for the US military. Remember the ORSA military black dial in an earlier post? Well this watch was the 3rd. piece in the collection. So thank you again.

Basic specification:

Current Time Mode:
Hour, minute, second, am, pm, month, date and day
Time system 12 hour/ 24 hour format
Calender system Auto-calender (2004 to 2099)

Daily Alarm Mode:
2 daily independent alarm
Hourly and half hour chime

Chronograph Mode:
Resolution 1/100 second
Measuring range 99 ours 59 minutes 59.99 seconds
Operation mode up-count from zero
Lap Lap memory of 100 laps
Recall lap time and total time

Dual Time Mode:
Hour, minute, second, am, pm

Regatta Timer Mode:
Resolution 1 second
Measuring range 99 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds
Operation mode Down-count to zero, and then start up-count
Quick set 6 quick set values 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 45 minutes

Compass Mode:
Resolution 1 degree display (digital)
Measuring range 0 to 359 degrees (digital)
Compass lock and backward compass bearing

Back light: EL back light
Battery: single CR2032
Water resistant: 3 ATM

First, I have to say that this is a big watch. I am use to wearing large watches but this takes the cake. The watch is 49 mm across the horizontal and 50 mm vertical. It is 16.5 mm thick. Add the fact that the strap is integrated with the case, the watch does stand out as being very large. However, it is not heavy. The entire watch is made of plastic/ resin. Don't be fooled with the stainless steel look of the case. It is just 1 mm thick stainless steel plate covering the plastic/ resin case. More about this later.

Lets have a closer look at the watch. On the left of the watch we have 3 plastic buttons. From the top, Compass, Light and Mode. On the right, we have 2 other buttons, also plastic, Start/Stop and Lap/Reset. The bezel is also plastic and is the compass rose. It is marked N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW. These lettering are engraved into the bezel and filled with white paint. Between these, are 9 raised dots that provide grip to rotate the bezel. The bezel can be rotated clockwise and anti-clockwise.

At the 12 o'clock position, above the LCD we find 'ADANAC NAVIGATOR II' and at the lower right at about 5 o'clock position we find the white silk print 'ADANAC by MARATHON'. The engraving/ etching on the watch is good. All the lettering on the watch is filled with black paint.

We now look at the LCD. The LCD is divided into 3 parts. The top part shows the day of the week. The middle portion shows the time, hour, minute and seconds and the lower portion shows either the day and month or month and day, dependent on how you set it up. A watch for both sides of the Atlantic. This is the display on normal time mode. There is an analogue seconds display around the edge of the LCD. This comes in handy when it is used by medics who are used to the analogue seconds display. The LCD itself is very readable as it is very large (32 mm).

When the 'Mode' button is selected, the watch will cycle through the following modes; Alarm, Chronograph, Timer, Dual Time and back to Current Time Mode. The current time is only displayed in Timer Mode and the lower portion of the LCD. There are no current time display in other modes. Unlike Casio G-Shock, this watch will cycle through all the modes when an operation is selected. What this means is, on the Casio G-Shock, if you have adjusted the alarm in the alarm mode, when you select the mode button, you return to normal time display instead of having to cycle through the entire function modes. This function is not available on the Adanac.

The watch will beep when the mode button is selected, for that matter when any button is selected. I am happy to say that this beep can be switch off. The beep sound is the same when cycling through the mode function.

Selecting the 'COMPASS' button will bring you to the compass mode. In the compass mode, the analogue seconds display acts as the pointers of the compass, with North indicated by 3 blocks. The top portion of the LCD will show the compass direction of the navigation direction (N, NW, SW etc). The middle portion will display the bearing direction of the navigation direction numerically in degrees. The lower portion will show the current time.

There is a need to read the manual to set-up the compass. It is not like a normal compass where you can read off it when you pick it up. There is a need to calibrate the compass for first use and a need to re-calibrate after battery change and from time to time to ensure accuracy. Magnetic Declination information is provided in the manual.

The compass provides the following functions:

Reading to Magnetic North
Compass Direction
Bearing Direction
Compass Lock
Backward Bearing

The watch also has a Low Battery Indicator. A battery icon will show up when the watch detects the battery power is low. It also has contrast adjustment. How many watches do you see that function being made available?

The watch have 2 independent daily alarm. The interesting part is that it has a hourly and a half hourly chime. You don't see this in many watches.

The other interesting mode is the Timer Mode, sorry Regatta Timer Mode (?). It has a quick-set-value function. The quick-set-values cannot be changed by the user and 6 are provided; 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 45 minutes. Of course it also provides for user preset value to be input into the watch. I like the Timer function as it provides a very interesting audio reminder. In the last 10 minutes, the watch will beep once a minute. In the last 1 minute, the watch will beep every 10 seconds and at the last 10 seconds, the watch will beep every second. At zero, the watch will beep for 30 seconds and will automatically go into chronograph mode and start counting up (a cheap Omega X-33?)

The watch has dual time function. A big yes in my book. However, the inability to set the city code is a big downside for me. I guess you can't have everything.

Like I said earlier, the stainless steel plate is just as cover over the plastic/ resin body. Look at the photographs below and you can see it. I guess the 2 pins on both sides of the watch is to hold the plate to the body. The plate is about 1 mm thick if not thinner. It does provide some protection. You can also see the buttons. The overall build quality of the case and buttons is good.

The case back is also made of the same material. It is held by 7 screws, 3 on the left and 4 on the right. The battery compartment is towards the 11 o'clock position. It can be open by a coin, thus changing the battery on the field is easy. It uses the very common CR 2032. The case back has a strange pattern on it. It looks like the rays of the sun, with the sun located at the 5 o'clock position. There are some markings on the case back. There is the 'CE' (which means it meets the European health and safety requirements) and also the 'do not dispose in trash can icon'.

On the lower left portion of the case back we have the part number, the CAGE number and Marathon's website address. The CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) 38776 verifies that the watch was manufactured by Marathon. At the moment, Marathon has applied for the NSN for the watch and expects to get it soon. I guess once it get the NSN, it will also appear in this location.

From all the photographs above, we can see that the rubber band that comes with the watch is of the integrated design. I believe that the removal of the case back is necessary to replace the band. The band is made of rubber and it is very supple. However I find that the band picks up dust easily, as can be seen in the photographs. The watch was washed just before photography.

The band is 40 mm at the widest point at the case and tapers down to 20 mm over the length of 1 inch from the case. It is 20 mm at the tip. There is a tear drop design on the band and this is the only marking on an otherwise plain band. There is no markings on the inside of the band as well.

At the tip of the band, there is a raised portion. This is to hold the rubber keeper in position and prevent it from slipping.

I find the band very comfortable. However, I suspect in the heat of summer, many people may find the lack of cooling holes or the lack of any cooling function, like raised edge on the inside of the band, an uncomfortable wear.

There are no markings on the matte stainless steel buckle. The only marking is 'Stainless Steel' on the inside of the buckle. The quality of the buckle is good. The engraving/ etching of the lettering is also good.

The watch has the Electro-Luminescent (EL) backlight. It is not very bright. I guess this was done deliberately, as I am sure we would not want a watch that light up like the 4th of July on the field.

Overall, I like the watch. It is different from the usual G-Shock we get from Casio. There are some concerns, like the water resistant rating of 3 ATM or 30m. But since it is designated Navigator, hence for Pilot use, the water resistant rating should be sufficient. It will live through the occasional hand washing or rain, but I would not swim with it. There is a need to re-calibrate the compass from time to time, but judging from the fact that the military specifications states the accuracy of a watch should be with 60 seconds a day, I figure re-calibrating the compass should not pose too much of a problem. Remember the sync that has to be done on watches just before the soldiers go on a mission on all the war movies we have seen?

The main problem with this watch is it's size. Military watches from the past mostly measures a small 34 to 36 mm in diameter. This makes it a difficult watch to wear on a daily basis. Added with the current trend, a move to smaller watches, the Adanac is indeed a dinosaur. But I like it.


  1. Hi Ivan,
    nice blog and nice review.....
    i like the adanac too........
    i replyed to you on WUS forum with caseback pictures
    of the prs-10......
    i'm awaiting your news......
    have good times.....

  2. Hi ecalzo,

    Welcome to the blog. I have responded to your PM.



  3. Thank you for the review. I'm seriously considering one of these watches and I've been having trouble finding in-depth information about them. Much appreciated.

  4. Hi Dave,

    Welcome to the blog. Thank you for the kind words. I am sure you will enjoy the watch if you get it. Wear it with good health.

    Best regards,


  5. I just got one of these watches and I think I'm going to like it. I contacted Marathon about replacement straps and the guy who responded said they don't have replacements since the strap in integrated into the watch. I was a little taken aback by this because the watch will most likely outlast the strap.

  6. Hi Mah315,

    Welcome to the blog. Wow that is interesting news from Marathon. Well I do like the watch and like you, I ma sure the watch will outlast the strap .I guess a modification will have to be done once the strap gives. Until then, wear the watch in good health.

    Best regards,


  7. anyone knows how to calibrate this watch, I lost my manual


  8. Hi Ivan, do you have the instructions in order to set up the compass, after having replaced the battery?

  9. Hi Robert,

    Welcome to the blog. With regards to your question, email me and I will send a copy of the relevant pages. But I can only do it once I am back home in about 2 weeks time.

    Best regards,


  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Hi does anybody know where I can find owners manuel for this watch or tell me how to calibrate the compass