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Discussion Starter #1
I've narrowed my next watch down to these two.

I've been wanting the seiko for a long time, but I really love the look of the GSAR. I love the fact that the dial has some "depth" to it (does this make sense?) much like the Seiko marinemaster. I don't particularly like how the Sumo's bezel is recessed into the case. I'm worried that the Marathon will be too small though. I currently have a Seiko orange monster, and I believe the Marathon is smaller than that.

I am not familiar with Swiss movements, so can someone advise me as how the ETA movement compares with the 6R15. Also please take into account the price when comparing the two. The GSAR must be on the marathon bracelet.

Thanks :thanks
 

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The GSAR is definitely a "thick" watch. I definitely like the tritium tubes...checking the time at 0400 is easy. The GSAR is beefy. The sumo has a nice clean design. I actually like the recessed bezel. My favorite part of the watch is the signed crown and the clean dial, with cursive "Automatic." The only part I don't like so much is the font on the bezel, its just "ok" to me.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
man, you just made my decision 100x harder. I simply don't know how I can choose between the two. I'm slightly leaning towards the Marathon since I already have two Seikos, but the Sumo seems to offer more bang for the buck. But then again the Marathon seems to look much more rugged and toolish which is something I also like. Arggg.
 

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man, you just made my decision 100x harder. I simply don't know how I can choose between the two. I'm slightly leaning towards the Marathon since I already have two Seikos, but the Sumo seems to offer more bang for the buck. But then again the Marathon seems to look much more rugged and toolish which is something I also like. Arggg.
IMHO a better comparison would have been the Marathon SAR vs. the SUMO since the original SAR has a cleaner dial..
Even in this case the SAR wins hands down...the Seiko can have a good movement but the ETA of Marathon is tough as nails and extremly precise. In fact the Marathon SAR is the only diver I own from 9 months and its accuracy varies around +1/-1 sec/day which means my watch is always dead on!!:-!

The only Seiko that can beat the Marathon is the Marinemaster!!
 

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I would pick the SUMO. While I like both watches, and own neither, I do own both movements in other watches. I think the SUMO dial is easier to read, and less cluttered, but that is subjective, like most other observations. The movemnet,.......I'd pick the Seiko, they are known for their durability, and lack of need for much of any service. It seems like if I don't have my ETA movements serviced every 3 to 4 years, they suffer in timekeeping and reliability. Both are nice watches, you'll find many owners of both watches here, you'll just have to find the one that speakes to you the most.
Regards Sonny
 

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Wayyy better looking ? I guess you missed the photos posted above !!! (just kidding) . For me the Seiko looks like a 'generic" dive watch - the Marathon has a much more unique look to it . I'm no expert on movements but the ETA movement used by Marathon is used in many much nore expensive Swiss watches . Ultimately you have to decide which watch "sings" to you more. For me at least the choice was easy.
Joe
 

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These are two totally different type watches in term of design. Accuracy and constructions are fairly even. Lume comes from different sources, but the Sumo glows more in the beginning of the night after being charged compared to the GSAR, but then later in the night the GSAR keeps on glowing (for the next 20years :-d). The GSAR is more of tool/military type watch the Sume more of a classic diver/dress watch. So it is up to you. Why don't you get the TSAR and the SUMO and you spend as much as the GSAR on bracelet...
 

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I also looked at both and then decided on a TSAR, which should be here next week
I think the TSAR looks more rugged and I like that
 

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The obvious, punkish answer would be: just get both! :-d

Seriously, though, I own the Marathon SAR and the Sumo. I love the SAR, but the Sumo has become my daily wear.

Sumo advantages:
  • More versatile: with a blend of brushed and polished surfaces, it can pass as a dress diver in the office
  • Better bezel: to me, Seiko in general makes dive bezels that work the way they should -- silky smooth, yet not too easy to move; 120 clicks that allow for absolutely NO backtrack, easy to grip. The SAR bezel isn't bad, but it doesn't come close -- it can be a bit rough at times, to be honest; I sent my SAR to Jack at IWW (Marathon's authorized repair guy) to get a new bezel, and that's how it came back. (My original SAR bezel somehow had the "clicking" teeth stripped and stopped being uni-directional).
  • Better bracelet: the SAR bracelet's really nice. No complaints. But I like Seiko bracelet clasps -- I like that it has both a push-button release and a flip-lock. Makes it seem more secure, though probably its overkill. (Also, the bracelet has subtle polished accents.)
  • Nicer caseback: No, casebacks aren't visible. But I think the engraved design on the Sumo caseback helps it stay on the right place on my wrist better; the SAR caseback is basically plain, with a few words/numbers etched in.
  • Cheaper: figure on getting a Sumo for less than $500, but a GSAR on bracelet for ~$700
However, the SAR (or GSAR, in your case) has the advantage in that:
  • It has a sapphire crystal. The "Hardlex" on my Sumo is great -- slightly domed, seems to have withstood three solid months of abuse without even the tiniest scratch or blemish. But I just wish the crystal were sapphire.
  • I like the knurled crown. The Sumo has a nice, functional (and signed) crown, but the SAR crown is just sooo easy to grip and turns/unscrews like buttah.
  • More water resistance: 300m vs. 200m. On a practical note, it probably doesn't matter to you (or me), but it is cool to have a watch with a higher depth rating.
Too close to call between the two:
  • Movement: Both hack and handwind. Both are made by companies with impeccable reputations for producing rugged, quality movements. Both are accurate to within COSC specs (in my case, anyway) -- +1.5s for the SAR/ETA and +2.0s for the Sumo/6R15; I feel the difference is negligible, a matter of chance, and can be easily regulated by a good watchmaker (if I cared to take the trouble, which I don't). The ETA second hand sweeps just a little bit more smoothly than the 6R15.
  • Lume: Here, I'm comparing Seiko lume to tritium tubes (which I don't have on the SAR but have seen on my Luminox): like many have said, it's a matter of preference.
  • Durability/ability to take punishment: Seiko divers and SARs both have a reputation for being able to take punishment. I'm pretty rough on my watches, and the fact that both have taken what I throw at them is testament to that. However, I'm not a diver (pro or amateur); and while I've read incredibly amazing stories of what a Seiko diver can take, I've never heard a similar anecdote about the SAR/GSAR line. To be fair: I never heard an anecdote about the Sumo specifically, but that's because it's a fairly new model. And since Marathon watches are generally issued to military field professionals, I have no doubt anecdotes exist -- they just haven't made it to the WIS community.
Like others have said, you won't go wrong with either one.

But this is just my take. I'd go with the Sumo any day.

- Kent

I've narrowed my next watch down to these two.

I've been wanting the seiko for a long time, but I really love the look of the GSAR. I love the fact that the dial has some "depth" to it (does this make sense?) much like the Seiko marinemaster. I don't particularly like how the Sumo's bezel is recessed into the case. I'm worried that the Marathon will be too small though. I currently have a Seiko orange monster, and I believe the Marathon is smaller than that.

I am not familiar with Swiss movements, so can someone advise me as how the ETA movement compares with the 6R15. Also please take into account the price when comparing the two. The GSAR must be on the marathon bracelet.

Thanks
 

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Good post Kent.

I've had two SAR watches and they were both excellent watches that I would purchase again any day of the week.
I've never had a Sumo but it's definitely on my short list of "affordable" divers. I'd get that one first since it's the least expensive and then if you don't like it, flip it and get the GSAR.
 

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IMO, between GSAR and Sumo, i would go with Sumo because the dial of GSAR is too busy, and i like my lume non-radioactive.

i agree that the original SAR and Sumo are better comparison. and in this case, i would go with the original SAR, cause:

- i like the lume triangle on the bezel (SAR) better than lume dot (Sumo)
- i like the bracelet of SAR better (so much metal and well made, however, keep in mind that you can use MM auto's excellent clasp on Sumo's bracelet for an extra cost)
- i like the crown of SAR better (even though its not signed)
- and i have worn SAR on bracelet in a suit to a wedding, and i have no problem with it
- sapphire crystal is a better choice for everyday use
- i think the bezel on SAR is easier to use, the bezel is tall and easy to grap

i think for all GSAR, SAR and Sumo, you will have no problem reading the time at 04:00 if you have given decent charge to the lume (tritum gas tube in GSAR needs no charge, but the lume triangle on the bezel does, lol)

and Sumo should have a bigger dial and case, i would give credit to seiko for a dial and case well made (clean dial with applied indices, nicely curved lugs with brushed and polished surface)

i currently have a SAR on bracelet and used to have a black dial Sumo (not anymore), and now you know why. if the right watch comes up, i won't mind owning a Sumo again :)
 

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I was considering the sumo vs a marathon sar, and after owning 2 seikos, the sar just blows it out of the water. I agree that the MM would most likely be a better watch than the sar, but the sar just FEELS so much more solid than most seikos Ive owned.

I have mine on the ss bracelet, and it just cant be compared. The machining, movement, SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL (big one for me, Ive chipped hardlex crystals before) bezel and accuracy make it a perfect choice. The crown is just flat out incredible, quality WAY beyond seiko in the mid-range. Not rattley or cheap feeling like most seikos Ive owned.

I honestly think if the marathon brand was more known, and marketed, I could easily see it being a $1200 dollar watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
First off, thank you all for the replies, some great information here.

First I want to state that I am only interested in the GSAR. I like the look of the GSAR 100x better than the SAR. As well, I don't want a quartz so that throws out the TSAR.
Does anyone know how the size of the marathon would compare to a Seiko monster? Thanks
 

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sumo vs. Gsar.
Seiko pumps out, like millions of watches every year, while marathon puts a few gsars out. one is mass produced and has no human contact while the other has humans putting it together and testing it before shipment. The eta is a tried and true movement that lasts forever and is very accurate out of the box. You need to flip a coin as to whether your seiko will be within its +15/-15 sec. a day. I'm not being biased here. the marathon is a great watch that was tested in very harsh conditions for 2 whole years. the sumo was tested on a machine. you pay extra for a better watch.
 

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The eta is a tried and true movement that lasts forever and is very accurate out of the box. You need to flip a coin as to whether your seiko will be within its +15/-15 sec. a day.
Seems like you've confused this Seiko with a SKX007 or other low end model. The 6R15 in the Sumo is a very accurate movement, and from what I've read, it's a rare exception when you find one outside +15/-15 a day. I suppose the case could be made that it's not "tried and true" because it's relatively new, but it shares most components with the 7S26, which is even more of a workhorse movement than the 2824. If you're implying that ETA is more reliable than Seiko over the long term, I'd like to know the basis for that claim. Speaking of the ETA, I've owned several far outside the range that you mention, while my 6R15 was -4 out of the box. Ask the question on any Seiko forum and you'll find that level of accuracy is commonplace.

I'm not being biased here.
Not sure about that, but then again, there's nothing wrong with being biased. ;-)
 

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After all the great comments, it seems to me that you won't go wrong with either of them, but the Marathon may not be the best for the "business" environment. The Sumo is more oxford cloth button down, while the GSAR not as much (but could be).

I'm a high school teacher, so the GSAR would be great. The sumo seems sort of bland to me. You definitely have the versatility of Nato straps which I love with the marathon....

I wonder if many people would look twice at a Sumo on your wrist versus the Marathon, which seems to be not as mainstream...

Neil
 

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I have the SAR and an orange dial Sumo. I love 'em both, but they certainly have different looks. I'll chime in with the others to say the SAR/GSAR looks more "tool like" and military style. The Sumo, especially in orange, just screams "diver". I wear my SAR and Sumo on rubber straps so neither would be good with a shirt and tie IMHO, but the bracelets are another story. Tough choice, though I got the SAR first and I would get it before the Sumo again. I won't sell either one though!


Cheers,
Griff
 
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