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With the Navy Pilot Chronograph, Marc & Sons has an exciting hybrid watch in its range that aims to combine the best of two worlds – pilot’s and diver’s watches. In this watch review, I’ll tell you whether the balancing act between the two types of watches is successful, whether you have to make compromises here and there and who is behind Marc & Sons…

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Diver’s or pilot’s watch?

There are those who know exactly what they want. Possibly because they are looking for a watch that they want to wear in a specific area of use. This applies to hobby pilots or scuba divers, for example. And then there are those who are simply so convinced that only a diver’s watch (or pilot’s watch) would be suitable for them now, for whatever reason. 

I don’t currently belong to either of these camps. I am neither a passionate scuba diver nor do I have a pilot’s license. If I’m fascinated by a wristwatch, it’s for other reasons: Design, history, built-in technology or the brand. And if it’s also practical and makes my everyday life easier – all the better!

Squaring the circle

Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph MSC-NP-001
Photo © 2024 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

The Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph falls into the latter category. If I had to describe it in one word, I would describe it as something of a jack-of-all-trades among watches. That’s right, on paper this sporty and functional chronograph can somehow do everything. It dives to a depth of 300 meters, has a unidirectional rotating bezel and a bracelet with a diving extension. This qualifies it as a diver’s watch, but this is by no means the chronograph’s only specialty. It is also characterized by useful sub-dials with the familiar and proven chronograph functions such as small seconds, 12-hour time and 30-minute time.

That sounds a bit like squaring the circle, which is why I was initially skeptical when I read the data sheet. We’ve all seen this in restaurants, where the menu includes pizza, burgers, steak and schnitzel. It’s all there, but none of it tastes really good. Was the initial skepticism justified? In this watch review, I give the Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph the chance to prove itself.

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A solution to a problem: how Marc & Sons came about

Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph MSC-NP-001
Photo © 2024 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

The question of the watch’s origin is at least as exciting. Marc & Sons is a German, independent watch brand. It was founded by Marco Heimrich, who comes from Altdorf near Landshut and only wears models from his own brand on his wrist, which pretty much fills the everyday life of the family man. The trigger for designing watches himself and founding his own brand was a Festina watch. According to him, it was “beautiful”, but not perfect. The belief that he could do better laid the foundation for Marc & Sons. 

The first Marc & Sons watches were launched on the market in 2007. Since its foundation, Marco Heimrich and his team have worked hard to establish the brand and reach new levels of quality. One milestone was the relocation of assembly to Germany in 2016, which is why the brand’s timepieces can now be considered part of the highly competitive premium segment with a clear conscience.

The founder, whose children are still too young to work as “& Sons” in the family-run company, attaches great importance to innovation and customer service. Marco Heimrich does not hide the fact that Marc & Sons once stood primarily for homage designs. However, by 2020 at the latest, the brand had completely moved away from this design approach and embarked on a new path, which envisages a much more independent signature.

The dial of the Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph

Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph MSC-NP-001
Photo © 2024 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

With this prior knowledge, it is even more interesting to take a closer look at the Navy Pilot Chronograph. It makes sense to start with the design that has just been highlighted, which, according to Marco Heimrich, has been very well received by customers. 

In my opinion, this is definitely understandable. The Navy Pilot Chronograph does not try to stand out at any price. At first glance, it appears to be a fairly ordinary (and admittedly quite beautiful) chronograph, whose diving qualities only become apparent at second glance.

The all-black dial features yellow accents that highlight the markings on the bezel, the diving triangle, the second hand and the hands of two sub-dials. The watch reminds me of a racing chronograph. However, something is different, and that is clearly the details that make a watch a diver’s watch. Large bar indices can be read quickly under water. Like the hands, they are filled with SuperLuminova BGW9 luminous material. In general, the readability is extremely good for a chronograph. The three sub-dials are certainly not distracting. 

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If you take a closer look, you will discover how much effort has gone into giving the dial depth and plasticity. Marc & Sons achieves this with recessed sub-dials.

Details of the case

Photo © 2024 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

The desire to go diving with the Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph is growing. The next object of my examination is the diving bezel, which can be turned unidirectionally with 120 clicks. Its inlay is made of lightweight ceramic and the clicks engage cleanly and without play. That’s how it should be!

With a diameter of 43 millimetres, the Navy Pilot Chronograph is a medium-sized watch; slightly larger than the average diver’s watch. However, a more important indication of the accuracy of fit on the wrist is the distance between the strap lugs, which is 50 millimetres. The height of the case is 16 millimeters on the wrist. With the stainless steel bracelet fitted, the chronograph weighs an impressive 225 grams. This certainly doesn’t make it a lightweight, but I never found it to be a nuisance in everyday life.

The watch owes both its weight and its simple, functional and sporty look to its stainless steel case, the surfaces of which impress with their satin finish. I really like the quality of the stainless steel used, which is impressive. This also applies to the watch glass, for which Marc & Sons has used sapphire glass with an anti-reflective coating on both sides.

Flexible use, specialty: under water

Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph MSC-NP-001
Photo © 2024 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

The case back, the crown and the two pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock are screwed in. I particularly like the carved swordfish, which emphasizes the nautical theme. With a water resistance of 300 meters, the Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph exceeds the diving watch minimum of 200 meters.

I am delighted that Marc & Sons has decided to install a Sellita SW510b. It is based on the famous Valjoux 7750, and once fully wound, the chronograph movement has an above-average power reserve of 62 hours.

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Photo © 2024 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

I can’t remember the last time I wore a watch on my wrist with a bracelet available in three different versions. In addition to the stainless steel bracelet, Marc & Sons also includes a rubber strap, which would be my first choice for sporting activities. However, the stainless steel bracelet itself can be worn with two different folding clasps. You can’t even see the first one. On the wrist, it looks as if you are wearing the chronograph with a continuous strap. This invisible clasp can be replaced with a folding clasp with a diving extension. 

My conclusion on the Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph

Until now, it was generally a good idea to steer clear of such “experiments”. Experiments, by which I mean the attempt to combine watch types other than divers and GMT watches in a hybrid. The Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph is a positive example of how watch wearers don’t have to do without anything if they want to enjoy the benefits of a diver’s and pilot’s watch in everyday life.

Of course, I would advise a professional diver to choose a model that focuses entirely on diving. And why does a pilot need 300 meters of water resistance if he has to do without a tachymeter? The Navy Pilot Chronograph may not be the right choice for these two examples. For the masses, however, the sporty tool watch will hardly be pushed to its limits. 

Marc & Sons Navy Pilot Chronograph MSC-NP-001
Photo © 2024 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

It is its versatility at a high level that makes the watch something special. Neither visually nor technically do you have to worry about the Navy Pilot Chronograph being unsuitable for the current occasion. Its sporty and straightforward appearance is timeless and the quality of the materials used is superb. 

In short: it could hardly be more of an all-rounder! Marc & Sons offers its Daily Rocker at a price of 1,790.00 euros. I also sell the chronograph for the same price in my store. You can find both links and more below.

More about Marc & Sons and the Navy Pilot Chronograph 

Click here for the watch in my store

The Navy Pilot Chronograph in the Marc & Sons store

All chronographs in my watch blog

18 Best diving watches 2022 & 23

Watch photography

Gallery

Technical Details

NameNavy Pilot Chronograph

Reference numberMSC-NP-001

BrandMarc & Sons

Categorychronographs

Price from1,790.00 euros

Warranty2 years

Case Material316L stainless steel

Diameter43.00 mm

High16.00 mm

Watch Glassanti-reflective coating / Sapphire Crystal

Watch TypeAutomatic

Waterproof30 bar (300 m / 1000 ft)

Movement NameSellita SW510b

Power Reserve62 hours

Functions12 hours counter / 30 minute counter / hour / Minute / second / small second

Dialblack

Indicesdashes

Special FeaturesBGW9 Super Luminova

Bezelblack / ceramic insert / diving bezel

Bracelet Colorblack

Bracelet Materialrubber

Clasp316L stainless steel / pin buckle

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