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The Swiss brand of Victorinox, primarily known for its ultra-durable knives, has quite remarkably entered the watch industry. Their timepieces are highly appreciated and sought-after, mainly due to the price-quality ratio that only a few Swiss watch brands offer. However, do the watches possess enough quality for the relatively low prices, considering it has been around for mere three decades?
The following Victorinox watch review covers the brief history of the brand, the quality standards and reputation of the wristwear, and the available watch collections. In the end, you’ll find out whether the brand possesses enough quality to buy one of its watches.
Victorinox Watch Review
In the following paragraphs, we’ll dive into the full analysis of the Victorinox watch review. For those, who prefer a quick glance instead, we’ve conducted an easily readable overview of the study in the following infographic.
Not everything is possible to showcase in an image, so make sure to keep reading if you’re interested in thorough research.
Victorinox Watches History
Victorinox started in 1884 in the city of Ibach, Switzerland with the idea to manufacture high-quality pocket knives for the Swiss army.
Karl Elsener, the founder of the company, persisted in competing with Solingen, another military knives manufacturer at that time, even though Solingen was able to produce at much lower costs.
Eventually, the Swiss Armed Forces did not adopt Victorinox knives. However, commercial success, which immediately followed, helped the company overcome financial difficulties in the first years.
In 1921, the brand changed its name to Victorinox as we know it today. Victorinox is made up of two words – Victoria and inox. The first stands for the name of Karl Elsener’s mother, who had passed away in 1909, while the latter for the French term for “stainless steel.”
The 20th century saw Victorinox deliver knives for the Swiss Armed Forces, as well as commercially for the wider public, alongside with the Wenger company. A compromise between the two brands stated that Victorinox would market their knives as the “Original Swiss Army Knives,” while Wenger would market theirs as “Genuine Swiss Army Knives.”
In 1989, the brand entered the watchmaking industry in selling watches in the USA under the brand name Swiss Army. The emphasis was set to manufacture shock-resistant, reliable, and accurate timepieces for affordable prices.
After acquiring the most significant competitor of Wenger in 2005, which had also been producing high-quality knives and wristwear, Victorinox became the leading provider of knives and watches for the Swiss military units, as well as for the people fascinated of the high standards of Swiss manufacturing.
Today, Victorinox is a recognized Swiss watch producer that provides timepieces in military, dress, dive, pilot, and chronograph styles. Also, it is an affordable Swiss watch brand, considering the average valuation of other Swiss watches.
Where Are Victorinox Watches Made?
Victorinox watches are all Swiss-made, meaning that the movements have been assembled and inspected in Switzerland, and at least 60% of manufacturing costs are domestic. The brand guarantees that its products meet the highest standards in all areas and quality is never compromised, regardless of the production site.
Watch Competence Center in Delemont, Switzerland, is the hub of Victorinox watch parts assembly.
Quality of Victorinox Watches
Swiss watchmaking traditions are centuries old. There’s not a single knowledgable person who would doubt the quality of the Swiss production in this field.
Nevertheless, we’ll peek into the materials and movements Victorinox Swiss Army watches employ, not necessarily for quality assessment but rather for informational and educational purposes.
As we already found out earlier in this Victorinox watch review, the name of the brand comprises of two words, one of them being inox that stands for stainless steel.
Thus, stainless steel is the most significant and widespread material employed in the industry. This is for a good reason – stainless steel never rusts, while providing heat-resistant and scratch-resistant properties at the same time. It requires low maintenance and is easy to form into different shapes.
Victorinox watches often feature PVD-treated (Physical Vapour Deposition) and titanium-finished surfaces that enhance the already resistant steel even more.
Some of the watches are of increased carbon consistency, making them extra-resistant to heat. You’ll recognize carbon watches for their dull and matte finish.
Scratch-resistant, triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal covers the face of a watch. Sapphire is one of the most durable glasses you’ll find in the watch industry.
Last but not least, watch bracelets are made from stainless steel, leather, genuine rubber, and textile. Some I.N.O.X. mechanical wristwear comes with highly durable wooden straps crafted onto a leather base.
One of the determinants for the watches to carry the Swiss Made tag is the Swiss origin watch movement. Thus, you’ll find quartz and mechanical movements produced mostly by ETA – one of the leading movement manufacturers in the world.
Victorinox has been employing quartz mechanisms for the majority of its watch production years. In the last couple of years, however, the brand has placed more emphasis on the mechanical movements, in that hoping to cover the demand for automatic wristwear.
Victorinox mechanical watches employ the Kaliber ETA 2824-2 with a higher frequency of 28,800 vph, the Sellita SW200 with a power gauge of 38 hours, and the ETA Valjoux 7750 with a power reserve of 48 hours.
All the automatic wristwear are equipped with a transparent case back that lets to peek into the mystical world of screws, springs, and cylinders doing the job.
The quality of Victorinox’s wristwatches particularly stands out from the rigorous tests its I.N.O.X. line watches have to go through. In celebrating the brand’s 130th anniversary, they created 130 tests in order to ensure lasting quality and reliability.
Some of the tests include a 10-meter (30 ft) drop, temperature shocks resistance, 8-ton pressure resistance, and vibration resistance. The last models from the I.N.O.X. line have already earned themselves the title of being one of the strongest watches in the world.
If you’re interested in these tests that Victorinox conducts, you can check them out here.
Technologies & Enhancements
The number of technologies that Victorinox brand presents is not as high as the likes of Seiko or Citizen provide, but no need to panic because the emphasis lies greatly on providing straightforward yet highly durable timepieces, and not that much of tech-rich pieces.
The most significant technology is the shock-resistance Victorinox offers in its I.N.O.X. line wristwear. The durability can freely be compared to the one of a G-Shock tactical watch that has been built to stand all kinds of harsh conditions.
Carbon case and survival paracord straps are other enhancements that add credit to the reliability of Victorinox watches.
Super-LumiNova technology is primarily used in diver’s watches for illuminating dials, hands, and bezels. These pigments operate like a light battery – after sufficient activation by sunlight or artificial light, they glow in the dark for hours.
The initial technology of Luminova originates from Japan, but through licencing agreements, the Swiss acquired the rights to market the technology under the Super-LumiNova name.
The innovative wooden strap you can find from some of the mechanical timepieces has the durability that is comparable to the leather equivalent. In the best-case scenario, it can last even longer. The surface consists of thin layers of FSC-certified linden wood, and features slight color variations, making every strap one of a kind.
Victorinox holds a respected reputation. The brand makes durable Swiss Made timepieces with signature military-inspired designs that work well for those who want a quality watch at a good value.
You’ll find neither fancy extras nor luxurious materials from these watches – they don’t pretend to be something they are not.
Due to their price points, Victorinox is often considered a decent entry-level Swiss watch alongside Wenger and Tissot. But don’t let yourself deceived by the term “entry-level” – it’s not in correlation with quality.
Victorinox is among the top providers of affordable watches precisely because of the perfect combination of high quality and accessible rates. But what does it mean in terms of actual prices?
How Much Does a Victorinox Watch Cost?
Victorinox watches are typically priced between $300-$700. You’ll come across older and simpler models at a $100-$200 value, but also some of the expensive ones costing over $2,000. The prices vary from reseller to reseller.
Analog quartz watches are the most affordable, while the new line of Victorinox automatic watches has the highest price tag.
So, Are Victorinox Watches Good Quality?
For the majority of watch manufacturers, the years they’ve been in the business usually determine the quality standards. Let’s be fair, recognized watch brands have typically been around for more than 100 years. Take, for example, Seiko, Citizen, Tissot, or Hamilton.
As for Victorinox, the 30 years of watch manufacturing might not seem decent enough for them to be regarded as equal to the previously mentioned brands.
However, the production of durable Swiss knives for more than a century now has been a solid ground for providing the same quality levels in its wristwear.
If you consider the sturdy materials, Swiss-origin quartz and automatic calibers, and the close relationship with the Swiss military, you just can’t ignore the signs of genuine quality.
Top it up with the 130 resistance tests the I.N.O.X. line goes through, and you’ll have the answer: Victorinox is not here to sell lemons but high-quality and sturdy timepieces. The brand is on par with other affordable Swiss brands and does provide superb price-quality ratio watches.
Victorinox Watch Collections
This Victorinox watch review wouldn’t be complete without looking into the different collections the brand has to offer. Subsequently, we’ll cover five lines of wristwear – I.N.O.X, Alliance, Maverick, Airboss, and Fieldforce watches.
Numerous of their models also feature on our list of the best Swiss watches under the $500 price tag, so feel free to check them out.
Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Watches
We’ve already mentioned the I.N.O.X. collection on numerous occasions throughout the post, and for a good reason. The line has become the flagship of the brand in offering the most reliable wristwatches for extreme conditions with both quartz and automatic movements.
I.N.O.X. Professional Diver’s watches are ISO-certified to 200m (660ft) and feature Super-LumiNova technology for easy readability in dark conditions. A folding buckle with an extension element ensures the perfect fit over a diving suit.
I.N.O.X. Titanium watches are lightweight and feature a matte finish, while I.N.O.X. Carbon timepieces come with a space-tested carbon case that’s highly resistant to scratches. As with all the I.N.O.X. series watches, these two have also succeeded in the 130 resistant tests that are unique to Victorinox.
Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. watches are priced between $200-$1,000, depending on the models and resellers.
Victorinox Alliance Watches
The Alliance collection has wristwear with chronograph function, automatic movement, and analog quartz mechanism suitable for sportier occasions, as well as formal wear.
Alliance Sport Chronograph wristwear feature stopwatch function and a tachymeter for time, speed, and distance measurements. Straps come in metal, genuine rubber, and leather, in that covering different preferences.
Alliance Mechanical timepieces suit for formal wear, offering luxurious looks for affordable prices. The see-through case back gives a glimpse of the sophisticated mechanism consisting of more than a hundred miniature parts.
Victorinox Alliance watches start from $200 for a quartz movement and end up with mechanical pieces costing $500-$700.
Victorinox Maverick Watches
This collection blends a flawless appearance with optimum functionality. Robust stainless steel case, Swiss quartz movement, and sapphire crystal give the sporty line an elegant look that is suitable not only for an active lifestyle but also for those spending the majority of time indoors.
The dive-inspired watches feature unidirectional bezel, and chronograph function along with tachymeter are also present in some of the wristwear. You’ll find straps of metal, leather, and genuine rubber.
Victorinox Maverick watches are priced conveniently at $300-$700.
Victorinox Airboss Watches
The Airboss collection is the priciest in the Victorinox production line, mainly due to the automatic mechanical movement present in the watches.
These aviation timepieces are large-faced, as are the majority of pilot watches. The essential features of bezel, slide rule, and military time are there to help pilots when in need. The automatic movement is visible through the exhibition case back, while the luminescent indices provide effortless readability in the dark.
The majority of Airboss watches are available for $900-$1,100, but the most expensive ones with mechanical chronographs cost you about $2,000.
Victorinox Fieldforce Watches
The military-inspired collection is easily recognizable for the red second’s hand and the red logo on the dial. The watches are the most affordable out of all the lines from Victorinox.
Fieldforce time-trackers come with either a bezel or a chronograph and a tachymeter. Super-LumiNova technology and 10 ATM water-resistance add to the features a real military watch typically possesses.
Last but not least, the Swiss quartz movement guarantees the convenience and precision one would expect from a Swiss watch.
Fieldforce watches cost between $300-$500.
Where To Buy Victorinox Watches?
The most convenient option to buy Victorinox watches is from their official homepage. Although the prices are slightly higher, you’ll get the most detailed information of the models from their site. Also, each link contains a Store locator page that locates Victorinox stores, authorized retailers, and repair centers.
The most affordable prices are available on Amazon, mainly due to offering older models besides the new releases.
Victorinox Warranty Policy
Victorinox Swiss Army watches purchased from authorized resellers before 1st January 2019 are eligible for the manufacturer’s three-year limited warranty. But the new policy sees an extended 5-year limited warranty for purchases after 1st January 2019.
The warranty covers manufacturing and material defects that appear in the course of normal use in the five years after the date of purchase. Additionally, it includes a free replacement battery within the first year of purchase in the event of a defective battery. Proof of purchase is required for the watch to be serviced.
The warranty won’t cover damage caused by improper handling, misuse, or accident. Neither will it repair any damages caused by an unauthorized repair center.
If the warranty period has expired, Victorinox promises to offer high-quality service at a reasonable price.
Conclusion: Victorinox Watch Review
The Swiss brand of Victorinox has not been in the watch industry for a long time. Despite the fact, they’re manufacturing watches with such a reliable quality that places them alongside companies that have been producing wristwear for more than a century now. Ultra-durable military-inspired wristwatches often cost a fraction of the renowned brand’s models, in that being perfect entry-level Swiss wristwatches.
We hope this Victorinox watch review has assured you that a quality Swiss watch doesn’t necessarily require spending four-figure sums, but is also available for much less.
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