It is simple combat decorum that reminds us to never bring a gun to a knife fight. That same sort of decency is evident in Swiss Army Victorinox‘s new collection of trendy watches that reach toward the urban audience. Does Victorinox hit the target?
When paying any price, you should get what you pay for and at $300 each, you don’t get much with the Victorinox Original, but it’s not without trying. The Original features a militaristic dual dial that offers military time within the inner ring and stenciled numerals at nine, six and three. The backdrop of the dial is fashioned to look like brushed steel, but unfortunately is not. The 40mm nylon fiber case is topped with an aluminum bezel that’s been (poorly) ion-plated with each color (from left to right, black, desert beige, khaki-green and navy grey) and the watch is finished off with a NATO nylon strap that was met with complaints of “material fuzzing.” Not something you’d expect from a watch that demands $300 when Armani Exchange is offering similar chronograph styles, with more of a following, for about the same price.
After scouring the Victorinox website for a suitable replacement that might actually find a place in the urban realm, I found the Infantry collection, a more classic series of watches with varied prices based on features and materials. Staying as close to the starting $300 price, I found a very clean design that still incorporated a militaristic nature and was able to perform without faltering on the first wear. For an additional $75, you get a genuine leather strap, a stainless steel case and top ring, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, water resistance up to 330 feet (10ATM) and a three-o’clock date window peering out of a black dial with a military time markings within the inner ring and seconds along the outer. To top it all off, the watch has large luminous hands that make telling time a cinch and the piece is equipped with an end-of-life indicator that warns the wearer of a dying battery by stopping the second hand for 4 seconds and then speeding up to the correct time. The watch will warn you of its impending death a whole week in advance.
The other Infantry styles offer more sleek designs and increased functionality, but of course, they’re more expensive. For my money, I’d much rather avoid the knife fight and stick with a solid Fossil, aviation-inspired Flight watch. Or span out to Diesel for the avant-garde approach to design that the Victorinox Original claims, but fails to live up to.