Victorinox watches is responsible for creating the Swiss Army brand. They’ve been around for well over a century. We all know they make the Swiss Army Knife, which can be used for almost anything. People don’t always know about their watches, though.
This article will discuss how the Swiss Army Watch came to life as well as explaining the quality.
Victorinox had been producing the knives for over 100 years when the big-wigs at the company decided they needed to diversify their product offering beyond the multi-tool. They wanted to offer something new that kept the same quality of the knife so they could continue to meet their customers’ expectations.
So they began developing the Swiss Army Watch in 1989.
At this time in history, Swiss watchmakers were well-established as the leaders of fine watch craftsmanship. In Geneva particularly, it was considered an art.
When the Calvinist rulers banned local goldsmiths from making jewellery in the 1700s, the clever Swiss craftsmen began making watches instead.
Are Victorinox watches any good?
Price-wise, Victorinox watches are incredibly well-priced. Typically they range from $350 – $550. This is pretty good considering a Swiss watch might fetch for thousands under other brand names.
Let’s look at the features you get with a Victorinox:
Victorinox produces its own movements. They happen to be incredibly accurate. They’ll only lose about 2-3 seconds every year, if that.
The mechanisms are water-resistant. They use synthetic rubies for the movement and this prevents them from wearing down over time.
You can pick up a Classic Quartz with chronograph and tachymeter for $139.99.
All Victorinox watches are scratch-proof. They’re coated in a hardened crystal that is twice the industry standard.
Standard is 450 Vickers. Here, you’ll get 900 Vickers for mineral crystal or 1,200 Vickers if sapphire crystal is used. Literally nothing except a diamond could scratch your watch face.
The INOX model ($235.00) is known for being able to survive the impact of being dropped from three storeys, run over by a HVG lorry then put in the washing machine.
The Devil is in the development
Swiss Army watches are getting a reputation for being outstanding quality at a reasonable price. It wasn’t always this easy, though. When they were first being developed, Victorinox faced a challenge that they needed to overcome. That being that outsourcing the production of the watches was the norm at the time. They didn’t want to jeopardise the quality by losing control of the manufacturing. So, Victorinox developed their own manufacturing factory in 2002. They had full control and continued to thrive.
Here we see a change in the materials used in the various models. Swiss Army watches are made using only the best materials. The movement comes from ETA, who is another Swiss company who make exceptional components. If you were to open up an Omega or Tag Heuer, or in fact any watch with the Swiss-made logo, you’d likely find an ETA movement inside it.
Take the AirBoss, for example ($749.00).
Luxury watches are typically still made by hand by expert watchmakers. Considering nearly one million Swiss Army watches are made every year, you wonder how many hands that is, and how talented they must all be to meet a global-level demand like that.
Be cautious about false claims
You have to know your stuff pretty well because there are some watches out there that claim to be Swiss-made, and they look Swiss-made, but they’re not. Unfortunately, genuine Swiss watchmakers are under threat from counterfeits entering the market. Ultimately the wearer suffers from a poorly made watch and sub-standard materials that don’t last.
An official Swiss timepiece can be identified by the use of the “Swiss-made” logo. It can officially use this logo when the movement inside is made from at least half of the components being of Swiss origin. Unfortunately, this isn’t much and a lot of shoddy watches can be found taking claim but not being worth the price.
A lot of watches coming from Asia abuse this rule and enter the market through a loophole. The watches are poor quality in comparison to their genuine Swiss counterparts and yet they get to carry a luxury label and price tag.
This is such a shame as companies like Victorinox, who have been in the watch market for over a century, making beautiful and reliable timepieces like the Maverick ( $275.00) or the Night Vision Quartz ($189.99).
If you’re looking at a watch and it claims to be Swiss-made, see how far you can dig into the origin of its components.
Victorinox Swiss Army watches have a great reputation for being excellent. They are a watch you can trust.
You can get self-winding watches to stainless steel or titanium (check out this unusual INOX version for $693.00.
Whatever you go for, you can rest assured that you’ve invested in a classic watch that, on the inside, is a feat of engineering.