Victorinox Swiss Army is one of Switzerland’s most globally renowned manufacturers and has an interesting backstory to tell. The company was founded in 1884 but began its journey specialising in creating Swiss knives first and foremost. By 1904, Victorinox had acquired its instantly recognisable sword and shield emblem, which is now emblazoned into every product created by the Swiss manufacture, including the dials of its popular luxury wristwatches. The emblem followed the brand’s Victorinox name which was acquired in 1921. One of the company’s most famous Swiss knife designs is the Swiss Army Penknife, which has (along with other knives) played a role in Victorinox’s successful history in supplying Swiss military personnel with survival tools.
Victorinox Swiss Amy was founded by Karl Elsener who had already been supplying the Swiss military with knives since the 1890s. He envisioned uniting the craftsmen behind the Swiss knife and bringing them together to compete against the German market, which it had great success in doing. It was not until the 1980s, however, that Victorinox began manufacturing its line of robust, daring and accurate wristwatches. The manufacture of Victorinox watches also paved the way for clothing, travel gear and perfumes. Some of the brand’s most popular wristwatches are the I.N.O.X, the Airboss, Alliance, the Maverick and Fieldforce. Initially, Victorinox created luxury wristwatches exclusively for the United States under a different name - the reason behind this being to test the waters on its timepieces without consumers making a connection to the brand’s success in creating its already-established line of survival tools.
Victorinox built its own manufacturing facilities in 2002 which enabled it to move away from sourcing third party components for its watches and instead concentrate solely on developing watches independently. At that point, the brand began focusing on material research. Its top-of-the-line models were designed, assembled and completed by specialists in-house. Despite Victorinox producing a staggering one million wristwatches each year, there remains a large proportion of talented human labour and skill behind the making of each timepiece.
Why Victorinox watches?
It comes as no surprise that many luxury watch brands are rethinking the way they manufacture their products to maximise their environmentally-friendly approach to watchmaking. 90% of Victorinox’s business is family-owned whilst the remaining 10% is held by a non-profit foundation that carries out work to support charitable projects. Understandably, this adds to the appeal of every Victorinox watch, particularly since the company has won awards for its green attitude, with measures taken to reduce its consumption of resources, heating and water usage. The key to Victorinox Swiss Army manufacturer has always been to maintain an expectation of great quality products. As far as luxury watches go, Victorinox offers an affordably priced tool watch that promises the advantage of an in-house developed design. Victorinox now creates its own movements independently, which not only builds upon its reputation but reassures the wearer of uncompromised reliability and accuracy. As a result, Victorinox watches can measure time within a few seconds per year. Synthetic rubies are also used in the arrangement of a Victorinox movement, preventing it from wearing down over time. They also offer exceptional water resistance, appealing to extreme explorers or those with an on-the-go, adventurous lifestyle. In addition to this, the construction of their cases and the materials used in each watch make them remarkably scratch resistant. The company uses materials like coated crystal, hardened to at least twice the industry’s standards of expectation. The mineral crystal used by Victorinox to top its robust watches has a rate of 900 Vickers, which doubles the expected 450 Vickers of standard mineral glass.
Popular Victorinox watches:
The Victorinox I.N.O.X watch is all about pushing the boundaries of resilience. Built for explorers and adventurists, the models from this collection have been subject to a stringent line of tests to determine their endurance, resilience and robustness. I.N.O.X watches are resistant to 200-meter water depths, can be dropped from heights up to 10 metres and have been driven over 8-ton trucks and still withstood their performance. These versatile, durable watches comprise the Mechanical sub-collection, the Titanium series and the Professional Diver range, as well as the classic I.N.O.X collection and Carbon line. There is also a selection of accessories and straps to choose from, including the Paracord strap, which meets the rigorous standards of the American army with its nylon cord and durable seven-strand outer sheath. The material is used in fishing nets and has been transformed by master craftsmen at Victorinox for its various uses on the wrist. I.N.O.X Mechanical watches, as well as being powered by an automatic movement, also boast guilloche patterned dials that mimic the Swiss Army Knife handle and promise a strong, durable design for facing harsh external conditions.
I.N.O.X watches from the Professional Diver sub-collection adapt easily in wet and windy conditions and have been specifically enveloped to withstand harsh temperature drops and water pressures. The luminescent hands, capsule at 12 o’clock and hour markers glow bright green in the dark, while other elements on the dial remain blacked-out to enhance the readability of vital information in dark conditions. The sturdy case of an I.N.O.X Professional Diver watch also offers an extendable rubber strap that can envelop the wrist whilst wearing heavy diving gear and also features a screw-in crown and sealed caseback to assist with an impressive water resistance of 200 meters. Meeting the rigorous NIHS 92-11 Swiss watchmaking standards, each watch from this collection has also withstood a total of 130 tests specifically developed to guarantee resistance and functionality.
Victorinox Airboss watches are inspired by the countdown commander of an aircraft carrier and have a distinct aesthetic characterised by a pilot-inspired look. Some models are completed with a black PVD coating, giving them a futuristic, dynamic look on the wrist. These watches are soundly engineered in honour of pioneers of the aviation industry. From three-handed dials to chronograph models, these wristwatches distil the essence of the classic pilot’s watch, albeit with chunky steel cases, striking red dial details, circular slide rule bezels and Super-LumiNova technology to enhance legibility during dark conditions. The watches from the Victorinox Airboss watch collection offer case sizes that span from the more compact 42mm to the larger and more daring 45mm.
There are both quartz and mechanical watches to choose from within the Victorinox Maverick collection. These watches impart a sporty and rugged look on the wrist, yet thanks to their stainless steel bracelets easily pair with more formal attire. Maverick watches are topped with anti reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass to rid the wearer of any undesirable glare whilst referencing the time and also feature luminous-coated hands and hour markers for assistance during the night. Black, blue and green dials with colour coordinating unidirectional rotating bezels enable effortless measuring of elapsed time underwater since each wristwatch is integrated with a useful 100-meter water resistance. In addition to these features, Victorinox Maverick watches also feature chronograph functions, additional 24-hour scales and date apertures to keep on track of the passing days of each month. For a wristwatch that bridges the gap between a classic design and a rugged outdoor tool, Maverick watches are both elegant and practical for every imaginable occasion and come with an affordable price tag for those looking to shop for a luxury watch on a budget.
The Fieldfare watch collection by Victorinox has an innovative gear shifting display and offers GMT variations, simple three-handed displays, day-date apertures and models with tachymeter scales for measuring speed based on distance or distance based on time. Each dial promises 24-hour day-and-night clarity thanks to Super-LumiNova coated features combined with the instantly recognisable red cross and shield emblem at 12 o’clock and a matching red-coated central second hand. 24-hour scales enable the wearer to keep on track of a second time zone when travelling, while a range of coloured dials, straps and bracelets enable the design of the Fieldforce to be enjoyed on the wrist no matter what the occasion.
The Victorinox Alliance watch collection is home to classic and understated models built from a selection of robust, reliable materials. The confident models exemplify the brand’s unwavering approach to quality watchmaking with simplified dials that strip timekeeping back to basics. The brand also offers an Alliance XS collection for female wrists, offering discreet case sizes and a range of elegant mother of pearl or coloured dials. Compact 40mm designs are also afforded to the collection, paired with hour tracks represented in a mix of Arabic and stick indexes. Other models from the collection feature a central hour and minute hand accompanied by a small second dial at 6 o’clock and a selection of sporty chronographs complications with subtle injections of the brands’ signature red colour seen throughout the dial.
Based on values of solid, authentic manufacture, Victorinox Swiss Army watches appeal to sportsmen, businessmen, professionals, travellers, pilots and divers. The brand’s diverse range of wristwatches show the depth of the company’s skills in luxury watch manufacture. These qualities run seamlessly throughout the brand’s catalogue of Swiss Army Knives and lifestyle products also. For more information on our range of Victorinox watches, you can visit our entire range at Watch Direct here.