Until recently, I associated the 130-year-old brand Victorinox with Alpine adventures and their iconic “VSA” Swiss Army knives –robust tools to get you out of almost any sticky situation. But it is a company that applies its Swiss-ness to a range of product categories, including some pretty robust timepieces, such as the “indestructible” I.N.O.X. collection introduced in 2014, with its distinctive hexagonal bezel.
Much like the company’s rock-solid heritage, these rugged-yet-elegant sports watches offer high quality Swiss precision, function and style, with a great value proposition.
The 43mm I.N.O.X Mechanical was launched in 2018 with a stainless steel case, innovative wood-on-leather strap and gorgeous blue guilloche patterned dial – designed to mimic the grip on their knife handles.
This year, they’ve gone more hi-tech with a stealth all-black timepiece in a carbon case. While keeping the DNA of the mechanical pieces, this carbon edition features the same intricate dial pattern, just in black, with matte black hands and indexes illuminated by Super-LumiNova for a more technical, military feel. The square patterning is repeated on the rubber strap. The case-back and buckle are made of titanium to make this bold piece even lighter. The date display is neatly positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock.
From this year, Victorinox will be replacing the ETA 2824-2 movements used in mechanical watches with equally reliable Sellita SW200 movements. All I.N.O.X pieces feature screw-down crowns and screw-in case backs, and are water resistant to 200m. The movement is also visible through the translucent exhibition case back.
Apparently these watches have been put through some pretty tough tests, including being dropped off buildings and run over by a 65 ton armored tank, according local brand manager Bradwin Williams. And, just in case you are a doubting Thomas like me, Williams demonstrated how sturdy they are by hitting his I.N.O.X Mechanical repeatedly against a tabletop, with neither a scratch nor a crack.
“This is the toughest automatic watch you’ll find on the market,” he says, highlighting that the inside of the case is also very well designed to protect the movement.
Priced at around R15,000, each I.N.O.X Carbon Automatic comes in a special box accompanied by a removable protective bumper and a limited edition matte black Swiss Army knife. The I.N.O.X Mechanical with wood strap is R12,500. All Victorinox watches have a five-year warrantee.
Visit Victorinox or Picot & Moss 011-669-0500.