Well-Armed: Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Automatic

We test the Victorinox Infantry Automatic, with simple military watch styling and a no-frills price to match. Find out the results — including all specs, scores, and prices — in this feature from the WatchTime archives.

The Infantry Automatic from Victorinox has many of the features of a traditional military watch: large, easy-to-read Arabic numerals, a minutes track, luminous hands and dial markers, a prominent sweep- seconds hand and a water-resistant case.

But the watch’s military styling is clearly a matter of fashion, not function. The case, which is 40 mm in diameter and highly polished, isn’t rugged enough for a soldier’s wrist: it’s almost delicate-looking and has no added protection such as surface hardening, a screw-down crown or screwed lugs. It will do much better in civilian life. Thanks to its relatively thin case (10.4 mm) and sloping lugs, it lies flat against the wrist and slips easily under a shirt cuff.

Victorinox Infantry Automatic

In keeping with the watch’s low price, $695, the watch is simply made. It contains an undecorated ETA movement in the lowest of four quality grades, a mineral glass caseback instead of a sapphire one, and a simple pronged buckle. But it has no serious flaws. The only minor ones are that the crown is a little too small for easy winding and setting and the faint, stamped hour numerals from 14 to 22 look more like flaws on the dial than useful indications.

These drawbacks do not detract from a number of attractive details. Although the crystal is not curved, it is beveled along its edge. A groove between the bezel and mid-section provides a visual accent and a leather strip is sewn to the end of the strap to cushion the metal buckle. The watch weighs just 73 grams and is comfortable to wear all the time, even to bed, and the large markers glow into the early morning hours. The watch’s legibility is superior.

All in all, the Infantry Automatic is an attractive everyday watch, especially for first-time mechanical-watch buyers.

Victorinox Infantry Automatic

Manufacturer: Victorinox Watch SA, Le Voyeboeuf 3a, CH-2900 Porrentruy, Switzerland
Reference number: 241565 Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, hack mechanism
Movement: ETA 2824 “Standard,” automatic, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, Incabloc shock absorber, fine regulator with eccentric screw, power reserve = 38 hours, diameter = 25.6 mm, height = 4.6 mm
Case: Stainless steel, flat sapphire crystal with nonreflective coating on inside, fully threaded caseback with mineral crystal window; water resistant to 100 m
Strap and clasp: Calfskin strap with stainless-steel pronged buckle and protective guard strip
Rate results: (Deviations in seconds per 24 hours)
Dial up +4
Dial down +9
Crown up +12
Crown down +9
Crown left +4
Crown right +13
Greatest deviation of rate 9
Average deviation +8.5
Average amplitude:
Flat positions 293°
Hanging positions 282°
Dimensions: Diameter = 40 mm, height = 10.4 mm, weight = 73 g
Variations: Silver-colored dial
Price: $695

Strap and clasp (10 points max.): 7
Operation (5): 4
Case (10): 7
Design (15): 12
Legibility (5): 5
Wearing comfort (10): 10
Movement (20): 9
Rate results (10): 7
Overall value (15): 13

This article originally appeared in WatchTime magazine. Original photo (top) is by OK-Photography.

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