More than twenty years ago, Victorinox, undoubtedly the most famous manufacturer of pocket knives in the world, introduced the first watches with the brand’s famous “Cross & Shield” logo on the dial. While the headquarter of the company is located in Ibach, canton Schwyz, in the heart of Switzerland, the Victorinox Watch Competence Center in the Swiss Jura (Delémont) engineers, manufactures and assembles watches and watch components. The family-run company had started to verticalize its manufacturing capabilities with the launch of the first I.N.O.X. watch in 2014. Today, depending on the line, complete cases or components such as bezels, middle cases, movement holders (if made out of metal), containers, or casebacks are not just assembled but also produced in-house.
With the new Journey 1884 collection (the company was founded in that year as “Messerfabrik Carl Elsener”), Victorinox aims to bring “the energy of the Swiss mountains into everyday adventures” – more importantly, the brand is also adding two mechanical versions with Sellita SW 200-1 movements, the Ref. 241980.1 with blue dial, and the Ref. 241981 with black dial and metal bracelet:
The collection’s quartz-powered models (using the Ronda 715) all come with a red logo at 12 o’clock, and are available with a blue or black dial with matching bezel insert (and available on a strap or bracelet), there is also an all-black version (Ref. 241982) with PVD. All five quartz options feature a matt anodized aluminum insert on the bezel, while the two automatic versions have an engraved ceramic inlay with yellow accents at 3 and 9 o’clock.
According to the brand, the choice of color was inspired by Swiss hiking signs, and the rough-textured center part of the dial is a nod to the collection’s hiking roots:
‘The watch pays tribute to its inspiration with a hand design replicating the Swiss hiking signs, a dial featuring the rough texture of a natural hiking path […] The Swiss Army Knife, a standard item on hikes, is evoked in the counterweight of the second hand. In addition, the case features strong shapes and curves and the notch at 6 o’clock on the bezel looks as if it has been carved out by a sharp pocketknife.’Victorinox
For those unfamiliar: Switzerland’s hiking trails are marked out by a network of more than 50,000 yellow signs, they not only state the name of the route, they’re also pointed in the true direction of the route, with the number of minutes (and sometimes hours) to walk to the next destination.
Speaking of numbers: The 43-mm watch is equipped with a screw-down crown and a unidirectional bezel (120 clicks) with a luminous dot at 12 o’clock, water resistance is 200 meters. At 6 o’clock, the bezel has a notch, “as if it had been carved out by a sharp pocketknife.” There are more similarities between the watch and the pocketknives, like the case finish or the 316L engraving on the case.
The bracelet is equipped with a butterfly deployant clasp with an additional safety lock. More importantly, Victorinox opted for a quick-change strap system that allows to remove (or change) the bracelet with the push of a button. On the downside, there is no fine adjustment.
The automatic Journey 1884 is ISO-certified for shock and water resistance and made of made of stainless steel 316L with “a minimum of 50 percent up to 90 percent of recycled steel.” Prices start at $525 for the quartz-powered watches, the 241981 shown here retails for $1,050. More pictures:
|Modell:||Journey 1884 Automatic|
|Year of introduction:||2022|
|Case:||43-mm stainless steel case (height = 12.35mm, length = 54.3mm), scratch-resistant and anti-reflective sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 200 m (20 ATM / 660 ft), unidirectional rotating bezel with inlay in ceramic, screw-in crown and caseback (with crystal insert)|
|Movement:||Selitta SW200-1 Swiss-made automatic movement with 38 hours power reserve|
|Variants:||with blue dial and matching ceramic insert on strap (Ref. 241980.1, $995)|
|Price:||$1,050 (on bracelet)|
Why does Victorinox keep making their watches so large. If the automatic Journey 1884 would be 38 or 39mm I would make the purchase.