Victorinox, best known as the inventor of the iconic Swiss Army knife, has also produced a wide assortment of military-inspired timepieces since 1989. The latest update to its expansive catalogue launched this month, comprised of three new watches, two from the brand’s aviation-inspired Airboss Mechanical collection, the other a GMT-equipped model from its recently launched FieldForce series.
Focusing first on the Airboss, we discover two colorways in the established design, one in sandblasted steel and the other with a black PVD coating, both featuring the same highly legible black-and-white dial. The Airboss derives its name from the “air bosses” on aircraft carriers, whose job is “to safely orchestrate take-offs and landings,” and thus the its design is focused on functionality and ease of use, with aesthetic influences from various historical pilots’ watches.
In most aspects beyond their case finish, the two models are essentially the same. Each features a 100-meter water-resistant 42-mm case, with elongated lugs that seem to draw their foremost influence from the popular war-era “B-Uhren” design family of watches. Differentiating this case from those vintage types, however, is Victorinox’s use of a slide-rule scale on its outer bezel that works in tandem with the scale on the dial, as well as its relatively straightforward crown. The black-PVD model is fastened to the wrist via a matching five-link steel bracelet, while the steel edition is mounted on a stitched leather strap.
On the dial, the emphasis on function over form is evident, with bright white Super-LumiNova markers and accents contrasting starkly with the dark black background and several accents of red providing additional visual intrigue. A pair of sword-style pointers indicate the hour and minute while a Victorinox shield logo tops the dial at the 12 o’clock position. Inside the case is the Sellita SW-200-1, a popular and reliable movement in this price category capable of a 38-hour power reserve, which beats at 28,800 vph and includes a date display, visible on the dial at 6 o’clock.
FieldForce Classic GMT
The FieldForce Classic GMT is the brand’s latest addition to the FieldForce collection of aviation-inspired travel watches. The watch’s 42-mm steel case has a silhouette similar to Rolex’s GMT Master-II but one that is ultimately differentiated by its slim, rotating 60-minute bezel and its more subtle colorways.
The case’s sapphire crystal covers either a black or a silver sunray-brushed dial, accented with either blue or gray for the hours, minutes, and second-time-zone scale, all with applied luminescent material. On this model, the second-time-zone ring has been placed toward the center of the dial rather than on its outer edge, its border broken up at 3 o’clock by the date indicator and around 12 o’clock by the Victorinox logo. All four hands passing over the dial (hours, minutes, central seconds, and GMT indicator) are driven by the Ronda 515.24H quartz movement.
Price and Availability
Both the Victorinox Airboss Mechanical and FieldForce Classic GMT are available now through authorized dealers. The Airboss is priced at $995 for the steel edition and $1,195 for the black-PVD model, while the FieldForce Classic GMT is set lower, with pricing starting at $425.
To learn more, visit Victorinox, here.