Victorinox Swiss Army, I have known this brand since I was very young. My Grandmother brought my brothers and I personalized swiss army knives from Victorinox after spending some time in central europe and while I eventually lost that beautiful knife I have another today that is taken out of my desk daily to help with odd jobs. I suppose if I’m honest, I always saw Victorinox as a knife company that made department store quality watches as they look good in a package with a utility knife. After spending some time with the titanium Dive Master 500 I have come to the conclusion that I was very much misinformed and have overlooked some quality timepieces from a well known and trusted brand. The Dive Master 500m has stats that would place in firmly in the field of my attention but after getting some wrist time is it worthy to carry the same name as the knives?
- 43 x 14mm
- 53 mm L2L
- 22mm Lugs
- Flat sapphire crystal w/AR
- Titanium case
- Titanium bracelet with SEL
- Date with internal cyclops
- Luminous markers and scale on bezel
- 500m WR
- MSRP $850
It’s plain to see that Victorinox was looking to make a no-fuss titanium dive watch that is actually meant to be worn. I don’t know the exact weight but the watch is exceedingly light, the high grade titanium case and bracelet are like a shadow on your wrist. The case measures a large but practical 43 x 14mm with a lug to lug length of 53mm with a tapered 22mm bracelet. You may see the ref: 241262 listed online as 12mm thick – this is incorrect so you have been warned. That said, if the Dive Master 500M were any thinner it would be hard to tell you are wearing a watch at all, its very comfortable and has something of a stealth appeal given the dark colouring of the titanium and the matched bezel. The case and bracelet are brushed and thus keep the Dive Master 500M from being flashy in any way at all, this is more of a serious and understated look. The unidirectional bezel is smooth and clicky but lacks anything to grip when turning it making it harder to use than a bezel with some sort of jimping.
The dial is a very deep grey/black that really only shows its grey side in direct light that creates a sunburst pattern of silver and black tones. The markers are inlaid and bordered in a nickel finish that is matched by the hands. The hands and markers are perfect on the Dive Master, exceedingly easy to read and have enough room for ample luminous paint for night viewing. The date window is at three o’clock and has a cyclops (magnifier) set in the aperture for the date itself. The date wheel is quite a bit lower than the dial so it is difficult to see the date at anything but a direct angle (the magnifier makes this situation worse). The Dive Master has a white date wheel with black text, we would have much preferred a flush date wheel, no cyclops and white text on a black background so the date melts into the dial, only there when you need it. The flat sapphire crystal is very nice, with an anti-reflective coating and excellent clarity. The case and bracelet are very nicely finished, likely the nicest finishing we have seen on titanium to date. The bracelet is comfortable and quiet and even features solid end links but it is unfortunately fitted with push pins and not the preferred screwed links.
As a complete package the Dive Master 500M is a well made, comfortable and practically designed timepiece. The 241262 retails with an MSRP of $850 but can be found for slightly less from online sources. At that price point you are definitely paying for the convenience of titanium as the quartz moment, while accurate and dependable, is not especially interesting or noteworthy. Victorinox does not make a titanium and automatic version of the Dive Master but you can get an automatic version dressed in stainless steel (with gun metal finishing) for $1300. The titanium would still be the model to have as the light-weight construction means you can wear a large and masculine dive watch without the cumbersome weight. The Dive Master 500M is much like the knives that Victorinox makes as it is simple, dependable and designed to be carried all the time with minimal impact to the owner.