Victorinox Alliance Sport Chronograph
A Swiss Army was one of my first “real” watches, purchased from a now-defunct jewelry store back in the early ’90s. It was a Calvary model, and it was about $100. Prices have sure gone up since then and the watches are no longer branded Swiss Army as we all know, but now Victorinox. The brand still holds a special place in my heart and while I have liked many of the models in recent years such as the Inox, the Divemaster and more, this Victorinox Alliance Sport Chronograph is one that I like way more than I thought I would have.
Victorinox Alliance Sport Chronograph Specifications:
- 44mm Gunmetal PVD Stainless Steel Case
- 51mm Lug to Lug
- 21mm Lug Width
- 13.5mm Thick
- Sapphire Crystal
- Swiss Ronda 5030D Quartz Movement
- 100M Water Resistant
- Rubber Strap
Retail Price $495
At 44mm with a length of 51mm, on paper, it is a little large than I like these days but specifications are just that. They do not tell the whole story. Watches are all made different and the Victorinox Alliance Sport Chronograph wears comfortable on my 7 1/2 inch wrist. Part of that is due to it not being very thick and part of that is due to the simple and sleek case design. The style is very straightforward, as are most Swiss Army watches and this one has a classic but modern feel.
One of my favorite aspects of this Swiss Army is the grey dial. It is a unique color of grey, not really a silver grey or a charcoal grey, almost like a clay color. Until I was reading on the website I did not realize that the markers are meant to mimic the shape of a Swiss Army knife, which of course is just an oblong shape, but still something I found interesting. The color of the lume on the markers and hands has a mint hue, something that just works well with the grey dial and the red accents. Overall this is not a color combination normally seen, but all seem to play well together.
Being dubbed the Victorinox Alliance Sport Chronograph, Swiss Army apparently is taking the Sport part of the name to market it towards athletes and hikers alike. And I understand, you need to market all you can these days. That said, this is far from the first chronograph watch with a tachymeter scale. The movement is also pretty standard as well, being a Ronda 5030D. In fairness, this watch retails for $495 and I am sure can be found cheaper if you do a search online, and the dial intricacy and overall feel will probably outweigh the rather pedestrian quartz movement when most buyers are looking at it.
Of course, there always has to be something. As much as I really like the Victorinox Alliance Sport Chronograph, and the dial really has such nice detail and depth, that date placement is a no go for me. The cutout has a nice bevel to it but beyond that, it is in that horrible no man’s land as I like to call it. I just will never understand when designing a watch why anyone would think that looks good on the dial, especially on a chronograph. At the very least, a white on black date wheel would have allowed it to blend it in a little bit better and not be such an eyesore.
The strap on the other hand is one of my favorites of this particular version of the Alliance Chronograph. I have not seen the other variations of this model in person but the gunmetal PVD case with the grey dial and this rubber strap made it the clear choice. Unlike some of the Inox rubber straps that can be a little stiff, this vintage style with vent holes is extremely comfortable and pliable and allow the watch to wrap around the wrist. It has made it into the top 5 of my favorite rubber straps, which includes the likes of Isofrane and Hirsch.
One area that I am usually disappointed with when it comes to recent Swiss Army models is the lume, or lack thereof. Even though this is not a dive watch, the lume is much better than the multiple Inox models I have reviewed and that is probably due to the large surface area of the markers, though I would say they are just filled better as well and not spotty or grainy like some I have seen. The glow is nice and bright and will last through most of the night.
I know some will just outright scoff at the fact that this is a quartz watch and some might even remark why would I even review it. That is their prerogative of course but I do not understand is being that closeminded. We all have our own likes and dislikes but sometimes quartz is just looked at as a bad word in the watch collecting community and I have always felt quartz watches have their place. Yes, I have reviewed some microbrands that use automatic movements (non-chronographs) and even some that use mecha-quartz movements as well, at this same price and sometimes even cheaper. This Alliance Chronograph has a lot of other things going for it, to the nice click of the Chrono buttons, the intricate dial and just very good build quality and finishing. It’s a great grab and go sport watch and one of my favorite releases from the current lineup of Victorinox.