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.

17 Comments

  1. Thank you for the great review.  I am considering the the mecha/auto version and I agree that I woulc love to see the titanium in auto.
     
    I generally agree that a black date wheel should be used on a black dial but in cases when the date is displayed in the 3 oclock position AND there is no hour marker, I think a white date wheel looks best…so I think it works here.
     

    Reply
  2. Hey James, awesome review man. I love this clean and simple watch and the fact that it is “overbuilt” – definitely a man’s watch. I totally agree that an automatic version would be very special. Like you, I have some reservations towards a brand known for knives making watches, but they appear to do phenomenal work so I really can’t complain. 

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  3. Hey James, awesome review man. I love this clean and simple watch and the fact that it is “overbuilt” – definitely a man’s watch. I totally agree that an automatic version would be very special. Like you, I have some reservations towards a brand known for knives making watches, but they appear to do phenomenal work so I really can’t complain. 

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  4. I’ve owned a few of the quartz versions and currently own a red dialed 500M Mecha, and have loved them all. For the price, you can’t find anything of this quality. Interesting that this would be reviewed now, as this watch has been around for a few years, and in fact, was replaced a few months ago with a new design. I don’t think there is a new titanium version, however. Pricing listed here is definitely high – list price rather than what you can find generally. I purchased all my quartz versions for less than $250 new, which is outstanding for what you get. I highly recommend this family of watches. Mine sits proudly and holds it’s own very well next to my Breitling CSO.

    Reply
  5.  Thanks for all the great comments! 

    @23e5b86d4654f3f87b138a56c1772fb4:disqus  I was under the impression that this was a current model, it can definitely still be found in store and online. Also, yes you can definitely find it for less than the MSRP as with most watches. How long have the batteries lasted in your quartz models? 

    @615841c2d742000d8be68d9b8eca6e1d:disqus We are hoping to get more of the Victorinox lineup in for review eventually, anything specific you would like to see? 

    @c57c04deabdb3a33604c60c6d3a60b00:disqus I see your point about the placement of the date window blending in with the style of the markers. My preference would still be towards having a black wheel with white text as it would match other lettering on the dial.  A white border around the aperture would work too, I think. 

    Reply
    • Actually, I’ve sold them all and only have the Mecha now, so I don’t know how long the batteries last. I would imagine a very long time given it’s a simple three hand movement.

      Reply
  6. I really like this watch. It has great specs. I don’t really see the fuss about the date wheel. I like the outlining. It works very well for this particular dive watch. Visibility would be aided because of the white date wheel. It’s an excellent choice here I think. The only gripe I have is that this watch is not an automatic.

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  7. Sorry, I have one other gripe and that is that I don’t really see the point in the 24hr markers. 

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    • Most military dials show 24 markers, this is no exception.

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  8. love the design of this watch, unfortunately 43mm is too big for my hand. please make a 40mm version of this watch victorinox!!

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  9.  This is one of my favorite designs.  My first version was similar to this one but stainless steel/black face.  The watch is built like a tank.  The sapphire crystal is very thick – you can hear how thick it is when you tap it with your finger – solid sound.  I was given the Orange/Orange/Orange rubber automatic as a gift and that one has the gun metal case – a very nice variation.  The detail on that one is intricate – both the dial and the movement are nicely decorated.  Another great Victorinox watch.

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  10. They did make a Dive Master 500 Ti automatic a few years ago, as a limited edition.  It was a big date version too.  Very light, it’s one of my favorites.

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  11. I like this watch enough that I have now bought one. Thanks to you James:)

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  12. This watch will never be out of place because it’s both an outdoor activity and dress watch

    Reply
  13. So far so good, bought it in mid June, had to get the band replaced by V/SA, but other than that,
    its been great ! Really like the look, understated power. Titanium is so light. Seems to scratch though,
    have to watch that carefully. Got it on sale, so not disappointed . 

    Reply
  14. The best watch Victorinox has ever created. Somewhat similar to the rolex divemaster. This is a classic!

    Reply
  15. Hallo.I want buy this watch Victorinox dive master titan 500m.Please help me.

    Reply

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