While Watch Report has covered a series of Victorinox watches we have yet to review any of their mechanical chronographs and this is an omission we were excited to remedy when Victorinox announced new additions to the Infantry Vintage line. Fortunately, Victorinox was willing to loan us one of their newest models, the Infantry Vintage Mechanical Chronograph. With the exception of a date function, the chronograph is likely one of the most popular complications and after spending some time with the Infantry Vintage, we can certainly understand why. Chronographs are both fun and functional, part mechanical marvel, part practical tool. Has Victorinox succeeded in porting that analog enjoyment directly to our wrists with this new addition to the Infantry Vintage line? In a word, yes.

 

  • 44.5 x 15 mm Stainless steel case
  • Gunmetal PVD finish
  • 50 mm Lug to lug
  • 23 mm lug spacing
  • ETA 7750 Automatic chronograph
  • Sapphire with triple anti-reflective coating
  • 100m water resistant
  • Sapphire display back
  • Leather strap with push-button deployment clasp

 

The Infantry Vintage wears a bit larger than its dimensions would let on but its smooth and nicely finished case is comfortable and carries an appropriate weight for its aesthetic. The stainless steel case has been done in a grey/brown gun-metal finish that matches well with the dial and makes for a rather unique look where many manufacturers would opt for bare stainless steel or PVD. Paired with the soft and comfy suede finished grey leather strap, the Infantry Vintage Chronograph has a quality feel and its very wearable on wrist thanks to its easily wield-able 15mm height (slim for a sporty auto chronograph).

The Infantry Vintage Chronograph is fitted with a triple coated sapphire crystal that does a good job of minimizing reflections without showing too much of the “blue haze” associated with such coatings (see included video). The 100m water resistant case is also fitted with a display back to allow the owner a view of the ETA 7750 automatic chronograph movement that powers this watch.

The dial is a dark copper tone that is incredibly detailed without sacrificing efficient viewing of the time or the chronograph measure. The chronograph uses the main (large) second hand and the two similar sub dials at twelve and six o’clock on the dial. The top sub dial offers a maximum read of 30 minutes with a resolution of 1 minute. As that register reaches its maximum value and resets to 0 the lower registers has recorded the 30 minutes to its measure and will do so to a maximum of 12 hours. The division of thirty minutes and total hours on separate dials makes the Infantry Vintage Chronograph simple to use, even when timing the most mundane aspects of one’s existence.

The running seconds are measured at nine o’clock and the entire scale is not present due to the placement of the “9” numeral. Reading the seconds can be difficult at first as the running second hand is two sided so the seconds can be read by using the back side of the hand if the long end (front side) is pointing at an area without a scale. For example, at 40 seconds the long end of the seconds hand will be pointing into blank space. The short side (back side) of the running seconds will be pointing at 10 seconds. The user must just add 30 seconds to the reading on the back side of the hand to get the current accurate measure. Complex and a little annoying but this design preserves balance in the dial and keeps the running seconds display available but more subtle than the other sub-dials.

The dial detail is excellent with great attention to fine elements like font used in the scale of the chapter ring, the well-proportioned hands, and use of fine lines to add an additional depth and texture to the dial. The Infantry Vintage Chronograph exhibits the minute details and excellent legibility expected at this price point and much higher.

The main hands and numerals are treated with a luminous paint and glow quite brightly as their large size allows for more paint. I found the lume on the Infantry Vintage to be strong and fairly long lasting, much brighter than I expected for a non-diver. The included animation shows that the fall off is definitely noticeable but the overall performance is still very useable and, providing your eyes have acclimated to darkness, can still be used in the wee hours of the morning.

In the event you’ve never had the chance to operate an ETA 7750 powered chronograph, be assured it is quite simple. The top pusher will start the chronograph (similar to a stop watch) and if you press the top pusher again the measure will pause (so you can take a reading). From the paused postition, pressing the lower pusher will reset all registers to zero. That is all there is to it, simple, reliable and pleasingly mechanical. The Infantry Vintage Chronograph comes fitted with a display back that allows you to view the Swiss movement within.

The Victorinox Infantry Vintage Mechanical Chronograph retails for $1795.00 USD which is a fairly competitive price for a well made automatic chronograph from a known brand. Furthermore, the movement used in this watch is not only seen in its base 7750 form but also as the building block of most automatic chronographs on the market. Very few brands have their own in-house automatic chronograph movements, instead many rely on the 7750 as their base and can modify or add to it depending on their needs. The $1750 asking price places the Infantry Vintage Mechanical Chronograph somewhere between the entry price from some indie brands and more expensive options from Breitling, Tag Heuer, and Bremont.

The Infantry Vintage Chronograph Mechanical is a yet another example of why Victorinox is a value leader in the sport watch market. The pricing accurately reflects the level of detail, care and quality evident in this watch while still offering an entry point backed by a three year warranty. The technology is of known quality with the ETA 7750 being used in many other brands and models since its inception in the early 70’s as the Valjoux 7750. If the gun metal finish and dark coppery dial is to your liking, be sure to take a closer look at the Infantry Vintage Mechanical Chronograph the next time you happen by a Victorinox retailer.

7 Comments

  1. great watch, also available with brown leather, and I think also brown dial. Maybe too high, not for any wrist.

    Reply
  2. This is an incredibly unique looking watch. Love the sub-seconds dial, the thick boardered 30min and 12 hr sub-dials and the magnificent shape of the hour and minute hands. Beautiful ! The folding deployment clasp really looks great and well made. James, you mention and show how good the lume is on this thing. I can tell you that I own a Victorinox Dive Master 500 Mecha and I have no idea what the heck Victorinox did when they made it because it outshines any lume on any other watches in my collection, including my more expensive Seiko Ananta Spring Drive, Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, Breitling Avenger Seawolf as well as my Chopard !!
    The Omega is the the only one that almost matches it!
    My Dive Master 500 Mecha is still faintly glowing the next morning on my bedside table !
    I’m qiuckly becoming a Victorinox fan and will definitely go and check this one out. I have a couple of watches with Valjoux 7750s also, being Tissots and they tend to catch, grab and grind alittle when manually winding them, so im a little wary of the 7750 movement, or is it just Tissot? So I wish they had maybe say used a ETA 2824-2 or 2893 instead. Thanks for such a great review :))

    Reply
  3. La version avec un bracelet en métal est aussi très réussie.
    A noter que le fond de l’indicateur de date existe aussi en noir : je le trouve d’ailleurs moins lisible que la version montrée ici avec un fond blanc.

    Reply
  4. I wanted to comment of your statement regarding the running seconds functionality of this time piece.

    You mentioned that “The user must just add 30 seconds to the reading on the back side of the
    hand to get the current accurate measure. Complex and a little annoying
    but this design preserves balance in the dial and keeps the running
    seconds display available but more subtle than the other sub-dials.”

    If you take a look at the layout of the running seconds dial a second time you might notice that all 60 seconds are accounted for there. There is no addition required. The longer half of the running seconds hand starts it’s measurement by obfuscating the “30 to 60 second” part of the scale as it points to the “00 to 30 second” part of the scale. As the longer arm of the hand rotates from the 00 to the 30 second mark, the shorter portion of the hand immediately takes over and points to the second half of the scale. It then proceeds to alternate: Longer arm 00 to 30, shorter arm 30 to 60–maintaining a steady count of the seconds.

    Reply
  5. How does the warranty work?  Will the 3 year warranty only apply if purchased from certain “official” retailers?

    Reply
  6. Thanks very much for the review and detailed photos.  I was interested in the 241518 non-chrono version.  Unable to try on one in person and find more than stock photos on the web, your site has been useful, since this version has essentially the same face aside from the chrono dials.  A week into owning it, I think the 241518 is a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t need the chronograph.  And Matthew Merkel, you are correct, the warranty is only valid if purchased from authorized retailers. 

    Reply
  7. I wonder what would this watch look like with bracelet


    all diamond watch

    Reply

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