Victorinox INOX Mechanical
Since the debut of the original Victorinox, INOX, watch enthusiasts have been clamoring for an automatic version. This year, at Baselworld, Victorinox introduced the Victorinox INOX Mechanical, and it was just released this fall. The new automatic retains much of the same look of the original but now with an ETA 2824 instead of a quartz movement and a few added touches such as the guilloche square textured dial and as seen on this variation, a wood and leather strap. The price did not raise as much as I expected it to either as this automatic INOX can be had for a retail price of $795.00.
Victorinox INOX Mechanical Specifications:
- 43mm Case
- 52mm Lug to Lug
- 21mm Lug Width
- Sapphire Crystal
- Eta 2824 Automatic Movement
- 200 Meters Water Resistant
- Wood/Leather Strap (Bracelet also available)
Price $795 USD
As I said, the VictorinoxInox Mechanical is the same case and dimensions as the original, so I will not be rehashing all of the features and details of the case again, you can find that in the original review (and the diver version and titanium version) here on Watchreport. What I will be doing though is discussing the differences and unique features of the new automatic. One of the standouts is the textured dial. The version I was sent for review is the muted blue dial. It’s a different shade of blue and not a bright,vibrant hue,but I still find it attractive. I would love a no date version or date at the 6 o’clock position and I’m surprised they didn’t do an olive green version like with the original, that would have really popped. Maybe at a later time.
As far as I know the bracelet is the same on the new Victorinox INOX Mechanical as the original, and that is why I was sent the strap version. I think funky is the best way to describe this wood and leather strap and it has a retro look about it. I like the addition of the deployant buckle as it will save on wear and tear but the edges of the buckle are sharp and give this $800 watch a slightly cheap feeling. I honestly expected better.
Powering this VSA is the standard base Swiss movement, the ETA 2824. It has been around for a long time and is the movement most would expect from a watch such as this in this price range. As usual with most Swiss Army watches, there is no elaborate decoration to the case back or movement. This is a straightforward, no frills deal here, but for those that like to see the movement, you do have the exhibition case back.
For 2018, it seems Victorinox listened to myself and others and did a better job with the lume application. It is still not the brightest but my example at least has an even coating and seems to hold a charge for more than past models.
Remember how I said about the edges of the clasp being sharp? Well, you not only can feel it with your fingers but when it is one your wrist. It’s really a letdown. The strap looks great and the Victorinox INOX Mechanical wears very much like the original, but because of 21mm lugs, strap replacements can be a little tough. Custom is always an option as is a soft 22mm leather or rubber but come on VSA, can we go with an industry standard for the INOX already?
Let’s talk about durability for a bit. The original INOX is touted as an absolute beast, at least from the marketing department of VSA. Tons of tests for toughness, shock resistance, extreme hot and cold temperatures and more. Thing is, NONE of this is mentioned on the Victorinox website for the Mechanical. Obviously, putting an automatic movement inside this case and adding a see through case back lessens the abuse this watch can take. They really don’t mention it being anything like the original at all, so I don’t believe you want to use this in harsh conditions at all. This is more for show, not go.
The Victorinox INOX Mechanical gives the enthusiasts what they have always wanted, but it does come at a cost. Yes, this is $300 more expensive but that is not what I am referring to. It looses that tough factor, though for many it won’t be an issue. If you want that hard use INOX, stick to the quartz. If you love the look though, the new dial and strap does make it stand out from its predecessors and you can probably find these at a discount soon if $800 is a little beyond your budget. It’s still not the perfect INOX for me, but that is a discussion for another day. I feel this is a great option though and curious too see how the INOX line will continue to evolve.