For those of you that are frequent readers you’ll know we have a soft spot for military styling and a firm belief that some of the best value in the watch market is found well under $1000. We have reviewed a few Victorinox watches in the past so when their hot new Original line started to hit shelves we knew just who to call to get one in for review. The Original is part of the “Active” line from Victorinox and is a good example of the brands varied styling and understanding of their core audience. Victorinox sent us the all black model which comes mounted to a simple black nato strap that really completes its military aesthetic.
- 40.5 x 9.5 mm Nylon fibre case
- Aluminum bezel
- Swiss quartz movement
- Mineral crystal
- Luminous minute and hour hands
- 100m WR
- Nato strap with stainless hardware
- Stainless steel case back
On wrist the 40.5 x 9.5 mm sizing makes the Original easy to wear on average sized wrists. This may be too small for some tastes but, speaking from experience, this is an excellent size for a sport watch. Watches these days rely on large and tall cases to manufacture wrist presence while a watch like the Original features a design, not dimensions, that really stand out. The case, thanks to is nylon fibre construction is fairly scratch resistant and carries a very matte finish that soaks up light. The bezel is made of black brushed aluminum and adds just a bit of polished shine to Original. The Original feels like a very deliberately designed watch with strong and unified styling that should mean it will age nicely and suit most casual attire. Mix the reasonable size with a light case material like the nylon fibre and you have an eminently wearable watch for all but formal occasions.
Powered by a simple three hand quartz movement, the Original should go a few years between battery changes. The crown (non screw down) is nicely finished and easily gripped to adjust the time or date feature seen at four o’clock. Keeping in step with its military concept the Original does not have any specialized features or flashy tricks, it is just a simple and practical timepiece for telling time. The included nylon nato strap is comfy and oh so trendy these days. In addition to the included nato the simple and nicely proportioned case allows for the use of other straps. I became quite fond of wearing the Original on a dark black croc leather strap with matching black stitching.
So lets recap, this $300 Victorinox has a cool and versatile style, its well proportioned and its a lot of fun to wear. With the possible exception of the quartz movement or the sandwich dial not being real, we cannot find fault. Furthermore, to change either of those points would add complexity to what is supposed to be a simple and worry free watch. If you liked our earlier review of the Timex Military Classic but wanted something slightly more up market, try the Victoinox Original on for size.