Victorinox Swiss Army Heritage
Nowadays many watch brands are concerned with complications or over-the-top design but Victorinox bucks all that with the new Victorinox Swiss Army Heritage. This is a classic field watch design-no muss, no fuss. A simple, easy to read 3-handed with a date and 24 hour time. Everything you need and nothing you don’t. Being a heritage model it also definitely evokes watches from the past, including some of their own. I got my hands on a white dial/black strap combo for review, so let’s take a look.
40mm Stainless Steel Case
49mm Lug to Lug
20mm Lug Width
65.5 Grams in Weight
100m Water Resistant
Ronda 715 Quartz Movement
Quick Release Leather Strap
Price as shown $300 USD
The term simple can be looked down upon or used negatively but sometimes that’s exactly what you want in a watch. But even simple watches need to be attractive and well made, even at $300 or $375 if you choose a bracelet version. For many people, especially non-watch enthusiasts or just people on a budget (and there are many of us watching our pennies these days) spending almost $400 on a watch is still a big purchase for them, and let’s face it, it is still a lot of money to many. We are all well aware of smartwatches like Apple Watches, but people look at those less like a watch and more like an add-on to their phone, so they will drop the cash easily. But to drop $400 on a standard analog watch such as this that isn’t very flashy and does nothing more than telling the time and the date may be a stretch.
Now that whole paragraph I just wrote could really open a whole can of worms about why we are buying watches all these days, but that is not really where I was going with that. We watch guys, even if we are not waking up on a yacht each morning, still always try and justify the cost of an expensive watch. We are into watches, it is our thing, so it makes sense. But when it comes to watches such as this Victorinox Swiss Army Heritage, I think automatically the price does open it up to more than just us watch enthusiasts, especially if you are wanting to buck the trend of a phone on your wrist, and go with something more classic, or in this case, something with some heritage.
So, what is your $300 getting you? Well, first I want to talk about the pricing and the bracelet. I chose one of the leather strap versions and I went with the white dial as it reminded me of a classic Swiss Army I bought when I was a teenager. After wearing this watch for a while and completing the video review, I am not sure if I made the right choice, as I do think the bracelet does make this watch stand out a little more and the leather strap versions, or at least this white dial with black leather strap, can come off as a little boring. But, I did really like the white dial. You are probably asking yourself, then why didn’t you just get it on the bracelet?
Well, that sounds like a great idea, except you cannot. Victorinox for whatever crazy reason has decided to only offer the bracelet in certain colors, you can not choose a bracelet or strap version for each watch. I have no idea why they did this, maybe it keeps down on SKU’s for them, but they already have like 12 or more variants, some PVD which no bracelet is offered, so would a few more really have made it all come crashing down or hard to manage?
Okay, little rant over. So what about the rest of the watch? It is exactly what you would expect. Easy to read dial, highly legible, especially with this stark white dial with black outlined hands and numerals and just a touch of red accent with the Victorinox shield and matching red second hand. The date is located at the 6-which Victorinox for some reason felt the need to actually print the word date on the dial, as you would be confused as to what this number was that changed every 24 hours. Keeping it a classic field watch, the center of the dial displays the 24 hour time, and overall just a very classic-looking piece that really wasn’t modernized too much but still looks pretty good, sans the date thing.
The 40mm case is where this watch truly shines though, and to me, it is the solid reason to get one of these, especially in the stainless steel, though I can not confirm if the PVD models are still brushed or have more of a matte coating to them. No one is going to buy this watch for the Ronda 715 quartz movement, that is just really helping keep the price down, and like many quartz watches that are set by hand, you will notice the second-hand does not accurately hit the markers. You can actually see this displayed in the photo above.
But, I think this can be overlooked, unless you are OCD about things like this, in which that case I completely understand. But, the case. When is the last time you saw a watch for $300 with a satin brush case finishing such as this, especially on the sides of the case? Most brands will go the cheaper route and just do a mirror polish on the sides of the case as getting that perfect smooth grain on the watch takes more time and of course in turn costs more money. You get it here though with this Victorinox Swiss Army Heritage and it is easily the best feature of this watch.
You may be asking, is this guy really telling me to buy a watch because of the case sides? Well, the answer to that is no for two reasons. 1, that would be ridiculous, and 2, I and not telling you to buy anything. I do not do that here. Beyond the no-fuss look and feel of this watch and that classic watch ethos, the case finishing is just the standout. As I said, this is a simple watch, and it is meant to be a simple watch, nothing more. Like most Swiss Army pieces, the case back is legit nothing to talk about, this model does not offer a screw-down crown, and again, it is somewhat plain, especially in this configuration.
That is a good thing though, and sometimes you just want a watch without all the bells and whistles, or that is all you ever buy, and you don’t want anything fancy. But, I still feel I should have gone with a bracelet model. The bracelet is pretty much the same as what is offered on a few other Victorinox models, so nothing exciting, and you can purchase one separately, (though it will cost you $100, thereby making it the most expensive version of the stainless models at $400, though you would end up with two strap options), but I think the bracelet does make this watch stand out a little bit more.
Also, this black distressed leather just does not look good. It is a black pull-up style leather, which is great when it comes to brown or olive-colored straps but just looks like it is already worn out, even though it is pretty much brand new. If you are keen on an OEM leather strap for this piece, I would suggest a brown one if you can.
For the most part, Victorinox Swiss Army got a lot right with this Heritage lineup. I think they could improve it by taking the word date off the dials and just offering the bracelet for the stainless versions as an option no matter the dial color. Otherwise, this watch is exactly what they intended it to be, no less and no more and for those looking for a simple, clean, and reliable wristwatch that won’t break the bank, it can be a good option to consider.
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