Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX
The Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX is one of the latest versions of the INOX, and quite possibly my favorite so far. I know they have also recently released a forged/molded carbon fiber version, and though I have not seen that one in person, I think I can still safely say my favoritism lies with the titanium. I have quite a few reasons for that, which I will explain in this review, and of course, give you the skinny on this lightweight tool watch.
Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX Specifications:
- 43mm case width
- 51mm length
- 13mm thick
- 21mm lug width
- 93 grams
- Ronda 715 quartz movement
- sapphire crystal
- Orange rubber strap
- 200 meters water resistant
Retail Price $595.00 USD
When I say lightweight, the Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX does weight less than its stainless counterpart, but not by an extreme amount, 138 grams vs 93 grams. The case is noticeably lighter, but still has some heft to it. The titanium itself is sand blasted or has a dark gunmetal coating. I do not want to call it a hard coat as I can find no mention of this on the website, though it does feel and look like. I can say that I have not seen any scratches on it after wearing a few week, unlike the stainless model which the bezel especially scratched if you breathed on it too hard. I personally like the love the darker look to the case, it definitely gives you that tool watch vibe, the hard use rugged feel. One thing I could not find was what grade the titanium was being used. Most watch and knife companies use grade 5 titanium, (6AL4V), and are quick to point it out as well. I have seen some companies use grade 2, which, as you guessed, is a slightly lesser grade. The VSA website is somewhat vague in general though, as they do not even list the caliber of quartz movement being used either.
I have discussed the INOX at length here on Watchreport. I have even mentioned it comparing it to other watches I have reviewed, both in a good and not so good way. I have stated many times that I do not believe all the hype associated with it, as far as the marketing claims and the tests it was subjected to etc. The original stainless INOX, was touted as one of the toughest watches ever, and you can see all the testing they say they administered on their website. The thing is, in person, it is a stainless steel watch, or in this case, titanium, with a readily available quartz movement that is used in countless watches, and a build similar to their Divemaster lineup. The stainless version is not hardened, does not repel scratches, and I just do not see it living up to the claims they put out. This example, the Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX, in my opinion, is the same. A quartz movement is already pretty shock resistant, and though a movement holder has been added to make it more robust, I am not sure how that translates into extreme temperatures or being crushed by a car tire. Now, do not get me wrong, I very much like the INOX, and this titanium version I might actually love. But in my opinion, it will hold up just as well as most other stainless steel sport or dive watches that have a good build quality to them. I do not see anything that is revolutionary here, other than a unique design that I find quite attractive.
The dial on the Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX is unchanged from the steel version, it just has different color options. The date cutout is still crammed in there in a way I wish it wasn’t, I would rather no date to be honest. The shade of grey used is nice, it is matte finished as well and is a pure grey, not a charcoal grey or light silver. The orange accents give just a touch of color, nothing over the top, yet it does make it stand out. This is accentuated even more with the matching orange rubber strap. This colorway is a great summertime or beach watch in my opinion, and you could get a black strap for it, if you wanted to tone it down a bit. The Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX also comes with a blue strap/blue accents and also a grey strap with red accents, if orange is not your thing.
As I said, this is my favorite version of the INOX, I love the matte blasted titanium case, orange is a color that I have a lot of in my wardrobe, from hats to sneakers, etc, so I instantly feel in love with the look and color. The aesthetic is also a little nicer on this model in my opinion, the matte case allows you to see all the angles and bevels of the case and bezel, which is one of the things that makes the INOX unique in it its look. I also prefer the 43mm case size of the steel and titanium versions of the INOX, as opposed to the 45mm of the diver variant I reviewed here last year. If they made a diver version in 43mm and titanium, depending on the color and design of the dial, would possibly push this titanium version down a notch, in terms of my favorite.
The rubber strap is still a little stiff, as compared to say an Isofrane or Hirsch rubber. I have found the colored straps are less pliable than the black rubber, though I would say this orange has not bothered me as much as the olive green one from the original I reviewed. The lume is still not as good as I would hope it to be, though it does seem to be brighter and last longer than the original INOX. The surface area to apply lume is small, maybe Victorinox needs to enlarge the markers and hands a bit in future versions to allow for more lume compound to be applied, or they need to start using C3 X1 lume, which is the top grade of lume at the moment.
If you have always liked the INOX, but the stainless steel with its brushed and high polished surfaces were not for you, the Victorinox Swiss Army Titanium INOX might be one to look at. It is all business and no bling and definitely has that rugged appeal to it. I try and be as honest as possible, and it is true, I questions a lot of the claims VSA makes and I stand by that some of them are more marketing than anything else, but that happens in almost every industry. It is a still a great looking watch that should be able to handle a good amount of abuse, and if you are someone that is not worried about that type of thing, it is a unique looking sport watch with a great color combo.