Victorinox Swiss Army INOX
Victorinox Swiss Army INOX Specifications:
- 43mm case width
- 51mm length
- 13mm thick
- 21mm lug width
- 138 grams
- Ronda 715 quartz movement
- sapphire crystal
- rubber strap as reviewed, solid stainless bracelet now an option
- 200 meters water resistant
Price $454 USD
This Victorinox Swiss Army INOX was supplied by Firstclasswatches for review. Their price is currently $454 USD, but it does say they price match if you can find it for a cheaper price, so feel free to check them out. They are an authorized Victorinox Dealer.
When it comes to rugged or tough watches there are many these days to choose from, but last year Victorinox decided to make one of their own, the Victorinox Swiss Army INOX. They set out to create a watch that can withstand almost anything you can throw at it (their words, not mine), and also still look good in almost any occasion. Now, I can easily say the Victorinox Swiss Army INOX is a good-looking watch, at least in my opinion. Do I personally think it is the toughest watch in the world? Based on having one in for review, not really, but it is strongly built and looks like it can take some good abuse.
Some of the tests that were done to the Victorinox Swiss Army INOX were of course water resistance tests, drop tests, pressure resistance, temperature resistance, vibration resistance and more. Victorinox has said 130 tests have been done to the INOX, which while we are at it, is a French term for Stainless Steel (inoxydable).
The Victornix Swiss Army INOX has been talked a lot about in the past year and a half, and many have said the same thing I will say. What makes this watch so tough? It is a stainless steel case, that isn’t hardened like a Cold Carbon process, or tegimented like Sinn does. The case is very well constructed and does have a good heft to it, leaving me to believe the walls of the case are very thick and it might be forged out of a single block of steel. It has a Ronda Quartz movement, sapphire crystal, and is pretty much standard of many watches.
Whether it be marketing or not, you can see many tests the INOX has been through on Victorinox’s YouTube channel. What I am going to discuss in this review, are my likes and dislikes of it, just like I would do with any other watch. I will say this, toughest watch or not, I do like it a lot.
What I do like is the 43mm solid, chunky case with defined edges and lines and I even like the hexagonal shaped fixed bezel. I could do without the polished edges of the bezel though, as I am not sure I understand it for a watch that is supposed to hard used. It will just get scratched up easily. The case just has a hefty feeling to it, you can tell it was made of a solid block of steel and they didn’t skimp on that part. The crown and crown guards is another aspect I like about the Victorinox Swiss Army INOX. The crown is truly protected by the crown guards with the way it screws deeply into them, the essence of what crown guards should be in my opinion. The crown is easy to access to unscrew and screw back down and is done so with ease.
The dial and strap on my review piece as you can see is the olive or military green version. I chose this simply just for something different. It is also available in a blue dial, black dial and red. The dial is clean and well executed and has chrome markers, chrome hands and a date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock position. Nothing is over branded here either, the Victorinox logo at the 12 is it, as it does not even have the model name on the dial, the text is limited to the brand name and water resistance. The case back is nothing fancy either, no big logos or designs, just straightforward with the model number, Swiss made, and water resistance. This is similar to many Victorinox Watches, simple, straightforward and serious tools.
When it comes to what I do not care for, there are a few things.
One of them being the watch strap; both the width and the strap itself. I find the 21mm lug width to be odd, and aggravating. Standard sizes go in 2mm increments, 18, 20, 22, you get the point. Victorinox chose to go with 21mm on the INOX, and I have heard they do this with some other models as well. And the issue here is it could make putting an aftermarket strap on it somewhat difficult. I will say I put a 22mm Hirsch Accent rubber on it with no issues, because it is soft rubber and it was able to squeeze in and look good.
Speaking of soft rubber, that is something the INOX rubber is not. In fact it is quite hard and rigid and I found it uncomfortable personally. It is a good-looking natural rubber strap and I like the style of it, and the buckle as well. I just did not enjoy wearing it. It is much stiffer than any Isofrane or Isofrane copy I have had and while it might be more durable (just speculation on my part), I would rather have comfort. After all, this is a watch to be worn right? If I wanted uncomfortable rubber/plastic I would slap on G-shock or an old school Luminox. As I mentioned, Victorinox has recently released a steel bracelet for the INOX, and it looks quite good. Might be a better alternative if you are not a fan of a rigid rubber strap like I am. Or just switch it out to a strap that will hopefully fit.
The other area of slight disappointment would be the lume. It is just not very bright and it seems to not be applied evenly either. When micro brands are putting out watches with flashlight like lume these days, you would think a brand such as Victorinox Swiss Army could do the same. I have always stated lume does not make a watch, not even close. And to some people is not even important. But as a reviewer, I need to point out all aspects of a watch, as that’s just what we do here.
I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing the INOX though (albeit on a different strap). I just really like the style and how it looks and feels on the wrist. It’s not another dive watch, though you should be able to take it into the ocean, river, lake etc, along with any other task you can think of as it’s marketed as a super tough watch. Hopefully it will be able to withstand whatever you can throw at it. Personally I am not sure how it is any tougher than say a Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master, which in the 3-hand configuration is roughly the same price. But they are two different looking watches, and the INOX offers a sport/casual style as opposed to a straight dive watch. From the pictures I have seen the bracelet dresses it up a bit, so in a blue or black dial could be worn for office or dress occasions. In the end, while I might not exactly sold on the marketing, I am sold on the look, feel and size of the INOX, and it is something I would wear on a weekly basis for sure.
Please be sure to check out all models of the Swiss Army INOX that First Class Watches offers HERE. Thank you for reading and please leave your comments in the field below.