The more I review different watches and search for new designs and delve back into the watches of yesteryear, the more fascinated I become, I feel I am more and more in love with timepieces every day. A few months ago, I wrote about the Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch. Since then, I have continued to learn more about the different designs they have released and I wanted to share another with you all. This year, 2014, is the 130th anniversary of the Swiss Army Knife which is Victorinox’s most well known product. As part of the celebrations they have released a new watch, the I.N.O.X. which encompasses all the things they are best known for. The Swiss design is famous for it’s credibility, quality, strength and their overall attention to detail in all areas and the I.N.O.X. delivers on this and takes it a step further.
The I.N.O.X. takes the level of strength and ability to withstand stresses to levels that are amazing. The watch was put through 130 strength tests. One hundred and thirty! The Swiss watch industry are not strangers to certification tests, one of the reasons they are so well admired, but 130 tests, that’s a lot! Victorinox Swiss Army like to take it further, go beyond what is expected and stretch the boundaries to shatter the current rules on resistance and set their own. So, you might be wondering what it takes to do these tests? Surely, they must have gone through a few watches when testing? Over a six month testing period, 421 I.N.O.X. watches were sacrificed to research.
The corrosion-resistant material used was originally used in the US Army, not for watches, but for military use. It stands up against salt spray corrosion and chemical attacks such as insecticides, fuel, solvents, cleaning products and oils. What I felt is amazing, is the material is resistant to sulphuric acid and nitric acid solution! We often think of watches as fragile and delicate, but the I.N.O.X. is designed to withstand such harsh environments.
Drop your watch and your heart drops too. In testing, the I.N.O.X. fell 10 meters onto a smooth concrete surface and survived. Think of 10 metres, it’s about the height of a 3 storey building. Dropping it from this height means the watch hits that ground at about 50km/hour. It doesn’t seem so bad to think of dropping this watch from your hand when you hear that.
So, it’s levels of corrosion and impact resistance are already making me think the watch is a winner, but what about extremes in temperature and other conditions? This watch can withstand two hours in a washing machine, full spin cycle and at 90C. I often hear stories from friends around the world on social media who have accidentally tangled their phone or their watch in with their bedding and it’s ended up in the washing machine (I may even be one of the culprits!). The I.N.O.X. survives even glacial cold. One of the tests, in the 130 tests conducted, was freezing it in an ice cube for 168 hours. It functioned non-stop and without a problem. Give it heat and it is okay too. The watch was exposed to a flame 5mm away for over one minute and it came through fine. The flame gets to +1,200 degrees Celsius. It can withstand temperature shocks of -57 to +71 Celsius. Now, that may not mean anything to the average person because we don’t often think in those extremes, but to explain, it’s what the US Army use as a standard for the manufacture of missiles. Way more than a watch is likely to experience in the every day, but the resistance of the materials is so well demonstrated in these tests.
So, it’s sorted for extremes in hot and cold, what else? Another test that caught my interest was the stratospheric altitude test. It was taken to twice the height of which airlines fly (around 21,300 metres) and came through unscathed. Now it’s not often we are that high, but it’s good to know it can withstand all these conditions. It really demonstrates the robustness of the watch. Want to give it some pressure in terms of weight? In the testing, they added 8 tons of compression under a hydraulic press, the watch came up fine. Don’t worry if you drive over it in your car, it can resist being driven over by a truck of 25 tons and a military tank up to 64 tons. Okay, so your car driving over your watch now doesn’t seem like such a big deal!
Watch more on I.N.O.X. in this video: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHsh4DmEpKY?list=PLrEx9rVMEIE-upRcX8ISzkwAGwm-n_g3H&w=560&h=315]
Combining Strength & Design
Now, I’m not just about the strength of the watch. So, you’ve found a super strong watch before but it looks terrible. I always find it frustrating when functionality and quality take away from design. So many times, one is sacrificed for the other. Thankfully, the I.N.O.X. design keeps with the iconic style of Victorinox Swiss Army. Clean lines with functional style. First and foremost, it tells the time and date and is sustainably designed to last a lifetime. The overall look of the I.N.O.X. keeps with the sophistication of the long standing Victorinox Swiss Army design. It has a 43mm stainless steel case, enhanced by a hexagonal bevel that is beautiful polished. Classic and strong. There is a choice of three colours. I always like choice. Firstly, a black dial and strap, then a khaki green dial and strap, and lastly, a navy blue dial and strap. Want to personalise it a bit more? There is an accessory called a ‘bumper’. Relatively new to the world of watches, a bumper is perfectly named as it’s the removable silicone and nylon protector that also changes the look of your watch. When you are in the office, I’m sure the stainless steel look is perfect, however when you are in the mountains or outdoors for some more adventurous pursuits the bumper gives it a totally different look. What I like about this is the ability to be able to wear the same watch between the office, to your social events and for the leisure activities too. This is especially good for when you are travelling. You want to keep your belongings light when travelling and this is a great way of mixing in the different activities you may be doing. I remember the last time I was in Geneva, it was a quick trip to visit family and I was travelling very light. One day we were dining at an elegant restaurant by Lake Geneva, the next, we had taken a side trip and made our way to the top of Mont Blanc. Both beautiful, however completely different experiences and conditions.
Along with the reinforced stainless steel case, it has scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with triple anti-reflection treatment. The case is water resistant to 200 metres (660 feet) and has a screwed-on stainless steel case back. The I.N.O.X. has stamped indexes and luminescent hour markers and minutes hands. You’ll find military time on the flange and the date window at 4:30. Overall, the Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. ticks all the boxes for a watch for me. It covers quality design, function and sustainability. A watch should last a lifetime and the strength of this watch paired with its classic design makes this watch a perfect option.
I partnered with the brand to write this article but every word is mine.