Victorinox has just announced an all-new sports watch collection, inspired by the picturesque hiking paths of the Swiss Prealps.
Delivered in a newly designed 43 mm x 12.35 mm (54.3 mm lug-to-lug) stainless steel case, the Swiss-made Journey 1884 collection consists of both quartz and automatic-powered watches. Available with either a black or blue textured multi-level dial and a unidirectional rotating bezel with an aluminum or ceramic insert. In staying true to the company’s Swiss Army roots, a coordinating 24-hour military time scale is printed in the center section of the dial — a signature of the brand.
Sustainability is increasingly important in many business sectors and wristwatches are no exception. Fittingly, Victorinox uses recycled 316L stainless steel to manufacture the cases for the Journey 1883 collection, which are produced in-house at the company’s factory in Delémont, Switzerland.
“Being connected with and getting inspired by nature means also to take on responsibility. Victorinox watch parts made of stainless steel 316L (e.g. watch case bodies, bezels, back case, crowns, etc.) use a minimum of 50 percent up to 90 percent of recycled steel. Whenever possible, other recycled materials (like recycled brass, PET, etc.) are used in the production process. On top of that, the equivalent of 20 percent of the required electricity in the Victorinox watch manufacturing facility in Delémont is produced from solar panels located on the roof. Furthermore, thanks to closed-loop cooling systems, the waste heat from production facilities are fed into the heat pumps for the heating and water heating systems,” according to Victorinox.
One interesting element of the Journey 1884 is found in the look of the hour and minute hands, which are presented in matte-finished stainless steel, with a skeletonized portion towards the center, wide pencil-shaped luminous portion in the center, and distinctive skeletonized rectangular-shaped tips on the end — designed to replicate the Swiss hiking signs found in the Prealps.
Between the automatic and quartz references, the hands, markers, and date window are the same across all dials. However, there are minor differences in the textures of the dial elements. For instance, there’s a rough textured surface — designed to evoke the feeling of a natural hiking path — on the primary section of the dial for the quartz-powered versions, and in reverse for the mechanical models, which have the textured surface in the center section. Moreover, in the center of the quartz dials is a smooth texture, whereas in the primary section of the mechanical dial is a horizontal motif.
Although rather subtle, the easiest way to tell the difference between the accessibly priced quartz-powered timepieces and the upscale mechanical models is the applied Swiss Army shield emblem. On all of the quartz models, the shield is maroon-colored, whereas it’s tone-on-tone black or blue based on the respective dial color for the automatic references. As an additional way to distinguish the automatic version, the seconds hand, bezel, and date frame are highlighted with bright yellow (red on quartz versions), alluding again to Swiss hiking signs and the collection’s hiking roots.
As a nod to Victorinox’s Swiss Army Knife heritage — which is an item typically carried on hikes — the counterweight of the second hand on all Journey 1884 references, is shaped like a Swiss Army knife. Further, the applied 3 and 9 o’clock indices are also in the shape of the legendary multi-purpose knife.
Additionally, according to Victorinox, the notch at 6 o’clock on the bezel looks like it’s been carved out by a pocketknife. The founding year of Victorinox “1884” is engraved on the bezel notch. And as a further nod to the brand’s industrial heritage, the material code “STAINLESS STEEL, AISI 316L” is engraved on the left case flank of each case.
Victorinox is proud to say, “that their watches are designed, developed, tested, and manufactured by Victorinox in its own factory, the Watch Competence Center in Delémont, Switzerland. This makes the brand unique and over the next years, Victorinox will pursue this integration further with the upcoming lines. ‘Swiss Made’ is therefore more than just a sign of quality — it is Victorinox’s promise to never stop improving. A 5-year warranty+ is further testimony to the high-quality approach of the brand.
To deliver high quality while hitting such competitive price points, Victorinox, outsourced Swiss-made movements from Ronda and Sellita. A Ronda 715 Swiss-made quartz movement with battery end-of-life indication powers all quartz models and a Sellita SW200-1 Swiss-made automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve drives the mechanical versions.
To give each wearer a watch that can withstand the demands of whatever sporting activity you throw at it, all Journey 1884 timepieces have been ISO 22810 certified, meaning the water resistance is rated to a depth of 200 meters. All models have also been ISO 1413 certified for shock resistance. Additionally, the quartz models are ISO 764 certified for anti-magnetic protection.
All Journey 1884 timepieces come in recycled 316L stainless steel cases, screw-down crowns with crown guards, a flat beveled sapphire crystal on the front side, and screw-in casebacks (with an exhibition window on automatic versions that’s got a Swiss Army knife outline printed on the crystal). The unidirectional bezels operate the same across the collection, however, the quartz models come with aluminum bezel inserts whereas the more sophisticated automatic version features a ceramic bezel insert.
Whether you choose a Journey 1884 timepiece with a stainless steel bracelet (push button released) or a strap (spring bar sliding lever), you will be able to quickly and easily swap any bracelet or strap (all are 21 mm lug widths), without needing any tools. Depending on the model, there are a variety of straps to choose from (rubber, leather, or wood), plus one bracelet, and some references come with two straps.
There are seven total Victorinox Journey 1884 references, ranging from $525 to $1050, and each can be purchased at Victorinox.com.
Photos by Victorinox.