Victorinox Swiss Army has launched a new watch collection at this year's Baselworld in Switzerland. Pitched as a rugged companion for life, the Inox comes with the knowledge that it has survived over a hundred toughness tests, including being run over by a tank, dropped onto concrete, exposed to temperature extremes and thrown into the middle of a sandstorm for a couple of hours.
Victorinox was founded in 1884, and started shipping knives to the Swiss Army some 7 years later. It didn't move into the timepiece space until 1989, though, with the Swiss Army Original watch. The first part of the family-owned company name represents a tribute to founder Karl Elsener's mother, Victoria, while the ending is an abbreviation of the French term for stainless steel, an invention that greatly helped with the development and success of the now iconic Swiss Army knife. It's also the name given to the company's new "made to last" timekeeper, the Inox.
The Inox watch is said to echo the robustness and reliability of its Swiss Army knives, and has been put through 130 tests of endurance, including 30 that were specifically designed to prove that the timepiece is built to last. The timepiece will happily cope with a drop from 10 m (33 ft) onto a concrete surface, can survive a 64-ton Swiss Army tank rolling over it (though the wearer is unlikely to) and brush off two hours in a washing machine, or a similar time in a sandstorm.
It should stay watertight to a depth of 200 m (660 ft), continue to operate in temperatures ranging from -51 °C to +71°C (-60 to 160 °F), and be good for 12G of acceleration or deceleration. It's also been tortured with corrosive chemicals like gasoline, solvent oils, cleaning products and insecticides.
A 43 mm (1.7 in) solid steel machined case that's been sculpted and polished to catch the light houses a Swiss-made Ronda 715 quartz movement. There's a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, under which sits a sealed single piece dial with stamped indexes with military time markers in red on the flange. The famous Victorinox cross and shield is positioned at 12 o'clock, and the date window is situated between 4 and 5 o'clock markers.
Victorinox has reinforced the axis and the attachment of the luminescent hour and minute hands, protected the horns against warping, and solidified the crossbar. The crown is protected by a slightly elevated bezel, as is the crystal. The watch is further strengthened with a removable protective cover made of nylon and silicone.
The Victorinox Inox will come in a choice of black, green or blue dial colors, with matching straps, and will be available from September this year for an as yet undisclosed price.