Victorinox watches run the gamut from simple, unadorned field watches to elegant dress watches packed with complications. Although you may be inclined to think investing in a Swiss-made Victorinox means shelling out a month’s salary, you can actually find watches in their product line that are stylish, functional, and affordable. And no matter which one you choose, you have the assurance that it has passed over a hundred quality control tests, so even the most modest Victorinox watch is built to last.
Here, for your consideration, is the Victorinox Men’s 249085.1 XL, one of the more inexpensive watches on offer.
A casual, everyday watch
At a glance, there’s frankly little about the 249085 that’s going to draw praise or elicit comment when you wear it. It’s simple and unpretentious, and it seems like that was what Victorinox was going for.
Victorinox has always been a respectable brand for both the discerning collector and the complete novice. This piece may be a “gateway” watch for the beginning collector wary of investing too much until a brand has proven itself.
In black and red, this watch exudes masculinity, but the circular shape and rounded edges keep it from putting out an aggressive vibe. The use of color is thoughtfully executed, with two slightly different red hues lending visual accents to an otherwise black-and-white watch. You have the bright red of the Victorinox logo at twelve o’ clock, and the top ring (as well as the military time markers) is a deep crimson that you may recognize from the classic Swiss Army knife.
It might surprise you to learn that the 249085 has a plastic body. This may be disappointing to some, but remember that this is—comparatively speaking—one of the least expensive watches Victorinox produces. Besides, this isn’t the watch you’ll be wearing to your wedding or job interview; it’s a day-to-day watch you can wear for touch football or a jog in the park.
The watch is 43 mm across and, perhaps because of its lightweight materials, only 9.85 mm thick. The dial window is flat mineral glass, so you do sacrifice the scratch-resistance and anti-reflective qualities of sapphire crystal. Nevertheless, this watch can take a bit of a beating. We don’t recommend whacking it against a brick wall to verify this, but even with a plastic body and hardened mineral window, it’s surprisingly durable.
The red, polished top ring and silver-tone, stationary bezel are both crafted from stainless steel. The caseback is also stainless steel and inscribed with the Victorinox name and logo. The crown is on the small side, but its only function is to adjust the time and date, so it serves its purpose well enough.
The dial layout is as straightforward as the rest of the watch. Large, Arabic numerals in a standard font comprise the outer chapter ring. Inside of that you’ll find the military time. The recessed date window is placed at the standard three o’ clock position.
The black, pencil-shaped minute and hour hands are tipped with luminescent paint, and the long second hand moves with a ticking motion across the individual markers around the chapter ring.
This is an uncomplicated watch—no subdials or movement windows here. The most ostentatious feature you’ll find on the watch face is the Victorinox shield logo at the twelve o’ clock position, along with an inscription that gives a nod to the company’s Swiss Army heritage.
This watch comes with a 21 mm black nylon strap, which seems like the logical complement to the black plastic body. The end of the strap is made of a supple rubber compound that keeps the holes from stretching or deforming. It has a simple buckle closure with two loops to ensure a good fit. Still, you may find that the holes are a little too far apart, so the watch may sit loosely on smaller wrists. The strap is, admittedly, the cheapest-feeling part of this watch, so you may want to invest in a quality NATO strap for a better look and fit.
The 249085 runs on a Swiss quartz movement. Like the rest of the watch, it’s made with Swiss quality. It’s battery operated, so if your looking for a mechanical watch you may want to look elsewhere. This may not be the absolute top-notch movement available, but the level of accuracy and precision is excellent, making it very practical for everyday use.
Victorinox is a well-established, respectable brand with broad appeal to both novices and aficionados. The 249085 is a simple, no-nonsense watch that nevertheless manages to exude style and masculinity. It tells the time and date without any distracting bells and whistles. The lightweight construction is a plus for comfort, but the strap may feel a bit cheap. Overall, this is a good entry-level watch if you’re just beginning a watch collection or looking to investigate the Victorinox brand without dropping several-hundred dollars.