Victorinox Infantry Vintage Chronograph Review
Founded in 1884, Victorinox is now the sole supplier of knives to the Swiss Army (hence “Swiss Army Knife”). Victorinox began building watches in 1989. A multi-faceted company that produces many products, Victorinox timepieces tend to be more focused on utility and sensible design.
Victorinox watches are built in Switzerland.
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The Infantry Vintage Chronograph is designed to do its job and do it well. Excellent visibility – day or night – and solid build means that you can confidently wear this watch almost anywhere. This is an excellent watch for someone that wants a chronograph and wants something that will work and look like new for many years.
Victorinox Infantry Vintage Chronograph Technical Specifications
Date display, chronograph
Approximately 3 years
Setting the Time
The quartz chronograph used is very simple to operate. The top button activates and pauses the chronograph (if already running), and the bottom button resets the chronograph. Note that the date display will automatically roll over at midnight. Be mindful when setting the time.
How To set the time:
- Pull crown to the furthest position (position 3). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time.
How To set the date:
- Pull the crown to the middle position (position 2) and turn clockwise to set the date.
Victorinox Infantry Vintage Chronograph Aesthetics & Design
January 2016 update: I’ve added a couple of pics from Amazon as mine do a poor job showing off the watch.
One of the hallmarks of a brand is its identity, and I’ve always felt that Victorinox does a good job giving their watches a defined identity. Looking at the Infantry Vintage Chronograph, it’s immediately obvious that it’s a Victorinox piece: the logo takes the 12 o’clock spot, and the typeface is the same as what is used on other Infantry timepieces, like the Infantry Vintage Mechanical I reviewed some time ago.
I like that Victorinox doesn’t get crazy with their design department. The face is busy but not cluttered, and aside from the grooved chronograph dials, the face is flat and smooth.
The black leather strap is also finished smooth, with no outwardly visible texture or decor. The strap matches the dial exactly, and the two are further complimented by the brushed steel case. The entire effect is quite subdued, though still attractive in my eyes.
The crown is embossed with the Victorinox Swiss Army logo and is also grooved. The chronograph buttons are smooth finished and inoffensive.
Overall, the Infantry Vintage Chronograph is a good looking watch.
Victorinox Infantry Vintage Chronograph Build Quality
The Infantry Vintage Chronograph has a good weight on the wrist. The stainless steel case feels solid, too- nothing sounds out of place when you shake it. When setting the hands move smoothly and precisely- there’s no wobble or dead space in the movement.
Crystal, Case, and Dial
The case and crystal are an excellent combination and are typical of Victorinox watches in this price range. The brushed finish on the steel keeps it looking good, as you don’t notice the wear marks as quickly as you would on a polished case.
The crown and buttons feel securely attached to the case. When turning the crown there is no play no matter what position it is in.
Strap and Clasp
The leather strap feels good. Soft, but not too soft, with a more supple underside. Unfortunately the standard steel buckle does introduce some wear marks on to the black leather. This is a by-product of the type of clasp that it is- a deployment clasp would prevent excessive wear, but that benefit comes at the cost of being less durable than a standard clasp.
Given the focus on usability, I think that the standard and strong buckle is a good choice here.
More About the Victorinox Infantry Vintage Chronograph
The Infantry Vintage Chronograph has been very accurate, deviating by less than a second per day. All the functions perform exactly as expected and do so with confidence: there’s a satisfying click when the chrono is activated, and when setting the time the movement is very secure.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find out the specific movement used inside the Infantry Vintage Chronograph. I know Victorinox uses Swiss movements, but that’s as much as I know.
When I learn more I will update this section.
Value for Money
Victorinox gives you everything you would want on an upscale quartz chronograph: sapphire crystal, excellent build quality, and a comfortable and durable leather strap. A Swiss chronograph movement completes the package.
However, with an $800 MSRP, that’s not exactly good value. After all, the Tissot Courturier is an automatic Swiss chronograph for just $200 more, and for $800 you can get quite a few complicated automatics or even used automatic chronos. At the Infantry’s selling price of $300 it represents a much better value.
Victorinox is known for rigorous quality control, and those efforts are evident in the Infantry Vintage Chronograph. Priced under $350 it represents good value as far as I’m concerned.