The Adventure Continues: Victorinox’s Latest Journey 1884 Timepieces
It should come as no surprise that the latest tough timepieces from Victorinox – maker of the original Swiss Army knife – draw inspiration from Alpine hiking to deliver handsome, precision wristwatches that are uncannily useful in the field and decidedly sophisticated for when the hike is over.
In this day and age, many of us have multiple versions of the mighty handy Victorinox Swiss Army pocketknife knocking around in our utility drawers and glove boxes. There is just something so reassuring about the feeling of having that tough utility tool close by.
While Victorinox watches don’t currently include a corkscrew and plastic toothpick, they can still come in mighty handy in their own right – more on that later – meaning that the same reassuring feeling of reliability can ride on your wrist.
Now available with both precision Swiss-made Ronda quartz movements (including a battery with an end-of-life indicator) and quality Sellita automatic movements, the latest crew of Victorinox Journey 1884 timepieces stay true to the heritage design trail of the Journey timepieces that came before, all while veering a bit off-piste into a more urban-tech inspired design language.
Automatic in the Outdoors
Yellow dial details on the second hand and above the date indicator at 6 o’clock on the automatic movement models carry the same yellow used on the signs of Swiss hiking paths. Yet, the vertically graded dials with a grained circular inner gauge delivering 24-hour military UTC times are decidedly technical and modern.
Ditto on the boxed-off lumed hour and minutes “compass-style” hands. An exhibition case back on the automatic gives you a nice view of the 38-hour-power-reserve movement, as well.
For fans of the Swiss Army knife product, the second’s hand counterweight on both the quartz and automatic versions is a lumed protrusion in the familiar ovaline shape of the pocketknife at rest. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Another differentiating design detail: a notch at 6 o’clock uniquely flattens out the bottom of the circular bezel and creates a tiny “mountain slope” with the 1884 designation etched into it.
More micro-hovering also reveals clean Arabic indexes blended in with triangular arrows, army knife-shaped arrows, and the ubiquitous Victorinox Swiss cross logo at 12 o’clock as hour indicators. There is a lot of thoughtful detail on these watches, and we haven’t even gotten to the strap options.
Strapped for Adventure
A tool-free system for easy strap-swapping is another key feature, and given the fascinating strap and bracelet options available, its importance is particularly apt.
While the beefy staggered three-link steel bracelet is a perfect companion for the shimmering case, aged leather, bi-color rubber inlay, and intriguing wood-based strap options abound.
However, let’s spend some time on what could be the most compelling way to connect the watch to your wrist: Tough, braided Paracord rope in either brilliant blue, yellow, black, or red.
These options not only deliver a unique and burly wrist presence for a watch so aligned with the outdoors because, in an extreme situation, they can also be detached and unraveled into lengths of weight-bearing rope. So, even without a corkscrew or plastic toothpick, a Victorinox Journey 1884 can come in mighty handy, just like its namesake pocketknife sibling.
Pricing & Availability
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)