In early January, we were travelling to Singapore to shoot the Hottest Bars series for Zee Zest. And we were looking for a good companion for the trip, a brand that could be the best fit to support the show. The new Victorinox Journey 1884 was still more than three months away from its official launch. But the moment I set my eyes on the watches — both the automatic and the quartz versions — I knew the Journey 1884 was the right choice.
The Swiss outdoors on your wrist
The Journey 1884 is very Swiss in its make and approach. It’s the perfect companion for an adventure sport like mountain climbing, which Switzerland is known for. Imagine hiking on a spectacular ridge in the Swiss Alps, immersed in the calmness and the breathtaking views that surround you. Though this is the inspiration behind the 1884, positioning the watch as the new travel companion that can be relied upon for outdoor adventures like hiking and more, the design doesn’t feel out of place in modern urban adventures either.
The design codes aptly pay homage to its inspiration. The hand design replicates the Swiss hiking signs, the dial features the rough texture of a natural hiking path, and the rubber strap is practical and sporty.
Yet, the design is extremely understated, almost taking the Swiss adventure to a busy Asian city with utmost ease. A standard item on hikes, the Swiss Army Knife, the better-known sibling, is evoked in the counterweight of the second hand. The case features strong shapes and curves, with the notch at 6 o’clock on the bezel, which gives the feeling that it has been carved out by a sharp pocketknife. The founding year 1884 is proudly presented on the bezel.
The new collection gives watch collectors ample choice to choose from — the sportier quartz watch or the more sophisticated automatic version. More suited to city travel, the automatic watch takes inspiration from urban adventures. It offers a prominent tri-dimensional architectural dial paired with an elegant ceramic bezel which echoes modern city skylines. A dash of the real outdoors for urban explorers is beautifully conveyed in the automatic version which features the colour yellow, reminding one of the Swiss hiking signs. The rough-textured centre part of its dial is a nod to the collection’s hiking roots.
Personalisation at its core
All new Victorinox watches offer a wide selection of straps, allowing you to be well prepared for just about any situation and to match any outfit. Thanks to an innovative interchangeability system, the straps can be easily changed without the need for tools, that too within a few seconds. Every watch can therefore be personalised and perfectly matched to the outfit or activity of the day. The straps are made of materials like paracord, rubber, leather, wood and more. The watches from the new collection further enhance the brand’s heritage, the promise of high quality and functionality.
Made at home
As a genuine, honest and true Swiss-made brand, with over a century of expertise in industrialisation and steel working, it was logical for Victorinox to verticalise progressively the manufacturing process of its watches.
The internal components production was started with the launch of the first I.N.O.X. collection in 2014, improved and extended to more components in stainless steel. And, true to the brand’s role as an innovator, Victorinox gradually ventured into the difficult but exciting crafting of titanium components. Today, depending on the line, complete cases or components such as bezels, middle cases, movement holders (if made out of metal), containers or back cases are not just assembled but also produced in-house.
Victorinox watches are designed, developed, tested and manufactured by Victorinox in its own factory, the Watch Competence Centre in Delémont, Switzerland. This makes the brand unique, and over the next few years, Victorinox will pursue this integration further with upcoming lines. For Victorinox, "Swiss Made" is therefore more than just a sign of quality, it’s a promise to never stop innovating. A warranty of over five years, offered on these watches, is further testimony to the high-quality the brand offers today.
Sustainability is the path ahead
Being connected with and getting inspired by nature also means to take on responsibility. Victorinox watch parts (e.g. watch case bodies, bezels, back case, crowns, etc.) are made of 316L stainless steel and use a minimum of 50 per cent and up to 90 per cent of recycled steel.
Whenever possible, other recycled materials (like recycled brass, PET, etc.) are also used in the production process. Additionally, an equivalent of 20 per cent 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 is fed into the heat pumps for the heating and water heating systems.