On our journey to bring you high quality unique timepieces that are not receiving enough buzz in the watch community, we’re happy to announce that we found another excellent choice for those who are looking for a watch that looks good (obviously) AND can take a serious beating in almost all conditions: The Victorinox Journey 1884.
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Victorinox: The Brand
The brand name Victorinox comes from combining the word Inox (French for stainless steel), as the company started with the production of stainless steel soldier’s knives, and the name Victoria, who was the mother of Karl Elsener I, the founder.
During the 20th century, the company was focusing on high quality knives, and their popularity grew in the US after US soldiers stationed in Europe after WWII started buying them in larger quantities as popular gifts.
Then, in 1989, Victorinox decided to test the waters: they started selling their watches only in the US, under the name “Swiss Army”. The test was obviously successful, and since then all Victorinox timepieces are manufactured in Switzerland.
Victorinox Journey 1884: Overview
The Journey 1884 draws inspiration from Switzerland’s passion for hiking. It seamlessly combines the essence of the great outdoors with the brand’s engineering origins. The foundation year of victorinox (1884) is engraved on the bezel, and the company’s industrial heritage is reflected in the overall design. To ensure accuracy and reliability, the watch boasts antishock and antimagnetic resistance.
The Victorinox Journey 1884 is an amazing solution for people who are looking for a serious tool watch that can be dressed up for a more elegant occasion, but can be a reliable companion when hiking, camping, diving, mountain biking, you name it. This timepiece offers several sought-after features: it is robust, reliable, and has a serious look due to its signature Victorinox design. Some Victorinox sports watches are VERY sporty, and while the Journey 1884 definitely has the look, this watch can easily be dressed up to accompany you all the way to a business casual setting.
To sum up, this timepiece comes with all the design elements that other dive watches can bring as well, BUT the quality of the Journey 1884 ensures it can really take a beating, and that is something where competitors might come up short.
The dial’s slightly textured outer ring gives more depth and contrast against the light hour marks. The date window is located at the 6 o’clock position, giving the watch a well-balanced symmetric look.
The unique shape of the hands represents the essence of the watch: at first glance, an elegant and still powerful appearance. But you can see how the arrows of the hour and minute hands are surrounded by a rectangular frame – artistically alluding to a transition in style from urban to sporty, as needed.
The inner sub-dial displays hours in military time, and the second hand’s red color gives an excitingly dynamic look and feel.
The bezel’s design might just be our favorite detail: the serrated rotating bezel gives the watch a very rugged, masculine look. The matt aluminum insert really drives the ‘basically indestructible’ point home. Additionally, the ‘1884’ is engraved on the bezel, so every time you adjust it, the ‘1884’ takes you back to a time of great adventure and exploration. The dial is of course protected by sapphire crystal.
The overall design of the watch is definitely sporty in style, and make no mistake, this watch IS built for never-ending adventures. But due to the toned down metallic colors that are used, it remains silently elegant. The overall messaging coming through the design reads something like this: it doesn’t have to scream it’s ready for an adventure, rather, adventure is its essence.
The case itself is made from brushed 316L stainless steel, which is the superior choice for high corrosion and high temperature applications. The Journey 1884 is water resistant up to 200 meters (660 feet), has a case width of 43 mm, and the lug width is 21 mm. The thickness of the case is 12 mm. While the 43 mm case width is just slightly bigger than the average 40-42 mm size that would fit any wrist size, and due to the bezel’s thickness and overall design, we think this watch would be a great fit for all wrists. The 12 mm case thickness is an average size and would be a comfortable wear under your shirt’s cuff.
The Journey 1884 is an ISO certified shock and water resistance timepiece, and the antimagnetic protection shields movement from electropollution to ensure accuracy.
The material of the crystal is sapphire, therefore the watch will have a solid scratch resistance.
Additionally, the back of the case has a unique touch: as the Journey 1884 is a tribute to the company’s journey since 1884, the silhouette of a Swiss Army Knife is engraved on the back.
The Victorinox Journey 1884 is available with both quartz and automatic movement.
Quartz Movement: Ronda 715
The quartz movement comes with the Ronda 715 caliber that provides an excellent quality. It is a very reliable Swiss made movement with 5 jewels. No unnecessary complications, 3 hand movement and date function. The battery life is around 60 months (5 years).
Automatic Movement: Sellita SW 200-1
The Sellita SW 200-1 is a Swiss made automatic three-hand movement that comes with a date function and it has a 38-hour power reserve. Sellita provides very reliable Swiss made movements for companies that are not manufacturing their own in-house movements.
The accuracy range is within +/- 12 seconds per day under normal conditions.
The see-through caseback provides a mesmerizing view of the movement.
Strap / Stainless Steel Bracelet
Stainless Steel Bracelet
The brushed stainless steel bracelet is an oyster bracelet. The bracelet is a classic choice for sporty watches, as it has a dynamic feel, yet it emanates a subtle elegance at the same time. The oyster stainless steel bracelet is available with both quartz and automatic movement variations. A double locking safety clasp ensures this beauty stays on your wrist!
Yes, you’ve read that right, a wood strap is an available option. Victorinox introduced this with a new version of their I.N.O.X watch. The process of manufacturing is similar to that of a leather strap, except that instead of leather, the surface is composed of thin wood layers. To ensure optimal flexibility during daily use, the wood is shaved into extremely thin layers. Victorinox uses FSC-certified linden wood, as the Forest Stewardship Council is committed to preserving forests and ensuring that wood comes from sustainable and controlled sources.
Leather and Rubber
The quartz movement version is also available with classic leather or rubber options. The straps are tool-free changeable, as the spring bar comes with a pin release mechanism where we can release the bar from the lug for a quick strap swap.
Pros and Cons
Let’s take a look at the summary of pros and cons, in our humble opinion:
- Overall design: rugged yet versatile and can be dressed up
- Inner bezel is a refreshing solution
- Reliable quartz, or automatic movement
- Good quality stainless steel bracelet and clasp
- The argument can be made that the quartz movement version is relatively expensive
Summary: Takeaway and Final Thoughts About The Victorinox Journey 1884
The Victorinox Journey 1884 is a stunning watch for everyday use as well as for action packed adventures. It perfectly balances a rugged overall design and an elegant modern appearance to make it a suitable pick as an everyday go-to watch. The very reliable Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with the 38-hour power reserve, or the Ronda 715 quartz movement combined with the usual scratch resistant sapphire crystal, along with the brushed stainless steel case and bracelet make this watch a great everyday beater, but Victorinox didn’t stop here: the 200 meter (660 ft) water resistance is paired with shock resistance and antimagnetic protection. We think this is an absolute must have for anyone with a more active lifestyle!
- Movement: Quartz or Automatic
- Caliber: Ronda 715 (quartz) or Sellita Sw 200-1 (automatic)
- Power reserve : 38 hours
- Case size : 43 mm
- Case Thickness: 11 mm
- Lug Distance: 21 mm
- Bezel: Unidirectional Rotating Bezel
- Water Resistance: 200 m / 660 ft
Victorinox Journey 1884 Automatic Options
Victorinox Journey 1884 Quartz Options
Victorinox Journey 1884 Stainless Steel Quartz Options
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