Journey 1884: a new chapter for Victorinox
Inspired by the Swiss mountains, this new collection is off the beaten trackliterally. The Journey 1884 has been designed with hiking in mind, with a design that’s far removed from traditional watchmaking codes. It is a robust and imposing watch offering a large impact resistanceISO certification. It contains a a multitude of details and winks that will appeal to those of you looking for a breath of fresh air in an industry so attached to tradition. And yet, Victorinox is made in Switzerland, with all the qualities that this implies. In fact, Victorinox produces its timepieces in Delémont, north of Berne, and has internalized steelworking (case, bezel and casing ring), which is unprecedented in this price segment. This has also been the company’s core business for over a century, not to mention the fact that it does so responsibly, using between 50 and 90% recycled 316L steel partially solar-powered.
Its more strength lies in its designalthough some would argue that this is also its greatest weakness. However, it is a risk-taking that also deserves praise. Rehashing the past may not be the way forward, so why not try something different? Let’s start with the most obvious detail, his bezel with polished notch which seems to have been carved with a knife, giving it character, as well as its ceramic insert with its yellow markers acting as a horizon line. Then there are the skeletonized hands, which echo the hiking trail markings found in another form in the texture of the dial. The colored second hand, with its counterweight in the shape of a Swiss Army knife. Numerous finishing touches were carefully applied, including brushing, polishing and bead-blasting between the horns. Not to mention the numerous small engravings Victorinox’s year of foundation on the notch of the bezel, then the20 ATM water-resistance on the side, the nature of the steel on the superbly brushed case middle, the Swiss Army knife on the transparent back, and the brand name on the side of the pin buckle of the second blue rubber strap, which also features novel colored inserts. Also noteworthy is the innovative strap, which is not leather, but made from wood (with a leather lapel), mounted on a beautifully crafted folding clasp.
The first criticism lies in the case size. With a diameter of 43mm, this is a watch that immediately eliminates small wrists (which is our case), especially with a length of 54mm ! Secondly, the tone-on-tone markings on the bezel are difficult to read, even more so with the glossy finish of the ceramic. After that, few people use them. Another element that might seem insignificant, but which is important to us, is the bezel. 21mm between-horns which will greatly limit the use of third-party bracelets. Because even if the wooden strap is innovative, its style is so singular that it won’t appeal to everyone. To counter this, Victorinox offers a wide range. Also, the fact that Victorinox has chosen bracelets with straight cuts on an imposing template reinforces its “raw” side. After all, this may have been one of the guiding principles behind the design of this watch, but it closes the doors to a wider public.
Our opinion on this Victorinox watch
With the Journey 1884, Victorinox plays the chameleon and to its credit. It’s a daring gamble, but one that deserves to be highlighted, as few brands with such a heritage would have taken such a risk. This watch is so coherent that the whole thing makes perfect sense. It is aimed at a younger, more urban audiencewho wouldn’t necessarily have thought of this brand as the place to buy a Swiss timepiece. Be that as it may, we appreciate all the efforts and touches of originality that Victorinox has brought to this watch, for it took more than a touch of creativity to create such a piece. Its price €940 is more than coherent, not to mention that each watch comes with a groundhog to carry your precious tocantes on the move, and that the watches are guaranteed for 5 years! That speaks volumes for the reliability of the brand’s watches. If you like it, take a look at the steel bracelet version, which is very well executed with an ingenious quick-change system, for just 55€ more.
FEATURES – VICTORINOX JOURNEY 1884
Case : 316L stainless steel – brushed, satin-brushed and bead-blasted finish – 43mm wide x 54mm long x 12mm thick – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment – transparent back with laser engraving – screw-down crown – 20 ATM (200 meters) water resistance
Dial : textured blue background – applied markings – white Arabic numerals and minute scale – date window at 6 o’clock – SuperLumiNova on hands and hour markers
Movement : automatic – Sellita SW200 calibre – 41-hour power reserve – 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) – 26 jewels – Incabloc shockproof – ball-bearing rotor – stop-second function – 25.6mm wide x 4.6mm high – hours, minutes, seconds and date
Straps : brown wood with leather cuff – 21mm straight cut – black matte surface & beige cuff – tone-on-tone stitching – brushed-finish folding clasp – second strap in blue rubber with yellow inserts and pin buckle
Informations : reference 241980.1 – non-limited edition – available in partner boutiques and on the official Victorinox website – 5-year warranty – €940 incl. VAT on leather and €995 incl. VAT on steel