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Swiss Army Watches:  
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5469 times:

I've been looking into getting a new watch and in my store browsing, I have grown quite fond of Swiss Army watches. They seem quite well built, nice simple designs and functional.

So, out of the two official Swiss Amry suppliers, Wenger and Victorinox, which watch do fellow A.netters prefer? Also, I may note for any Canadian netters, Wenger sells their watches in Canada under the name "Swiss Military" due to a Quebec watch maker (who also makes "Swiss Army" watches along with Cardinal watches) that also carries the name Wenger.

Also, I have noticed that most Victorinox watches have sapphire crystal glass instead of mineral crystal glass, is it worth the extra $100-$200 more? I am planning on using the watch everyday inculding at work, so there may be situations where the glass could get scratched.

Also, if anyone has other suggestions for a watch in the $100-$500 range I'd love to hear them. Basically, I'm looking for watch that is durable enough to be used everyday yet look nice enough to be worn with Sunday clothes. Should be a fairly accurate watch and something simple so it can be read in low light conditions with ease.


A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6075 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5455 times:
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I had a Swiss Army watch about 12 years ago and it was nice, it stopped working about three years after I got it and was more to fix than to buy a new one. I am hard on watches at work so I usualy have a cheap watch at work nice watch for everywhere else. My work watch is a Pulsar and it is about six years old. It regularly sold for $100, but it had a nick in it and was sold at $50. I figured that would be just fine. It looks nice too.

For my good watch I have a Swatch that I bought at the duty free shop at FRA. I always thought of Swatch as a watch maker with funny looking time pieces for kids (I had a number of their goofy looking things in the 80s). This thing looks great and I never had so many people compliment me a watch before.

The watch goes for about $150. It is a Swatch Irony Diaphane.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineNjxc500 From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5407 times:

Victorinox makes a line of Titanium watches. I have one and love it.

http://www.swissarmy.com/timepieces/...perty=BraceletType&value=Titanium&

I now have a Citizen Black Eagle Skyhawk.

http://www.citizenwatch.com/COA/Engl...age=English&ModelNumber=JR3155-54E

The citizen is solar powered, and if it's in the dark too long it stops the hands to save battery life. Interesting to see your watch move quickly to the time when you pull up your sleeve.

I don't think I'd wear either to work though....


User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5345 times:



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 1):
I had a Swiss Army watch about 12 years ago and it was nice, it stopped working about three years after I got it and was more to fix than to buy a new one.

Do you remember which brand it was?

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 1):
I am hard on watches at work so I usualy have a cheap watch at work nice watch for everywhere else.

Thats what I've been doing up until now. I have a cheap WalMart digital watch I use for work, but it looses a good 10-15 seconds a week. And the "good" watches I have now just aren't scratch resistant or functional as I would need for work.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 1):
For my good watch I have a Swatch that I bought at the duty free shop at FRA. I always thought of Swatch as a watch maker with funny looking time pieces for kids (I had a number of their goofy looking things in the 80s). This thing looks great and I never had so many people compliment me a watch before.

I haven't had a Swatch since the late 80s LOL! To be honest I haven't looked at them in years even though there still are Swatch stores around, but I will take your suggestion and take a look  Smile. BTW, yours is very nice but just a little too much bling for me  Big grin

Quoting Njxc500 (Reply 2):
Victorinox makes a line of Titanium watches. I have one and love it.

Which model do you have?

Quoting Njxc500 (Reply 2):
I now have a Citizen Black Eagle Skyhawk.

Our mechanic has a Citizen and is trying to "convert" me from the Swiss side of things ... LOL!



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5331 times:



Quoting ACDC8 (Thread starter):
Swiss Army watches

-
there are Swiss army knifes, whenever the "real" Swiss army knifes are the simplest version and unpractical and practically any Swiss soldier has, beside the "prescribed" ordonnance knife also his private "army knife". Important is that the "real" things do not have a bottle opener while the better versions of course have ! But there for absolutely sure are no Swiss army watches in evidence in Switzerland.  Big grin  Wink Trouble for Victorinox even is that new federal laws are in the pipeline which will restrict the use of "Swiss" for commercial ventures and products.

Quoting ACDC8 (Thread starter):
Wenger and Victorinox

-
Wenger is owned by Victorinox, but neither is a watch company, so that watches they sell abroad are for sure produced by a watch producer


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5320 times:
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I saw some very nice ones over the last week in Switzerland. I had not seen any nice Swiss Military watches until then, mostly I'd seen the wenger watches sold here, for the $100 range. I was surprised.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 4):
Wenger is owned by Victorinox, but neither is a watch company, so that watches they sell abroad are for sure produced by a watch producer

Seriously? I had no idea. I was just looking at the differences between the knives they both put up for the new Soldier knife for the Swiss military.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6075 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5315 times:
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Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 3):
Do you remember which brand it was?

It was a Victorinox, but I doubt they made it, I am sure it was made by somebody else.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineSwissy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 1734 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5305 times:

Based on what people tell me is stay away from the Wenger stuff... and go with the V... I know same owner however it appears the V stuff is perhaps the better quality....

More affordable watches are not made to be fixed... buy, wear it until she brakes and get a new one .

Cheerios,

[Edited 2009-11-23 15:16:08]

User currently offlineNjxc500 From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5279 times:



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 3):
Which model do you have?

Not a current model, but similar to the dive master mech.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5267 times:



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 6):
I am sure it was made by somebody else.

Sure, as Victorinox does not produce watches


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6075 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5240 times:
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Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 9):
Sure, as Victorinox does not produce watches

They sure do make nice knives. I have had the same one since 1987 and it is still in fine shape. I had to do a bit of repair on it over the years, but parts are easy to get.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5232 times:



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 4):
But there for absolutely sure are no Swiss army watches in evidence in Switzerland.

No quite. You see them in tourist shops all around Switzerland, like Casagrande. I think I even saw them in Bucherer.

But the Swiss Army brand has nothing to do with the Swiss Army. It's simply a brand that popped up maybe 10 years ago that rode on the well known Swiss Army knife, to sell shirts, watches and so forth. The army does not issue watches.

When I did my time in the Swiss Army, I got my knife the first day. It was a Victorinox (some people get Wenger - I've always prefered Victorinox). It looked like this.



Very basic. You use it to eat in the field, and the screwdrivers are very useful for adjusting your gunsights at the range.

But pretty much everyone quickly upgrades to a personally bought model that has that most-important tool of all to the Swiss soldier - the wine bottle opener/cork puller.  Big grin



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5211 times:



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 4):
Important is that the "real" things do not have a bottle opener while the better versions of course have !

LOL ... thats the most used tool on mine Big grin

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 4):
Wenger is owned by Victorinox, but neither is a watch company, so that watches they sell abroad are for sure produced by a watch producer

That is correct, Victorinox bought Wenger back in 2005 to keep Wenger in Swiss hands. That neither are watch producers I realize, just as they don't actually make their own luggage and bags. But they do have a reputable name on their products, and I'm hoping that they at least do set higher standards for quality and workmanship in their timepiece line.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 6):
It was a Victorinox, but I doubt they made it, I am sure it was made by somebody else.

OK, thanks ... 1 point for Victorinox LOL

Quoting Swissy (Reply 7):
Based on what people tell me is stay away from the Wenger stuff... and go with the V... I know same owner however it appears the V stuff is perhaps the better quality....

The more I look at both brands, the Victorinox do seem to have a much better feel to them and they do use the sapphire crystal glass which, from what I understand is much more scratch resistant and optically superior to mineral crystal. 2 points for Victorinox LOL

Quoting Njxc500 (Reply 8):
Not a current model, but similar to the dive master mech.

OK, thanks. I tried on the current Wenger divers watch which is "rated" to 1000m, very nice watch, very simple, nice and big and heavy but no saphhire crystal.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
The army does not issue watches.

That is correct, only the knives.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
When I did my time in the Swiss Army, I got my knife the first day. It was a Victorinox (some people get Wenger - I've always prefered Victorinox). It looked like this.

I've got almost an identical one in green from Wenger (got it free a few years back), its great for in the car kinda thing, but we're going to do more camping this coming spring/summer so we're looking at a few nice Victorinox models that are much more camping material a try.

Thanks to everyone for their replies  Smile If anyone has any experience with other Swiss watches such as Tissot, Tag Heuer I'd be happy to read those as well, especially in regards to durabiltiy and reliability.



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5206 times:



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 12):
If anyone has any experience with other Swiss watches such as Tissot, Tag Heuer I'd be happy to read those as well, especially in regards to durabiltiy and reliability.

There is a kind of ranking in Swiss watchmaking. Here's my take of it;

Luxury Class: Patek Phillippe, Audemar Piguet, Valerie Constantin

Upper Range: Breitling, Baume Mercier

Mid Range: Omega, TAG Heuer

Lower Class: Tissot and dozens of others.

Tourist watches and kids stuff: Swatch, and any watch less than $200 that says Made in Switzerland.

Tissot is a perfectly fine watch, technically. It just has nowhere near the brand cachet of the others. They are just about the cheapest Swiss watches on the market that still have a name with some history.

Rolex is difficult to place, because it is almost an American phenominon. Right after WWII, Rolex decided they would advertise in the US, and as a result, when Americans think of Swiss watches, they think Rolex. But i can't remember ever seeing any Swiss person wear one. They are considered very touristy and gauche, I think. I used to work right down the street from their main office in Geneva.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5192 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Mid Range: Omega, TAG Heuer

Thats about my limit (financially of course). As much as I'd love to have a Breitling, still gotta save a few more years. I haven't seen Omega around here for quite some time and TAG seems to be getting harder to find as well.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Tissot is a perfectly fine watch, technically. It just has nowhere near the brand cachet of the others. They are just about the cheapest Swiss watches on the market that still have a name with some history.

I've always thought Tissot was a bit higher in the scale of things, not much higher, but at least on the same level as TAG.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Rolex is difficult to place, because it is almost an American phenominon

I've never liked Rolex's. They've always reminded me of primetime soap operas of the 80s like Dynasty  

Has anyone heard of or had experience with Debaufre? I've yet to see one and only stumbled upon them while browsing online ....

http://www.debaufre.com/

[Edited 2009-11-24 14:06:03]


A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5186 times:



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 14):
I've always thought Tissot was a bit higher in the scale of things, not much higher, but at least on the same level as TAG.

Definately not. Go to any watch store in Switzerland and compare similar Tissot and TAG watches and the price difference is at least 100-200% more expensive or more.

But still I think Tissot is a good brand. If you want a genuine swiss watch but don't want to spend thousands, an upper-range Tissot is probably the one I'd choose.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 14):
Has anyone heard of or had experience with Debaufre? I've yet to see one and only stumbled upon them while browsing online ....

Never heard of it. Looking at the website, it looks like cheap shit.

There are litterally hundreds of swiss watch brands, and a vast majority are fly-by-night operations that buy movements from Swatch for about $10, and put them in cheap $2 chinese-made watchcasings made in China, assemble it in Switzerland and they can technically get away with calling it a Swiss watch and make 1000% profit margin selling it to tourists. Stick with the well-known brands.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5164 times:



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
in tourist shops all around Switzerland, like Casagrande. I think I even saw them in Bucherer.

But the Swiss Army brand has nothing to do with the Swiss Army

ok, thanks for the info. As I am not customer of either tourist shops or else Bucherer

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
It looked like this.
Very basic. You use it to eat in the field, and the screwdrivers are very useful for adjusting your gunsights at the range.



Sure, this has been the argument of the officers about it

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
But pretty much everyone quickly upgrades to a personally bought model that has that most-important tool of all to the Swiss soldier - the wine bottle opener/cork puller. Big grin

and soooo important !

------

and in regard to Rolex mentioned above, Rolex watches to me are Snobberia watches

I have a Certina "blue ribbon" since 1966. I had three or four repairs since then, but no problems really


User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5155 times:



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
Definately not. Go to any watch store in Switzerland and compare similar Tissot and TAG watches and the price difference is at least 100-200% more expensive or more.

I've noticed that Tissots here have been fairly cheap lately $200 - $400 range and it surprised me, but I just can't find TAGs here anymore to make a good comparison. But the quest shall continue!

Whats your take on the mineral crystal vs. sapphire crystal glass? Worth the extra dollars?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
But still I think Tissot is a good brand. If you want a genuine swiss watch but don't want to spend thousands, an upper-range Tissot is probably the one I'd choose.

I will most defienetly keep that into consideration  Smile

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
Never heard of it. Looking at the website, it looks like cheap shit.

I do like some of their designs, but having not found any reliable information on them I've very skeptical as well.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
There are litterally hundreds of swiss watch brands, and a vast majority are fly-by-night operations that buy movements from Swatch for about $10, and put them in cheap $2 chinese-made watchcasings made in China, assemble it in Switzerland and they can technically get away with calling it a Swiss watch and make 1000% profit margin selling it to tourists.

Which is what I'm really hoping to avoid  Sad

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
Stick with the well-known brands.

I'm trying to Big grin

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 16):
and in regard to Rolex mentioned above, Rolex watches to me are Snobberia watches

Especially the ones from the "Blake Carrington" collection  silly 

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 16):
I have a Certina "blue ribbon" since 1966. I had three or four repairs since then, but no problems really

I've never heard of them, but thanks for the tip ... gonna browse their website right after this  Smile



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5134 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
There is a kind of ranking in Swiss watchmaking. Here's my take of it;

Luxury Class: Patek Phillippe, Audemar Piguet, Valerie Constantin

Upper Range: Breitling, Baume Mercier

Mid Range: Omega, TAG Heuer

Lower Class: Tissot and dozens of others.

Tourist watches and kids stuff: Swatch, and any watch less than $200 that says Made in Switzerland.

I don't know that I agree with your assessment completely. I'd say that Omega is a bit higher in the order of watches than TAG, and I'd hesitate to call it mid-range. Last week I was walking through Geneva (which instantly makes me an expert on timepieces) and pondering the same subject, in terms of quality rather than cachet, as I was considering a gift for my wife. I've always thought Rolex and Omega to be in the same category, and understood that Rolex is "American" for "Swiss watch". TAG and Breitling are separated by a qualitative and finishing difference, but both seem to be more specialized watches for sport/profession, while Rolex and Omega seem to have a wider range of offerings to give differing tastes options.

Other than that I think that you're right on the money. Where would you place Zenith or Ulysse Nardin? Dunhill's (who are made under contract, first by the Swiss company and now by Cartier I think?). I know what I think but listened to an argument between two jewelers discussing their opinions and thought it funny,

I think my next purchase will be a Patek Phillippe. I wear no other jewelry, and have wanted a particular one for years. I'll save for it a year or two and then make the move. I'll turn it into an excuse to go to New York or Geneva, even. I spend that much money I want the factory tour.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5128 times:



Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
I don't know that I agree with your assessment completely. I'd say that Omega is a bit higher in the order of watches than TAG, and I'd hesitate to call it mid-range.

You might be right - I made up the list off the top of my head. Omega has huge brand equity overseas, second only to Rolex. Watch on the moon and all that. But I get the feeling that Omega kinda sat on their laurels for too long.

I just looked at their website. I like their Seamaster Aqua Terra watches.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
Where would you place Zenith or Ulysse Nardin?

I once worked for Zenith, years ago at their factory in Le Locle. The are a fine, old watchmaker, but I got the feeling working there that they were more interested in milking the brand for all that it's worth than making the finest watches they could. They do however make their own movements, which is not as common as you might think.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
Dunhill's (who are made under contract, first by the Swiss company and now by Cartier I think?).

I love the Dunhill brand - I used to wear only their accessories - cufflinks, tie clips, belts, etc. Expensive, but tasteful and discrete. But when it comes to watches, I just don't like the idea of licensing a fancy brand and slapping it onto the product of somebody else.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
I think my next purchase will be a Patek Phillippe.

The ultimate of snobbery, IMHO. Like Rolex, any dolt knows Patek Phillippe, and it instantly says "$10K plus". I love the Audemar Piguet Royal Oak line myself, but I think they have gotten a little too successful with it and it is recognized everywhere. Personally, if I were in the market for such a watch, I would rather tone it down a bit by buying something like Valerie Constantin, Breguet, or Jaeger-LeCoultre - something a connoisseur will recognize, but otherwise will not call a lot of attention to itself.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
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