Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

This watch would be the Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision III, but Swiss Army decided to drop the numerals from the name and stop counting. That makes sense as in the future it could get a bit silly assuming they started to release seventh and eighth version variants. For the newest Swiss Army Night Vision model the classic "see-in-the-dark" watch gets a more formal skin and pretty demeanor.

Anyone new to the concept of the Night Vision watch is encouraged to visit Swiss Army's dedicated micro site that has interactive animations and an understanding of system. It isn't very complicated sure, but telling people that a dress watch with a flashlight actually doesn't need to look strange will prompt them to check it out. And that is true, this is a dress/casual sport watch with a flashlight that doesn't look strange. It isn't a new concept for the brand, but it remains a solid concept.

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The first thing I noticed about the Night Vision watch while wearing it was that it reminded me of my Blackberry. Why? Well they both have little flashing red lights on them. Though my Blackberry only does that when I have new e-mails (which is mostly all the time). Thankfully, those annoyed by the blinking red light located at 6 o'clock can turn it off with five rapid presses to the pusher on the left side of the case. Swiss Army calls it a locator light, and the idea is to let you find your watch in absolute darkness. It blinks once each ten seconds. That's kinda cool, and like I said it can be activated or deactivated.

The locator light also doubles as a battery life indicator, or rather battery death indicator. However, I am not sure which battery it refers to (maybe both). You see, Swiss Army notably designed the Night Vision with two batteries. One is used to power the Swiss quartz movement that tells the time and date, the other battery (a 3 volt lithium 2032 cell) is there for the light functions. That's smart because if you go wild and use up all the light juice, at least you won't be stuck without the time. So whatever battery the little LED is connected to, it will start to blink wildly when you need to replace it. Swiss Army is quite thoughtful in its dial messaging - which is nice. Assume for example it has been years since you've read the manual, the area around that light is labeled "Locator/Light EOL" (end of life) so that you don't need to recall all the ins and outs of the piece and what all the lights mean. That is good thinking and something the Japanese for example should consider a bit more (where the perception is more about total function versus easy to use function).

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

That blinking red LED light is one of three on the Night Vision watch. The second one is located adjacent to it on the other side of the watch over 12 o'clock. This is a blue colored LED which has the distinct function of lighting up the watch dial. A single push to the light button activates this light for a few seconds, long enough to read the dial. Some welcome redundancy has Victorinox Swiss Army also putting luminant on the hands and hour markers. That means that there is a good chance you'll be able to read the watch in low light even without the blue LED light activated. Unlike some other LED lights now used to light up watch dials in the dark, the one on the Night Vision works very well and offers a full and complete view of the dial. Other watches less well-engineered suffer from having LEDs that simply don't offer enough light. The label "Time Vision" is rather straight-forward to define the purpose of the light it is over - and sort of charmingly cheesy when you say it out loud. Hell, I'd like "time vision" too.

Victorinox Swiss Army offers the Night Vision in two dial colors (light or dark), and on a steel bracelet or leather strap. I think most Swiss Army aficionados are going to want the decent bracelet. The wide bracelet is conservative and helps keep the watches from looking too small. It has a butterfly style deployant and safety clasp. It isn't the epitome of high-end in feel, but is remarkably solid when closed. Nothing worse than a flimsy clasp that flops around.

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Swiss Army did a good job of "hiding" the lights on the watch. That was sort of the point of this newest generation Night Vision design. I believe that it was to retain all the features popular in the Night Vision, but create a more formal, dressy look. In that, I feel that Swiss Army has succeeded. The dial is pleasant and easy to read. The hands feel a tiny bit too small, but they are pretty good. I think that I feel that way because I am mostly used to Swiss Army having larger hands on their watches. The dial is also not flat. There is one level for the white minute scale ring, then a higher level for the rest of the dial, and the hour markers are seemingly applied. An angled flange ring helps the dial look its largest.

The last of the three, and probably most important light on the Night Vision is on the outside of the case facing forward above 12 o'clock. Here lives a white LED light that has a few functions. Most people will use it as a low-powered flashlight. Low-powered yes, but still powerful enough to shine in front of you and offer helpful illumination in the dark. Swiss Army doesn't make claims about projected light-mode battery life. I mean it really depends on the usage right? Most seem to automatically turn off after a little bit to save power of course. The external light would be easy for a lot of people to miss if it were not for the (also easy to miss) "Night Vision" label.

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

This little flashlight has three modes. First is activated with two presses of the light button and it merely activates the light. It will actually stay on for a full two minutes if you don't press the pusher to manually turn it off before that time. Three presses and the "signal mode" comes on. Here the light flashes quickly like a strobe for two minutes or until manually deactivated. Last is what Swiss Army calls "intense signal model." This is activated using a five second press to the pusher (and deactivated the same way). This function is a slow, yet bright strobe which is meant to act as a signaling or location beacon. I think Swiss Army would have been clever to put these instructions on the rear of the watch case.

This new Night Vision (ref. 241569) watch comes in an all steel case that is 42mm wide. The case wears a bit small given the thicker polished steel bezel and the length of the lugs. That isn't bad, but it is worth noting for prospective customers. The case has a sapphire crystal with AR coating over the dial and is also water resistant to 50 meters (no screw-down crown). Inside of the watch is a Swiss quartz movement.

Swiss Army Victorinox Night Vision Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

One of the things I really like about Victorinox Swiss Army watches is their dedication to value. While they have higher-end watches costing a few thousand dollars, their sub-$1,000 watches are their most popular and offer good quality and design for the money. They also don't skimp on ergonomic and utility considerations. I suppose that they take the fact that "Swiss" is written on the dial very seriously.

The newest generation Night Vision is no longer just a sport watch, but a dressy casual watch with a slightly hidden flashlight feature. That pretty much makes it a fun and useful gadget watch from a brand which has a reputation for knowing what they are doing. Retail price for the Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision watch is $695. swissarmy.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Victorinox Swiss Army
>Model: Night Vision
>Price: $695
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we'd recommend it to first: Button-up shirt and pants guy who happens to lose stuff in the dark a lot.
>Best characteristic of watch: Well made for the money and the light features are not well-conceived, but actually quite useful.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Recalling all the light functions requires a study of the manual - a bit more sporty looks would not have hurt.

11 comments
golestanreza
golestanreza

Victorinox is known for its multi functional products like all in one knifes. Now Victorinox has inspired a new watch which is really practical. High-tech glass which is scratch resistant and coated by anti-reflective sapphire crystal , stainless steel 316L material for case and bracelet ( which has corrosion resistant qualification against Acid ) , twin battery system ( one for watch movement engine and one for  time vision LED and SOS flash light ) , water resistant to 5 ATM ( 50 Metter ) , Battery End-of-Life Indicator ( which could alarm you before ending battery life, and i last awesome design of this watch has made it different .

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Nicely done. Well balanced look with a very nice bracelet. I see this as somewhat a work in progress. Being the company famed for their multi-function knife combinations, its only to be expected that this utilitarian theme would carry over into their watch line.

One can wonder what this will evolve into. Perhaps a lazer application? A distress siren? A loud hailer for emergenxy use? Plasma cutting torch for the 007s among us? I think the gnomes will let their ceativity run free with this new wrist location.

I do foresee problems walking through airport security with a red flashing light on ones wrist...."Sir, would you step out of the line please?"

Oelholm
Oelholm

Very handy when working on the car - though I cannot understand why they wouldn't place the light at 3 o'clock, surely more useful? Also, pretend-lightsaber.

Waltermaximus
Waltermaximus

VSA is probably the best bang per buck out there, but i dont think this one is a particulary good value, i checked it out at the store last year, i thought it was very good looking, the dial is very nice with the applied numerals, and it was the equivalent of U$700, but for about $200 less (depending on the model) you could get a vsa chrono classic that is just as nice, just as big, and with Chronograph features. The light is a nice feature and it might appeal to some people but i think most will prefer their cell phone light.

perhaps at under $500 it would be more more according to the rest of the brand value proposition, that being said if it were $700 without the light features, and in swiss automatic, That would be a Good value for me.

I wonder how is it selling?

xemex8
xemex8

I wonder does the lightbulb ever blow off? If so possile to replace?

adisoon
adisoon

This is a strange concept but after going through the article I can understand its usefulness. The place where the flashlight goes looks ideal for a camera as well.  

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

VSA is a great value brand. I own several since I just can't pass up a good deal. Some of their AirBoss models are my favorites regardless of cost, thy're just nice looking watches. I like this. It's nerdy / cool, and again, a heck of a value.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

What would be cool is if the dial light was a UV-LED rather than blue.  Since the luminant contains phosphors, only those would glow upon activation and they'd be very bright, avoiding all that blue light spill-over.  Health concerns aside (certain wavelengths of UV light give me an instant headache) I think it would look better overall.  When the Japanese produce technical watches, they often inscribe the functions of each button on the metal case-back, mirroring the positions of the buttons.  Discreet and more attractive than having a bunch of text messing up the front.  "Time Vision" sounds awfully grand doesn't it?  Will the lights flash if any Morlocks get within range?

adisoon
adisoon

@xemex8  I did an article on LED lights before and from what I remember LED bulbs last at least 10 times longer than conventional bulbs. I remember something in the region of 50,000 hours or 6 years of continuous 24/7 use. I think you'll probably get bored with the watch way before the light fails. 

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@xemex8 It's a light-emitting diode (a semiconductor), so no it wouldn't blow.  

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