There is a lot to like in this well-designed and masculine Airboss Mechanical Chronograph Black Edition sport watch by Victorinox Swiss Army. The company continues to produce nicely made and reasonably priced watches both in entry-level quartz variants as well these upper-tier mechanical models. Even though the Victorinox Swiss Army name is perhaps a bit more mainstream than some dedicated watch collectors prefer in their pursuit of obscurity, this is actually a good thing for many more “average” consumers who are attracted to “trusted names.”

While Victorinox Swiss Army produces a number of items under the brand label, arguably their most famous and best products are their pocket knives. This strong foundation of consumer appeal allows for the brand to earn high levels of respect in the market. Second to its knives in quality and appeal are its wrist watches. I’ve owned a number of Victorinox Swiss Army watches in my life, known many others to as well, and feel that when it comes to a good value with real European design and craftsmanship, there aren’t too many better options.

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In this review, I’d like to focus on the Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mechanical Chronograph Black Edition reference 241741 watch. Before talking about it too much, I want to make a point to inform you that there is another rather similar, identically priced watch produced by the company in the Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 9 Black Edition reference 241742. Both are black in color, both have similar dials, and both are chronographs. So how are the two models different?

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The first major difference is size. The Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mechanical Chronograph Black Edition 241741 watch I am reviewing here is 42mm wide, while the 241742 is larger at 45mm wide. Second, while they both contain base Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movements, in the larger Airboss Mach 9 Black Edition the movement is oriented “backward,” which means the dial layout is reversed and the crown and pushers are on the left side of the case versus the right side of the case. Third, the larger Airboss Mach 9 Black Edition has an extra crown on the right-side of the case which is used to operate an internal rotating slide rule bezel. I went hands-on with a limited edition of the 45mm wide Victorinox Airboss Mach 9 Titanium Limited Edition watch here.


Logically, this Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mechanical Chronograph Black Edition reference 241741 and the reference 241742 should have slightly different prices with the latter being a bit more. That they are the same price is pretty cool, and which one you choose is going to be a matter of taste. The latter model is a bit more visually complicated, distinctive, and of course, larger at 45mm wide on the wrist. In my opinion, this 42mm wide Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mechanical Chronograph Black Edition watch is a bit more mainstream given its more universally appreciated size, as well as its more conservative design.

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It is actually a bit harder than you think to find cool military-themed mechanical sport watches at 42mm wide, as many are larger. So in that regard, I think the combination of case size, overall legibility, and dark military looks will appeal to a lot of people. It’s also handsome and not boring. Little details – especially on the dial – made the Airboss collection of watches standout as being a bit more interesting than your standard dark-looking utility watch.

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If your tastes are a bit more simple or your budget is more constricted, I also want to point out that Victorinox Swiss Army produces a three-hand version of this watch in the Airboss Mechanical Black Edition (aBlogtoWatch review here) which comes on either a strap or the same matte black steel bracelet for $1,095. Both models have 42mm-wide cases, and similar looks and designs – just one doesn’t have a chronograph. So either is an appealing option depending on your tastes and needs.


With that said, a military-style chronograph is a tough type of watch to pass up for those who like something versatile but suggestive of a gear-loving, active lifestyle. Compared to the three-hand Airboss Black Edition, the chronograph case is predictably thicker at about 15mm, which combined with the 42mm-wide size makes for an ample but not overly large wearing experience. Matte black PVD-coated steel cases on bracelets tend to always have a handsome look, and that is no different here. Victorinox Swiss Army designed the case with a decent 100m of water resistance, which is achieved without the need of a screw-down crown.

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On the rear of the case is an exhibition window offering a view of the movement. Over the dial is a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal. An interesting peculiarity in the design of the Airboss Black Edition collection is the placement of a red scale for military time on the underside of the sapphire crystal. It is a signature of many Victorinox Swiss Army watches to have standard and military time on the dial, so this is just one creative attempt at doing so. I know that in images a lot of people worry that this element is distracting, but I would argue that it is a welcome design element. Not only does the raised look of the scale help the dial appear to have extra depth (and color) but it further gives the watch an added touch of personality which is important in an item that has both a utilitarian and fashion dimension to the wearing experience.

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