September 26, 2013
by Ariel Adams
What is cool is that the seconds hand is used for the chronograph seconds, the minute hand for chronograph minutes, and the hour hand for chronograph hours. Using the same markers and hands makes reading the chronograph very simple. When you stop the chronograph the two discs move to a readout of the 1/100th of a second information. To be honest this is among the most user friendly and simple to read analog 1/100th of a second watches we’ve ever used. Another piece of good news is that you can switch back and forth from time to chronograph modes while the chronograph is still running. This is really great when you are timing longer events.
Probably the icing on the case for us is that the calendar is not just a date calendar, but a full perpetual calendar. However, only the date information is displayed. When setting the calendar you indicate the month and leap year, and the end effect is that the big date indicator knows how long the month is so you never need to adjust the date unless the battery dies. This is really why we love some quartz watches – because they are able to offer a degree of “set it and forget” convenience that you just can’t get with the majority of mechanical watches. But again, we imagine that setting the calendar initially requires use of the watch’s instruction manual.
Powering all of this is a Swiss quartz movement. More specifically a Soprod SOP FM13D movement. On the wrist, the case of the Swiss Army Chrono Classic is 41mm wide in an all-steel case with two color-schemes offered for 2013. There is the “dark grey” version that has a PVD coated bezel that seamlessly integrates into the dial, as well as the “champagne” bezel and dial version. Each comes either on a strap or steel bracelet. The dark grey models are the ref. 241616 on the black leather strap and the ref. 241618 on the bracelet. In champagne, the watch is the ref. 241617 on the brown leather strap and ref. 241619 on the bracelet.
Quality is good overall, making the Chrono Classic 1/100th collection fall under what we’d call “high-end quartz.” The cases and bracelet are well made, while the watch are water resistant to 100 meters and have triple AR coated sapphire crystals. They do feel like high-end items and offer a sense of class and elegance while offering an attractive feature set. The dials are rather legible with properly-sized hands and lume-coating on most markers. While these watches most likely won’t lure over most mechanical watch aficionados, they do offer a wonderful set of features to the mainstream marketing looking for a solid timepiece with a conservative, yet not boring appeal. Look for the Victorinox Swiss Army Chrono Classic 1/100th watches starting in the fall of 2013. Prices for the Chrono Classic 1/100th on a strap are $850 – $875, and $950 – $975 on the bracelet. swissarmy.com