Friday, April 17, 2015

WATCH DNA SERIES – A Rare Pair of Swiss Army Titanium Mechanical Airboss Special Edition Watches

Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 1 Quartz Watch
The 1st airboss WATCH DNA series, dissects the genetic code of related watch models to explore how they evolved over time or how they relate to one another. It is fascinating to compare models separated by years of evolution that was driven by consumer tastes or the design goals of manufacturers.

The first of this series is a rare pair of titanium limited edition watches from the 2013 Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Professional watch collection. The Airboss series can trace its roots back to a yellow-handed quartz model, but this article is not about the great granddaddy of them all.

Instead, I will be focusing on two siblings with strong family features, yet with independent personalities. Meet the two limited editions below. The chronograph version is reference #241599 and only 300 were produced. The three-hand watch is reference #241600 and only 500 were produced.

2013 Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Limited Edition titanium watches 241599 241600
Two limited edition Victorinox Swiss Army titanium mechanical Airboss watches seldom seen together
These two watches are rarely seen together since the production numbers were so low. Each authorized dealer might only get a handful of either since the models were thinly distributed worldwide. I bought the three-hand version because I did not think that I would ever have the chance to buy the chronograph. However, I got lucky and found one through a watch broker. For a short period of time, I had both watches in my possession, and I wanted to record this rare occurrence. The whole purpose of the Watch Hunter blog is to trace my horological journey including how one model was sold or traded to get another. That is the watch collector's game...make that obsession.

A quick glance reveals how closely these two models are related. Both have bead blasted titanium cases and finely detailed dials. They have roman sword hands, luminescent numerals and logo, black date windows, sweeping red-tipped seconds hands, red 24-hour military time printed within the sapphire crystal, and lovely brushed leather watch bands with signed titanium deployment clasps. These titanium airboss watches are truly special and worthy of the limited edition status.

Closeup of 2013 Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Limited Edition titanium watches 241599 241600
Strong family features in this pair of titanium limited edition Swiss Army Airboss watches
The clear display backs reveal that two different hearts beat for each watch. The three-hand #241600 on the left has and ETA 2824-2 automatic movement and the chronograph #241599 has an ETA 7750.  Both a minimally decorated and workhorses of the Swiss watch industry.

Display backs of 2013 Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Limited Edition titanium watches 241599 241600
The three-hand on the left and the chronograph on the right
Each watch will be featured in its own MEET THE WATCH article, but for now we can enjoy seeing them as long lost brothers reunited once again... at least for a little while. I had to sell the three-hand to fund the purchase of the chronograph... a necessary evil to trade up.

Comparison of 2013 Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Limited Edition titanium watches 241599 241600
Siblings reunited for a brief time
Just as at family reunions, I think that it is important to photograph siblings together before they go their separate ways in the world. Check out Ariel Adam's excellent video of the Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Limted Editions for 2013,  watch his video below.

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