Saturday, October 24, 2015

MEET THE WATCH SERIES: Vintage Victorinox Swiss Army Yellow Crystal Watch



The MEET THE WATCH Series showcases a timepiece "off the beaten path" or simply because I like it. There are literally thousands of watches floating in a sea of specimens so this is my attempt to shed some light on ones that interest me. So, grab a cup of coffee and say hello to a new face, and you just might learn a thing or two.

It has been said that some people look at the world through rose colored glasses, but what if the saying used a different color of glass like amber? Watch designers from Victorinox (Swiss Army) might have asked that question back in the mid 1990's when they designed a watch with a yellow crystal, plastic sports case, huge crown, velcro and leather watchband, a backlight and interesting questionable proportions.


This watch is a rarity and a bit of a mystery. I can find little information about it on the Internet. I even contacted Swiss Army a few times about this model and never got a response. Honestly, they rarely respond to inquiries about retired watches, which is quite annoying. Swiss Army are you listening? No, I did not think so.


I believe finding info for this watch may be difficult because of its age, relatively low sales numbers and because it was probably around before the Internet became an everyday tool.


I do not even know if it has a catchy name besides "Outdoor, Yellow Crystal". Likely, not many were made because I rarely ever see them for sale. Of those sold, maybe fewer survived 15-20 years later.


Besides the yellow crystal, this watch is unique because it might be the only Swiss Army watch that has an integrated screw-in band attachment system and a watchband that uses a velcro enclosure.  If you did not know, Victorinox is Swiss Army. At first they used just "Swiss Army" on their watches, then "Victorinox" and now "Victorinox Swiss Army".  I believe that had to do with a product name dispute with another company who sold watches in North America under the name Swiss Army, which is now defunct.


The width of the watch from lug to lug is a whopping 60mm. By comparison, my 7 and 1/2" wrist is about 55mm at the protruding wrist bones. This means that the watch has a different kind of wearability than the watches that I am used to. It is comfortable, but the lugs overhang my wrist a little. I've never seen another Victorinox watch built like this.


For dark conditions, the hands have low-level radioactive tritium lume and backlit dial that lights the numbers with a green glow. The light is activated by using the small chrome button on the lower left. The photo below shows what it looks like.


If anybody knows more about this watch, please let me know. Thanks.

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