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We know Victorinox for its Swiss Army knives but less for its reliable, functional timepieces punctuated by a timeless style. We had the chance to test the Journey 1884 for almost a month, a robust and light Swiss-made watch equipped with a quartz movement ensuring foolproof precision. All at a moderate price.
The history of Victorinox: from the knife to the Swiss watch!
Review of the Victorinox Journey 1884 watch
There is no not one but two models of Journey 1884. Everyone will be able to find their account according to their budget:
- Victorinox Journey 1884: Ronda 715 quartz movement, several types of straps are available (leather, rubber, steel) and bezel color (blue or black)
- Journey 1884 black dial with a strap leather or rubber : 595 €, it is the version we tested
- Journey 1884 black dial with a steel bracelet: €645
- Journey 1884 blue dial with a rubber strap (blue): €495
- Victorinox Journey 1884 Automatic: Sellita SW200 automatic movement (41-hour power reserve)
- Journey 1884 Automatic blue dial with a wooden strap: €945
- Journey 1884 Automatic black dial with a steel bracelet: €995
The Journey 1884 range of watches was designed with a view to paying homage to the mountains, which are obviously found in France but also and above all in Switzerland.
To do this, we find a massive design (no pun intended), in particular through the use of an imposing 43 mm diameter case, hands that reproduce the markings of Swiss hiking trails and a textured dial. and in relief that recalls the unevenness of paths.
First look: Sports watch design, black and white dial, steel case + black PVD, unidirectional rotating bezel, indexes and hands with Luminova, screw-down crown featuring the Victorinox logo.
The introductions being made, it’s time to put this watch on your wrist. The first impression is often the right one: the Victorinox Journey 1884 immediately inspires confidence and is (relatively) quickly forgotten on the wrist despite its mammoth dimensions.
THE housing in 316L steel, as mentioned on the left side of the casehas a diameter of 43mm, for 12 mm thick and 118 grams on the scale. The Journey 1884 therefore does not seek to be a dress watch but nevertheless comes to hunt on the side of sports watches (especially hiking) or tool watches.
Note that the crown is screwed, notched and surrounded by a crown protector, and that the case back is also screwed and in steel. There is an image of the Swiss army knife, in addition to various mentions including the fact that the watch is shock resistant, that the dial is protected by a sapphire crystal and that the brand was born in 1884.
There unidirectional rotating bezel is also 316L steel. It also has a black PVD treatment. The insert is in ceramic, and graduated up to the twentieth minute, then from 10 to 10. Only the thirtieth minute at 6 o’clock has a particular treatment: it is indeed marked by the inscription 1884 which we talked about upper. Finally, note that the pearl which symbolizes the 0 is treated with luminescent material.
Last detail, and not least, on the right edge of the bezel, we find the inscription “200 m / 660 ft” to remind us of its water resistance to 20 ATM or 200 m.You can therefore keep it on your wrist in all circumstances.
The dial & reading the time
The union of black and bench on this dial, with a few touches of red for the Victorinox logo and on the second hand, is of the most beautiful effect. Something to highlight, among other things, the flange which acts as a minute railway.
The Arabic numerals, large and in white, echo this railroad, especially since they appear alternately with baton indexes of the same color at 3 and 9 o’clock. The devil is in the details…
THE needles of the hours, of the minutes and seconds are quite massive and have a marked touch of Luminova for better readability of the time at night.
On the counterweight of the second hand stands the famous Swiss army knife, which forged the legend of the brand.
For the rest, we find on the dial of this watch the mention “Victorinox”, a discreet date window at 6 o’clock, the mention “antimagnetic” to recall its resistance to electromagnetic waves, and a sub-dial which displays the military time. All in addition to a final mention “Swiss made” above the railroad at 6 o’clock to remind you that this is a watch designed and assembled in Switzerland.
Victorinox Journey 1884 Movement
This is one of the strengths of this watch and this explains its relatively low price! The Victorinox Journey 1884 is powered by a Swiss Ronda 715 quartz caliber from the normtech range. This makes it possible to lower its price by 350 € compared to an automatic model.
This caliber has a power reserve maximum of 60 months (i.e. 5 years) and has an end of battery life indicator. Don’t look for a visual indicator here, it’s the second hand that will tell you when to change the battery: the seconds hand will advance every 4 seconds to warn you.
This Victorinox Journey 1884 quartz model, with a watch designed to withstand shocks and electromagnetic waves, will therefore be a powerful ally for your hikes or sports outings.
There is a lot to be said about the bracelet in rubber which equips our Journey 1884. It is first of all very comfortable to wear, very design (we say thank you to the ribbed parts), and its build quality East copy.
I usually don’t wear “half” the watches tested here, and after more than a month of intensive use, with winter gloves and a scooter jacket which sometimes leaves marks on the bracelet or the glass (thanks to the press studs), here the Journey 1884 shows no signs of fatigue.
THE clasp is classic, type pin buckleand includes a reference to the Victorinox coat of arms, a coat of arms that can also be found on the lower part of the bracelet.
Let us quote two points which could have been improved: the bracelet is quite massive (it is straight and rather thick) and its lug spacing is 21 mm, an unusual dimension that could bother you if you want to buy replacement bracelets on the Internet (there are fewer than 20 mm bracelets). Too bad because the bracelet has a quick release system that allows you to change without tools.
Victorinox Journey 1884 Technical recap
- Case: stainless steel + black PVD treatment
- Size: 43mm
- Thickness: 12mm
- Weight: 118 grams
- Dial: black and white, luminescent indexes and hands, date window at 6 o’clock, military time in the center
- Movement: Ronda 715 quartz from the normtech range (with end of battery life indicator). Maximum power reserve of 5 years
- Front glass: sapphire
- Case back: steel, solid, screwed
- Bracelet : rubber, pin buckle (21 mm lug)
- Water resistance: 20 ATM / 200 m (screw-down crown)
- Warranty: 3 years
Our opinion on the Victorinox Journey 1884
The Victorinox Journey 1884 is a timepiece atypical in many aspects. Firstly because its design is not a master key. It is more akin to a sports watch than a tool watch in the classic sense of the term, although it fulfills this function marvellously by being able to be worn every day.
Her housing of 43 mm (without the crown) is indeed quite divisive. Fortunately, the case is rather thin, barely 12 mm thick, and its weight is contained (118 grams with its rubber strap).
Then because this show may seem massive at first sight but you just have to spend a few minutes on its hands, its black and white textured dial, its notched bezel or the finish of the case to realize that it reveals many details with finesse: the Victorinox coat of arms, various discreet mentions including its water resistance at 200 m or the use of 316L steel, the reminder of the Swiss army knife on the counterweight of the second hand…
After putting it on our wrist for more than a month, we can only salute the‘Excellent value What does this shock-resistant watch, water-resistant to 200 meters and capable of resisting electromagnetic fields, offer?