Victorinox Swiss Army Alpnach Black Ice Chronograph

This is the newest watch from Victorinox Swiss Army, the Alpnach Black Ice Chronograph, and it is quite a nice looking piece.  Over the last few years Swiss Army watches have been changing, and I say for the better.   The brand has smartly moved “upmarket” with a stronger emphasis on watches with automatic mechanical movements, this piece being a good example.    This compares to a historical approach of cranking out $100 – $300 quartz watches (which, by the way, were and still are very reliable and very popular).  I discussed this move briefly in my reviews of the Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Vintage Chrono PVD and the Swiss Army Air Boss Mach 8 Special Edition.  Overall, I think the strategy is a good one, as the brand has been able to expand its design range with new materials, straps and better movements — and as with its gear and clothing — the “brand” and the “quality” are more than capable of holding their own at a higher level of price and quality.  Quite honestly I think that other bloggers another blogger who panned this watch and the company’s move to higher quality mechanical watches needs to look and think again.

Victorinox Swiss Army Alpnach Black Ice Chronograph

44mm PVD-finished steel case with two-piece bezel, automatic mechanical movement (ETA 7750), Black ballistic nylon strap with a black PVD deployant clasp

price:  1,995 Euros (European markets only? TBD)

To me, this watch says “I want to be outdoors” and it looks like it would be right at home with someone running trails, hiking, or camping.

  • Ariel Adams

    Kyle,

    Thanks for your less than clever dismissal of my arguments which are supported by facts if you speak with US retailers who sell Swiss Army watches – as well as your skew of my argument making it seems as though I would have a problem with brands upping their quality. Their best quartz models are not cheap looking compared to these at all. This is a design and marketing game, not an effort to improve a brand. The brand is just fine but they have simply had issues when it comes to innovation. In the last 10 years the brand on the pocket knife side has maintained quality but barely innovated. Swiss Army is just looking for ways to enter new areas and I don’t like this approach.

    Your comments are strangely resentful and condescending. As though my opinions are something to counter like you are “the good guy.” If you have counter-points then please say it with as loud a voice as you can muster, but don’t bring me into solely it and called me “other bloggers.” I am not your competitor so just chill out and do your thing without sounding like you are looking for a gold star from Victorinox while unmeritoriously dissing my educated opinion and also throwing in a little personal attack. 

    • http://www.perpetuelle.com Perpetuelle

      @e388d5ad82ef15249128b47fdc0969c5:disqus LOL, Sorry, but what are you talking about?  My only statement with regards to you is “Quite honestly I think that other bloggers who panned this watch and the company’s move to higher quality mechanical watches needs to look and think again.”

      From that one statement — i.e. stating that I think that your opinion warrants a second look — how do you get that:
      a) I am dismissing your arguments?  I just say they warrant a second look and thought.
      b) I am strangely resentful and condescending towards you? (guess I miss this)
      c) making a little personal attack? (guess I miss the personal attack)
      Also, where did I ever say that you are my competitor?  Nice try putting words in my mouth and setting up a straw-man in which you want to find a a personal attack that does not exist.

      It’s very simple:  You say:  “Swiss Army is just looking for ways to enter new areas and I don’t like this approach.”.  I say:  I disagree and think you should rethink your position.  No need to get all sensitive and throw out these baseless allegations of personal attacks and resentment!  That’s all!  You doth protest too much.

  • Eric__01

    I completely agree with Ariel – nice try Swiss Army, but at this price range I will go for an Omega or a TAG.

    • http://www.perpetuelle.com Perpetuelle

      @5cc57f6b5584011a3c568dde6fb1acd0:disqus Hey, thanks for weighing in.  Maybe you can get a TAG Heuer (with mechanical movement, chronograph) for 1,995 Euros…like maybe a TAG Aquaracer — but of course you will have the exact same movement as in the Swiss Army (ETA 7750).   So on this it is a matter of brand preference, which I totally respect going either way.  As for Omega, however — I don’t think 1,995 EUR will get you too close to an Omega.
      Thanks for your comments!
      Kyle

      • Blackwater53

        True maybe an omega quartz used on ebay, I have owned victorinox watches and tags, I think victorinox makes a great watch and the price says 2g’s but there more likely around 1400.00. Omega is over priced and tag is played out, so if you want a watch with unique look that everybody dosent have go for the 2011 alpnach, Also tag and omega have been making the same look for years, time for something new!!!!

  • http://www.allwhitekicks.com AWK

    This is totally awesome! Great watch to add to a collection..

  • David Bupp

    As A watch collector, I agree that Swiss Army is entering an area that has been exclusively higher
    end watches. My beef is this, Is this watch really worth the money? Considering the brand name.
    I don’t question the quality of this watch, I just can’t get behind Swiss Army charging these kind of
    prices. We are seeing this in almost every lower end watch company. From Timex to Casio. Watch
    prices continue to climb, while young people are using their cell phones to tell them what time it is.
    So, I’m saying, if wrist watches are to survive, please make them affordable or kiss them goodbye!!

  • ffeelliixx

    A fan of military-inspired fashion watches (U-Boat, Bell & Ross), I quite like the design and don’t understand the negative reaction. Its PVD case and minimalist black chrono dial are similar to the Sinn U1000 S, a watch I own. It lacks the Sinn’s modified movement and technology, of course, but it is also a lot more affordable. At 18mm thick, the Sinn wears a bit awkwardly, and I’m wondering if the Alpnach Black Ice wouldn’t be a good alternative. I love the functionality of the over-sized chrono sub-dials in particular. At 44mm, the size is right. I would change the nylon strap out, so that’s not a concern.

    In terms of Victorinox moving up-market, I don’t have a problem with that either. If they want to offer $2K+ watches, so long as the quality matches the price, I don’t see what the problem is. Those who would rather own a Tag just because it’s a Tag are simply buying a brand. I prefer to buy a nice-looking watch; the brand is secondary.

    However, I would disagree that this watch would be at home on the wrist of a runner, hiker, or camper. At 44mm, I see it as more a fashion watch than a serious outdoor watch. For the outdoors, I would recommend something smaller, lighter, and far less expensive.

  • Ariel7978

    Hello Perpetuelle,

    I just plopped down my a lot of “C Notes” to acquire this timepiece.  I love the style and Victorinox.  It does not resemble “a toy for a 12 year old.”  I looked at other timepieces and this style really caught my eye…..so I purchased it without any reservation.  The funny thing…..my name is Ariel too (last name not Adams).

    Thanks,

    Ariel

    • http://www.perpetuelle.com Perpetuelle

      Hi @27a561a8509c563e23ac3bb1d367eeec:disqus Congrats on the new watch!  Thanks for dropping in to say hi.  Wear it with pride!
      Kyle, Editor