My 10-year anniversary is next month and I would like to buy a
watch for my husband. Is there a nice watch out there for 500-750
US? He is a pilot and I have looked at all the fancy stuff, but it
is out of my budget.
Absolutely, Kim. Check out your local Victorinox Swiss Army watch
dealer (we happen to be one). If he’s a pilot, he’d very much like
their Air Boss Chrono model. The Mach 3 edition has a quartz
movement, and is in your price range. The Ground Force models are
also great for pilots, and they have an automatic (self-winding)
Personally, I don’t care for the Wenger Swiss Army watches as they
look and feel cheap to me. Victorinox uses Swiss ETA movements. My
Infantry model uses an ETA 2836-2 auto-winding movement, the same
one utilized by Cartier, Orus and many other manufacturers. The
stainless steel cases are solid and the complications, such as
day/date, chrono, alarm, etc. are crisp and accurate. The day/date on
mine switches at exactly midnight, clicking over instead of slowly
rolling to the next day/date. All of the models in your price range
use synthetic sapphire crystals. My Infantry, and the Ground Force
also, use synthetic sapphire for their exposition backs so you can
see their movements working from the back of the watch. The
auto-winder loses about 10 seconds a week, whereas most Rolexes I see
lose at least 10 minutes a week.
I also have a Dive Master 300 with a bright orange dial that uses an
ETA quartz movement. Water resistant to 300 meters with a screw-down
crown, I’ve never had to reset the time after months that have 31
days. A good page to preview these models is:
A strong caution and short story: One customer came to the store and
purchased the Air Boss Mach 3. I offered to show him how to operate
the chrono (few people know how to reset them so the hands zero
properly on the 12:00 index) and set the time. The knob where the
crown for setting the time usually is isn’t that…it’s for rotating
the inner tachymeter dial and the crown is on the other side. He
arrogantly told me he could figure it out. He must have used pliers
to rip the knob off, because he showed up two days later with it in
pieces. I’m guessing that a lot of salespeople never read the
factory’s technical publication on operating these watches, but the
company provides each dealer with a very large manual that describes
much more than the generic little manual that comes in the box with
every watch. If you decide to purchase a complicated model for your
hubby and the store you purchase from doesn’t have the dealer’s
manual, just let me know and I’ll scan or copy the applicable pages
Now, the good news. We sent the customer’s Air Boss to the factory
with a note that the customer tore the dial’s knob off. They
returned it, repaired, 2 weeks later with only shipping charges.
Great watch, great company.
James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL
P.S. Happy Anniversary!!