Fire and ice

The new watch model Inox from Victorinox is indestructible. It can handle a couple of hours in a washing machine, being run over by a fire truck, or dropped onto concrete from ten meters.

By Britta Rossander

Photo: Thomas Andersson

Lars Andersson with Sally, his fire truck.

Lars Andersson with Sally, his fire truck.

The Swiss company Victorinox may be famous mostly for their army knives, but they produce lots of other stuff. They aren’t just some postcard from the little Alpine country but an innovative company with responsibility for the environment as well as for their employees. After being in business for 130 years, the company celebrates with an anniversary watch named the Inox. It’s designed to match the iconic army knife (a part of the collections at MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, in New York) and to measure up to the demands of the New York Fire Department. The sturdy steel case has an additional cover made of nylon and silicone.

The Inox model, developed for New York’s firefighters, can take almost any punishment.

The Inox model, developed for New York’s firefighters, can take almost any punishment.

The watch can take a sandstorm and temperatures ranging from -51° to +71°C. It has been subjected to 12 G’s of acceleration and retardation, and has proven able to withstand gasoline, solvents, oils, detergent and bug spray without any harm being done.

The name Inox is French for stainless steel and also stands for strength, durability and resistance to corrosion. To Victorinox it naturally underlines the connection between knives and watches.

Separate  protection for the watch, to cover it when the need arises.

Separate protection for the watch, to cover it when the need arises.

Sally goes back and forth a couple of times.

Sally goes back and forth a couple of times.

During the presentation in the small Swiss village of Ibach, we were shown how a fire truck drove over the watch. The Inox survived – but we wanted to try it for ourselves. So we called Lars Andersson in Falun and asked if Sally was home. Sally is a fire truck that used to belong to the Milwaukee Fire Department, built in 1940. Sally and Lars are famous among Swedish car buffs and of course Lars wears an Inox watch to match the fire truck. No sooner said than done – we went over there to see him drive over his watch.

Lars wheeled Sally across his Inox several times “to really let the watch feel the power”. It never missed a beat, and upon closer inspection we could see that the case had hardly gotten a scratch.

The case survived, the glass as well, the movement was unharmed and hardly a scratch – unbelievable.

The case survived, the glass as well, the movement was unharmed and hardly a scratch – unbelievable.

Facts Inox:

Waterproof to 200 m, the face is sealed off, the index is printed and the movement is a reliable Ronda 715 quartz. The steel case without the cover measures 43 mm across. Price approximately 4,500 kr.