Special Feature: Victorinox – Flawless Swiss Functionality
Victorinox Swiss army knives, virtually everyone has heard of them. The moment you hold one in your hands for the first time, you will never want to let go of it.
Conceived more than a century ago for soldiers, the story of the Swiss army knife and Victorniox traces back to 1884.
There you will find Karl Elsener opening a small cutlery workshop in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland, with a river nearby for powering his polishing and grinding machines.
By 1891 the first big order would arrive with the Swiss Army requesting a knife for every solider. At the time, knives were significantly heavy and bulky, which lead the founder into producing a lighter, more elegant knife. He called it the Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife.
For awhile, pocket knives featured 4 functions with the limitation of only being about to spring out on a single side. On June 12 1987 a patented had been filed and a breakthrough had occurred thanks to the introduction of 2 little springs.
The two springs made for a more compact and more functional tool which increased the tool count from 4 to 6. These two pieces while appearing minor at first glance, are what all Victorinox knives depend on today. The rest is history.
Victorinox – Consistent Innovation
Today, “Victorinox” which comes from the founder’s mother’s name of Victoria and INOX, which is the term for Stainless Steel (inoxydable), produces some 120,000 knives per day, or 25 million per year. Each is loving assembled by hand and offers a little bit of Switzerland to take with you forever.
Over the years, Victorinox hasn’t stopped innovating. While they may have numerous new products out today ranging from clothing, perfume, watches and beyond, you may be surprised to know of their rather interesting prototypes.
These include everything from Swiss army knives with mother of pearl handles, gold handles with over 800 diamonds, and a 200-function pocket knife that wouldn’t even latch onto a belt given its incredibly massive size.
Of course, things like built-in flashlights which consisted of 10% knife and 90% torch have been introduced, alongside things like a built-in ruler which was too small to read, a grooming comb, onion and olive fork, and even a potato peeler.
While not all tools are successful, it’s the constant drive to push the boundaries of perfection that has led Victorinox to create some of the world’s finest and best products for the past 130 years and counting.
1902 – Lanyard shackle, toothpick, tweezers, wood saw, and scissors introduced.
1909 – Metal cross inlay on the red fibre scales.
1932 – Stainless steel knives.
1937 – Cellidor scales replace the fibre scales.
1942 – New screwdriver with cap lifter. Nail file with nail cleaner on back of knife.
1946 – New patented can opener.
1951 – Separators Nickel silver, now Alox. New screwdriver with cap lifter, wire stripper and bender. Improved can opener with small screwdriver.
1952 – Fish scaler with hook disgorger. Square Phillips screwdriver in place of the corkscrew. Large long nail file with nail cleaner, metal saw and file.
1961 – New reamer with cutting edge. Scales with invisible rivets.
1967 – First Champion model.
1968 – Shackle (bail) officially replaced with key ring.
1973 – Magnifying glass 8x lens. Champion includes the magnifying glass. Phillips screwdriver. Small blade with pointed tip replaces clip blade.
1978 – Nasa orders 50 Master Craftsman for shuttle crews.
1980 – Soldier gets Alox scales. Metal inlay inox instead of nickel-silver. Round Phillips screwdriver with split for meat cans.
1983 – Mini-screwdriver (in corkscrew).
1985 – Chisel introduced.
1985 – Fine screwdriver (on back). Reamer-punch with sewing eye. Ballpoint pen, Astronautic (with pressure filling).
1986 – Pliers with wire cutters. The Champion becomes the Swiss Champ. Keyrings on opposite sides, one layer wider-the pliers.
1987 – Camouflage scales.
1990 – Swiss watch in the handle.
1991 – SS Pin.
19991 – Multi-Purpose Hook. Solid corkscrew (end of fluted model).
1992 – Golfer blade. Solid round Phillips screwdriver (end of meat can split).
1993 – Screw in scissors becomes rivet.
1994 – Nylon mat scales.
1995 – Wire crimping tool in pliers.
1999 – Bit wrench and bit case. Translucent scales.
2001 – Voyager, small tweezers, new scales.
2002 – LED-Module with Phillips screwdriver. Piezo lighter.
2003 – Stayglow scales. Last year for metal tipped tweezers that were still in special handles such as horn, stag, and in special Swisschamp models.
2004 – Magnifying glass, plastic lens.
2005 – Traveller electronics. Metal file ground stainless. New stamping on big blade.
My top 3 personal favorite Victorinox products:
Victorinox INOX Titanium Watch
A well-refined and luxury look with the durability of a purpose built military watch make the INOX a true pleasure to own. With 130 extreme endurance homologation tests, if there’s one thing you can be certain of, it’s that this Swiss watch will never stop ticking. Go ahead, split wood with it, take it on a lifetime of adventure and plan to pass it on to the next generation.
A lightweight titanium case offers a smooth, matte-look that’s suitable for both outdoor activities and business casual attire. Leather acquired from the same kind as used in firefighting boots offers an extremely secure, yet supple and soft comfort for wrist. An analog quartz movement, retro overlaid military time numerals, triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and a 200 M/660 FT water resistance all can be found in the Victorinox INOX.
For the ultimate medium sized Swiss army knife, the Victorinox Huntsman is hard to beat. While still compact enough for daily carry use, it features 15 functions ranging from your traditional bottle opener to an aggressively sharp saw blade. Regardless of what you throw at it, the Huntsman can certainly handle it. Strip wires, slice and dice food, clip away loose clothing threads, pull hot pots, screw in and screw out, scrape, pry, and beyond. For hunting to camping, if there’s one Swiss army knife you want in your pack while spending time outdoors, this is it.
Victorinox Spartan PS
How do you up the cool factor on a classic? With the monochrome Victorinox Spartan PS of course. With a contrasting white cover and black tools finished through a process known as Polispectral, it’s hard to not be drawn in to it’s handsomely stylish good looks. Each tool features a mirror-smooth surface finish that varies in appearance depending on how the light hits it. One moment you see anthracite, the next an alluring deep, dark grey. With about half the thickness of the Huntman, while still retaining an impressive 13 tools in total, the Spartan PS makes for what I consider the perfect everyday carry Swiss Army knife.
More than just Swiss army knives
Did you know that Victorinox offers more than just their iconic Swiss army knives? With a reputation for making some of the finest and world’s best tools for over 130 years, you may be surprised to see their craftsmanship being introduced into additional goods. From culinary tools to travel luggage, watches, fragrance and beyond, the same quality and fine attention to detail found in their Swiss army knives comes standard in all of their other products.
Interesting enough, it’s been said that after 9/11 Victorinox sales for Swiss army knives fell by more than 30%. It makes sense when you consider the fact that airports could no longer sell them and many small bladed tools were being confiscated. Of course, that hasn’t stopped Victorinox from expanding nor innovating, and it’s strikingly evident in their new line of remarkably well-crafted goods.
If you like craftsmanship in a world where only a little can be found left, then do yourself a favor and check our Victorinox. Over 130 years and they haven’t budged once inch on their commitment to durability, and the testament to that statement can be found the moment you hold a Swiss Army knife, watch, or any other product of theirs in your own hands.
Regardless if your interested in my personal favorites like the INOX, Huntsman, Spartan PS, or perhaps something different like their luggage or culinary tools, I’m certain you’ll be as pleased with owning their goods as I am for many years to come.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.