For the year 2009, the maker of famous Swiss army knives has updated collection of diving watches the new Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Mecha diver. Although looking a bit toy-like with their exaggerated proportions and deliberately in-your-face color scheme (well, at least when it comes to models in red (ref. 241427) and Orange (ref. 241428) because the black one seems to swing to another extreme with its sort of morbid appearance) they still seem to offer good value, especially if you are able to find one in a discount store.
Available in three different colors and coming either on a color-keyed rubber strap or a metal bracelet, the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Mecha is a nice alternative much more expensive models like the dressy TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500m Calibre 5 or, say, the more professional-looking DOXA Sub 600T-Graph.
The watch has a diameter of only 43 millimeters (crown with its massive guard is not included), however its lugs seem to be on the longer side measuring approximately 51 millimeters from tip to tip, so one should actually try the 500 Mecha on his/her own wrist before ordering one on eBay or from some other online retailer. I mean, even if you have an average or relatively wide wrist, you may still not feel comfortable enough due to inevitable anatomic differences between different people.
Its 3-dimensional dial with large luminous hour indices and broad sword-shaped hour and minute hands offer enough contrast even in poor lighting conditions: a nice feature for a diver rated for 500 meters. There also seems to a generous amount of lume on them and on the first 20 minutes on the the diving scale of the outer rotating bezel.
The watch comes powered by a time-proven ETA 2892-A2 automatic movement that comes with very basic finish: in fact, the only thing that differs the ebauche from millions of its siblings is the branded oscillating weight with the company’s signature red and white “Shield” logo.
Both reliable and accurate, the caliber is often employed not only in its pure form, but also serves as a base movement for much more expensive watches that are offered by Omega, Breitling, Perrelet and even Ulysse Nardin.
Of course, movements that go to Omega or UN undergo stricter quality control procedures and sometimes have their stock parts replaced with exclusive high-grade components, but even watches powered the most basic ETA 2892-A2 calibers rarely give their owners too much trouble. All you need to do to keep it going, is observing servicing intervals recommended by the manufacturer.
The watch’s transparent caseback offers good view at the movement, but, as I have already mentioned above, there is not much to look at. Besides the company’s logo painted (not even engraved!) on the rotor, there is no additional decoration. Well, you didn’t expect one on a watch priced well below $1000, did you?
See also: Certina DS Action Chrono
Photos: Victorinox Swiss Army
Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Mecha diving watch’s specification:
Price: $750 (MSRP)
Movement: ETA 2892-A2, automatic, Swiss Made
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, 24-hour “military time” chapter ring on the dial
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, PVD-coated
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 14.50 mm
Lugs: 22 mm
Dial: Black (ref. 241426), Red (ref. 241427) or Orange (ref. 241428)
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Rubber strap or PVD steel bracelet
Back: Transparent, mineral glass