Featuring cluttered dial and an oversized body, the new Victorinox Swiss Army AirBoss Mach 6 Power Gauge doesn’t look like a very practical wristwatch. However, the way it is designed and the way its mechanical movement is finished makes it a very nice fashion accessory for those who always dreamed about accomplishing a tour of duty on a real aircraft carrier.
The Swiss watch maker Victorinox Swiss Army adds yet another automatic timepiece to its growing AirBoss Collection of pilot’s watches.
Established five years ago, this series of fine, yet more or less affordable watches is said to be inspired by modern aircraft carriers’ control rooms and is dedicated to the Swiss Air Force, although the small country doesn’t have maritime borders and, naturally, they don’t have any aircraft carrier whatsoever.
Frankly, before reviewing this timekeeper I was under impression that modern battle ships were equipped with a lot more sophisticated hardware that includes lots of computers that often rival those used for human genome research, let’s just try and accept their claim at face value. After all, it is just a PR blurb whose aim is to get your attention and make your heart beat faster if only for just a moment.
Visually, this is just another Mach-series timepiece that now features a slightly reworked dial and a huge power reserve indicator.
The chronograph is predictably large, but I could live with that, although I can’t really say the same about the dial, which is just too cluttered to my taste. The only thing that saves it is Superluminova inlays generously sprayed over all of its main elements including the tachymeter scale on the bezel.
It may be a good investment if you want just a limited edition fashion accessory. It may not be as valuable if your main idea is to get yourself a time measuring device that you could easily use in stressful situation, like, for example, piloting a plane or commanding a battle ship.
Like many other modern pilot’s watches, the Victorinox AirBoss Mach 6 Power Gauge features a PVD coated stainless steel case with luminescent segments on its face, bezel and hands (in fact, the only element that lacks the Supeluminova treatment is the tiny date indicator at 4 o’clock).
With all the aforementioned elements clearly marked with jovial light green accents, the black color of PVD finish doesn’t make the timekeeper especially ‘stealth’, but it still makes a very nice background. It looks cool, too.
Whole 45 millimeters in diameter, the watch is, so to speak, on the larger side of the family. However, the choice of size seems to be absolutely logical, since a pilot’s watch is supposed to be huge.
Just keep in mind that pilots of the past that this device seems to refer to used to wear their watches over thick sleeves of their leather jackets so the size of piece was not really a problem. On the other hand, you, I suppose, will have to wear it over you bare wrist so, if you happen to be on a leaner side, this one may be a bit too big for you.
Despite all the military inspirations, the timekeeper’s dial doesn’t make an impression of a highly-legible job.
Although there are only four sub-dials (a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour and a 30-minute chronograph totalizers at 6 and 12 o’clock, and a small seconds display at 9 o’clock,) the monochromatic color scheme makes the dial almost unreadable, overwhelming the owner with a torrent of unstructured data.
Of course, when the chronograph is not in use, the pointers on the two sub-dials will always stay montionless, as will the central chronograph seconds hand making reading the wristwatch a bit less of a pain, however the level of legibility is still very low. Definitely this is not my idea of a pilot’s watch.
The 45mm case nests the famous Valjoux 7750 self-winding automatic chronograph movement.
Equipped with a personalized oscillating weight and sporting blued screws, the robust and reliable caliber can be see via see-through screw-in caseback.
The movement is, by the way, nicely decorated with Geneva stripes and blued screw heads and features an open-worked oscillating weight with the brand’s signature shield. But that’s what could be expected in a timepiece, which is priced at approximately $4000 USD.
The only problem with the caseback is that a mineral glass used here, so you’ll have to be careful planning your flight missions.
The watch’s face is covered with a triple-coated scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The Mach 6’s screw-down crown increases the timepiece’s water resistance to 100 meters: not really impressive, but is practical enough if you don’t plan to use this watch for professional diving.
Only 333 watches will be sold worldwide.
Photos: Victorinox Swiss Army
Victorinox AirBoss Mach 6 Power Gauge watch specification
Price range: $4000 (Retail)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, modified, Swiss Made
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph, power reserve
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: PVD coated stainless steel
Case diameter: 45.00 mm
Case height: No data
Dial: Black, with Superluminova treatment
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with grey stitching
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective