For the year 2009, the maker of the Swiss army knives has updated the collection of diving tools with the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Mecha semi-professional 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 swings to another extreme with its sort of morbid appearance) they still offer good value, especially if you can 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 PVD-treated case has a diameter of only 43 millimeters (crown with its massive guard is not included), however, the lugs are on the longer side measuring approximately 51 millimeters from tip to tip, so one should try the 500 Mecha on his/her 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 is also a generous amount of Superluminova on them and the first 20 minutes on the diving scale of the outer rotating bezel.
The Mecha is powered by a time-proven ETA 2892-A2 automatic movement that comes with 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 those powered by 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 Mecha’s transparent case-back cover offers a good view of 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 specification
Price: $750 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber 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: Stainless steel, PVD-coated
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