The new Victorinox Swiss Army Alpnach Black Ice (ref. 14733) chronograph offers a boring dial with all the usual indicators and apertures that we normally see in ETA 7750-powered watches, but at least features a rather unusual bezel.
As you may have gathered from the picture below, the new watch sports a remarkable two-piece bezel.
The inner one, with a standard tachymeter scale on it, is fixed, while the outer (it features a 60-minute scale on it, as well as a glowing triangle at 12 hours) can be rotated like a bezel on a diving watch!
Although the watch has an official water resistance rating of only 100 meters and I wouldn’t advise you to use it for anything more serious than snorkeling, the twin-bezel system still looks like a convenient combination!
Also, I must admit that this “twin-bezel” model actually saves the watch from being extremely boring.
While its natural-born ETA Valjoux 7750 caliber (one of the best mass-produced chronograph movements currently available on the market) offers unrivaled performance and dependability, the movement could also make the watch just another chrono thanks to its inevitable tri-compax dial layout and the uninspiring “DOW / DD” aperture at 3 hours that make me want to yawn.
However, thanks to the new bezel, the watch actually looks cool and sporty, especially with the nice combination of black PVD-treated steel body and the NATO-style “ballistic” nylon strap that, by the way, offers a comfortable deployant clasp, also in black PVD.
Since the dial is colored in a dark matte gray while the hands are covered in white Superluminova, the new Victorinox Swiss Army Alpnach Black Ice Chronograph a characterized by a superb level of legibility both in broad daylight and in the total darkness of a moonless night.
Some people may grunt that the dial lacks the usual Arabic numerals that would be able to balance the watch by stealing some attention from the bezel, but in this particular case, I am just glad that VSA’s designers decided to leave the face as it is: there is so much more air to breathe!
From where I sit, the only drawback of this timekeeper is its ridiculously high MSRP of €1995. However, I am pretty positive that in a couple of months after the model will hit the store the price tag will inevitably go down by at least 30 percent of the starting amount.
Photos: Victorinox Swiss Army
Victorinox Swiss Army Alpnach Black Ice Chronograph (ref. 14733) specification
Price: €1995 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day of the week, chronograph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Stainless steel, black PVD treated
Case size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: 24 mm
Dial: Dark grey
Hour markers: White, gray, and orange
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black ballistic nylon strap with a black PVD deployant clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective