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Victorinox’s Chrono Classic 1/100: Look ‘under the hood!’

Look ‘under the hood!’
Look ‘under the hood!’
Brian Hart

Victorinox’s Chrono Classic 1/100


Victorinox’s division of Swiss Army Knives has expanded over the years to not only cover the whole gamut of outdoor activities (e.g., camping, boating/fishing), but also, be optimized for the urban adventurer -- via offering an integrated USB storage device. Moreover, these knives are available in a range of motifs; yet, to date, this author’s favorite design is the guilloché decoration or silver, ribbed texture.

In a stroke of luck, one of Victorinox’s newest chronographs, the Chrono Classic 1/100, artistically honors the design heritage of Swiss Army Knives’ (including the guilloché decoration) in addition to expertly implementing a chronograph unlike anything this author has ever experienced.

Working from the outside to the inside, Victorinox’s packaging is traditional and distinguished. The outermost box is marked with the company’s logo in reflective silver and contrasted against the black matte of the sturdy cardboard container. The inner box is all black with an incised Victorinox emblem on the lid that opens 90 degrees to reveal the displayed timepiece.

The Chrono Classic 1/100 can be purchased with a colored dial in either champagne or dark grey and with a stainless steel bracelet or leather band, thereby, appealing to anyone’s sense of fashion. This author reviewed the timepiece with a dark grey dial with the stainless steel bracelet ($950).

The reviewed stainless steel bracelet accommodates a wrist with a diameter of approximately 8 inches (9 full links and 4 half links). Furthermore, unlike the standard timepiece clasp (i.e., a fold over with safety), this author applauds the designers for opting to use a deployment buckle with both push buttons and a safety. This timepiece’s lack of a protruding clasp leads to a gracefully stunning and visually unhindered bracelet.

Including the crown, the timepiece’s width is approximates 45 mm in width and 10 mm in height. Thus, compared to other products, the Chrono Classic 1/100 positions itself flat against one’s wrist as to not be cumbersome (e.g., when entering and leaving door ways). Yet, if a collision does occur between this timepiece and an object, the sapphire crystal employed is scratch resistant.

The crown is marked with Victorinox’s symbol and is flanked by two buttons (button “A” above the crown and button “B” below). The bezel of the Chrono Classic 1/100 has tachymetric markings (commonly used to calculate speed of a moving object). Both the hour markers as well as the minute and hour hands harken back to blades of a Swiss Army Knife. The guilloché decoration is seen on an elliptical disc (reminiscent in profile of a Victorinox multipurpose tool) covering two numeral-covered discs. While the timepiece is in “time mode,” the discs numerically display the date.

This Chrono Classic 1/100 exudes professionalism and was perfectly suited for an interview the author had in Miami, FL. Moreover, on his road trip back to Jacksonville, a stop at the Daytona International Speedway was in order to pay homage to the timepiece’s chronograph functionality. Much like the most exotic of racecars, appearance is important, but “what’s under the hood” matters most –- the Chrono Classic 1/100 does not disappoint!

When the timepiece’s crown is depressed twice in rapid succession, the product enters “chrono mode” and all three hands reset to the zero position. Similarly, both discs that previously had displayed the date turn to read zero. Upon pressing button “A,” the second hand begins to move around the dial. When the second hand completes one full revolution, the minute hand advances to the one position, etc. Amazingly and seamlessly, the Chrono Classic 1/100 transitions between “time” and “chrono” modes via two presses of the crown (without impacting the measuring of time via the chronograph).

When button “A” is utilized in “chrono” mode, the chronograph is paused and the hands display the recorded time. In a feature that is unique to this timepiece, when the chronograph is stopped, the enumerated discs adroitly rotate to display the amount of time that has passed in 1/100 of a second. This aforementioned feature completely squashes any products from competitors, as the Chrono Classic 1/100 has the appearance of an analog timepiece with the precise measurements (to 1/100 of a second) only seen on digital instruments!

Nonetheless, this ingenious timepiece does not stop there; Victorinox’s Chrono Classic 1/100 also incorporates a perpetual calendar (i.e., never requiring the owner to ever set the date more than once)! The procedure for setting the date/time on this product uses both buttons (rather than the crown) and is portrayed in this YouTube video (at the 2 minute and 36 second mark). This author found the previously described process to be exceptionally effortless and expeditious to implement.

The Chrono Classic 1/100 mixes the optimal amount of the old and new. This timepiece is respectful to Victorinox’s past (with design cues from previous Swiss Army Knives and possessing an analog character) while being “future forward” (with the exacting chronograph and calendar functions). The result is a one-of a-kind product that is not only professionally suited but also technologically advanced “under the hood.” Any aficionado would be praiseworthy of such a familiar, yet trailblazing timepiece.

Of note, the Chrono Classic 1/100 comes with a 3-year warranty (i.e., that covers the hands, quartz movement, and dial face plate) when purchased from an authorized dealer. Moreover, if you are one of the first 100 individuals to purchase this timepiece, one will receive a personally engraved Swiss Army Knife for gratis!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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