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Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit” field watch review: about as rugged and reliable as watch can be

The Swiss-made Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit” is a tough, modern field watch which can survive being crushed under a 64-ton tank

Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit”
(Image: © Matthew Jones)

Our Verdict

If you’ll pardon the pun, the watchwords for the I.N.O.X series are threefold: robust, rugged and reliable. If those are what you’re looking for in a wristwatch, you can’t go wrong with this durable and dependable Swiss-made timepiece.

For

  • Extremely robust
  • Swiss-made quartz movement

Against

  • Thick and chunky
  • Fairly heavy

Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit”: first impressions

The Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit” is a modern tool watch that will undoubtedly appeal to outdoorsy types who are also fans of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives (other camping knives are available). 

Just like the brand’s famous pocket-knives, it’s built tough, with an all-stainless steel case and bezel, a sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, shock-resistant quartz movement and 200m / 660ft of water resistance. It’s one of the most robust field watches in our buying guide, purposefully designed to be used and abused in extreme conditions.

Specifications

• RRP: $650 (US) / £549 (UK)
• Dimensions: 52.8mm (lug-to-lug) x 43mm (case diameter)
• Thickness: 13.6mm
• Weight: 133g / 4.7oz
• Movement: Swiss-made Ronda 713 quartz
• Water resistance: 200m / 660ft
• Materials & features: Brushed stainless steel case with crown guards; fixed steel bezel with polished highlights; flat anti-reflective sapphire crystal; screw-down steel case back; signed, knurled screw-down crown; braided paracord strap

The dial is highly legible, with high-contrast applied hour indices and clear numerals at the classic “3”, “6” and “9” positions. The deep face has a double chapter ring with minute and seconds tracks for precision timekeeping. There’s a deeply recessed contrast date window at 4.30 and a matte steel lumed handset, with a contrast seconds hand. The strap supplied with the watch is braided from heavy-duty nylon paracord. In an emergency, this can be unravelled and used for temporary gear repairs or survival scenarios.

This is definitely a watch that suits bigger wrists, thanks to its large proportions. It’s a serious unit. Indeed, some might think it a bit brutish, though others might appreciate the muscular appearance. At least the use of interesting angles and curves help to soften the overall design, which employs mostly brushed finishing with six sloping, polished surfaces around the bezel (so it’s not a tank on your wrist like the G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-2000).

The watch is powered by a Swiss made Ronda 715 quartz movement, with NIHS 91-10 shock-resistance augmented by Victorinox’s own internal movement shock protection system. It’s accurate to within -10/+20 seconds per month. It’s also fitted with an end-of-life-indicator (its, not yours) – the seconds hands will jump every two seconds rather than ticking every second when the battery is low, telling you it’s time to replace it.

Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit”: in the field

Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit”

The supplied strap is braided from heavy-duty nylon paracord (Image credit: Matthew Jones)

This is a watch with seriously rugged looks and the build quality to match. It’s the sort of thing that looks and feels as though you could use it to hammer in tent pegs. While we didn’t actually try that, we did put it through some fairly rigorous use, from hillwalking and scrambling to camping and wild swimming, in addition to daily wear. The watch came through utterly unscathed. 

Though it isn’t packed with features, everything works just as it should. The hands and indices are all lumed, providing a soft blue glow in low-light conditions. It certainly does the job, whether you’re foraging in the woods or wild camping on a moonless night.

Timekeeping is precise, as you’d expect from a quartz watch – but we were also pleased to find that unlike a lot of cheaper quartz watches, the seconds hand hits the markers on the dial very precisely. Even the date window flicks over crisply at midnight, right on the dot. Sometimes, it’s the little details that make the difference.

Victorinox I.N.O.X. “Autumn Spirit”

The hands and indices are all lumed, providing a soft blue glow in low-light conditions (Image credit: Matthew Jones)

The watch has some enviable specs too. For example, although this isn’t a dive watch (though there is a Victorinox I.N.O.X. diver range, if that’s your bag), the screw-down crown and case back contributes to an impressive water resistance of 20 ATM – that’s 200m, or 660ft – so it’ll survive any waterborne adventures you embark upon, from swimming to snorkelling.

The robust build inevitably means a little added bulk and heft compared to most other watches. If you like slim, elegant and lightweight kit, this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re tough on your gear and need a watch that will survive plenty of punishment, it’s a superb choice.

An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.