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Sosakonline Archive

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SAK Watches

    I’d like to start this article with a plea for anyone knowledgeable about SAK watches to please contact me.  I don’t know anything about them except that they are good quality and I like them.  I have three, and I couldn’t exactly say what models they are, or really any more information than what’s printed on the back.

    This is one of the sections of SAK collecting that I have always felt was somewhat overlooked.  After all, the things that come to mind the most when one thinks of Swiss are watches, cheese, knives and bank accounts.  I have the knives covered fairly well with this site, my expanding waistline will attest to my expertise with cheese, and I don’t have enough money to warrant a Swiss bank account, so that just leaves watches!

    The first SAK watch I have is an interesting piece.  I thought it was the standard Cavalry watch, model #24531.  According to the specs it’s very similar- it’s a quartz (battery) model with date function.  The Cavalry according to Victorinox:



Cavalry®
# 24531

PRODUCT DETAILS

•    Made in Switzerland with precision Swiss Analog Quartz movement
•    Easy to read analog dial with bold markings
•    Sweep second hand
•    Scratch resistant, hardened mineral crystal
•    Individually tested to be water resistant to 10 ATM (100 meters/330 feet)
•    Stainless steel case in gunmetal PVD finish
•    Gunmetal PVD coating results in a hard scratch resistant surface
•    Luminous hands and hour markers
•    Date
•    Solid style lugs with removable push pins
•    Black leather with stainless steel buckle in gunmetal finish
•    Swiss Army Brand insignia at 12 o’clock
•    Swiss Army printed on dial



    This is my workhorse watch- it’s pretty tough and it’s been through a lot.  I replaced the original band with a thicker, heavier hypo allergenic band, but other than that it’s held up pretty darned good in places where many watches wouldn’t have.  It will however be headed off to Victorinox repair very soon as it will occasionally stop for no apparent reason.  It’s got a new battery as of two weeks ago and it still has this problem.  Given what it’s been through, it’s long since due for a cleaning, so a simple problem like this is no cause for concern.

    What is interesting about it is that the dial isn’t white- it glows in the dark, as do the hands.  On the back it says it’s water resistant to 330 feet, while on the front (dial) it says 300m-100FT.  The case back also has what appears to be a different model number- 87868 but I can’t find any reference to that number anywhere.  With any luck, I may be able to get more information when it heads in for service.

    Next up is my Original, model # 24221- this one is also a good workhorse watch and has survived much use.  It was originally a gift from another SOSAK member (Thanks again Drew!) a few years ago and it’s seen quite a few miles as well.  This is the watch I wear most days when I am not working.  It’s nicer looking than the Cavalry, but just as tough.  Victorinox says this about it:



Original
# 24221     

PRODUCT DETAILS

•    Made in Switzerland with precision Swiss Analog Quartz Movement
•    Easy to read analog dial with bold markings and military time
•    Scratch resistant, hardened mineral crystal
•    Individually tested to be water resistant to 10 ATM (100 meters/330 feet)
•    Synthetic case
•    Luminous hands and hour markers
•    Date
•    Water resistant leather and nylon mesh strap with stainless steel buckle
•    Sweep second hand
•    Victorinox Swiss Army Brand insignia at 12 o’clock
•    Victorinox Swiss Army printed on dial



    I have been through a few bands on this one, but once I settled on “The Band” brand watch bands I have yet to replace one.  For those not familiar with “The Band” it’s a long strip of nylon and velcro that wraps around your wrist comfortably and holds the watch securely.  I can’t say enough good things about these bands- they are inexpensive, they look nice, they are comfortable, and most importantly when I break one of the pins (as I often do) I don’t lose my watch.  In fact, it takes much of the pressure off the pins, decreasing the chance of breaking them when the watch catches on something.  I picked out a nice reddish one to go with the red bezel on the Original.



    The last watch I have is pretty neat- it’s a Wenger but I really don’t know much more than that.  It’s brand new in the box and I never wear it, mostly because it has a plastic case and I don’t care for those.  Wenger watches are typically not cheap, but this one seems to have been part of an economy line.  As you can see, the interesting part of this one isn’t any special history or movement, but the small SAK that makes up the hands!  The minute hand is a red scale and the hour hand is a blade.  This alone was more than enough reason to go to great lengths to track down this watch.  The info printed on the case identifies it as model #01.170 and it has a date function and mono directional bezel.  I have often considered contacting a watchmaker about trying to transplant the “guts” of this watch into something with a sturdier case but the thought of risking such a rarity is too great at this point.  Perhaps if I should ever find another one I’ll consider it.  



    There is also another brand that calls themselves Wenger or Swiss military.  I am not familiar with the workings of this other brand, but they are identifiable by the eight sided red shield and white cross.  They apparently have the rights to use the Wenger and Swiss Military name, but I’m not certain of the details.  They are not the Wenger of Delemont that SAK enthusiasts will be familiar with, and I personally have no interest in finding out what kind of quality they are manufactured with.



    Overall I like all of my SAK watches, and while I am not a watch collector per se (if I tell myself that enough I may manage to convince myself of that!) I wouldn’t be averse to checking out a few other models in the future!