Richard S. Cunanan

Bright Carbon

Orange is the new I.N.O.X.

Sometimes you want subtle. And sometimes you don’t. With the Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon Limited Edition, you’re getting the second. The eye-catching Orange model of the utterly survivable Victorinox I.N.O.X. is the latest demonstration that toughness is more than just skin deep.

One might argue that when you’re buit like the I.N.O.X., there’s simply no need to hide. From anything, really. This is the watch that Victorinox built because their people were making these watches that tough anyway, and they wanted to go ahead and talk about it. They made a watch so tough that we routinely talk about their stress testing with a look of shock and awe. Each individual watch undergoes 130 stress tests. They put it in a washing machine and let it get rattled around. They hold it near a blowtorch. Quality testing the I.N.O.X. involves freezing it into a block of ice, and then driving a tank over it. This is not a watch that shrinks from a challenge.

The case is carbon, of course, making it 50% lighter than the usual stainless steel, and also five times as resistant. Presumably the carbon holds up just as well to the tank getting driven over it. (Obviously, that’s still my favorite of the tests.) But as impressive as the carbon case is, it is unlikely to be the thing you notice first about the Carbon Limited Edition. Not even the flashlight that straps to the side of the watch gets that honor.

No, you’re almost certainly going to notice that the fantastic and near-ubiquitous paracord strap that accompanies the I.N.O.X. is, in this instance, a bright and highly visible International Safety Orange. As I said, this is not a watch that feels the need to hide its light under a bushel.

But really, the provenance of the orange color isn’t pride – it’s safety. Safety Orange, the high-visibility color that is utilized in rescue gear and the like. And in this case, even though the watch’s case is a matte-black carbon and it has a khaki-camouflage dial, the paracord strap that attaches it to the wrist has that Safety Orange as its color, and it influences the watch to an amazing degree. Victorinox mentions that NASA uses Safety Orange, which ties in with my idea that the Carbon Limited Edition can probably be seen from space.

I confess that with the I.N.O.X. watches, I have grown to be as attached to the paracord as I am to the tank testing bit, so if you feel the same, and if you want a watch that can take any amount of abuse and still come out shining like the sun, then maybe the Victorinox Carbon Limited Edition is for you. And if it is… well, I guarantee everyone will know about it.