Review of Wenger Swiss Army Aerograph All-Black

Model # 72475
Brand/Model:  Wenger Swiss Army Aerograph
Movement:  Swiss quartz
Material:  black PVD stainless steel case, black leather strap
Complications:  wide-angle date display
Price:  MSRP:  $300 USD
Plenty of photos follow the review.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.
You’ll either love this watch or hate it!  This is the most impractical watch I have ever bought or have owned.  It’s a perfect example of function following form!  I think it’s incredibly cool and that’s why I pulled the trigger, but the cool-factor probably will wear off quickly (and it did, see my update below). 
I’ve been interested in these all-black stealth-style watches for awhile now, as Sinn, Hublot, Invicta, Swiss Legend, ORIS, Android and others all make their own versions.  The Sinn is the best in my opinion, but expensive. 
When Wenger introduced this vintage-style Aerograph all-black version a few years ago (it’s also available in orange, yellow and a few other combos), I was pretty sure I had found what I was looking for.  I had even considered trying to make my own stealth watch through modding, but locating matte black hands, a black dial and black case to put it all together isn’t as easy as it sounds, so I decided to let the Swiss do the work.
This black PVD Aerograph is all stainless steel, with a polished screwdown caseback.  The polished caseback does not detract, since it lays on your wrist and isn’t seen as you wear the watch.   The case itself is satin-finish PVD with a signed non-screw down crown.  Water resistance is rated at 100M.  Fit and finish is what you would expect from Wenger.
The case measures 41.5mm w/o the crown and is 11mm thick.  Lugs are the odd size of 21mm.  The domed crystal is mineral and makes this watch hard to photograph due to its tendency towards reflecting light.  An ant-reflective sapphire crystal would be awesome and not out of the question at the original MSRP.
Inside the Aerograph ticks a Swiss quartz movement, probably either ETA or Ronda, which has kept fine quartz time.  If it was an automatic, that would be awesome, but the watch would probably have to be larger.  Overall, the size is just about right.
The dial is black and the Arabics are a medium grey.  The large sub-seconds dial is great, but truth be told, it’s incredibly hard to see the black seconds hand!  The white-on-black wide-angle date wheel is actually easy to read and looks cool, with a small grey pointer indicating the current date.  The outer chapter ring and seconds track on the subdial are white, but this color does not detract from the all-black character of this watch.
One of the coolest features is that the hands and Arabics are actually luminescent!  See the last photo to see the green lume.  All I can say is black-colored lume is nifty because it doesn’t look like lume.
The strap is a smooth padded black leather with a signed PVD black buckle and twin keepers.  The style of the strap is nice with the folded over tabs near the lugs and exudes a quality look and feel, which is perfect for this piece.
Now for the price.  These Aerographs originally retailed for a pricey $300 USD when they first appeared a couple of years ago and since then, they have shown up at substantial discounts, presumeably because they were slow sellers.  If you can snag one for $150 USD or so, you’ve done okay.
Presentation is nothing to write home about, standard padded vinyl Wenger black box.
Overall, if you are intrigued by the stealth concept (which may be starting to wane, as it seems fewer companies are introducing them lately) this watch would be a good place to start.  It’s a quality piece that if bought right, won’t break the bank and still give you a unique watch that will definitely get some comments.
Pros:  Cool black lume hands, great dial layout, stealth looks, Swiss Army heritage, reliable Swiss quartz movement
Cons:  What the hell time is it?!? (ie:  overall practicality)
Verdict:  Black is beautiful!  Should definitely get some looks or comments, Impractical, yes, but still quite cool
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.
I sold this watch after about six months and since then have tried and sold at least two other all black stealth watches, which have also been reviewed on this blog.  The stealth concept is cool, but I seem to tire of it quickly.  But that still doesn’t mean that Sinn model is out of the picture!
-MCV, 12-1-11


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