The Swiss knife is no longer just a knife in the 21st century. It is an icon in the world of cutlery. First made in 1891 in the shop of cutler Karl Elsener, this tool has grown to be one of the fine products offered by a global brand.

When Elsener got the contract to produce a specific knife for the Swiss army, the work moved from the previous German manufacturer to the shop in Ibach-Schwyz. With the enthusiastic support of his mother, the craftsman began to make and deliver the supply of knives for Swiss army soldiers.

swiss army knife

Recognised Around the World

Within a few years, two models of the knife were patented, establishing a foundation for a company that still carries a reference to the cutler’s mother – Victorinox. The term ‘inox’ refers to the quality stainless steel used in the knives.

Millions of people now recognise the Swiss army knife, with its signature Swiss cross plainly visible. The name is a registered trademark in more than 120 countries around the world. Production was automated in the early 1930s, when Carl Elsener II set up a hardening facility that used electricity. For customers, this meant more consistent quality for the final product.

One of the reasons this knife became so popular around the world had to do with the war in Europe in the late 1930s and through the mid-1940s. Soldiers who went to Europe during the conflict purchased these knives and took them home when they were mustered out.

A third generation of the Elsener family continued knife production, with the company eventually becoming Victorinox AG. The product line expanded in the 1990s, with watches and travel gear added to the list. The company added a clothing line in 2001 and grew further with the acquisition of Wenger SA, a Swiss knife and watch manufacturer.

Fourth Generation

Carl Elsener IV is the fourth generation member to head the company, which celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2014. In addition to adding new product lines, the original knife has expanded to cover a wide range of styles and colours. The original red knife with blades, corkscrew, screwdriver and other tools is called the Spartan. All other knives are based on this seminal design. Other options include the Climber, Huntsman, Mountaineer, and Explorer. Each has a different selection of tools.

Knives are available in blue, green, yellow, and white, expanding customer choices even more. If you want to move away from the single-colour idea, you can also buy a boutique design. The list includes Vintage Mintage, Urban Metropolis, Psychedelic Epidemic, and Flower Blossoms, as well as several other unique styles.

Knives in many colours can also be personalised, using up to 32 characters to make your knife one of a kind. Several different fonts are also offered, which expands the personalisation to another level. By the way, you do not have to travel to Switzerland, or even to Europe, to get one of these desirable knives. Leading suppliers in the UK and elsewhere will help you with your purchase through their efficient online ordering process.

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