|Founder||Karl Elsener and Nicholas Elsener|
|Headquarters||Ibach, Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland|
|Carl Elsener jun.
(President, CEO & Chairman)
|Products||Swiss Army knives, cutlery, watches, travel gear, apparel, flashlights|
|485 Mio. CHF (2008) |
Number of employees
|1,700 (2009) |
|Divisions||Victorinox Swiss Army Watch SA, Biel/Bienne Switzerland
TRG Group, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Victorinox SA Apparel LLC, New York, USA
Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance AG, Switzerland
Victorinox Swiss Army Inc. Monroe, Connecticut, USA
Since its acquisition of rival Wenger in 2005, it has, once more, become the sole supplier of multi-purpose knives to the Swiss army. It is the biggest manufacturer of pocket knives in the world, in addition they have a substantial line of luxury watches.
The company was founded in 1884. Since 1891, the company has delivered knives to the Swiss army. Their famous emblem—a cross in a shield—has been used by Victorinox since 1909. That year, the mother of founder Karl Elsener died and he named the company "Victoria" in her honour. In 1921, with the introduction of "inox" (ab. for acier inoxydable, the French term for stainless steel) into their products, the brand and name of the company became the present "Victorinox" ("Victoria"+"Inox").
In August 2002, Victorinox acquired the American company Swiss Army Brands, Inc (SABI), to unify and gain control of the Victorinox and Swiss Army watch brands. Previously Swiss Army Brands, Inc (SABI) had sold the Swiss Army branded watch in North America and under license had sold the Victorinox branded watch outside North America. But after Victorinox AG acquired Swiss Army Brands, Inc (SABI), a combined Victorinox Swiss Army brand was created and has been marketed worldwide.
On 26 April 2005 Victorinox acquired Wenger, the other official supplier of the Swiss Army knife, announcing that it intended to keep both brands intact. On 30 January 2013 Victorinox announced that the company will integrate Wenger's knife business to strengthen its competitive position internationally.
In 2006 the company had a workforce of 900 employees and produced about 34,000 Swiss Army knives, 38,000 multi-tools, and 30,000 household, kitchen, and knives per workday. Approximately 90 percent of its production is exported, to more than 100 countries.
In 2012 the manufacturing of a Swiss Army Knife was featured on a season six episode of the Ultimate Factories (aka Megafactories) television series.
Victorinox claims never to have had to lay off an employee. To avoid this they set aside profits during boom periods to supplement recessionary periods, as well as temporarily contracting employees to other companies as outsourced labour during recessions.
Victorinox has licensed the Swiss Army brand and shield logo to companies producing watches, writing tools, luggage and clothing.
Swiss Army knife
The Swiss Army knife is the best-known Victorinox product. Originally the sole supplier, since 1908 it shared the contract with Wenger. A compromise between the two companies gave Victorinox the right to advertise as the Original Swiss Army Knife, while Wenger laid claim to the title of Genuine Swiss Army Knife. Victorinox took over Wenger in 2005.
Swiss Army knives are widely used outside the army. They are multi-functional tools, and many sizes and functional combinations are produced. NASA astronauts have a Victorinox knife as standard equipment. Victorinox knives have also been taken to Mt. Everest and the Arctic. The "Champion", Victorinox's model flagship prior to the introduction of the "SwissChamp" in 1986, is in the New York Museum of Modern Art's Permanent Design Collection. There is also an active Swiss Army Knife modding community, producing new models from cannibalised parts.
The SwissCard is roughly the size of a business card, typically with a small pair of scissors, a short non-folding knife, a small file with a screwdriver point, a plastic toothpick, tweezers, a slim ballpoint pen, and a straight pin, housed in a hard plastic case of approximately 82 × 50 mm in size, with an inch ruler on one side and metric measurements on the other.
Victorinox has long produced other kitchen cutlery under their own name and the Forschner brand name. In 2011 Victorinox stopped using the Forschner name and produces the same knives with the Victorinox name.
Victorinox also produces the bayonet for the Swiss Stgw 90 assault rifle. The bayonet has an overall length of 310 mm and a muzzle ring diameter of 22 mm. The 177 mm long blade is single-edged and it has no fuller. The bayonets were manufactured exclusively for the Swiss Army by Wenger and Victorinox (before the two companies merged).
In 1989 Victorinox entered the timepiece business in the United States under the brand name "Swiss Army".
Victorinox has various collections of watches, which range from luxury dress watches to rugged dive watches. They feature mechanical and quartz movements. Collections include Infantry, Divemaster, Airboss etc,. The timepieces are produced in Switzerland and are praised for their quality.
SwissTools are Victorinox's multi-tools, i.e. a pair of pliers with other tools folded into the grips.
Victorinox has licensed its name to TRG Group to produce branded travel gear and business accessories.
Soldatenmesser 08, as issued by the Military of Switzerland.
Stgw 90 bayonet, as issued by the Military of Switzerland
Victorinox SwissTool multi-tool.
- „Victorinox: more than a Knife - a Worldbrand“, nachrichten.ch, 6. April 2009
- Kanton Schwyz
- Victorinox - Das Unternehmen
- "Cut down". The Guardian (www.theguardian.com). 5 July 2005. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- BBC (2012-04-06). "Revealed: The Swiss Army knife". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- NASA. "NASA confirm use of Victorinox knives". Retrieved 2006-12-11.
- MoMA. "Victorinox Swiss Officers' Knife Champion (no. 5012)" (pdf). Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- "Victorinox: History", swissarmy.com, Victorinox corporate website
- TRG Group. "TRG Group, About Us". Retrieved 2012-02-09.
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