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Victorinox’s iconic travel toolbox turns 125

A Swiss Army Knife has always been a must-have travel accessory in my opinion.

Even nowadays, when I can’t carry it in my pocket or carry-on baggage when flying, I always have one packed in my checked baggage.

It’s like a miniature toolbox… small, versatile and durable and has been very useful in countless situations during my travels.

The 125th anniversary Swiss Army Knife.
Camera IconThe 125th anniversary Swiss Army Knife. Credit: Supplied

It is one of those products we all know and love… and this year, the legendary Swiss Army Knife turns 125.

Karl Elsener set up his Victorinox cutlery business in Ibach, Switzerland, in 1884.

Four generations later, Victorinox AG is still a family business but it has grown to be one of the most recognisable and well-known brands in the world.

The idea for the knife came to life when, as a supplier of soldier’s knives to the Swiss Army, Mr Elsener wanted to create a lighter, more elegant model for officers. The result was the Officer’s and Sport’s Knife which was first produced and patented in 1897.

True to its roots, the company still produces a range of high-quality cutlery.

But it is fair to say that it is the Swiss Army Knives it is most famous for. Victorinox also produce as a vast range of travel accessories such as briefcases, checked baggage and backpacks – and like any good Swiss company – even has a range of fine watches.

Rumour has it that a time capsule was found was found at the Victorinox headquarters recently.

The finder was curious about what might be in there and took it straight to the office of Carl Elsener, Karl’s great-grandson. They carefully opened the capsule together…and inside was the original Officer’s and Sports Knife.

The 125th anniversary Swiss Army Knife.
Camera IconThe 125th anniversary Swiss Army Knife. Credit: Supplied

This may have been the catalyst for creating a replica model celebrating the 125th anniversary of the knife.

The replica 1897 Swiss Army Knife looks exactly like the original on the outside, but on the inside, it has been upgraded with improvements to the safety of the springs for opening and closing and the blades are made with stainless steel instead of the carbon steel of the original.

The replica has the same six tools, a long blade, short blade/file, screwdriver, awl, can-opener and corkscrew and is made from 18 components, just like the original.

The 125th anniversary model is set to become a collector’s item with only 9999 individually numbered knives available worldwide.

Each knife has the year 1897 engraved on it and comes in a ‘time capsule’ in special 125th anniversary box which reveals the story of the Swiss Army Knife as it is unfolded.

The anniversary knife will be available from victorinox.com.au for $999.

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