2022 has been a milestone year for Victorinox as they celebrate 125 years of their iconic Swiss Army Knife. Tsunami Costabir catches up with the Elsener family, the innovation behind the little red knife, and the perfection the company strives for!
In Ibach-Schwyz, a small town in Switzerland, Sir Karl Elsener set up a cutler’s workshop in 1884. He started to supply knives to the Swiss Army, and by 1897, he developed the Swiss Officers Knife and Sports Knife, which today is known as the iconic Swiss Army Knife. Victorinox, Europe’s largest knife manufacturer, manufactures about 10 million Swiss Army Knives annually. The Swiss Army Knife is one of the world’s best tools — a benchmark for its compact and versatile nature, and Switzerland’s most well-known ambassador.
True quality is always found in the details, and Victorinox, to this day, keeps up with its research and information to create better products. Their design aims to combine ergonomics, shape and function.
The knife was patented in 1897 and known worldwide as the “Original Swiss Army Knife”. Since then, it has become a tool for adventurers worldwide. Over the last 125 years, the knife has seen variations and transitions – experimenting with different features and models, and is exported to over 120 countries. But, what has stayed is their standard for high-quality products.
True quality is always found in the details, and Victorinox, to this day, keeps up with its research and information to create better products. Their design aims to combine ergonomics, shape and function. Variations of the knife for better utility include the Huntsman, Swiss Champ, Camper, Fieldmaster, Climber, Spartan, Handyman, Ranger, Hiker and other limited editions.
The finesse of Victorinox is not just seen in their production of the Swiss Army Knife, but also in all their products – watches, cutlery, backpacks and bottles. Victorinox also focuses on the environment and sustainability. Their sites in Ibach, Seewen and Delemont focus on using renewable energy with expansive solar panels in the Ibach and Delemont regions that secure a part of the energy requirements. As for their packaging, they work on using only as much as is necessary. 90% of their cardboard packaging is made from recovered paper, and 100% of it is made from chlorine-free bleached paper.
Victorinox celebrated the momentous milestone of the 125th year of the Swiss Army Knife at Taj Palace in Mumbai recently, where attendees had the opportunity to a Round Table with Mr Carl Elsener, the fourth generation of the family-owned company.
Carl Elsener IV is a firm believer in humane, sustainable and fair business practices, and his business philosophy is the foundation of his success as a business leader: “The founding principle of our company is to produce practical and functional high-quality products for people around the world. Our customers, employees, and the quality of our products are the cornerstones of our corporate philosophy. The key factors in our long-term success are basic human values like credibility, openness, trust, respect, gratitude, modesty, courage and responsibility.”
Congratulations to the Elsener family for continuing their glorious legacy of giving the world the best of their innovation and finesse. Long Live The Swiss Army Knife!