When one thinks of Victorinox they often envision the iconic red knife carried and used by civilians and military personnel for more than a century. The Swiss Army knife is one of the most recognizable tools the world has ever known. The bright red color adorned with the familiar Swiss Cross, the multitude of specialty tools, superior craftsmanship and excellent customer service have earned the company a place in pockets on every continent. Another quintessential industry the Swiss are known for are fine timepieces. In 1989 these two revered Swiss industries combined when Victorinox released their first wrist watches. It was fitting that the United States was the first market for the new venture; during World War II American soldiers eagerly sought the pocket tools as souvenirs often referring to them as “Swiss Army Knives”.
A Little Background
In 1884, Karl Elsener I, opened a small cutlery shop in Ibach-Schwyz with the support of his mother. The factory is still located in the small village of Ibach to this day. It took several years to perfect his product. His hard work paid off when less than a decade after opening he was awarded a profitable contract to supply knives to the Swiss Army. An early version of the knife was patented in 1897. When Elsener registered his brand and trademark he chose his mother’s name, Victoria. The eventual development of stainless – also called INOX – steel transformed the cutlery industry and inspired the hybrid name Victorinox. Victorinox is still a family-owned business and Karl Elsener IV is at the helm. The company continues to bring their manufacturing expertise to every product bearing the Victorinox name.
Two Worlds Converge
For the venerable Swiss manufacturer, the evolution to wrist tools was inevitable. Watches may seem like an unnecessary accessory, but for those seeking adventure they are every bit as necessary as the esteemed red knife in their pocket. Whether the adventure is a busy day around town or a wilderness trip where phone coverage is questionable, a simple twist of the wrist will help keep you on time. Some models offer even more information such as stop watch functions, circular slide rule or simply just the date. Function and durability have been fundamental to the success of Victorinox for more than 130 years. Their watches may be modestly priced, but designed to be “true companions for life”. The Victorinox watch draws inspiration from the functional design of the Swiss Army Knife. Every design is subjected to over 100 tests, including:
- Wear, vibration and shock resistance
The company stays true to tradition but also seeks to pioneer and adopt the latest technologies.
A Caution About Counterfeits
All Victorinox watches have the signature Cross and Shield emblem and the name of the brand – either Victorinox or Victorinox Swiss Army – on the dial. Victorinox are the only watches licensed by the Swiss government to use the name Swiss Army. The current lineup of Victorinox Swiss Army watches honors the high standards of previous generations. Affordably priced, but with exceptional features all Victorinox watches are:
- Durable: with a sapphire crystal and water resistant to a depth 100m or more
- Easy to read: With anti-reflective coating and luminescent hands and markers.
- Precise: With analog quartz movement or the finest Swiss-made mechanical components
For a complete lineup of the latest, wonderfully priced timepieces from Victorinox please visit Brinker’s Jewelers showroom located at 111 South Green River Rd. in Evansville, Indiana or www.BrinkersJewelers.com.