Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Victorinox or Wenger?

Swiss Army Knife - Victorinox or Wenger?

Elsener, through his company Victorinox, managed to corner the market until 1893, when the second industrial cutler of Switzerland, Paul Boechat & Cie, headquartered in Delémont in the French-speaking region of Jura, started selling a similar product. This company was later acquired by its then General Manager, Theodore Wenger, and renamed the Wenger Company.

In 1908 the Swiss government, wanting to prevent an issue over regional favouritism, but perhaps wanting a bit of competition in hopes of lowering prices, split the contract with Victorinox and Wenger, each getting half of the orders placed. By mutual agreement, Wenger advertises as the Genuine Swiss Army Knife and Victorinox uses the slogan the Original Swiss Army Knife. However, on April 26, 2005, Victorinox acquired Wenger, thus once again becoming the sole supplier of knives to the Swiss Army. However, on the consumer side Victorinox has stated that it intends to keep both brands intact.

In 2006, Wenger produced a knife with 85 devices and 110 functions to commemorate Wenger's 100th anniversary in the Swiss Army knife business. The Giant, as it's called, is a novelty collector's item that is nearly 9 inches thick, and retails for about U.S. $1200 (See complete list of implements, p.4).

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Army_knife

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