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History

1884

After working as a journeyman in Paris and in the southern German town of Tuttlingen, Karl Elsener opens his own cutler’s business in Ibach-Schwyz. The energy for running the grinding and polishing machines is supplied by a waterwheel driven by the Tobelbach stream.

1891

The Swiss Army is supplied with soldiers' knives for the first time.

1897

On June 12, the Swiss Officer's and Sports Knife is patented.

1909

In order to distinguish it from copies, the company founder decides to use the cross and shield, the current Victorinox emblem, on all pocket knives from then on.

1909

Following the death of his mother, the company founder chooses her first name Victoria as the name of the company.

1921

Stainless steel is invented (also known as ‘inox’ for short). By combining inox with Victoria, the new brand Victorinox is created.

1931

The company Brown Boveri sets up the world’s first all-electric hardening plant for Victorinox.

1945

After the Second World War, the PX stores of the U.S. Army, Marines and Air Force sell large numbers of the ‘Swiss Officer’s Knife’ to their officers and soldiers. The Americans call it ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for short. This term is adopted in all English-speaking countries.

1969

Some of the household and professional knives are manufactured in a new 5-story building.

1980

The largest expansion to date sees an increase in manufacturing, office and storage space from 11,000 to 27,000 m². A staff of 730 generates sales in excess of 65 million Swiss francs.

1989

The Swiss Army Watches are launched on the U.S. market with great success.

1992

The first Victorinox sales branch is founded in Japan. In subsequent years, other subsidiaries are opened in Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Hong Kong/China, Vietnam and Chile.

1999

In order to strengthen the Victorinox brand and to broaden its appeal, a Travel Gear line is developed. It is manufactured under license according to strict quality guidelines.

1999

The founding of Victorinox Watch SA in Bonfol results in an expansion of the Timepieces department.

2000

The Victorinox Foundation is established. Its stated objective is to provide job security in the long term and to ensure financial independence.

2001

A leisure and business clothing collection is designed for the North American market. It wins over customers by offering the same high-quality standards as the Swiss Army Knife.

2001

All five Victorinox product categories (pocket tools, household and professional knives, timepieces, travel gear and fashion) are for the first time presented together in a flagship store in Soho, New York.

2002

Victorinox becomes the sole shareholder of Swiss Army Brands Inc. in the U.S. Its sales therefore exceed CHF 400m for the first time.

2005

The takeover of Wenger SA, Delémont/JU, a knife manufacturer since 1893 and also a supplier to the Swiss Army, is intended to ensure the ongoing development of the Swiss Army Knife and its Swiss production site.

2006

The watch factory is relocated to Porrentruy.

2007

Relaunch of Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrances under the Victorinox emblem.

2007

Victorinox founds the company Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance AG at its head office. The former Wenger perfume line is repositioned and branded with the Victorinox emblem.

2008

Victorinox opens its first European flagship store in New Bond Street, London.

2009

Victorinox has a global workforce of over 1,700 and generates sales of about 500m Swiss francs.