|Victorinox Swiss Army - I.N.O.X.|
Today, Victorinox produces and distributes a range of valuable quality products with practical usefulness for various areas of life throughout the world: Swiss Army Knives, Household and Professional Cutlery, Timepieces, Travel Gear, Fashion and Fragrances. All these products embody the spirit of the “Original Swiss Army Knife”.
Throughout its 125-year history, Victorinox has remained true to its approach and principles. The characteristic features of the “Original Swiss Army Knife” continue to have a strong influence on the company’s orientation and shape the guiding concept for its product development and market approach in six core areas: Swiss Army Knives, Household and Professional Cutlery, Timepieces, Travel Gear, Fashion and Fragrances. All of the products manufactured under the Victorinox brand and distributed around the world embody the spirit of the “Original Swiss Army Knife”. They differentiate themselves from competitive products through their unique functionality combined with outstanding design.
Victorinox has its roots in the heart of Switzerland and celebrates a commitment to Swiss quality. This has a direct impact on the manufacturing process, wherever it takes place and is ultimately expressed in the exceptional quality of the final products.
Victorinox has become an ambassador for Swiss quality around the world. The majority of the company’s products, such as Swiss Army Knives, Household and Professional Cutlery, Timepieces and Fragrances, are produced in Switzerland. Other products, such as Travel Gear and Fashion, come from countries that can provide the necessary professional, personnel and technical resources for economical manufacture.
Through innovative logistics solutions as well as the use of radio frequency Victorinox can be identified by and experienced through its brand names, “Victorinox” and “Victorinox Swiss Army”. In the dynamic environment of a global marketplace, where products are increasingly the same and imitating innovation is standard practice, a strong brand finds its own orientation, making differentiation possible.
Since its founding in 1884 Victorinox has been a family enterprise, and this independence has proved its worth to the present day. Ten percent of the corporation’s shares are held by the founding family Elsener. Ninety percent are held by the Victorinox foundations. This model creates ideal conditions for the solution of successor issues, secures the continuity of the company and offers a guarantee for the long-term retention of jobs.
Victorinox is represented in eight countries on four continents through its subsidiaries. The worldwide sales organization currently includes brand stores in Tokyo, New York and Paris as well as Flagship Stores in London and Geneva. In addition to these stores, the brand’s global retail concept is supported by a large number of shop-in-shop retail locations.
Victorinox combines the world-famous Swiss Army Knives, household and professional cutlery, highly functional precision timepieces, high-quality travel gear, fashionable functional fashion and a line of fragrances for modern people on the go under one roof.
- Swiss Army Knives, Household and Professional Cutlery: Victorinox AG, Ibach-Schwyz (Switzerland)
- Timepieces: Victorinox Swiss Army Watch SA, Biel/Bienne (Switzerland)
- Travel Gear: TRG Group, St. Louis, MO, USA
- Fashion: Victorinox SA Apparel LLC, New York (USA)
- Fragrances: Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance AG, Ibach-Schwyz (Switzerland)
The range of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives encompasses over 360 models with up to 80 functions. Victorinox offers approximately 540 different pieces of Household and Professional Cutlery for use in homes or professional kitchens. In addition, the brand produces cutlery and kitchen sets, universal knife block sets and other cutlery instruments for various applications.
Victorinox Swiss Army Knives and multi-tools enjoy an outstanding reputation throughout the world and are very popular with users of all ages and nationalities. The current broad range of products originates from a soldier’s knife that the company’s founder, Karl Elsener, delivered to the Swiss army for the first time in 1891.
Somewhat later, Elsener developed the “Original Swiss Army Knife”. This was lighter and more elegant than the official soldier’s knife and included six practical tools. And with this, the concept of the multi-tool was born. Officers in the Swiss army bought this versatile pocket tool privately in stores and very soon this revolutionary product found an ever-greater following. Demand then developed abroad. After World War II, the US Army, Navy, and Air Force PX stores sold the “Original Swiss Army Knife” to their officers and soldiers.
Over the years, the multifunctional pocket knife expanded as further tools and functions were added. Today, the “Original Swiss Army Knife” is available in more than 100 variations and combinations.
High-precision processing of steel is a core competence at the Victorinox production facilities in Switzerland. This skill finds practical application not only in the world famous Swiss Army Knives, but also in an exclusive range of Household and Professional Cutlery for professional chefs and butchers as well as household cooks. Ergonomics and ease of handling are the underlying criteria for this range of products and always in combination with Victorinox quality in the true sense of the word.
Distribution is handled through eight subsidiaries as well as through distributorships in more than 100 countries on all five continents. Victorinox is the largest employer in Canton Schwyz as well as the largest knife manufacturer in Europe. 28 000 Swiss Army Knives and approximately 32 000 other multi-tools leave the plant daily. In addition, 60 000 household and professional knives are also produced. Victorinox exports 90% of its total production.
The Victorinox Swiss Army Timepieces are defined by values that underscore the 125-year success of Victorinox products: Swiss quality, functionality, inventiveness and distinctive design.
The range of Victorinox watches, with over 180 models, is divided into three segments: “Active” for dynamic people; “Classic” for a sporting, luxury-oriented target group; “Professional” for those who demand the utmost in performance and functionality.
The Victorinox Swiss Army brand emerged from a fusion of the Victorinox watchmaking business and other Victorinox products. The brand Swiss Army was a creation of the American partner of Victorinox in 1989, which successfully launched the first watch collection under this brand name. The Swiss Army brand enjoys over 90% awareness in the USA. Since integration into the Victorinox Group, Victorinox Swiss Army Timepieces have increasingly gained international exposure and recognition. It should therefore come as no surprise that others have constantly tried to misuse this brand for their own purposes.
Every product line has its own identity, its own style and its own expression. Nevertheless, all models share a common set of characteristics, which give them a distinctive status. These include sturdiness, a high technical standard, innovative design and exceptionally high quality. The high performance and broad range of functions make the Victorinox Swiss Army Timepieces reliable companions in all of life’s situations.
The precision timepieces from Victorinox are manufactured in the company’s own assembly facilities in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking region in Canton Jura. Sales and marketing are located in Biel/Bienne. Distribution is through the Victorinox subsidiaries and distribution partners in more than 80 countries throughout the world.
Victorinox Swiss Army produces its timepieces in its own workshops based on criteria that emphasize technical performance, so as to optimize usefulness and practicality. They meet the highest standards of the Swiss watchmaking industry. Before leaving the facility, each watch is certified after undergoing a battery of 70 tests, executed in 2 in-house homologation workshops. Among the most important tests are water resistance, temperature, corrosion, UV, traction and torsion, vibration and shock resistance, aging and wear. In addition to this long control process, they are also visually inspected between each manufacturing step. For these reasons, Victorinox Swiss Army watches have a three-year warranty. They are genuine precision instruments, modern and timeless in design, and built to last.
Victorinox Swiss Army equips its watches with Swiss Made mechanical and precision quartz movements. It selects from the best manufacturers in the country – suppliers like ETA, which has demonstrated a unique know-how in the manufacturing of movements for 200 years. ETA movements animate the brand’s mechanical watches (Valjoux, Valgranges, Unitas) and some quartz chronographs. The other supplier, RONDA, provides quartz movements with innovative new functions.
For special editions of mechanical watches, Victorinox Swiss Army develops proprietary movements with prestigious manufacturing partners. It does the same for the integration of original electronic modules, developed and produced in Switzerland for powering models like, for example, the night vision.
Victorinox Swiss Army Watches: Icons
Original: This is the brand’s first watch model, launched in 1989 in the United States. It has of course changed constantly over the years, while remaining one of the main references in the catalog. It showcases the strengths and values always displayed by Victorinox Swiss Army watch: easy readability, assertive design, superior quality and attractive price.
INFANTRY: as its name suggests, this model draws its inspiration from both the historical heritage of Victorinox and the tradition of military watches.
AIRBOSS: On an aircraft carrier, the role of the Airboss is absolutely essential: he is the officer responsible for all flights, takeoffs and landings. A watch that is robust, functional and reliable is therefore a must.
NIGHTVISION: Created in 2003 and later completely redesigned, the night vision owes its name to an ingenious lighting system composed of light emitting diodes (LED) of very low energy consumption. Far from being a gimmick, this exclusive device reveals its usefulness in a wide range of circumstances. A short press of the button activates a blue LED that illuminates the dial for optimal readability.
MAVERICK: The youthful and rugged good looks of the Maverick have quickly established it as a favorite. There are several versions (three hands with date, second time zone, and chronograph), several sizes and several color variations to suit all tastes.
DIVE MASTER 500: This model was introduced in 2003. Since, its success has never wavered. It expresses at first glance its strong character. The sturdy construction of the case and the perfect legibility of the dial, complemented by a 3mm thick sapphire crystal and 2mm thick caseback, make this watch a perfect instrument for deep-water diving.
CHRONO CLASSIC: A chronograph that is both timeless and sporty in style, with a sleek and elegant case highlighted by twisted horns. This balance of proportions, which continues in the dial’s subtle finishes, in no way detracts from its sportiness.
INOX: Launched in 2014, INOX pays tribute to Victorinox history. Its name honours an early 20th century invention that did much for the development and success of the Swiss Army Knife: stainless steel. ‘Inox' (French for ‘stainless steel’) is synonymous with material strength, durability and resistance to corrosion.
The Victorinox Travel Gear collections include a large range of luggage, business cases, lifestyle bags, backpacks, travel accessories and personal leather goods. Each piece is designed to handle the heavy demands of intensive travel and stands out for its highly developed technology, functionality and durability. Victorinox Travel Gear is manufactured under license in the USA by TRG Group, with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. This specialized company has produced a comprehensive range of all types of luggage and bags for Victorinox since 1999.
Victorinox Fashion matches to the character of an active generation, which is often under way on business or pleasure. The perfect combination of natural and technical materials ensures comfort and a good feeling of always wearing just the right thing: in town, in the country, in the mountains, and on a trip. The collection includes clothing for work and play as well as indoor and outdoor activities of all kinds. The Victorinox Fashion collection was developed for the North American market in 2001 and has established itself as a label with a unique character in the course of a few years. The Victorinox SA Apparel LLC has its headquarters in New York (USA) and distribution and logistics is controlled by Victorinox Swiss Army Inc., Monroe, CT (USA). The distribution of Victorinox Fashion is exclusively done through carefully selected sales channels. These include the Victorinox Flagship Store in London as well as the brand stores in New York and Tokyo. Further distribution partners are exclusive retailers as well as leading e-commerce sites for luxury goods.
The Victorinox Fragrances emote a hint of the experience of sun, wind and weather in equal measure with the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss mountain region. The art of composing a fragrance lies in creating a unique fragrant touch from a wealth of possibilities. In both of the Victorinox Fragrance families, Victorinox Swiss Unlimited and Swiss Army, the perfume designers at Victorinox have succeeded in capturing and expressing this characteristic “Swiss feeling” in a refreshing way. The Victorinox Fragrance engagement began in 2003. Through the takeover of Wenger, Victorinox became the owner of a line of fragrances and perceived an opportunity there. The challenge was to transfer the spirit of the “Original Swiss Army Knife” into the world of fragrances. And, in fact, with their authentic Swiss accents, the products in the Victorinox Fragrance line capture the unique character that distinguishes the Victorinox brand completely.
The Distribution Network
Victorinox has Flagship Stores in London, Geneva and Dusseldorf. These shops carry the house’s full line of products: multi-purpose tools and pocket knives, watches, fashion accessories, luggage and fragrances. it also has 360 branded shops in the world, including in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Paris. All shops and Flagship Stores are operated by legally independent companies, which belong to the Foundation. In addition to the fully-owned sales subsidiaries and marketing in ten countries, sales in other countries go through about 70 distributors.
Milestones in the Company’s History
- 1884: Karl Elsener opens a cutlery workshop in Ibach-Schwyz with the support of his mother Victoria.
- 1891: The Swiss Cutlery Union is founded on the initiative of Karl Elsener. Karl Elsener and his co-workers deliver soldier’s knives to the Swiss Army for the first time.
- 1897: The name “Swiss Officer’s and Sport Knife” is legally protected on June 12. This model later becomes known around the world as the “Original Swiss Army Knife”.
- 1909: After the death of his mother, Karl Elsener introduces the brand name Victoria in her honor.
- 1909: The Company’s founder legally registers the distinctive emblem with the cross and shield as a trademark. It is now a registered trademark in more than 120 countries.
- 1921: The invention of stainless steel is of central importance for the cutlery industry. Karl Elsener coins the company’s new name, Victorinox, by combining his mother’s name “Victoria” with “inox”. (Inox is derived from the French word “inoxydable”, which means stainless.)
- 1931: The Brown Boveri Company sets up the first fully-electrical hardening plant in the world at Victorinox.
- 1945: The “Original Swiss Army Knife” starts out on its successful career around the world and proves to be a best-seller in US Army PX stores.
- 1979: On January 2, the previous one-man company “Messerfabrik Carl Elsener” is converted into the family-owned company, Victorinox AG.
- 1984: The Company doubles the size of its plant and office space. 810 employees generate more than CHF 80 million in revenue.
- 1989: The Victorinox USA distribution partner enters the watch business in the USA under the Swiss Army brand.
- 1992: The Company opens its own sales subsidiary in Japan. Further subsidiaries follow in subsequent years.
- 1999: Victorinox enters the travel gear market and issues a manufacturing and sales license to the American TRG Group in St. Louis.
- 1999: The Company expands its watch business and sets up Victorinox Watch SA in Bonfol, in the Swiss Jura watch-making region.
- 2000: The Victorinox Foundation is set up. It holds 75% of the shares in Victorinox AG. A further 15% are held by the charitable Carl and Elise Elsener-Gut Foundation.
- 2001: Victorinox launches a fashion line in the USA.
- 2001: The first Victorinox store opens its doors to the public in the trendy New York Soho district.
- 2002: The publicly traded US distribution partner Swiss Army Brands Inc. is privatized.
- 2003: Victorinox takes over the US-American company Wenger NA, including the fragrance label “Swiss Army Fragrance”.
- 2005: Victorinox takes over the traditional Swiss cutlery and watch manufacturer Wenger SA in Delémont, Jura.
- 2006: Victorinox Watch SA moves from Bonfol to its new watch production facilities in Porrentruy, Jura.
- 2007: Victorinox sets up Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance AG based at its head office. The former Wenger fragrance line is repositioned in the market and is branded with the Victorinox emblem. The Headquarters of the watch division are transferred from Shelton (USA) to Biel - city where Victorinox Swiss Army Watch SA still has its headquarters (management and general administration, product development, customer service, marketing and sales departments).
- 2008: Victorinox opens its first Flagship Store in Europe on New Bond Street in London.
- 2009: Victorinox now employs more than 1700 employees worldwide and generates revenues of around CHF 500 million.Opening of the first Swiss Victorinox Flagship Store in Geneva. Victorinox Swiss Army is the first watch brand to offer an iPhone application. Presented at Baselworld, it displays all models of the watches in its catalog at 1:1 scale.
- 2011: Victorinox opens its first Flagship Store in Germany, in düsseldorf.
2012: For the first time in its history, Victorinox launches a global communication campaign, displaying authentic testimonies of clients attached to branded products. For many of these clients, their products proved to be loyal companions in significant dramatic and joyful moments of their lives.
2014: Victorinox Presents INOX watch collection in coincide with its 130th anniversary. Its watchmaking division, Victorinox Swiss Army, celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Official website: https://www.victorinox.com/ch/en/