Our History

Originating from inside a cutler's workshop in 1884, Victorinox stands for quality, functionality, innovation and iconic design, and has done for more than 130 years.

Today, Victorinox is a global company with five product categories: Swiss Army Knives, Household and Professional Knives, Watches, Travel Gear and Fragrances.

Karl Elsener I opens a knife cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz. His mother Victoria actively supports him in his endeavors. 

Karl Elsener I establishes the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers. As a result, he is able to deliver the first major supply of soldier’s knives to the Swiss Army.
The original Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife is patented. It is known around the world today as the “Swiss Army Knife”.

In memoriam of his mother, Karl Elsener I chooses her first name Victoria as the brand name and registers the emblem with the cross and shield as a trademark. Today it is a registered trademark in over 120 countries.

The invention of stainless steel (Inox) is a highly significant development for the cutlery industry. The combination of the two words “Inox” and “Victoria” results in today’s company and brand name – Victorinox.
Carl Elsener II introduces automation. In 1931, Brown Boveri is commissioned to set up the world’s first all-electric hardening plant in Ibach. This guarantees that all knives are of a consistent high quality.

US soldiers stationed in Europe after World War Two buy it in large quantities and it is a popular souvenir to take home.

Carl Elsener III takes over the company management.

The Original Swiss Army Knife becomes an exhibit for design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Nasa orders 50 Officer Knives Master Craftsman 

Transformation of sole proprietorship “Messerfabrik Carl Elsener” into the family-owned company “Victorinox AG.”

The company doubles its manufacturing and office space.

Market entry for “Watches” under its Swiss Army brand in North America with its former U.S. sales partner.

Opening of the first sales subsidiary in Japan.

Establishment of Carl and Elise Elsener Gut Foundation with the mission to support national and international charitable projects.

Market entry for “Travel Gear” with the American TRG Group in St. Louis as licensee.

Establishment of the Victorinox Foundation which holds 90 % of the share capital of Victorinox AG. The remaining 10 % belong to the non-profit Carl and Elise Elsener-Gut Foundation.

Launch of a clothing line in the U.S. and opening of the first Victorinox store in Soho, New York.

Acquisition of the long-standing Swiss knife and watch manufacturer Wenger SA in Delémont. Wenger remains an independently operating subsidiary of Victorinox.

Carl Elsener IV takes over the company management and further expands Victorinox as a global multi-product brand.

Establishment of Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance AG.

Opening of the first European Victorinox flagship store in London.

Opening of the Swiss Knife Valley Visitor Center in Brunnen, Switzerland.

Carl Elsener III gets inducted into the BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame.

Integration of the Wenger knife business into the Victorinox brand.

Acquisition of the travel gear business from previous licensee and establishment of the new business unit Victorinox Travel Gear AG.

Opening of a store at a prime location in the city center of Zurich.

Carl Elsener gets inducted into the BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame

The BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame® is the highest honor on the planet for individuals who demonstrate exceptional contributions to the world of knives. Only one or two people are inducted annually during a ceremony at BLADE Show.

Brandstore and Museum, Brunnen
Flagshipstore Zurich

Construction of the Watch Competence Center in Delémont, Switzerland.

Discontinuation of Apparel to focus on the core product categories.

Production of 500-millionth “Original Swiss Army Knife”.

Ground breaking for a new distribution center in Seewen, Switzerland.

The investment of some CHF 50 million represents a clear commitment to the Schwyz location.
125th anniversary of Wenger.