Picture of Karl Elsener.
Karl Elsener

The roots of the company lies in 1884, in that year the company was founded by Karl Elsener. But it was in 1921 that the company got its name which is now recognized throughout the world: Victorinox. The change of the company name was done by Karl Elsener in honor of his mother who died in 1909. The company name Victorinox stemmed from a combination of Victoria and inox. Victoria was the name of Karl Elsener's mother, and inox came from the French term for stainless steel: 'Acier Inoxidable'.

Picture of Victoris Elsener.
Victoria Elsener

The company delivered the first Soldier's Knife to the Swiss Army in 1891. However, Karl Elsener sought ways to improve the knife further and found a solution in the mid 1890's. He invented a special spring mechanism that enabled more utensils to be added without increasing the size of the knife's handle: the Officer's Knife was born and registered in 1897.

The knives from Victorinox gained popularity shortly after World War II. American soldiers in Europe were fond of the versatile knifes and bought them while shopping in the US military PX stores (postal exchange stores).

After further expansion in the later decades of the 20th century, Victorinox launched its first line of watches in 1989. Further diversification came with the range of luggage in 1999. At the beginning of the 21st century, Victorinox developed a leisure and business clothing collection for the North American market. All products of the five categories in which the company is active (multi-tools, household/ professional cutlery, watches, luggage and clothing) must comply to the high quality standards which is accustomed with the Victorinox brand.

Picture of Officer's Knife from 1897.
Officer's Knife 1897
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