Victorinox 1897 Replica Swiss Army Knife
The Replica 1897 Swiss Army Knife; (photos/Victorinox)

Victorinox Celebrates 125th Anniversary of Swiss Army Knife With Replica Build

It’s hard to imagine a tool with more worldwide recognition than the Swiss Army knife.

The world’s most popular multitool has flown on NASA space missions since the late 1970s. Secret agent Angus MacGyver frequently used a Swiss Army knife to escape bad guys in the eponymous 1980s television show. The 2016 film “Swiss Army Man” tapped Daniel Radcliffe to play a corpse used as a multitool (it’s weird).

You know it’s a cultural mainstay when the Amazon comment section for the Giant Swiss Army Knife becomes a competition of absurdist humor: “What? No cowbell?

This month marks the 125th anniversary of the original Swiss Army knife produced in 1897. Victorinox, the knife’s original maker, is celebrating by releasing a replica of its first-ever pocket knife.

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The limited-edition knife, called the Replica 1897, will be available on the company’s website starting June 10.

The company has said it will produce only 9,999 units of the Replica, which follows the first patented design. You’ll find just six tools on board: a long blade, short blade, awl, can opener, screwdriver, and corkscrew.

The Replica mimics the original in style and functionality. But it also retains several of the improvements made in the 125 years since the knife’s inception.

Back in 1897, folks called it the Original Officer’s and Sports Knife, and it featured carbon steel tools. The Replica edition, however, uses the stainless steel that has become standard for Victorinox knives since 1922. The tool’s rivets are nickel silver, however, retaining a bit of the old-timey accuracy.

Knifemakers assemble the Replica by hand from 18 individual parts, and it comes in a red “time-capsule” box.

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You can learn all the differences between the original and the Replica in this YouTube video from Victorinox, which also includes a comparison with the Spartan model — the company’s modern standard. The Spartan bears some significant improvements, sure, but perhaps the most interesting thing about it is its similarity to the original.

Even 125 years later, the original design is instantly recognizable as the knife that became a household name across the globe.

Victorinox 1897 Replica Swiss Army Knife
Victorinox Celebrates 125th Anniversary of Swiss Army Knife With Replica Build
This month marks the 125th anniversary of the original Swiss Army knife, produced in 1897. Victorinox marks it with a replica of its first-ever build. Read more…

Andrew McLemore
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Andrew McLemore is the Associate News Editor of Lola Digital Media.
Andrew has more than 10 years of experience covering a range of beats including government, education and business, with specializations in criminal justice and investigative journalism. He has worked for newspapers across Texas, including The Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News and The Fort Worth Weekly. He also spent several years in PR, working for nonprofit organizations including the Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.
Now based in Ecuador, Andrew brings his writing experience to outdoor gear and adventures throughout the Americas. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.