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.

1884 Karl Elsener I opens a cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz. His mother Victoria actively supports him in his endeavors.

1891 Karl Elsener I establishes the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers. As a result, he is able to deliver the first major supply of to the Swiss Army.

1897 The original Swiss Officer’s and Sports is patented. It is known around the world today as the “Swiss Army Knife”.

1909 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.

1921 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.

1931 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.

1945 US soldiers stationed in Europe after World War Two buy it in large quantities and it is a popular souvenir to take home.

1950 Carl Elsener III takes over the company management

1977 The Original Swiss Army Knife becomes an exhibit for design at the in New York.

1978 Nasa orders 50 Officer Knives Master Craftsman

1979 Transformation of sole proprietorship “Messerfabrik Carl Elsener” into the family-owned company “Victorinox AG.”

1984 The company doubles its manufacturing and office space.

1989 Market entry for “Watches” under its Swiss Army brand in North America with its former U.S. sales partner.

1993 Opening of the first sales subsidiary in Japan.

1994 Establishment of Carl and Elise Elsener Gut Foundation with the mission to support national and international charitable projects.

1999 Market entry for “Travel Gear” with the American TRG Group in St. Louis as licensee.

2000 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.

2001 Launch of a clothing line in the U.S. and opening of the first Victorinox store in Soho, New York.

2005 Acquisition of the long-standing Swiss knife and watch manufacturer Wenger SA in Delémont. Wenger remains an independently operating subsidiary of Victorinox.

2007 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.

2008 Opening of the first European Victorinox flagship store in London.

2011 Opening of the Swiss Knife Valley Visitor Center in Brunnen, Switzerland.

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

2013 Integration of the Wenger knife business into the Victorinox brand.

2014 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.

2016 Construction of the Watch Competence Center in Delémont, Switzerland.

2017 Discontinuation of Apparel to focus on the core product categories.

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

2018 125th anniversary of Wenger.

2019 Opening of a brand store in Lausanne.

2020 After two years of construction, opening of the new distribution center in Seewen, Switzerland.

Acquisition of Zena Swiss AG, traditional Swiss manufacturer of the economy peeler.

Opening of first European Victorinox Franchise Store in Vienna.

2022 125th Anniversary of the ""Original Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife.
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Ibach, Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland

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Victorinox is a Swiss luxury watch brand that has been crafting timepieces for more than 130 years. Founded in 1884, the brand has become renowned for its precision, durability, and innovative designs. Victorinox is particularly known for its Swiss Army collection of watches, which includes several rugged timepieces that can withstand extreme conditions. From classic dress watches to sporty chronographs, Victorinox offers an extensive range of collections that cater to various preferences and styles. The brand’s commitment to quality and precision has earned them a loyal following of watch enthusiasts around the world.


Victorinox is founded in Switzerland.


First Swiss Army knife produced.


The first Swiss Army watch is launched.


Victorinox becomes an official supplier of the Swiss Army.


Victorinox introduces the Night Vision watch with LED lighting


Launch of the Airboss Mach 6, a pilot's watch with a slide-rule bezel.


Victorinox collaborates with Swiss Arctic explorer Børge Ousland to create the North Pole collection.


Launch of the INOX watch, known for its strength and durability


Victorinox partners with independent watchmaker Damien Challet to create exclusive timepieces.




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Unit 1 Markham, Ontario L3R 5M1
Tel: + 1 905 475 2050

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