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Andermatt Swiss Alps

Victorinox Swiss Army Knives – an Icon of Swiss Design Excellence

Precision, tradition, craftsmanship and practicality – can there be a better symbol of Swiss engineering and design than the Swiss army knife?

This design classic, developed by the world-famous Swiss firm Victorinox, has stood the test of time. It was first supplied to the Swiss army in 1891, and remains an indispensible piece of kit for adventurers and craftspeople around the world. The distinctive red case and the cross and shield logo make it instantly distinguishable from any imitations, as does the superior craftsmanship, design and materials.

Victorinox Factory image via Flickr by mueritz

Victorinox was founded by Karl Elsener in the town of Ibach. Today, it is a global brand that has branched out into many other areas, but the company is still the sole supplier of multi-purpose knives to the Swiss army – and the Swiss army knife remains its most iconic product.

The factory is still located in Ibach, and Karl’s great-grandson, Carl Elsener, is today’s CEO.

Brunnen image via Flickr by roger4336

A visitor centre opened in 2011 in the elegant resort town of Brunnen, a 40-minute drive from Andermatt, on the banks of Lake Lucerne. Adjacent to Victorinox’s flagship store, the Swiss Knife Valley visitor centre celebrates not just this world-famous design icon, but the stunning landscape which inspired it. Interactive exhibits and films show you the wonders of the Schwyz region, and there’s even the opportunity to help make your own Swiss Army Knife and have it personally engraved. There are few better places to explore Switzerland’s proud legacy of world-famous design and to acquire your own part of it.

Here at Andermatt Swiss Alps we are particular fans of Victorinox because the firm symbolises and shares of many of the tenets that underpin our own development: a healthy respect for the majestic Alpine landscape, a commitment to timeless design, and strong environmental principles.

Click here to read more about another classic Swiss export.

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