Thursday, November 27, 2014

VICTORINOX COLLECTION: Victorinox National Flag Series 58mm (1990s)

Back in the 1990s, Victorinox has released a number of Collections, usually in groups of five, packaged in presentation boxes.  Of all the collection series, the National Flag collection/series is the one which captured my attention.  I think it is the fact that currently, it is hard to find all the pieces and it will keep my interest for a long time.

The original first collection: Flaggen der 5 Nachbarländer der Schweiz (1.8833.1) or the Flags of the Five Neighboring Countries of Switzerland was sold from 1995 to 2001.  It consisted of flags from Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.

Together with the boxed collection, Victorinox also released the same series for a number of countries.  Initially, only those country's flags indicating the shell color (indicated by the purple font on the image below) were produced.  A minimum order quantity of 200 pieces was required to produce a model.  Eventually, other countries were produced and even countries not included in the original list like Romania were released (albeit later).

Although, I haven't seen all of the samples of the countries in the original list.  Even the sakwiki page doesn't have the photos for each country.

I have started collecting these small gems for a few months now and it's only two months ago that I got serious in acquiring them at a faster rate.  I now have 10 countries -- 7 brand new ones, 1 in very good condition and 2 in ok condition.  I hope to grow it more in the near future.

I would love to get the flag from my adopted country - Australia and my native country - the Philippines and other South East Asian countries in the future.  If you're reading my blog and you have one that you like to trade or sell, just leave a message. Thanks!

Collectors and Special Editions catalog by Victorinox AG 13 July 2011

Monday, November 24, 2014

COLLECTION: Wenger Commander Snife Series - Zebra 85mm (1990s)

The Wenger SNIFE series was released in the 1990's during the time of the new and trendy Swatch watches.  I still remember owning a Swiss Swatch watch given to me as a gift (birthday or Christmas) when I was a teenager.   The initial catalog release was five modern prints on the scales of the Wenger Commander.  Eventually, five more designs were released including the Zebra design that I have here.

There is a French Wenger catalog in sakwiki from the 1990s featuring a page for the SNIFE series.  I used google to translate it to English: 

Design and proprietary technology: SNIFE series, the latest generation of real Swiss Army knife, offers a new range of decors five ruffling, dressing pioneering functional high quality tradition.

Practical meaning and joy of living, efficient and convenient tool, but also henceforth communication object with the series SNIFE, the true Swiss knife features more than ever as a symbol. That of a lifestyle in direct contrast with our world, colorful, animated.

Since the first collection (available up to stock last), it explores new horizons, new worlds evoked escape. And sees its value increased by its limit draw. What to facilitate the difficult choice rather than decide which one is more beautiful, the complete series will do!

In retail outlets, the series SNIFE is distinguished by an environment-friendly and special packaging: cardboard box, blister packaging and distributor display with the red / white logo and the original colors of SNIFE class on a very black background.

Below is the original page:

List of the designs in the series:
1. Amazon! - 1 93 05
2. Gems! - 1 93 06
3. Mystic! - 1 93 07
4. Crackers! - 1 93 08
5. Handy! - 1 93 09
6. Avenue! - 1 93 04
7. Rhythm! - 1 93 03
8. Crazy! - 1 93 02
9. Waves! - 1 93 01
10. Zebra! - 1 93 00

I found out that 9/10 are still available to be purchased brand new from a seller in amazon japan.  Just go to and search for "Wenger Snife" if you're interested to start the collection.

More photos of my Zebra SNIFE.

Wenger 1992-1995 EU Dealer (French)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

COLLECTION: Victorinox Classic Indonesian National Flag 58mm

Republic of Indonesia is a country in South-East Asia made up of archipelago of thousands of islands. The national capital is Jakarta.  It has a population of over 250 million.  

There is a big Indonesian-based Swiss Army knife collectors group called INDONESIAN SWISS POCKET TOOLS LOVERS (ISPTL) in Facebook.  

My collector piece was generously traded to me by a member.  The official Victorinox item code for this particular knife is 0.6203.ID2. Thank you!

Current Lineup of my National Flag Series Collection as of 16 November 2014:


Thursday, November 20, 2014

REVIEW: Comparison Victorinox Golfers 91mm vs 84mm (1980s & 1990s)

Up until the 1980's (or possibly 1990's) there were a lot more medium-sized (84mm) SAKs.  One of the popular models was the 84mm Golfer.  After Victorinox discontinued the 84mm Golfer, they made the 91mm equivalent and called it... 91mm Golfer (tada!).  Eventually, Victorinox added the plus scale and hook on the back layer and called it the 91mm Compact.  

There was another Golfer model with a Divot tool, but that is for another post.

This is a comparison between the 84mm and 91mm Golfer.  They have the same set of tools except for the plus scales and mini screwdriver on the corkscrew of the 91mm version.

84mm on the left, 91mm on the right: 

91mm on the left, 84mm on the right:

The now discontinued 84mm scissors side-by-side with the 91mm counterpart.

Not the difference in the shape of the combo tool.  The 91mm is more rounded and doesn't have the flat edge near the top of the curve. The other end of the 84mm combo tool is sharper compared to the 91mm.

The 84mm corkscrew is slightly smaller as well, the mini-screwdriver doesn't fit inside.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

COLLECTION: Victorinox Tomo 58mm (2010s)

In 2011, Victorinox partnered with ABITAX, a Japanese design company to produced the Tomo.  It is basically a 58mm Classic with rectangular-shaped nylon scales produced in different colors.  The overall design and packaging was done by Japanese Designer Kazuma Yamaguchi.

Tomo () means friend or companion in Japanese.  There are seven colors available: Red, Capri-Blue, Green-Apple, Pink, White, Yellow and Mint.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

COLLECTION: Victorinox Popular 84mm (1980s)

The Victorinox Popular (0.6901.20) is a ribbed alox SAK with a simple toolset - Large blade, small blade and a key ring.  This tool set has been implemented by Victorinox on a number of 84mm models as well with only a few differences like - Excelsior (0.6900.27 - no key ring), Secretary (0.6900.16 - smooth alox, no key ring), Pocket Pal (0.6900 - cellidor scales, no key ring).  It is usually in red alox with silver (/aluminum) cross.

This photo is from a Victorinox catalog from the 1980s showing the difference of the Popular and Excelsior 84mm models.

This is from the SMICO catalog with most of the two bladed-84mm models.

Victorinox Catalog 1980s

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

REVIEW: Victorinox Classic I.N.O.X. Tool 58mm (2010s)

My friend bought the new Victorinox I.N.O.X. watch and got a strap box and 58mm Classic tool free.  This Classic tool has a new tool specially made for changing the strap on the new watch.  I'm calling this the Classic I.N.O.X. tool as there seems no official name for it yet.

The tool layout is very similar to the standard Classic SD, the main difference is the Nail file/Screwdriver tool was replaced by a plain looking tool with a two-pronged tip especially designed for replacing the strap on the new I.N.O.X. watch.  I think it would have been more useful if they still have the standard nail file and just changed the tip to the two-pronged tip.

The new I.N.O.X. watch looks great next to the Classic I.N.O.X. tool.

Monday, November 10, 2014

COLLECTION: Victorinox Golfer 84mm (1980s)

The 84mm Golfer has been produced by Victorinox since the 1970s as seen in various catalogs from that era.  There's also a possibility that it has been produced as early as the 1960s - as the 84mm scissors has been in production as early as the 1960s. For these very early models the small blade was used instead of the combo tool which was only introduced in the mid 1980s.

The introduction of the combo tool in replacement of the small blade made it more useable!  It is a shame that Victorinox has since discontinued producing any models with scissors in the 84mm line.  This size would have been a perfect EDC size!

It has the fluted 4-turn corkscrew seen on models produced in the 1980s.

The much sought after tool by modders - the 84mm scissors.  The 84mm Golfer is currently the "cheapest" way to get the 84mm scissors.

After the 84mm Golfer was discontinued, Victorinox replaced it with the 91mm Golfer with a mini screwdriver attached to the corkscrew.  But this model was eventually replaced with the current 91mm Compact as well, which added the hook tool on the back layer and used plus scales to add a ball point pen and a straight pin.  Here's a photo showing them side-by-side. 

The 84mm Golfer as seen in one of the catalogs from the 1980s (from store: Baskets and Blades Ltd, Morrisville, NC).

SAAM's Tool Evolution -
1970s & 1980s Catalogs

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

COLLECTION: Victorinox One Handed Trekker (OHT) 111mm (2000s)

The One-Handed Trekker is a three-layer 111mm SAK with linear-locking blade that can be opened one-handed using an opening hole in the main blade.  It also has a strong locking flat screwdriver (inline) and a philips screwdriver in the back layer.  The OHT was introduced by Victorinox in 2003.  This particular model was produced after 2007 when Victorinox re-designed the linear locking mechanism and changed the geometry of the OHT opening hole to make it more rounded.  This is the civilian version of the 2008 model Soldier's knife.  The only difference is that this model has the black nylon scale versus the one in the Soldier which has the embossed sections for better gripping.