The Swiss Army Knife is a multi-purpose tool that is more sort of a pocket knife. It was after World War II, this term came into existence. The first-ever Swiss Army knife was manufactured in 1891 by Karl Elsener company. The tool originated in Switzerland.
The Karl Elsener company started producing the knives after winning its contract from a German manufacturer in 1890. This company later came to be known as Victorinox. Again, in 1893, the contract of producing the knives was provided to yet another company named the Swiss cutlery company Paul Boèchat and Cie. It was later known as Wenger.
After 1891, Elsener, the owner of Karl Elsener company faced a bankruptcy situation, which he overcame by manufacturing an improved design of the knife in 1896, specially designed for officials. But the Swiss Army did not approve of it for marketing, therefore, the knife was sold Internationally which helped restore Elsener’s popularity.
In 1908, the contract got split by the Swiss Army between the two companies. After which Victorinox’s slogan was “Original Swiss Army Knives” and Wenger went with “Genuine Swiss Army Knives”. This worked for about a century until 2005 when Victorinox took over Wenger.
This resulted in Victorinox becoming the supreme supplier of the knives to the Switzerland Military. But still, the two companies continued manufacturing other products including watches and travel tools separately.
Wenger vs Victorinox
The difference between Wenger and Victorinox is that Wenger is a company that manufactures larger and slightly heavier Swiss Army knives, whereas, Victorinox knives are more compact and travel-friendly. The former got acquired by the latter in 2005.
Comparison Table Between Wenger and Victorinox
|Parameter of Comparison||Wenger||Victorinox|
|Establishment||Wenger was first established as a Swiss cutlery company in 1893.||Victorinox was first established as Karl Elsener company in 1884.|
|Founder||Paul Boèchat is the founder of Wenger.||Karl Elsener is the founder of Victorinox.|
|Size||The knife is slightly larger.||While the knife is a little more compact.|
|Weight||It is a little bit heavier.||It weighs less.|
|Versatility||It is more versatile, containing around 87 tools with 140 functions.||Whereas it comes with basic tools only, not being very versatile.|
|Complexity||Having more number of tools increases the complexity factor here.||It is a lot simpler in comparison.|
|Lock System||It comes with a basic lock system.||While it has a dual lock system.|
|Ease of Use||The blades and tools of the knife opens up more smoothly.||Here, the tools are not that flexible.|
|Warranty Period||It provides a three-year warranty.||Whereas it provides a two-year warranty.|
|Pricing||It comes with a premium pricing.||It is more on the affordable side.|
What is Wenger?
Wenger is a Switzerland-based company that was first founded as Swiss cutlery Paul Boèchat and Cie company in 1893. Paul Boèchat is the founder. The company is headquartered in Delèmont, Switzerland. It is known for manufacturing Swiss Army Knives, Watches, Cutlery and License products.
In 1893 itself, Wenger was provided with a contract of making the Swiss Army knives from the Swiss Army. It was the second company to have received the contract after Victorinox. In 1908, the Swiss Army came up with a decision to split the contract between these two companies.
The 9/11 attacks brought a bad phase for Wenger. This crisis resulted in the acquisition of Wenger by its competitor company Victorinox in 2005. As Wenger had gotten into manufacturing watches before Victorinox in 1988, the watch business was left to Wenger as its own. Although Wenger produced knives under Victorinox, it still had its own advertising slogan “Genuine Swiss Army Knives”.
After Wenger’s relaunch event in 2016, the company modified the slogan to “A Swiss Company Since 1893”. This slogan continued for decades.
The Swiss knife produced by Wenger is slightly larger than its Victorinox counterpart. Although it does not have a dual lock system, it comes with 87 different tools which make it much more versatile.
What is Victorinox?
Victorinox is a knife and watches manufacturing based in Switzerland. It was first founded as Karl Elsener company by Karl Elsener himself in 1884. It is headquartered in Ibach, Switzerland. The company deals with producing pocket knives, watches, apparel etc.
Victorinox was introduced to the Swiss Army Knife business by the Swiss Army in 1891. After the split of the contract between Wenger and Victorinox, the latter came up with the slogan “Original Swiss Army Knives”. The company reached an incredible mark after it acquired Wenger. Since then, it is regarded as the biggest Swiss Army knives producing company in the world.
In 1972, Victorinox developed a distributor of its own for the United States. During the 1980s, the company acquired even more shares and set a trademark in the USA.
Till that time, Victorinox had started producing timepieces, compasses and sunglasses too. It became successful in expanding its business over major parts of the world.
The Swiss Army knife as the best product manufactured by Victorinox is widely used. It has a compact size which makes it even more portable. Moreover, Victorinox also has a mini version of the knife in the name of SwissCard. It is even smaller in size and comes with mini tools.
Main Differences Between Wenger and Victorinox
- Wenger knife is larger and heavier than the Victorinox.
- Wenger knife is more versatile yet complex.
- Victorinox knife has a two-year warranty, while Wenger has three years.
- Victorinox knife has a dual lock system.
- Wenger knife is more expensive than that of Victorinox.
Marketing and branding go hand in hand in business. The acquisition of Wenger made Victorinox the only eligible maker of the Swiss Army Knives as well as the Swiss Watches.
The knives that these companies produce have some common points as well as differences. This is why both companies are equally popular in their fields.
A lot of ups and downs were faced through the years by these two companies. Both of these companies were successful in delivering what they promised. In the world, they are two famous names when it comes to pocket knives.
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