At the end of the 19th century…

The Swiss Army decided to purchase a new-multifunction, folding knife for its soldiers. Among other things the knife should be used for eating as well as disassembling rifles (Schmidt-Rubin rifle).

The tools included in this model are a blade, a tin opener, a screwdriver and an awl.

In January 1891 the Swiss Army declared this knife fit for service and gave it the name “1890 Model”. It measures 100mm, has a darkened, oak wooden handle (certain later versions have an ebony handle) and has an acceptance stamp in the form of the Swiss Cross.

1890 Model

At that time no Swiss company had the necessary production capacity, so the first 15’000 were delivered by the German knife manufacturer Wester & Co. de Solingen, and this until the end of 1891.

In October 1891, the company Karl Elsener à Ibach, in the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland, which later became Victorinox, took over the manufacture. Numerous other cutlers from Germany and Switzerland have manufactured this and subsequent models. One of which was a company formed in 1893 under the name Paul Boéchat & Cie later to become Wenger