Friday, November 29, 2013


*Check out my poll on the right side of this blog. I'm curious to see which one wins... ;)
*Updated my Alox collection... & added my 108mm collection!

Once again a big thanks to all the people for the mails and kind messages I received! It surprises me that after being a year online, the blog had over 40.000 visits from all over the world and this shows that I must be doing something right... ;) I'll keep the regular posts up to date and try to answer all your questions as good as I can. In a few weeks I'll be visiting the Flagship store in Dusseldorf and next year I'll be visiting west-America. This gives me the opportunity  to visit some Victorinox sellers in the good old USA... If someone has addresses I should check, please let me know... So.... there will be more than enough to write about... ;)

DAK (Dutch Army Knife) model 2010

The civilian model of this rather difficult to find DAK is called the Dual Pro. The Dual Pro has a corkscrew instead of a philips head screwdriver and nylon scales with rubber inlay, like the Swiss Soldier knife model 2008. The model 2010 was the first 111mm model with a One hand Opening serrated blade. It was next in line of the model 1993, discussed earlier on this Blog. This particular knife has three layers, nylon heavy duty scales and the Dutch Army -lion logo embedded in the scales. This knife is ideal for a rough environment, just like any other 111mm knife, but this one has, to my opinion, one tool too much. The seatbelt-cutter or emergency blade is a tool, far overrated in a knife that should serve an average field-soldier. If you look at the Swiss soldier knife, you can clearly see that the layer filled with the wood saw adds more functions, more possibilities... The emergency blade makes certain actions far more easy then with a plain blade, but the functions stay the same, so to make a long story short... Two blades with one set of functions... I'm sure there are Soldiers out there with a lot of experience with this one and I hope someone corrects me here, but until then.... ;)

Red alox and the old cross...

These knives first popped up in the 1970's catalogs as "Sturdy Boy" and lasted till the late Nineties. The only thing that changed were the blade stampings, some tool-marks and their names. These knives look beautiful, but have one major disadvantage compared to the newer silver alox.... the red paint fades away after rubbing against keys or other metal in your pocket. That's why I try to keep them away from use and nice and shiny in my display case... Yesterday I managed to find a Farmer and two Solo's in mint condition... The Farmer is made between 1985 and 1991. The cap lifter has a 90 degree lock (made after 1985) and the keychain-ring is attached to a brass spacer instead of the backspring (before 1991). Both Solos are made somewhere between 1975 and the nineties. I can't find a shorter time window, since there's only one tool and no keychain-ring. My red alox-collection starts to get crowded... :)

Below : blade stamp of the Farmer

Below : blade stamp of the Solo

Below : blade stamp of the Solo

Victorinox 1940's Secretary / Nr.70

Another find on Ebay, both quite unique as beautiful... This 84mm "frame" with two blades is fairly common and is called the Secretary these days. These knives come in cellidor and smooth Alox (Secretary), but mine has carbon steel scales and that's just incredible! This was used to darken or paint, since they otherwise use stainless steel (see Guilloche design). When I bought it, it showed some use on the handles and the blueing was gone on some spots. Blueing is a method of chemical darkening carbon steel. It's mainly used on guns and rifles, since it protects from rust. I had a small tube of Birchwood casey gun blueing paste lying around and after sanding the scales I applied a few layers on the knife. It still has the scratches, but the scales are evenly darkened and I love it! The blade stamping shows INOXYD which makes it from around 1943. If I'm not mistaking it even pops up in the 1943 catalog as the nr.70...

Above : You can clearly see the small spots and even some rust...

Above : After the blueing you get an even surface and a beautiful deep finish...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Victorinox Model nr. 248

This vintage pocket knife was another buy from a Swiss seller on Ebay. I was surprised to see a pocket knife with two blades and a corkscrew. This setup isn't made since... well... 1950 I believe. The one most comparable is the waiter, but this one has no second blade and a caplifter instead. It looked pretty good for a knife with an age of over 70 years old. It has a "+GF+" engraving on the main blade and after some research I found out that this stands for a Swiss pipeline company. The cool thing is that it still exists... There aren't many age markings on this one, since the tools are limited to three pieces, of which the small blade (clip point - before 1973) and the corkscrew (five loops fluted - before 1983) aren't much help... The main help on this one must be the blade stamping... Tis one shows Armee Suisse on one side and INOXYD with the crossbow in the middle on the other. This particular stamping was only used around 1943. So if this information, affirmed by Urs Wyss, is correct, this should be an easy one... Bam...1943-ish..... ;) The name's another...well...thingy... Before a certain date, Victorinox didn't use names for their knives, and used numbers instead. Fairly easy if you only have a few dozen models in your assortment, but these days, with a few hundred models a name becomes easier for sales and more attractive for the customer. "For me number 542 please..." orrrrrr.... "Give me a Huntsman, baby" ;) You get the point... I found this model, with advertising in the Elsener 1943 catalog under the number 248. Another proof that the date must be correct.

Friday, November 22, 2013

*Most wanted Vics and their prices*

After searching on Ebay for that certain "golden" deal, I realized that the Bay made people aware of the values... I'm going to discuss certain "collectable" knives of which I own and the ones on my wanted-list according to their availability and price range. This list is constantly updated, since certain knives gain or loose interest... Some of them are insanely expensive, more thanks to "addicts" then collectors, but that's open for discussion, since a knife's value is often determined by the "me want" factor. Ebay's a good example of personal bidding wars in the last 10 seconds of the listing. Believe me, I've done that, and have been disappointed many times! I've been to a few flea-market in Switzerland and I was surprised to see the high prices they wanted. They know the value and these knives became big business in the last few years. On Ebay there are a few sellers from Switzerland, selling internationally. These sellers are frequently active and sell vintage Vics   for the highest bid. This way is the most honest and depends on some smart last minute bids or intimidating high early bids. I've bought a few knives from these sellers and must say that I did some good buys for a nice price. These sellers keep prices in a normal range, since they offer many vintage knives at once.... I'll start off with to my opinion, the oddballs, the outcasts, the tools I've discussed before.... Tools taken out of production, ever since sales dropped and interest got lost. The strange thing is that since they became scarce, they sold like crazy.... 

Special tools

Autotool : Once in a few months on Ebay (Europe) with a price range between 75 and 150 Euro. ( Do correct me if I'm wrong. This is based on my experience.)
SportsRatchet : Once in a few months on Ebay (Europe) with a price range between 50 and 100 Euro.
SwissFlame : Once a month (lately) with a price range between 50 Euro (depending on the quality and box) and (believe it or not...) 250 Euro!!!
SwissBit MP3 player : Once every few weeks on Ebay and even some shops with a price range between 45 (flight model) and 300 Euro (2Gb with tools and box).

Vintage series / knives

St.-Christopher Tinker : This one is more available (every few weeks), but demand is shrinking and even with prices around 70 euro they don't sell. Normally prices go from 50 Euro way up to 150 Euro. I don't have this one, but I do love to add it to my collection....
Ribbed alox cadet : These alox knives look stunning and that represents in the high prices lately. They are becoming pretty rare (once a month) and prices go up to 100 Euro. I managed to buy one a few weeks ago for 56 Euro (brand new). 
Ribbed alox cadet II : This one is even more wanted then the cadet, thanks to the tool setup. The cadet has a nail file where the cadet II has a small blade with clip point. They are available once a month on Ebay for prices up to 150 Euro (no idea if these bids are real, but this is what the Bay says... ;)
Scientist : This one is very rare... Prices on this one  may go up to 150 Euro depending on the condition and the box.

Alox knives

Don't be surprised to see some crazy prices on these knives. Alox has always been and still is the most searched for on Ebay. On addition of the "normal" runs, Victorinox releases every now and then a limited run, limited to 50 or 100 pieces worldwide...
Limited runs 93mm (in general) : These prices may depend on the model and color. The color is one of the biggest factors because I've seen a gold colored Solo (50 pcs) for 59 USD that stayed there for weeks. Models with the beautiful marlin spike are often more expensive than others and flashy colors with a nice keychain and blade etching also ad more value to the knife. In general you could say that prices may go from 50 USD to 200 USD and this time I'm not adding the insane peaks I've found lately on Ebay. These prices are often found, even after a seven day bidding...

Other knives follow...

Denmark- edition Cadets

After seeing these knives on Ebay for three times the value, I realised that they're becoming real collectables. A spokesperson from Victorinox Denmark assured the fans that these knives will stay available for a long time, but the box might change. As I stated before in the Bantam text, these knives are made only for Victorinox Denmark, since Denmark has some strict knife-laws. The Cadets look stunning with the red shield and are sold in a "Danish" box. The shop that sold them to me is The Good Stuff Shop. This shop is a great addition to the known Victorinox shops worldwide. Shipment is extremely fast and prices are normal! Thanks again to a professional and extremely kind seller, Per Albrechtsen!!! 

PRICE : 230 DKK / 31 EURO / 42 USD

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Swarovski Classic SD

This one was for sale on Ebay and mainly because of the low price I couldn't resist. There isn't much info about this knife, except that a Swiss shop called Weber's World has three of these for sale. It's available in pink translucent, ruby and blue. My guess is that these knives aren't made by Victorinox, but modded by this shop or someone outside... On the shop's site it states that the crystal is a Swarovski original, but that's difficult to check without a certificate. 

PRICE : 21 CHF / 17 EURO / 23 USD
SITE : Weber's World

Friday, November 15, 2013

New Ebay Victorinox lot

1930's Victorinox Spartan

A few weeks ago I noticed an old , slightly damaged Spartan on Ebay. The seller was a known Sak-seller from Basel, Switzerland. The oldest Officers knife I owned was one from 1937, so this one, with the fibre scales instead of the Cellidor scales would set my "oldest knife date" back to before 1937. The knife looked ok, but the triangular shaped reamer was shortened and the outline on the Vic-shield was missing. Nothing that holds me back from buying it... ;) The shield outline was coloured with a red pen and the tools were all scratched up. After some cleaning, lubricating and polishing, I managed to colour the shield outline with a "silver marker". I finally got it for 72 Euro. A fair price for a knife of over 70 years old. My first guess was that it must've been from before the 30's, but after taking a closer look at the blade stamping, I noticed a rather small time window....

Age - marks :

* Fibre scales : These scales were introduced in 1909. Before 1909 the scales were made from wood. This knife has fibre scales!
* Can opener : The typical Soldier 1891 can opener ( large curved spike ) was produced till 1946. From then on there were two new types. The most recent one changed a little bit in the last few years, but stays by far the best one ever made. But this knife has the oldest type!
* Triangular reamer : From 1961 on, they changed the beautiful triangular shaped reamer in the known curved reamer. This knife has the old type, used from 1897 till 1961.
* Rivets : From 1961 on they made the rivets invisible (inside the scales). These rivets are very visible!!! :)
* Shackle / Ring : From 1961 on they made it possible of attaching  your keys to the knife by shackle at first, later by attachment ring. This knife has none of the above!
* Cap lifter : The cap lifter without the wire stripper and narrowed flathead screwdriver was made from 1942 till 1951. (This date must be a mistake, because now I have the proof that a knife, probably manufactured arround the 30's, has a cap lifter.)
* Blade stamping : The Victorinox stamp with crossbow in the middle was used in 1931 according to the stampings-page in a recent Victorinox book.

Conclusion :

There are a lot of contradictions in this age-dating, but one thing is certain... The fibre scales weren't used after 1937 and the stamp is only a few years used, so I would say early 30's. The next one will be finally one with wooden scales or one without caplifter. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Victorinox leather pouches

Pouches aren't the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Victorinox, but they are indispensable when it comes to treating your trusty pocket knife / multitool with respect. There are many competitors out there, mainly providing cheaper nylon pouches, but I'm not going to discuss this here... I always use the leather pouches from Vic, so it's my experience speaking here... The most common ones are the ones with a limit of 4 -layered knives and belt loop. This one allows you simply to slide your belt through the loop. One main disadvantage of this setup is that when the pouch interferes while doing your job, the belt needs to be loosened. It takes some work, but stays on the same place, even after a lot of movement. My Swisstool is currently in one of those pouches and I'm very happy with its durability... I use it in a very rough environment and after some "abuse" it still does the job perfectly! Prices vary from 10 to 15 Euro. (item number : 4.0520.31) This might seem like much, but it holds for a very long time. On the other hand you have the same pouch, but with an adaptable speed clip. This one is used to slide over the belt, or even edge of your pants. This gives you the advantage to replace it without a lot of work. It holds very good, but doesn't give you the same strong mount you have with a belt loop. I use this one for my edc knife after work. It looks cool, allows you to change the angle with an easy click-system and can be removed very fast in case it starts to hinder. Prices vary from 15 to 20 Euro. (item number : 4.0823.L )