Since the 17th century, cutlery has been produced in many places in Switzerland, such as Basel, Bern, Schaffhausen, Zug or Ibach, but also in the western parts of the country like in Delémont Vallorbe or Vevey. In 1890, when the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers was established, there still were countless small workshops, including the ones of Carl Elsener in Ibach/Schwyz and of Paul Boéchat near Delémont, founded in 1884 and 1893 respectively. At the beginning of the 20th century, these two companies evolved into the by far leading Swiss cutlery plants. This rise was owed to the introduction of stainless steel in Ibach, entailing the coinage of the name Victorinox in 1921, and the installation of the world's first fully automatic steel hardening plant ten years later. In 1907, Theo Wenger took over the Delémont factory, which gained international reputation with the development of a cutlery polishing machine in the 1920s.
Both companies mainly produced the Swiss Army Knife, a compact pocket knife, which has retained its basic features to this day. However, the Wenger company's long manufacturing tradition ended at the beginning of the 21st century when it went bankrupt and eventually became part of its competitor Victorinox. The daily output of Victorinox are 24,000 pocket knives in 100 different versions, all of them technically refined over the century.
The Victorinox Visitor Centre is located in Brunnen on Lake Lucerne. Multi-media devices incorporating interactive elements introduce the visitors to the company’s history, the manufacturing process and the product range. It is also possible to assemble your own knife from 27 individual parts.