If you’re looking to buy a product that represents a mix of years-long tradition, excellent value, and proven quality, then you’ve found the right brand – Wenger, a leading company for a variety of Swiss-quality products. Being present on the market for more than 124 years, the Wenger trademark is best known for their Swiss Army knives as well as their watches and travel gear selection.
During its 124-year old existence, the Wenger company has gone through a lot of different stages though it has always emerged as a brand loyal to its customers.
The whole Wenger story began in 1893 in Switzerland, when an industrial cutlery house named Paul Boechat & Cie was founded in the Delémont valley. But don’t get confused, it’s still the same brand – the Wenger name gets into the story a bit later on! Considering that it was the second industrial cutlery manufacturer of Switzerland, the Paul Boechat & Cie managed to get a contract from the Swiss Army – the contract was about knife production, something that would later on become one of their best-known products.
In 1897, Theodore Wenger was coming back to Switzerland after serving as a minister in the USA – that’s when his involvement with the factory started. Wenger was actually hired by a group of entrepreneurs, who conveniently enough, had just bought out Paul Boechat & Cie a couple of years earlier. Once on the board, being a savvy entrepreneur, Wenger immediately acquired a manufacturing machine for spoons and forks to join the knife production. Later on, the machine was moved to a rented factory in Delémont.
A few years later in 1900, as production grew larger, a new factory was built – it featured a bigger, broader facility of whopping 1,700 square meters! Once moved, the new facility united the production of their two main products: the utensil Swiss Army knife and the cutlery production. At that point, the factory had been renamed again and it got the name Fabrique Suisse de Coutellerie et Services.
In 1908, the Swiss Army decided to split the army knife production in two – one was supposed to take part in the German-speaking part of the country, and the other one to stay in the French-speaking part. That meant that half of the knife production started being redirected at Victorinox, a similar company in the German-speaking part of Schwyz. The other half remained at Wenger.
1929 marks the beginning of another new era at the Wenger company, as that’s when Kaspar Oertli took matters in his hands – Theodore Wenger had passed away. Oertli took hold by buying out the majority of the shares in the factory.
Another major year regarding the company’s history is the year of 1988, as that’s the year Wenger started producing watches.
In 2005, Wenger has been taken over by Victorinox, its competitive brand. However, that never meant that the distinct identity of the brand is forever lost – quite the contrary! Starting from 2013, the unique Wenger knives have been incorporated in the Victorinox brand while Wenger kept focusing on further major development on watches and travel gear, two of its most successful products.
The Genuine Swiss Army Knife is one of the major products that made Wenger rise in popularity; the knife was offered on the market until 2013. The Giant is a Swiss Army knife made by Wenger – the knife has 87 different tools incorporated that make for up to 141 different functions. Regarding its size and functionality, The Giant even made it to the Guinness Book of World Records!
Other popular products include blade pocket knives with additional features incorporated into them, such as can openers and so on. Wenger also offers kitchen cutlery under the brand names of Swibo and Grand Maitre.
In recent years, Wenger has been focusing its production on the exclusive line of watches, travel gear, and various business-related gear. Even though some lines of Wenger products focus entirely on elegance, most of their products have a multifunctional focus, allowing for a supreme experience.