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The Swiss cutting edge



Smart and efficient tools

WOMEN ARE known to collect many things, but there are a few things that men go about collecting passionately. Rajesh Kathpalia, owner of Swiss Edge, on Brigade Road, will tell you that Swiss army knives are indeed a passion with a good number of men, who boast of awesome collections of these knives.

At Swiss Edge, one can find a fascinating collection of Victorinox Swiss army knives in various sizes, specifications, and colours. They start at Rs. 300 for a single blade knife and go up to Rs. 6,000 for the 33-function Swiss champ knife.

Each knife has a different name to suit the different functions it provides. For example, there is the Ambassador that has a blade, nail file, nail cleaner, scissors, tweezers, and toothpick, while the Picknicker comes with a large blade, corkscrew, can opener, key ring, toothpick and so on.

"Each knife has a specific purpose. For domestic purposes a Climber is more suitable while the Trekker that has a wood saw and a metal saw is right for those who trek around, while the Explorer with its magnifying glass, screw drivers, and so on is for those with a scientific mind," explains Mr. Kathpalia.

The other knives have interesting names — Huntsman, Angler, Mountaineer, Ranger, Handyman, Camper Escort, Executive... Each comes with a different combination of blades and functions.

These knives have an equally interesting history. The Victorinox knives, for instance, go back to 1884 when the Elsener family started making quality cutlery in the Swiss town of Schwyz. The knife, which is so popular today, was once almost out of demand, due to the popular knives manufactured by the Germans. After years of hard work, reinventing and revamping, Victorinox found itself so popular that even the German army started ordering them! When knives were made specially for officers and soldiers, the American soldiers found its name, Offiziersmesser, too much of a tongue-twister and decided to simply re-christen it "Swiss Army Knife." Swiss knives have since been supplied to many famous people and organisations such as NASA. With blades made from special stainless chrome molybdenum steel, these knives are known to have performed a wide range of operations — from a roadside amputation and a vet surgery on an elephant to being used in expeditions on Mount Everest and in deep sea diving.

At Swiss Edge, one can also pick up the collector's pieces of the Victorinox knife, with 1 gm. gold bar/coin embedded in the body of the knife (priced at Rs. 3,510). There are also new models such as Cyber Tool (with an Allen key and magnetic bits useful in opening up your PC), and traveller's set (comes with a compass, temperature indicator, magnifying glass, and a torch, priced at Rs. 3,410).

Another new model has a digital clock, alarm clock, and countdown timer.

Though most of the knives are in red and black, there is an entire range targeted at women, with colours ranging from pink, blue, green and yellow to white. Women may also be interested in its range of kitchenware from Victorinox.

There are kitchen knives, priced between Rs. 120 and Rs. 2,500, along with cutlery sets, and chefs' sets among others.

Swiss Edge also offers Victorinox watches starting at Rs. 5,000 and an ingenious adaptation of the Swiss army knife, called the Swiss Card.

The slim card, which is a little bigger than your credit card, houses a pair of scissors, a knife, a ball pen, a toothpick, tweezers, nail file with a screw driver, a ruler etc. Priced at Rs. 880, it makes for a great gift.

Swiss Edge can be contacted on 5327403.

TINA GARG

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