Sunday, May 19, 2013

1983 Victorinox Champion (Discontinued)

This was the Swisschamp of the 20th century. The knife combined all the popular tools in one, affordable, portable package. This shows that Victorinox does adapt over the years... The Champion was made from the late fifties/early sixties (this date is not 100% sure) to 1985 and later on continued as the Champion plus with the pen integrated in the scales. One major difference between the Champion and the Swisschamp is the large pliers. Since 1985 Victorinox added the pliers to their already large tool selection. I found this one once again in one of the many boxes of knives from Mme Canif and didn't recognize it straight away. Once at home I tried to find the tool combination on Sakwiki and the name Champion popped up. It was in good condition and after some cleaning it looks in very good condition... When I tried to add a small "old type" mini screwdriver ( like with the Swisschamp) in the corkscrew, I was surprised to see that the grooved corkscrew doesn't take the screwdriver. The opening is a bit smaller then the present one. This was the first time I encountered this problem. But this makes the time window on this knife a bit shorter. It seems that this knife should be produced between 1983 and 1985 since the screwdriver was fitted from 1985 on... 

Age - marks :

* Can opener : This type of the can opener is the most recent one and started from 1980 on till now...
* NEW reamer : From 1961 on, they changed the beautiful triangular shaped reamer in the known curved reamer. This knife has the newer curved type, but without the sewing eye. This type was made from 1961 to 1985.
* Shackle / Ring : From 1961 to 1991 they made it possible of attaching  your keys to the knife by attachment ring on a separate layer, just like the one used on this knife.
* Cap lifter : The most recent cap lifter without the 90 degree lock was used from 1980 to 1985.
* Magnifying glass / philips head screwdriver : from 1973 on till the eighties they used the old greyish type of mag-glass. The newer knives use a 5x mag-glass in a clear type of plastic.
* Scissors : This type of scissors with screw joint and double spring was used from 1975 on till 1991.
* Metal saw /Wood saw : These types were used from the seventies on...

Conclusion :

I could go on for a while, thanks to the many tools present in this knife, but I think it's pretty clear when this knife should've been produced. From 1985 on they changed to the Swisschamp and on the other hand this knife contains tools that never could've been produced before 1983... Conclusion... from 1983 to 1985... This is'nt the oldest knife I own, but with it's age of 30 years and the many tools, it contains much interesting information for age dating other knives in my collection. 

TOOL FACT :: Did you know that from 1985 on till now Victorinox dropped the magnetic tip feature on the fish scaler tool? Do a test on a small iron object and within a few seconds you're sure that your knife was produced before or after 1985...


  1. I have a Champion model of this same time period, and the screwdriver tip of the bottle opener (cap lifter) is magnetic also (you can test it on a light metal object such as a mini corkscrew screwdriver). My bottle opener has a 90 degree lock on it, so if your bottle opener is even older, then it is likely to also be magnetized. Newer models (such as the SwissChamp) no longer magnetize this tool. The first version of the corkscrew-mini-screwdriver (with the completely flat bevels on the tip of the screwdriver, the "Pat." marking on the plastic, and the 1.5 centimeter long metal screwdriver portion) fits the grooved corkscrew. Since the current corkscrews are manufactured by a French company (you can Google this) for several decades according to Victorinox, the grooved screwdrivers may be the last version of the corkscrew that was manufactured in Switzerland. Also, I have read that the groove on the corkscrew, even though it is decorative, is more effective on modern synthetic corks than the current smooth corkscrew.

  2. I have a Champion Model as well, but found some statements here that confuse me a little bit, my dad bought it between 1977 And 1979 And it looks exactly the same as the one in the pictures: the mini screwdriver fits perfectly into the corkscrew, the can opener looks exactly the same as yours, the reamer is the same without the sewing eye, the caplifter does not lock at 90 degrees And the tips of the caplifter And the fish scaler are NOT magnetized..... I AM willing to share any other information even pictures or vĂ­deos, the intention of my comment is never to discredit nor contradict your post.... Respectfully AADURAND

  3. Thanks to your blog I found out I just bought a pretty '85 Champion in mint condition except for the scales, but those I can replace. Never new the fish descaler has a magnetic tip on previous' 85 models.

  4. Thanks to your blog I found out I just bought a pretty '85 Champion in mint condition except for the scales, but those I can replace. Never new the fish descaler has a magnetic tip on previous' 85 models.

  5. I have one of these, got it in 82/83, lightly used, I think. Have been carrying it nearly every day since. I have had one of the mini screwdrivers that fit in the corkscrew(not original, but back in the 80s, I think), so it may be a question of when the screwdrivers are made.