The brand's famous knives now sport memory sticks and LED lights, and the company is trying to apply its reputation for precision to new products like luggage and perfume.

This article titled “Swiss army knife maker Victorinox adds ‘lifestyle’ range to its box of tools” was written by Zoe Wood, for The Observer on Saturday 28th April 2012 23.06 UTC

You never know when an impromptu act of derring-do – such as performing an emergency tracheotomy or stopping a runaway hot air balloon – will be required, so it’s always best to be prepared.

That philosophy has kept Victorinox, the maker of Swiss army knives, in business for 125 years: the examples above are real occasions when its trusty red pocket knives have saved the day. “The knife for us is more than just a knife: it is a friend and a companion,” says chief executive Carl Elsener earnestly. The torch-bearer of the company behind one of Switzerland’s most famous exports is in London before a big advertising push to raise awareness of the brand, founded by his great-grandfather Karl Elsener in 1884.

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