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Wenger Soldat 1961 - Standard Issue

Wenger Standard Issue aka Soldat - 93mm The Wenger Soldat, is a true Swiss Soldier Knife manufactured under contract to Swiss army specifications and issued to all enlisted personnel. Outside of Switzerland it is better known as the Standard Issue or SI for short.  This version of the Soldat (French for soldier) is based on Swiss Army 1961 design specifications. It measures 93mm in length, but is listed as a 91mm model in some official documentation. The SI only differs from the Victorinox Soldier 1961 model very slightly, as they are both manufactured to the same specifications.  Some people classify the Standard Issue as the civilian version of the true Soldat, because it contains a bail mounted in the hollow end-rivet which was never included on issued Soldier Knives. Victorinox stopped using a hollow rivet in 1994, and never attached a bail to it. The Standard Issue can also differs slightly in the blade shape, and the reamer is ground to more of a point than the Victorinox 1961 Soldier. Wenger has been producing the various Soldat models since approximately 1908.  This is the only 93mm Alox scaled knife that is manufactured by Wenger, it was first introduced in 1962 for the military supply contract. This knife was last issued to soldiers in 2008, but Wenger has continued to manufacture this model for civilian retail markets. Since it is was no longer an official Soldier Knife after 2008, Wenger started to refer to the knife as the Swiss Army 70 model. Note:  The Victorinox 93mm Alox handled models are also considered 91mm in some company documentation, but are also really 93mm in length.

Layer Tools

Non Layer Tools

  • Bail (or hollow rivet for lanyard attachment)

Scale Tools

None. The military knives have tended not to include the popular toothpick and tweezers of the civilian knives, presumably because they are too easily lost in the field. It would also make the manufacturing of the Alox scales easier.

Scales

Silver Textured Alox, red Swiss Shield

Physical Specifications

  • Length: 93mm - 3.625"
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces

Variations

  1. The Limited Edition Soldier Knife - 100 year Anniversary (1891-1990) has a special engraving on the main blade with 3 illustrations and the text "100 JAHRE". Sold in a luxury grey leather wrapped presentation case with a serial numbered and signed certificate of authentication. While commemorating 100 years of the Soldier Knife, Wenger or its predecessors were not actually manufacturing the Soldier Knife in 1891.
    • a) Gold Shield, brass liner and spacer, the year "90" stamped on the tang, hollow rivet/no bail.
    • b) Red Shield, the year "90" stamped on the tang, hollow rivet/no bail.
    • c) Red Shield, the year "91" stamped on the tang, hollow rivet/no bail.
  2. The Limited Edition Wenger 100 Year Anniversary knife; features a blade etching 100 YEARS   1893 ANS 1993 blade etching has an illustration with text. The knife tang is stamped with the year "92", and includes bail. It was sold in a luxury leather wrapped presentation case. The packaging for this knife is identical to the Soldier Knife 100th Anniversary Limited Edition..
  3. Knives produced after 2008 (also known as model Swiss Army 70) no longer have the year stamped on the tang, as Victorinox took responsibility for the entire military contract supply.
  4. Some knives were manufactured without the Wenger stamp or year on the blade tang. These were apparently manufactured in error and then sold though the company store, but some have been reported to be sold though other outlets (maybe before the error was discovered).
  5. The Swiss Army 70 sans croix version without Swiss Shield/Emblem manufactured in July 2012 is maybe the last version of the 1961 Soldat design to leave the factory.  Without the iconic red-shield this version looks more like an early Alox model, but it has the bail and the Wenger stamp on the tang. In some strange, or maybe natural, way this seems like an appropriate 'good-bye' to a legend; even if they were just trying to use up as much extra stock as possible.

History

This knife replaced the Original 100mm Swiss Soldier Knife with a new 1961 design and specifications for the Swiss Army's Soldier Knife. This knife was manufactured to specification under contract for the Swiss Army. Wenger and Victorinox both manufactured this knife annually for government contracts. This knife was replaced by the Swiss Army and others in 2008 with a new design manufactured solely by Victorinox.

The Wenger 1961 Soldat is an interesting knife in the Wenger line as it has several unique features. This knife is based on a specifications that were developed and adopted by the Swiss army in 1961. These specifications are essentially what's behind the features that make this model unique for Wenger. First the aluminum, or Alox, handles stand out. Maybe the second most obvious is the Can Opener, which appears only on this model. This can-opener is the style patented by Victorinox and featured on virtually their entire line of knives, but Wenger was licensed to manufacture it or were possibly supplied parts, probably as a requirement to have the specifications adopted by the Swiss Army. Similar the Reamer/Awl is also not the typical style you would see on Wenger knives, but rather on Victorinox Alox scales knives. Essentially this knife is most representative of Victorinox knives, but Wenger managed to make it their own by keeping the hollow rivet, and often offering it with a bail. Other subtle differences in manufacturing over the years also are visible in the knives.

Since the knives were issued to soldiers in part to maintain their firearms they were under the supervision of the Waffenkontrolle, and early models contain their 'approved' stamp on the scales. [See: article WaffenKontrol & Soldier 1961 for additional background.]

Identifiers

16520 Wenger US: retail market
1.70.01 Wenger AN: Soldat/Swiss Army 70
1.70.00 Wenger AN: Soldat/Swiss Army 70 without bail
1.070.001.000 Wenger AN: Swiss Army 70 (newer AN as Wenger moves to 3 digit groups)
1.070.001.000.01 Wenger AN: Swiss Army 70 sans croix

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Created by Fred. Last Modification: Monday 21 of November, 2016 07:47:44 CET by m47mu74nt.

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