It was the flagship model of the Victorinox 91mm line from 1952 until roughly 1986 (late 1985) when the SwissChamp was first released in Switzerland.
Since this model was the top-of-the-line for many years, it evolved with the changes to the SAK tools. Over the years the actual tools included in the knife, and the tool versions, changed, based on the current tools being manufactured at the time ... however it retained its name.
Another change to normal naming conventions, was that models that included the backspring Phillips screwdriver, as well as those that included the corkscrew, were both, somewhat confusingly, referred to as a Champion. Typically knives would have different names for this tool change.
The early models had six tool-layers and included a long nailfile on the back.
The Corkscrew/Phillips versions are referred to as the 'Champion a/b' respectively in the SAKWiki pages.
The most significant change to the Champion was the introduction of a new tool-layer in 1973, consisting of a Magnifying Glass and the in-line Phillips screwdriver.
This model is referred to as the 'Champion c' in the SAKWiki layer pages, and Related Tools sections.
See also: Champion PlusDiscontinued Model.
Champion circa. 1985
- Large Blade
- Small Blade
- Cap-Lifter/Large slotted screw-driver - with wire-bender
- Can Opener/Small-slotted screw-driver - that also works with Phillips screws
- Metal File with Saw
- Wood Saw
- Fish Scaler
Additional tools - Seven-Layer model
Additional tools - Six-Layer model
- Corkscrew -or- Phillips Screwdriver - The early square Phillips drivers include a file.
- Long Nail-file
Additional tools - Seven-Layer model
- Fine Screwdriver - Not on all knives, later addition ('77)
- Chisel - Not on all knives, even later addition ('85)
Red Cellidor, black Cellidor was also available.
The Champion was the top of the range 91mm Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, containing all the tools Victorinox produced at the time of manufacture, until it was replaced as the top model by the SwissChamp in 1985.
The six-layer models (Champion a/b) were introduced in 1952 and were manufactured up until 1974, following the introduction of the seven-layer model (Champion c) in 1973. The long nail-file was removed from the seven-layer model, and the scissors changed to pivot from the 'tail-end' of the knife. The six-layer models evolved into the Craftsman and Handyman, although neither of these models included the long nailfile.
Note: Model names as opposed to model numbers/codes were only fully introduced in the mid '70s - So the earlier Champions would have been known primarily by their product codes (see Identifiers section below), however descriptive names (possibly such as Champion) were introduced from the '50s.
Over the years the tools included on the Champion have changed and the tools themselves have evolved, so there are a number of slightly different tool configurations. Versions with the long nail-file are usually actively sought by collectors.
The Champion was still offered and updated after the release of the SwissChamp, it just did not have the same prominent position in marketing. The seven layer model eventually evolved into the Champion Plus was still produced for several years - Although as of 2017 appears to be withdrawn.
- 146fma Victoria/Victorinox 1960s (and 70s) Six-layer Cellidor scaled, long nail-file, Phillips, and no shackle
- 146fmaU Victoria/Victorinox 1960s (and 70s) Six-layer Cellidor scaled, long nail-file, Phillips, shackle
- 246fma Victoria/Victorinox 1960s (and 70s) Six-layer Cellidor scaled, long nail-file, corkscrew, no-shackle
- 246fmaU Victoria/Victorinox 1960s (and 70s) Six-layer Cellidor scaled, long nail-file, corkscrew, shackle
- 246fmaU HH Victoria/Victorinox 1960s (and 70s) Six-layer, stag scaled, long nail-file and shackle
- 1.5793 Victorinox: Prior to 1986: Seven layers; 16 implements, comprising 24 official functions; no long-nailfile -
- 1.5793.JU Victorinox: 1984 centennial
- 1.6783 Victorinox: 1986-2001: Adds the chisel and updated fine-screwdriver; versions after '91 include the hook