The series of large 91 mm officer's knives is probably the best-known series of pocket knives from Victorinox. In 1897 the expression "officer's and sports knife" was patented by company founder Karl Elsener.
The original model had the classic 6 tools, the basic configuration of many army knives. This model No.205 had a large and small cutting blade, a can opener, a screwdriver, and an awl and corkscrew on the back. Compared to the soldier's knife, all tools are more delicate and the model looks more elegant. Even if they are still called officers' knives, there is no official connection between these pocket knives and the Swiss military. These officers' knives were never official army equipment. However, the name "officer's and sports knife" indicates who these pocket knives were intended for, namely for the well-heeled and ambitious officers or athletes. This series of pocket knives was the flagship of Victorinox, and because of this series, Victorinox also became world-famous. When people around the world think of a “Swiss Army Knife”, it is precisely these officers’ knives. Accordingly, Victorinox has always endeavored to use the latest technological developments and innovations in its army knives. Very noble materials such as tortoisescale or mother-of-pearl were used for the scales very early on. This series of pocket knives was the first to use rust-resistant steel and to use the red cellidor or celluloid scales that are characteristic today.
The series of officer's knives was constantly expanded and expanded. As early as 1910, there were models with 2 to 10 tools in a wide variety of configurations. In addition, all of these pocket knives were often available in different versions, very fine, semi-fine or standard. Many additional options could also be selected, such as the Swiss cross embedded in the scale, brackets or pendants, as well as tweezers and toothpicks.
Even today - more than 120 years later - the army knives are the flagship of Victorinox and the model no. 205, now known as the Spartan, is probably the most widespread and well-known model of all, alongside the 58 mm Classic. This series went through an incredible number of developments. Many special models have come and gone, but the size and basic configuration has remained the same.
The size was always 91 mm, even if some of the old catalogs say 90 mm, just like the 80 mm or 85 mm for the small army knives. It was probably more about rounding up or down; the large officers' knives were about 9 cm long, the small ones about 8.5 cm.