In 1884, with the help of his mother, Karl Elsener opened a cutlery shop in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland. In 1891, he formed the first Swiss Cutlery Guild and delivered his initial shipment of knives to the Swiss Army.
Elsener's business grew with his numerous pocket knife inventions that he engraved with names such as the ""Soldier's Knife,"" the ""Cadet's Knife"" and the ""Farmer's Knife."" In 1897, his ""Officer's Knife,"" also called the ""Sport's Knife,"" became the company's first legally protected item and the model for the original ""Swiss Army"" knife, which eventually debuted to international acclaim in 1945.
In 1921, Elsener combined his mother's name, Victoria, with the word ""inox"" an abbreviation for ""inoxydable,"" the French term for stainless steel to create the company's new name, Victorinox. In 1979, Karl expanded ownership to include other members of the Elsener family.
In 1997, the company released its first men's fragrance, Swiss Army. It debuted its first women's scent, Swiss Army for Her, in 2002. As of 2014, the company offers 12 men's and women's fragrances.
During the late 1980s, the company had also introduced timepieces to its offerings. In 1999, it partnered with the U.S.-based company TRG Group in St. Louis to manufacture luggage and travel gear items. In 2001, Victorinox added a line of luxury clothing that offers technically advanced tailoring methods to bring multi-functionality, as well as high style, to each piece.