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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 enlisted personnel between 1962 and 2008. 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 the Swiss Army 1961 design specifications that were developed by Victorinox.

Some people classify the Standard Issue as the civilian version of the Soldat, as it contains a bail mounted in the hollow end-rivet, which was never included on issued Soldier Knives.

This is the only 93mm Alox scaled model that was manufactured by Wenger. After 2008, Wenger 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 model as the Swiss Army 70.

Retired

Layer Tools

Wenger 100th Anniversary Limited Edition Standard Issue
Wenger 100th Anniversary Limited Edition Standard Issue

The year of issue/manufacture is stamped on the reverse of the main blade tang.

Non Layer Tools

  • Bail and hollow rivet for lanyard attachment

Scale Tools

None - The military knives did not include the popular toothpick and tweezers of the civilian knives, presumably because they are not considered necessary for a soldier, and could be too easily lost in the field. This would also make the manufacturing of the Alox scales easier.

Scales

Silver textured Alox, red Swiss shield.

Manufacturer Differences

The Wenger SI and the Victorinox Soldier 1961 are both manufactured to the same Swiss Military specifications. However they differ somewhat: The Standard Issue’s blade shape is slightly different, and the reamer is ground to more of a point. Also Victorinox never attached a bail to the hollow rivet, and stopped using it after 1994.
For a detailed comparison see the Swiss Army Knights article below.

Variations

  1. The Limited Edition Soldier Knife - 100 year Anniversary (1891-1990) has engraving on the main blade with the text 100 JAHRE,  and an image including the Swiss crossbow with some foliage (see picture above). It was sold in a luxury grey, leather wrapped, presentation case, with a serial numbered, signed, certificate of authentication. Although this model commemorates 100 years of the Soldier Knife, Wenger (and its predecessors) were not manufacturing the Soldier Knife in 1891!
    Three versions were available:
    • Gold shield; 90 stamped on the tang; hollow rivet/no bail; brass liner and spacer
    • Red shield; 90 stamped on the tang; hollow rivet/no bail
    • Red shield; 91 stamped on the tang; hollow rivet/no bail
  2. 1893 was the year Wenger’s predecessors first formed a company. The Limited Edition Wenger 100 Year Anniversary model features blade etching, with an image including the text 100 1893 ANS 1993,  and a 92 blade tang stamp. This edition included the bail, and was sold in a luxury leather wrapped presentation case. The packaging was identical to the Soldier Knife 100th Anniversary Limited Edition.
  3. Some knives were manufactured without the Wenger stamp or year on the blade tang. These were apparently manufactured in error, then sold though the company store, although some have been reported to be sold through other outlets, maybe before the error was discovered!
  4. The Swiss Army 70 sans croix version, without the Swiss shield/emblem manufactured in July 2012, was most likely the last version of the 1961 Soldat 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 Wenger was just trying to use up as much extra stock as possible!

History

Wenger has been producing various Soldat models since approximately 1908.

This model, with the new 1961 design specification for the Swiss Army's Soldier Knife, replaced the Wenger Soldat 1951, and was manufactured to this specification, under contract to the Swiss Army/government, by both Wenger and Victorinox. It was first issued in 1962. In 2008 this model was replaced by the Swiss Army with a new design, that was manufactured solely by Victorinox.
For more details on the evolution of this model see the Victorinox 1961 Solider page, and External Resources below.

As it was a successful item in the Wenger product line, they continued to produce it after 2008 for general purchase. Since it was no longer a military issue knife, it did not have the year stamped on the tang, and Wenger called it the Swiss Army 70.

The Wenger 1961 Soldat is an interesting model in the Wenger product line! Since it is based on specifications that were developed by Victorinox and the Swiss Army, it has several unusual components that do not feature on any other Wenger models:

  • The aluminium, or Alox, handles
  • The can-opener: This tool design was patented by Victorinox and featured in virtually all their larger models. Common understanding is that Victorinox supplied these parts to Wenger at cost!
  • Similarly, the reamer/awl is of the design found on Victorinox Alox scaled models

Essentially this knife is a Victorinox design, however 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 tools were issued to soldiers, in part to maintain their firearms, they were under the supervision of the Waffenkontrolle (weapons control), and early models contain their approved stamp on the scales. See Wiki Victorinox Soldier 1890, Soldier 1961 pages, and external articles WaffenKontrol, Soldier 1961 for additional information.

Physical Specifications

  • Length: 93mm / 3.625in
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces

The Soldat (and Victorinox Soldier) is listed,in error, as a 91mm model in some official documentation!

Identifiers

  • 1.70.01: Soldat/Swiss Army 70
  • 1.70.00: Soldat/Swiss Army 70 - without bail
  • 1.070.001.000: Swiss Army 70 (newer number format when Wenger moved to 3 digit groups)
  • 1.070.001.000.01: Swiss Army 70 sans croix

US Model Number:

  • 16520: Regular model

Related Knives

Image

  • Soldier 1961 - Victorinox's 93mm 1961 Soldier is almost identical

External Resources

Created by Fred. Last Modification: Monday 09 of December, 2019 19:42:14 CET by Nick4.

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