VICTORINOX, the Number 1 for Pocket Tools
Victorinox pocket tools incorporate more than a century of tradition and experience. In 1884, the original knife workshop was established by Karl and Victoria Elsener and the first delivery of knives to the Swiss Army was made in 1891. When Karl Elsener created the "Original Swiss Army Knife" in 1897, he could never have imagined that this would become the symbol for quality, functionality and Swiss inventive talent all over the world. Nowadays, the "Swiss Army Knife" enjoys international protection and, more than any other product, stands for the world-famous "Swiss Made" label of quality.
The unique inventiveness which characterises the Victorinox product range is driven forward by the desire of development staff at Victorinox to respond to the wishes expressed by customers and make them a reality. This leads to new products with innovative functions designed to fully satisfy the wide range of demands and value concepts of consumers.
The skill of Victorinox lies in achieving an optimum combination of function and design
The manufacturer from the Swiss Knife Valley knows that functionality and usefulness alone are not sufficient to appeal to the emotions of the consumer. Only good design which gives an aesthetic voice to the intelligent function endows products with an unmistakable identity which turns satisfied customers into loyal customers.
Victorinox Swiss Army watches, multitools, luggage and leisure clothing are designed to solve problems, satisfy the most exacting demands and win hearts thanks to their cool elegance. They are conceived and produced to be of benefit to people. They are also products which combine the aspects of heart and mind, hence our slogan - Made like You.
Shopping Tips and Hints
Switzerland is a shopping paradise for all. From the exclusive to the daily, you will not lack for anything
Switzerland's currency is the Swiss franc. However, in view of the many other Europeans that shop in Switzerland, prices are often also marked in euros. Many shops will accept euros (only bills) but will return change in Swiss francs. Most credit cards (Mastercard / Visa) are widely accepted. Traveler's checks are not usually accepted in stores and will have to be exchanged for francs in banks or change offices. Usually banks are open from 8:30 to 12:00 in the morning and from 13:30 to 16:30 in the afternoon. You can also change money at train stations.
Automatic Teller Machines: usually persons holding EC cards or an American bank card can withdraw money from Swiss ATM's, which also dispense US dollars and euros, besides the Swiss franc. Before leaving your home country, check with your local bank for a PIN.
Maps, books, and guides are available from Hallwag Kummerly & Frey at any Swiss bookstore and at most Swiss kiosks. For more information: www.swisstravelcenter.ch
Stamps to send your postcards and letters, as well as any philatelic products are available at the post office: www.post.ch
Forgot your cell phone at home? No matter, simply rent one from Swisscom. They also sell phone cards that allow for easy phoning back home from any of the thousands of public phone booths
Switzerland's sites of natural beauty and cultural landmarks can certainly be photographed, but they can also be captured forever on coins. Attractive design and high-quality finish make these commemorative coins by swissmint a souvenir to treasure. The special edition coins by the Swiss federal mint represent precious mementos of Switzerland: majestic mountains, impressive buildings, outstanding events and personalities. Every year, swissmint issues three to four carefully selected subjects in limited editions, all of them in excellent quality and with elegant packaging.
Leading Swiss artists design each coin individually and thereby create small works of art - works of art, as a matter of fact, with a legal face value of 10, 20 or 50 Swiss francs. Featured on gold, silver or bi-colour coins (see the picture), Switzerland's most remarkable landmarks are affordable for everybody. A valuable souvenir and a tasteful gift.
As Switzerland's official mint, swissmint has many years of experience in producing coins. Innovative design and perfect finish are a constant priority when issuing such special edition coins. Its high standards of quality have already brought swissmint international recognition on a number of occasions.
The commemorative coins by swissmint can be obtained from banks, coin dealers and good specialised outlets. For information on the current coin programme and for online orders, please click on www.swissmint.ch.
Cheese is another food for which Switzerland is known, especially since Switzerland has been producing cheese for many centuries. Whether at home or abroad, the best known cheeses are Emmental (also known as Swiss cheese), Gruyére, Sbrinz, Appenzell and Tête de Moine. But there is more to Swiss cheese than these few types: there are more than 450 cheese-makers who produce these delicious ambassadors of Swiss culture. Swiss cheese is made of milk produced by cows that graze on our flower-strewn meadows and somehow, one can nearly taste the sun in our delicious cheeses.
The Switzerland Cheese Marketing AG (SCM) has been in charge of marketing, communication and advertising for Swiss cheese since 1998. Click on www.switzerland-cheese.com for recipes that involve cheese, as well as more information regarding the individual dairies.
Swiss regional cuisine leaves little to be desired. Nearly every region has its own specialty. Discover home-cooking Switzerland-style or go for the gold with haute cuisine, for which Switzerland is well known. www.gastrosuisse.ch
Switzerland's Best Shopping
Shopping in Switzerland is pure joy. Whether you wish to rummage through flea markets, look at colorful markets, or comb through luxury goods boutiques, you will not be disappointed. Of course, you will encounter all the world's well-known brands but above all, don't miss out on Swiss designers. Indeed, many of them have acted as ambassadors in far-flung places, making Switzerland synonymous with well-crafted, well-designed merchandise. To give you an idea of what awaits you in Switzerland, we would like to present to you Switzerland's best known shopping places.
Bern: Shopping Beneath the Eaves
For the ultimate romantic experience, shop in Bern's historical center, in centuries-old buildings where luxury boutiques are cheek-to-jowl with more common-place bakeries and butcher shops. Because pedestrians walk under covered eaves, this is as enjoyable an experience in rain as in sunshine. For more information, click on www.berninfo.com
Zurich: Bahnhofstrasse, Rennweg
Dawdle in front of well-executed shop windows, enjoy a coffee there, watch the world go by, and of course, shop to your heart's content: Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse has long had the reputation for being one of the world's premiere shopping venues. Whether you are looking for watches, chocolate, accessories, fashion, or antiques, you will find it here or close by. And of course, one of the most prominent stores on Bahnhofstrasse is Bucherer, a Switzerland Tourism partner, a wonderful place to find top-notch watches and jewellery. For persons looking for the perfect bring-along, check out the Heimatwerk (Rudolf-Brun Bridge, www.heimatwerk.ch or in the Main Train Station).
Shopping in Geneva is a joy: whether you stroll through the Rue Basses with its hip little boutiques or the chic Rue du Rhone, Rue de la Confédération, Rue du Marché, Rue de la Croix-d'Or and Rue du Mont-Blanc.
Lugano: Piazza Riforma / Via Nassa
Shopping with an Italian flavor: stroll through Italienate piazzas and the Via Nassa, where all the world's major brands meet. Even stylish people from Milan come and shop here!
Tradition and modernity goes hand in hand in this lovely town on Lake Luzern. And be sure to pop in at Bucherer's (www.bucherer.com). The well-known watch and jewellery store has its headquarters here. And what splendor will await you there: more than 4000 watch models and pieces of jewellery, ranging from the functional to the extravagant.
Textiles: +alprausch+ collection
The Textile and Fashion Industry - small but great! Switzerland's fourth largest export industry is highly productive, very innovative, and apart from its great design, one of its main characteristics is its excellent quality.
The word 'lifestyle brand' is often used too frequently and many times to highlight a brand that has a hard time distinguishing itself on its own. However, the design of +alprausch+ is truly a reflection of the lifestyles of those who create it. When you put on +alprausch+ clothing you are identifying yourself with simple tradition, modern style and the sense of humor that we all enjoy in Switzerland. Bits of Swiss 'lifestyle' that you can share with the rest of the world. Whether it is a print of a jetplane or the swiss mountain animal 'mumeli', each product tells a story. Throughout the +alprausch+ collection of products you will find diversity, functionality, quality, but most importantly pride.
a story of a unique tribe based in Zurich, Switzerland, who have created a line of clothing outerwear and accessories with a style that dares to combine classic Swiss tradition, with modern street and snow culture." Andy Tanner. What started as a local Swiss project in 2000, +alprausch+ has slowly spread into a global phenomenon. Though the company has matured internally, we run by the same philosophy and principles we started with. It is our true intention to share with the world all of the things that make our everyday lives so special. Enjoying a sharp contrast to other brands, fans are reminded every season that, +alprausch+ is a family of people not willing to give in to fashion dictated by the masses. Creativity, style, fit and function, these are attributes that we feel make clothing special. By working with our own ideals and style, we have created a line of clothing that is often times viewed as somewhat 'against the grain'. By embedding positive Swiss ideals into inspirational styles, we offer a concept and a story to people who posses originality and the need to live and dress apart from the rest.
Watches and Jewellery
Making precision time pieces has a long tradition in Switzerland. One mainly finds the small factories that still make these precision instruments the old-fashioned way in Western Switzerland, where French is spoken. Often, it takes month till one of these masterpieces is finished, since a lot of the work is done by hand.
But Switzerland is not only known for its watches but also for its exquisite jewellery. Using only the most noble materials for their creations, most goldsmiths make unique pieces rather than factory-processed baubles
Bucherer is a name the world recognizes. Carl-Friedrich Bucherer opened his first store in Lucerne, in 1888, thus laying the groundstone for this successful family enterprise. These days, this company is considered one of the leaders in its field, that is, watches and jewellery. Distinguished jewellery made of precious stones and perfect pearls line the windows. Most of it is made by the company's own goldsmiths, whose excellent reputation well precedes them.
For a list of Bucherer stores, click on www.bucherer.com. Bucherer has been a strategic partner of Switzerland Tourism for many years.