Wenger Minathor

Wenger Minathor

Meet the Wenger Minathor — a Swiss Army Knife for the watch geek!

From the Swiss Army Knife Wiki:

The Minathor is an 85mm Wenger Swiss Army Knife which includes a set of Bergeon watchmaker tools, and a number of other tools for horological and micro-technology work. There is a detachable handle for use with the different Bergeon removable tool bits.

The name, min-at-hor (mini atelier du horloger), means “a small watch factory”.

There are a number of additional tools available from Bergeon that are compatible with the Minathor. The Daily versions have also been labeled the MicroTechnician and the Micro Tool Chest, these names may have also been applied to earlier Wenger models with different tools.

Pretty cool huh? If you look on the end of the magnifying glass you’ll see a spring bar tool, the screwdriver on the end of the file is, I think, a #0, and there’s a caseback removal tool on the far left.

Another cool feature of this knife is the tweezers – a lot of Swiss Army Knives have tweezers but they’re usually flat – the Minathor has thin pointed tweezers.

The main drawcard, though, is the Bergeon removable handle and a container of useful screwdrivers, pin removers, a file and reamer, spring bar tool – plus room to customise from a selection of other pieces.

The customisation is pretty nifty. While they could have populated each space with a tool you might need, instead they filled it with the most commonly used Bergeon tools but left four or five spaces to choose the additional tools you want.

They are getting very hard to find, and while they were never cheap (Swiss Army Knives are lauded for their quality) they now change hands for much more.

I picked this one up locally and was very pleased to find it – particularly with the complete set of ‘standard’ tools originally supplied. I realise I should have photographed it from the other side, to show the familiar Swiss Army Knife cross logo, but it’s due a good clean and lube so possibly after that.

Also in the bundle were three other Swiss Army Knives, two of which also feature in the Swiss Army Knife Wiki.

First the Certina which the seller had personally acquired from the Certina factory in 1978.

Equipped with the standard 85mm blade and a specially-shaped caseback tool, this one is made by Wenger although doesn’t feature in the Wiki.

 

Next is the Ronda, which is reasonably recent as the back of the knife has www.ronda.ch printed on it.

This too is a Wenger and the shape of the caseback tool, with its larger blade, identifies it as the Watch Case Opener Wenger. It’s the only one with printing on both sides.

The third is made by Victorinox, who acquired Wenger in 2005 and continued to make the high quality knives Swiss Army Knife is famous for.

The shape of its caseback tool identifies it as the Watch Case Opener Victorinox knife.

All of these watches were supplied so watchmakers and manufacturers could print their own branding on them, and I particularly like this last one, from All Parts (1980) Ltd in Invercargill.

The business has long gone, but it its day must have been a supplier of quality watch parts to be able to brand a Swiss Army Knife with its own information. The printing is high quality as well and can’t be felt with a fingernail so, like the rest of the knife, is very well finished.

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2 Responses to Wenger Minathor

    • Good question – I really don’t know. I’ve seen queries about them online back to 2009 but am guessing they date a bit further back than that. Most of what I know about the knife comes from the SAK Wiki including the juicy tidbit that it’s the only Swiss Army Knife to come with pointed tweezers. Apologies I can’t offer any more.

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