Granted, you're probably pretty sure that if you're buying a "Swiss Army" watch off of somebody's blanket on the sidewalk, you're not getting the real thing. But what about avoiding knock-offs in stores or online? You may think you're getting a great deal on a Swiss Army product, when in reality you're spending more money than you should on something that's going to fall apart in a matter of months.
One of the reasons that designer brands are so popular and so expensive is because of their quality. People have come to trust those brands to make reliable products, so they have to be able to back up that trust with products of the highest quality. Chances are that if you're looking for a Swiss Army product, whether it's a knife or a watch, you want it not just for the name or the prestige, but for the quality that that name implies.
Here are just a couple of ways to check and make sure that you're not getting ripped off.
- Check the blade. You may think that if you're buying a red pocketknife with the white Swiss cross on it, you are buying a genuine Swiss Army knife. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily the case. Although there is a law on the Swiss books that prohibits the use of the Swiss cross on items that are not more than 50 percent manufactured in Switzerland, it's widely ignored. That means even if your product is marked with the Swiss cross, it may not be authentic.
The only true Swiss Army Knives are manufactured by Victorinox and Wenger, and they will label the blade of the knife. If your knife doesn't say Victorinox or Wenger on the blade, then you've most likely picked up a knock-off.
- Find a registered dealer. Wherever you're buying your Swiss Army product should be a registered Swiss Army dealer. That way, you'll know you're getting the real thing. One of the easiest ways to find where authentic Swiss Army products are sold is to visit SwissArmy.com. Their "Where to Buy" option will show you the closest retailers to you, as well as online retailers, where you can shop safely.
- Understand the cost of counterfeits. Some people may consider spending the money on a brand name to be a waste. That's not necessarily the case. If you buy a fake, then chances are good you'll run into trouble when you need to get it repaired. Plus, genuine Swiss Army products come with a lifetime warranty that guarantees "against any defects in material and workmanship." Warranties and repairs help you ensure that your purchase will be around for years to come. With fakes, you won't get that same safety net.
Don't take to the streets or to eBay in search of a "deal." Most knock-offs are inexpensive because they'll fall apart on you, whereas a real Swiss Army product will stick around for years to come. Take the time to find the genuine article, and you won't be suffering from any buyer's remorse later.