Now don’t get me wrong, I applaud Victorinox for trying to meet a niche that is unfortunately thrust upon them. Yeah Capitalism! What makes this incendiary is I wish that such a niche never existed in the first place.
(W)hen I received an invitation to an event at the Victorinox Swiss Army flagship store in SoHo a couple of weeks ago, I saw a perfect opportunity to lobby the company on behalf of my brilliant, TSA-friendly idea: a Swiss Army knife without the knife.
While I’d certainly miss a blade when the need arose to cut a piece of cheese or slice a salami on an alpine picnic, I’d still have the reassurance that there was no bottle or can I couldn’t gain access to…
…it turns out that Victorinox beat me to the punch with the concept of a knifeless knife.
“We have created one,” Ms. Hourigan said, directing me to a locked display case. “We have a series called the Jetsetter. There’s an assortment of tools, missing the blade because of TSA concerns. After 9/11, our Swiss Army knife took a major hit.”
The Jetsetter comes with scissors, bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, wire stripper (not that I’ve had many occasions to strip a wire), key ring, tweezers and toothpick.
Minuscule knives like a SAK Classic were set to be allowed on airplanes back in 2013. This plan was scrapped due to pressure from flight attendant unions, politicians, and other stakeholders in security theater.
As it turns out, there isn’t as big of a niche for the Jetsetter. According to Victorinox Marketing Director Ms. Hourigan,
In fact, sales of the Jetsetter have been disappointing. “It doesn’t sell as well as we thought it would,” she said. “The argument against it is that it doesn’t have a blade.”
Not a big market for a knifeless knife? I can’t quite conjure up my shocked face.