New looks for an old Victorinox standard

Everyone is familiar with the long-serving red and silver Swiss Army Knife, and in recent years the Victorinox company has developed new derivatives. The latest are white or black finish Spartan series, fitted with specially-coated blades and tools, and wood-finish models. 

Applying a coating is a popular way to make knives and tools really stand out. However, instead of the usual black, the tools on the new Spartan PS models boast a special Inox-Spectral coating that is not a pigment, but is transparent chromium oxide that’s gradually built up.

What makes this process so special is that this layer is transparent and that permits an optical interference effect. A range of colour effects are produced depending on the thickness of the layer, the composition of the light spectrum and the angle of view. This allows the tools on the Spartan PS to reflect their surroundings.

The coated high-end steel surfaces don’t age or crack, fade or flake, and the coating is safe for the environment and people. Like all Victorinox knives the Spartan PS models carry a lifetime workmanship guarantee.

That said, it’s possible to scratch off the coating when sharpening the blades, unless care is used.

We have a couple of multi-tools in our camping kit, but we always have a Swiss Army Knife on hand as well. We’ve had several over the years and they’ve been lost or pinched, not worn out. Now we’re checking out one of the new black Spartan PS models.

Our evaluation PS came with two blades; a bottle opener and can opener with integral screwdrivers; a corkscrew and a reamer; punch and sewing awl, wire stripper, tweezers and a toothpick.


The Wood Collection models are walnut-plated-side knives. One version has six fold-out blades and tools and the other has nine.

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