Product Type: Victorinox gadgets
Newest Review: ... criminal organisations like SPECTRE would have been defeated at a stroke had I been equipped with the Victorinox Swiss Card. 00700... more
The Secret Services of the Swiss Card
Victorinox Swiss Card
Member Name: Biskey
Victorinox Swiss Card
Advantages: Neat, smart , well-made and versatile
Disadvantages: You keep thinking of other things it could do, but quite unreasonably
Karl Elsener invented the Swiss Army Knife back in 1884 and it took a mere 113 years for Victorinox to come up with the idea of the Swiss Card
The concept of the miniature, portable toolkit is nothing new. I'm sure if we go back far enough we'll find that the stone-age Swiss had a multi-functional flint.
What is so remarkable about the Swiss Card is that it is genuinely the size of a credit card, only about four times the thickness. It would easily slip into a man's wallet, the top pocket of a jacket, and would be equally snug stowed away in a lady's handbag - no doubt in one of those little inside pockets where important items are often secreted and immediately forgotten.
I suppose I think of it more as a "man thing" or, to be honest, a "boy thing". If I had been blessed with a Victorinox Swiss Card as a youngster, it would have taken its place in my dramatic play as the latest device invented by Q Branch, or the boffins at U.N.C.L.E. (with yours truly in the respective roles of James Bond or Napoleon Solo, of course).
International criminal organisations like SPECTRE would have been defeated at a stroke had I been equipped with the Victorinox Swiss Card.
SO WHAT IS IT?
As I say, imagine your credit card in tougher, more rigid plastic and about four times as thick. You might notice that along two edges are rulers, one in inches (three of them) and the other in centimetres (seven and a half of those). It would take you a while to measure out a cricket pitch, but the length of a fuse or the diameter of a bullet, say, - no problem.
Hold the card up to the light and you will realise that this is much more than just a ruler.
One corner can be swivelled to create a protractor (probably for calculating something clever on a plan) and to reveal a pair of scissors that can be slid out. These are useful when you want to cut the wires on a bomb - if only Bond had had these in "Goldfinger", for instance, although I seem to remember there was still the small matter of which wire to cut.
It soon becomes apparent that other tools slide out of the card.
There is a small blade that in the ordinary world would be handy for opening letters, or in my fantasy, for silent killing.
The nail file would doubtless be pretty useless at getting through prison bars, but might impress a glamorous woman if she needed one badly, as indeed might the stainless steel pin; and at the pointy end of the file is a screwdriver blade for dismantling stuff, probably, or if you're of a more constructive frame of mind, mantling it instead.
Then there's a plastic tooth pick. No secret agent wants to go into action with half his dinner stuck between his teeth. Not cool.
A pair of tweezers is supplied for those awkward moments when you've shoved a sliver of microfilm inside your pen top and can't get it out again.
And then of course there's the thing that looks like a two and three-quarter inch nail (I just measured it with my Swiss Card!) but is in fact a ballpoint pen. There's no excuse now for failling to jot down that deciphered message on your crisply starched shirt cuff, is there?
More recently they have developed the Swiss Card Lite which isn't, although the name seems to suggest it, less heavy duty or less functional. In fact they have dropped the tooth pick and the protractor and in their place managed to fit a quadruple screwdriver, magnifying glass and LED light. Fabulous! Needless to say, the magnifying glass and light appealed most to the boyish spook and sleuth in me.
There are now four colours to choose from: anthracite; blue translucent; red translucent and grey with red detail.
COST and VALUE
They typically cost about £14.00, but I have seen them for as little as £8.00 on the net.
It's the sort of thing that you might not use from one month to the next, but there will come a time when you are in a desperate fix and you suddenly remember that you have this little beauty about your person. It's a little like those times when something drops off the car in a remote spot and suddenly you're grateful for breakdown insurance. The tools are not heavy duty but they are well made, and if you recognise that there are limits to what you can do there's no reason why the Swiss Card shouldn't remain a trusty friend for a long time.
So five stars. BUT.....
..... the Victorinox Swiss Card does have a couple of disadvantages when compared to a credit card: It seems that it isn't accepted by most major stores in payment for goods, and it isn't half as good when it comes to opening night latches. Other than that, brill!
Summary: The handiest thing since the hand
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