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SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared 932

No Life Club Posts: 2,365
SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« on: June 08, 2019, 01:02:13 PM »
Victorinox have done a few SOS sets / Survival Kits over the years, pairing a SwissChamp with items considered essential if you’re lost in the woods.

I picked up 2 older examples yesterday of these kits. The boxes are pretty beat-up, but the kits and SwissCamps are unused.

The first is older, probably dating from around 1988-90 as it has the first-generation SwissChamp from that era. This is the smaller SOS kit in a 4.0567 pouch, noted as the A version in SAKWiki.

The second is a little newer, maybe around 1992-95 as it has the rather unique first-generation SwissChamp Timekeeper marked on the box as 1.8816 (Uhr). This is the double-pouch SOS kit marked 4.0568 on the back. This number is referred to as version B however version C is listed as the double-pouch kit...so maybe this is just an early version C, and version B does not exist?

The pics show these 2 kits and the vintage documentation. All the survival items are present.
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 01:16:04 PM »
The older Survival Kit is quite compact, only a little bigger than a standard 4.0521.3 leather SwissChamp pouch. Weight 277g compared to 222g so certainly easy for belt EDC.

Hidden in various pouches is a compass, sharpening stone, brass clutch pencil, paper, plasters, needle and thread, anywhere strike matches, a couple safety pins and nylon string. It’s a good set of essentials.

While the pouch is leather, the inner pockets are vinyl or PVC and are beginning to perish after 30 years. Something I will need to repair one day but not super-critical as the items are all secure.

This is a nice-sized kit that is easy to throw in a bag or cubby-box.
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 01:34:15 PM »
The newer kit appears similar to the current version sold by Victorinox. With a dedicated section for survival items, it adds a few more matches (now safety), a signal mirror, fishing kit, whistle, spare toothpicks and tweezers, and to remove leaves from your hair...a comb.

The compass ruler gets an upgrade with a magnifying glass and thermometer, and the writing paper now includes some knot tying guides and international distress signals.

Probably the most valuable upgrade is the addition of a MagLite Solitaire in a side pocket. The old incandescent AAA type with a spare bulb in the tail cap.

The stand-out feature of course is the SwissChamp. The TimeKeeper was quite unique and in many ways, a clock is an essential piece of survival gear if you were lost without a wristwatch, or heaven forbid, a mobile phone.

For me though, this kit is getting a bit large to carry on the belt, although at 354g is still not too heavy to toss in a bag.

Anyway, that’s my short write up of these two Survival Kits. Does anyone have some good stories to share using theirs?
Hero Member Posts: 514

EMZ nl

*****
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 02:21:55 PM »
Not sure, but sometimes the survival kit was sold separately from the knife.
Don't know if the kit plus knife had a different number than the kit minus knife.

The compass device changed slightly over the years. If I'm correct it was just a very small change in the logo design.
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 02:34:03 PM »
Hi EMZ. Yes, the current kit from Victorinox, the SOS Survival Kit with Double Leather Pouch (4.0568.3) is sold without the SAK knife. It has not changed in 20+ years if I compare the website pic below to what I have, maybe a cheaper metal for the pencil.  :think:
Hero Member Posts: 596
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 02:40:05 PM »
Great idea for a thread, Max!  I have a Survival kit that I bought brand new back in the day.  My sales receipt is dated Aug 15, 1989, in fact.  I no longer have the Swiss Champ that originally came in it, however.  When my own son was a wee laddie one of his Cub Scout buddies had one and lost it, so I gave him mine to replace it.  One of these days I should pick up a replacement specimen of the same vintage I suppose. 

I'll dig up my Survival kit today and post some pictures. 

Myron
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,185
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 03:34:06 PM »
I had both sheaths and both came with SAKs.  I really liked them but traded the dual sheath off.  I kept the single which is permanently on my hike pack.  Great write up. 

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2019, 04:54:42 PM »
Great idea for a thread, Max!  I have a Survival kit that I bought brand new back in the day.  My sales receipt is dated Aug 15, 1989, in fact.  I no longer have the Swiss Champ...One of these days I should pick up a replacement specimen of the same vintage I suppose. 

I'll dig up my Survival kit today and post some pictures. 

Myron

Great comments Myron.   :like:

It’s so logical to extend the SwissChamp to a pouch with even more ‘tools’. A great talking point.

I’m busy detailing the many changes from the 1st gen SwissChamp that came with mine to the current SwissChamp I bought recently. Should make an interesting post.  :popcorn:
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2019, 04:56:15 PM »
...Great write up.

Thanks Aloha.  :hatsoff:
No Life Club Posts: 3,418 It is what it isn't.
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2019, 05:13:49 PM »
Great write up!

I have both kits NIB's but without the Swisschamps!  I don't own any Swisschamps at this time but I felt like I needed to keep the kits since to me they are somewhat unique and I guess think that they will be hard to find someday!   :cheers:
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2019, 06:26:25 PM »
You need at least one SwissChamp in your life sir_mike.  :pok:
No Life Club Posts: 3,418 It is what it isn't.
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2019, 05:46:27 AM »
You need at least one SwissChamp in your life sir_mike.  :pok:

Yeah I had a few over the years but really never used them so I passed them along.  I do have a couple of the Champ Plus's so that is close right?  lol
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,185
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2019, 07:39:55 AM »
Yes close enough for sure  :tu:

Esse Quam Videri
Sr. Member Posts: 311
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2019, 09:39:47 AM »
The little Maglite’s a nice touch. I had a Solitaire years ago and loved it.

I wonder how many of these kits are bought as gifts?

Missing my dear friend Don Federico Cortés, His Lordship, the Boss.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,446 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2019, 09:48:42 AM »
Those are awesome finds, Max! :like:

Shame about the liners. Maybe just cut the tattered liners out and glue in some new ones of you decide to utilize it? :dunno:

You need at least one SwissChamp in your life sir_mike.  :pok:
Hey now. His letting go of Champs allowed me to get one. :D

You're right though. Everyone needs at least one Champ. :iagree:

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2019, 11:59:40 AM »
Yes, I think gifts make up a good portion of sales. Means there’s maybe a few more unused boxes in draws and cupboards around the world.  :tu:

I’m handy with a thread and needle, so I’ll replace the pockets and restitch them when I get some time. Should get it back to original condition.  :salute:

So far, counted 30+ differences from the gen 1 SwissChamp to the current model. I think I’ll need to put it into a table...too much to do on my mobile.  :facepalm:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,446 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2019, 12:08:36 PM »
Looking forward to seeing how the restoration goes, Max! :like: :popcorn:

30+ differences? Oh dear. You've got your work cutout for you indeed. :ahhh  :popcorn:

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,226
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2019, 02:50:24 PM »
I have the older kit too, but my side compartiments are held closed by velcro rather than loops.
The storage liners appear to be more rigid too.
Maybe my sheath is the version B variant?

Buy now or regret later
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2019, 10:14:43 PM »
I have the older kit too, but my side compartiments are held closed by velcro rather than loops.
The storage liners appear to be more rigid too.
Maybe my sheath is the version B variant?

Is there a number stamped on the back of yours Mechanickal? Mine is stamped

Mod.dep.
4.0567
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2019, 10:16:16 PM »
Looking forward to seeing how the restoration goes, Max! :like: :popcorn:

30+ differences? Oh dear. You've got your work cutout for you indeed. :ahhh  :popcorn:

Did I say 30?...

Sorry, I meant 60 differences  :pok:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,226
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2019, 10:40:06 PM »
Is there a number stamped on the back of yours Mechanickal? Mine is stamped

Mod.dep.
4.0567
I'll check tomorrow ;)

Buy now or regret later
Hero Member Posts: 514

EMZ nl

*****
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2019, 12:05:31 AM »
Did I say 30?...

Sorry, I meant 60 differences  :pok:

This unreal!
1. so many changes, and 2. you studied them all and shared the results with us!
Thank you so much. :like:
Hero Member Posts: 545
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2019, 12:38:53 AM »
Did I say 30?...

Sorry, I meant 60 differences  :pok:

Now that is thorough!!!!!    :hatsoff: :hatsoff: :hats off

But now you totally need to explain this ruler error on the newer SwissChamp. Is this like a known thing?

--
'Buzz
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,446 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2019, 02:52:22 AM »
Is that all you could find, Max? :pok: :D

Seriously, that is impressively thorough and much appreciated.  :cheers:

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2019, 08:53:42 AM »
Now that is thorough!!!!!    :hatsoff: :hatsoff: :hats off

But now you totally need to explain this ruler error on the newer SwissChamp. Is this like a known thing?

Thanks Buzz.  :hatsoff:

I noticed that the cm tick marks alignment with the scaler scallops were different, so used a digital caliper to check. I’ll take a photo tonight comparing the two and showing the discrepancy. I only have one modern SwissChamp, so won’t be able to tell you if this is a general feature. But once you see the ‘map’ of the tick mark/scallop relationship, it should be easy to compare.  :tu:
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2019, 09:07:03 AM »
Thanks EMZ and GLBM.  :hatsoff:

And apologies for the few typo’s. I did not proof-read very well before publishing, but this is work in progress as I plan to add a few pictures in a column to the right, and maybe highlight the key differences that are easy visual identifiers.

I think Victorinox made most of the changes listed in the first few years of production. With enough sampling and some deductive reasoning, each change could be dated and this table could become a useful reference for dating SwissChamps. I don’t think we have a Chronological Project yet for this model?
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,226
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2019, 11:19:50 AM »
Is there a number stamped on the back of yours Mechanickal? Mine is stamped

Mod.dep.
4.0567
Hard to read mine, but I do believe the markings are the same.

Like I said though, the storage and closing methods differ.


Buy now or regret later
No Life Club Posts: 2,365
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2019, 12:50:23 PM »
Definitely better as less likely to perish over time. Do you know how old the pouch is?
Hero Member Posts: 514

EMZ nl

*****
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2019, 02:41:14 PM »
Small difference in the compass/ruler/magnifying tool.
The black cross is on the older models. Pic 1.
Text on backside of older model. Pic 2.

Hero Member Posts: 514

EMZ nl

*****
Re: SOS! Two vintage Survival Kits compared
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2019, 02:46:27 PM »
It’s rather complicated with these Survival/SOS sets. (As always with Vic…)
I have both sets. When you look at the manuals, then it gets complicated. The manuals of the sets list all the tools that are in the sets, supplementing the SwissChamp. So the list of the manual starts with the numbers of the tools that are on the Champ. But as the SwissChamp got more tools over time (from 29 to 33), the manuals of older and newer sets are different!
My small SOS set is originally for a SwissChamp with 29 tools.
My large SOS set is originally for a SwissChamp with 31 tools.

The two sets and accompanying knives in my collection are matching, but I’ve seen these SOS sets been offered without the correct Champ. The Champ knife was always a newer version.
Are these offerings not correct or even a fraud? No, I don’t think so. Because many of the SOS sets were sold separately, it is quit possible that the sets did not sell as well or as quick as the knives did. So the sets probably lingered for long times in the inventories of sellers. When after a few years somebody would buy a set with a Champ, a newer version of the Champ was inserted.
That is why I think you’ll find so many older sets with newer knives.

 

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