What is the IWA Knife Award?
After a break of many years, there was finally an IWA Knife Award again this year for the exhibiting knife manufacturers. The new edition was awarded in 2 categories, true to the motto "Between Tradition and Innovation" in the categories Classic and Innovation. For the first time, visitors were also able to vote for an audience award throughout the entire trade fair.
The response was enormous. A total of more than 30 knives were submitted in advance for the new edition of this award. An independent jury of experts from the industry and well-known knife enthusiasts had their work cut out for them in the run-up to the IWA Knife Award. The knives were evaluated on the basis of various points and in the end 20 finalists made it to the presentation area of the "BLADE Demo Area". The remaining knives were presented in separate presentations, some of them live on stage, including our liner lock "Sheepfoot".
The exhibitors' interest in the IWA Knife Award was very great this year, so it can be assumed that this "Oscar" of the knifemakers will again become a fixed programme point at every IWA OutdoorClassics in the coming years.
En route to becoming the winner of the IWA 2023 Knife Award
What is the saying? Participation is everything, but who expects to go home with 1st place and a trophy?
When the email announcing the IWA Knife Award arrived here in the office in mid-January 2023, it took a bit of convincing. Besides fame and honour, the main prize was a professionally produced product film. If that wasn't an incentive! But in the end, the statement "If there is a classic among pocket knives, then it can really only be the Mercator!" convinced even the last sceptic.
The choice in the "Classic" category quickly fell on our Mercator K55K in the exclusive colour reed green, that famous Mercator cat that is a household name to every knife lover worldwide. In the "Innovation" category, we sent our liner-lock "Sheepfoot" into the race, a knife that is completely manufactured in Solingen from the drawing to the finished product.
Two weeks before the IWA, we were informed that our Mercator was indeed one of the finalists in the "Classic" category. And on top of that, the knife was on display for the entire duration of the trade fair. That alone was worth participating in the IWA Knife Award. Now all we had to do was get the knives back to Nuremberg in one piece.
And the 1st place goes to...
Fast forward to Saturday evening for the presentation of the IWA Knife Award 2023.
Each knife entered received a "certificate of participation".
The race for 1st place in the main categories was a close one. A final result was only known after a second inspection by the jury. To be honest, we were already thrilled that our knives had both received a certificate. The main prize would be the icing on the cake. As with any good awards ceremony, the suspense was kept up with the announcement of the 2nd and 3rd places. The city of Solingen lived up to its reputation as a city of blades. In the "Classic" category, the PUMA medici PM-edition came in 2nd place.
Do you know that feeling of anticipation that you sometimes have, even if you can't really explain it? That tingling in your stomach? That's exactly what I, at least, had before the winner was announced. When the name OTTER-Messer GmbH came up, our glances were certainly priceless. Photos were diligently taken, hands were shaken and the first interviews were already given. You can find the interview immediately after the award ceremony and the great product video linked below.
Armed with the prize, certificates and several bottles of beer to toast, we finally returned to our stand, beaming with joy but still in disbelief. The crowd of well-wishers that immediately arrived was proof that news travels very fast.
We are proud of the recognition that the Mercator Knife has received from the jury and that history is kept alive as a result.
What makes the Mercator knife so special?
The Mercator is THE classic among German pocket knives. The Mercator K55K "cat reed green" is yet another chapter in the 140-year history of Mercator knives. The exclusive model with the reed-green handle and the black, hand-painted cat embossing is a tribute to the soldiers who made the knife world-famous. The flat handle and simple construction make the Mercator almost indestructible and the perfect companion for every day.
Produced by hand in Solingen almost unchanged since the 1860s, this model combines tradition with modernity. When you choose a Mercator, you choose a piece of history and the myth of this knife.
VIDEO: IWA Knife Award 2023: Winners of the categories "Innovation" and "Classic" (external link to youtube)
VIDEO: IWA 2023: Frank Rommel - winner of the Knife Award in the category "Classic" in an interview (external link to youtube)
image source: NürnbergMesse