Joseph Opinel had the idea of making his knife into different sizes which would be suitable to different hand sizes or used for various tasks. So, in 1897, he developed 12 different sizes numbered from 1 to 12. The smallest knife, named No. 1, included a ring so that it could be attached to the chain of a pocket watch. Its manufacture as well as No. 11’s was stopped in 1935. Nowadays, the smallest Opinel, No. 2, has a 3.5-cm blade and the largest knife, No. 12, a 12-cm blade. In the 70s, a giant knife was produced in small volumes as a promotional item to be used in shop windows. The retailers were rapidly asking Opinel to produce larger quantities due to requests from private individuals! The blade of the giant No. 13 is 22 cm long making the knife 50 cm long when fully open.

In 1565, King Charles IX of France ordered each master cutler to add his emblem to his products to guarantee their origin and quality. To follow this tradition, Joseph chose the Crowned Hand emblem in 1909. The blessing hand is that of Saint Jean-Baptiste appearing on the arms of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, the town closest to Albiez-le-Vieux, home of the Opinel family. Joseph Opinel added the crown as a reminder that the Savoie was a duchy. Since, every single Opinel blade and tool is stamped with the Crowned Hand.

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