To celebrate the upcoming Tour de France, the world’s preeminent road race, French heritage brand Opinel will be launching two limited-edition No.08 Folding Knives. Designed for knife, everyday carry, and cycling enthusiasts alike, the No.08 Folding Knives will begin shipping on June 13.
Both knives were designed in collaboration with Matthieu Lifschitz, art director for 200 Magazine (a famous French cycling publication) and each comes with unique and beautifully designed handle graphics that highlight classic motifs emblematic of the Tour.
The “Les Maillots” edition ($55) pays tribute to the iconic jersey colors worn by race leaders. A yellow band at the bottom of the handle represents the yellow jersey of the race leader, a green band in the middle represents the green jersey worn by the best sprinter, and red polka dots at the top of the handle celebrate the polka dot jersey given to the best climber. These graphics are printed on the Hornbeam wooden handle using a technique called sublimation, and each knife is delivered in a special-edition gift box with an official Tour de France sticker.
The “Landmarks” edition ($29) tells the story of the Tour de France through the iconic landmarks and symbols that encapsulate the tour. An image of the famous tower atop Mont Ventoux—one of the Tour’s most grueling climbs—sits at the bottom of the Beechwood handle, and an image of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, where the race finishes, is included at the top of the handle. Additional graphics symbolizing the elements of water, rain, and mist are included to celebrate the varying conditions faced by riders. All the graphics are added via pad printing and a yellow leather lanyard pays tribute to the Tour’s primary color. Each knife is delivered in a kraft paper sleeve with an official Tour de France sticker.
Like all Opinel No. 8 Folding Knives, these special edition releases are made in France with high-quality components including Sandvik 12C27M stainless steel blades and the company’s patented Virobloc safety ring. While the graphics are exclusive to this year only, the knives stay true to Opinel’s historic design that dates back to 1890.
Many of the Opinel employees who hand-crafted these knives will be able to cheer on their favorite riders in person on June 13 when this year’s Tour passes through the company’s hometown of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and speeds through the Opinel roundabout as part of Stage 11.
Samples of both the “Les Maillots” and “Landmarks” editions are now available.
Based in the French Alps, Opinel has been making pocket knives and kitchen tools in France since 1890. The brand launched its US subsidiary in 2016. To view the collection, visit www.opinel-usa.com or follow @opinelusa.