Launched on April 1st of 1939, the Tirpitz was an enormous, Bismarck Class, German battleship built for the Kriegsmarine (German Navy). Sister ship to the Bismarck, the Tirpitz spent a little over five years in service before it was sunk by Allied bombers off the coast of Norway in November of 1944. On the heels of WWII, a Norwegian company began cannibalizing metal from the sunken German battleship, harvesting the Tirpitz’s alloy-rich steel for civilian uses. This includes the 42,900-ton vessel’s armor — much of which has been recovered by Norwegian divers and is now being repurposed by Böker Solingen, which has taken the long-sunken steel and folded it into a Damascus material for its latest collection of ultra-limited-edition knives.
After being folded and tempered 300 times, this special steel — which has spent the last 77+ years at the bottom of the ocean — has been crafted in Solingen, Germany into four new blade models, all of which have been treated to an anodized hard coat before being paired with a set of genuine walnut wood (and/or Micarta) scales. Christened the “Barlow Prime Tirpitz-Damascus,” the first of the four knives is a non-locking slip joint with a nail nick opening and Micarta bolsters. The remaining trio of knives all sport the same liner-locking design, though they vary in materials, with the most high-end option of the three having been bestowed with a “Great Pyramid” pattern Damascus steel blade adorned in genuine 24-Carat Gold plating. The blades of all three knives have also been rated at between 61 and 63 for hardness on the Rockwell scale, pointing to these models actually affording real utility, rather than simply serving as fancy showpieces.
Available for purchase in the coming weeks, Böker Solingen’s Tirpitz-Damascus Collection starts at $479 for the slip joint Barlow Prime Tirpitz-Damascus and goes up to $1,199 for the Tirpitz-Damascus Gold folder. Each of these limited-edition knives is also sold with a special display/storage case. What’s more, approximately $11 (€10 ) from each sale of the Gold-plated variant is being donated to the War Graves Commission.
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