The Opinel company was founded in 1890 in Savoie region of France by Joseph Opinel. Today, his descendants still own the company, which employs around 100 people, produces 4 million knives per year and sells to 70 countries across the world. The easily - recognisable Opinel folding knife is acknowledged as one of the best knives in the world.
The Victoria and Albert Museum lists the Opinel pocket knife as being among the best designs in the world, placing it with icons such as the Porsche 911 and the rolex watch. In 2006 the Opinel pocket knife was recognised as one of the 999 most successful designs of all time by a jury of international designers in the 'Phaidon Design Classics'.