Zwilling of Germany makes some of the best knives you can lay your hands on, but here's one that's slightly out of the ordinary. The reasons for releasing it are slightly odd, but the knife itself looks great. When I say slightly odd, what I mean is that the limited-edition knife – Intercontinental 20cm Chef’s Knife, to give it its full title – has been released to celebrate Zwilling's 290th anniversary. That's right, the big 29-0. Oh, and said anniversary was actually last year, not this year. But what the heck, why should we have to wait a further 9 years for the 300th anniversary to have a nice new knife?
Zwilling describes the Intercontinental as the 'ultimate piece of kitchen equipment for budding chefs and keen home cooks,' and it looks like it would be a worthy addition to our guide to be best chef's knives, if only I could lay my hands on one. There will only be 2,900 available in the entire world, and only 200 in T3's native UK.
This unique anniversary knife seems to differ slightly from the standard Zwilling knife silhouette, with just a little more flair, and some unusual materials. The handle is bocote wood, which comes from a tree found in Central America and features distinctive and attractive striping, with every handle being unique. Continuing that theme, each blade has its own serial number from 1 to 2,900 lasered on it. There's a also a Zwilling logo on the bolster of the knife – the part where the blade meets the handle – which is an unusual addition, and very smart it looks too.
This seems like the type of knife you'd buy more as a showpiece than an everyday knife for gutting fish and chopping up chickens and it undeniably looks very stylish. It's also said to be extremely well balanced – another Zwilling hallmark – ergonomic, and comfortable to use.
Some German knife brands make most of their blades in the Far East nowadays, but Zwilling still manufacture most of its knives in the brand's historic home town of Solingen, and the Intercontinental Chef’s Knife is no exception.
The 20cm blade is described as 'special formula steel'. That could mean practically anything, but Zwilling's blades are usually very good, even when they aren't limited edition pieces. The formula used is specifically 'special' in that it retains its cutting edge, is flexible and also corrosion-resistant. A 20cm blade also happens to be my favourite length as I find it gives you a knife that's big enough to do just about any job a home chef is likely to need done, but small enough to be manoeuvrable and easy to store.
Well okay, perhaps not that easy to store in this case; the limited-edition Intercontinental Chef’s Knife isn't one to toss in your knife drawer or impale into a knife block after use. No, it comes in a very chic but quite substantial-looking Thermobeech wooden box, with an inlay card that also displays the same serial number as the blade.
Described as an 'ideal gift for foodies, chefs, home cooks and anyone who enjoys cooking and enjoys food,' this stunning looking knife is not as outrageously priced as you might expect. Although at £249/$290 it's also not what you'd call a pocket money purchase either. A fine chef's knife like this should last a lifetime if cared for – and what kind of monster would buy a stunning limited-edition blade like this and not treat it with care?