I received the following email that was sent out to dealers yesterday form GEC. The #97 production totals give us an idea just what’s happening to demand for GEC knives.
“As of today, 10 December, 2018, the total orders from GEC distributors
and dealers for the #97 pattern are approximately 5,200 pieces. That is
a substantial number of knives. I am anxious to get started on them and
excited about producing another old classic pocket knife design.
When we go into production on this run, we hope to have them reach our
inspection department by early February. Once inspected and we start
shipping this run, I calculate that it will take 33 work days to
complete. That is over a month and a half calendar time. Be advised,
there may be several days when you do not receive new product from GEC.”
At last count there are going to be 5 different handle options (I’m not counting the stag as last I heard the chance of a stag 97 is slim). This comes out to roughly 1000 pieces of each handle. For Great Eastern, those numbers are huge. We may have seen total runs approaching these numbers but never confined to so few options.
It’s going to be interesting to see if this starts to put a damper on interest for the collectors or simply feeds into the demand. Some of the earlier knives from runs of 25 or 50 still don’t always command a high premium when compared to the more recent SFO’s of several hundred pieces of a handle. My initial thought is that if GEC continues with runs this size it may ultimately either put upward pressure on the early short run knives or…not. It will also mean we could very well see fewer different knives over a year but higher numbers of the few that get run.
For the last 3 years I’ve heard there was a consideration being given to fewer SFO’s and more regular production knives. This is the first indication GEC may be following through.