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Eiger pot set mystery

Discussion in 'Stove Paraffinalia' started by DAC, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. DAC United States

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    At an estate sale I found in the corner of the basement a box of camping pots and pans and among them was this pot set, stamped "Eiger Switzerland".

    Eiger set 3 (3).JPG

    Inside was a Svea 123. Looking at other stoves on this site (e.g. https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/svea-123-1971.35062/ ). I would guess the Svea was made about 1971, plus or minus a year.
    The stove had neither windscreen nor cup so I assume it was sold with the pot set. The pot clamp that was with it is stamped "SIGG Switzerland" on the underside.

    IMG_1028e.jpg

    The Eiger set looks identical to pictures of Sigg pot sets, like this one:
    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/sigg-tourist-w-svea-123.26983/

    What I don't know is if the Eiger is made of lighter aluminum, or is a slightly different size. Unlike the Sigg sets, the name is not embossed on the rim of the lid. The name is stamped in the center of the lid and the bottom of the large pot.

    IMG_1026e.jpg

    Eiger pot set group 1.JPG

    IMG_0994.JPG

    The dent on the edge of the big pot matches the profile of the plastic strap.
    Tabs riveted in the bottom windscreen hold the stove in place, like the Sigg windscreen.

    IMG_0996.JPG

    The largest pot is 4" high and about 7 ¼ across. The small pot is 3" high and 7" across.

    Was the Eiger pot set a Sigg clone made by a competitor? Or did Sigg spin off a model (maybe different size or materials) under a different name? Could it have been a short-lived joint-marketing effort between Optimus (which bought Svea about 1969) and Sigg?
    - Darrel
     
  2. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    Very, very interesting.
    Surely this is a Sigg and not a clone?
    Some member may have more information.

    As an aside, the 123 without windshield and small pot was marketed as the 123UR.

    Here is an advert from 1979 advertising the 123UR with the Sigg Tourist Cookset.

    Sigg.jpg
     
  3. SveaSizzler United States

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    Darrel, I have a Sigg set. The pots are the same. Actually I get 6-7/8'' for the diameter of the 1 Liter pot, and 3-1/4'' to the actual bottom, beyond the chamfering. But I think that's all 'in the eye of the beholder.' One-and-a-half liter pot, I have the same as you. I don't have a micrometer.

    I'm guessing here that a retailer wanted a different name on his Sigg-made pots, since everybody and REI was already selling the Sigg Tourist sets. Clue is the Sigg potgripper.
    [I have an REI catalog from 1976? that lists a ''Sigg Tourist Cooker'' for $15.85 and a Svea123U (Naked Svea) for $13.75. Both for under 30 bucks.]
    Possibly Holubar of Boulder [or Abercrombie and Fitch] wanted a higher-end sounding brand. One with a whiff of mountaineering danger to it.
    Like ''Eiger''. Yeah -- that's the ticket. Clint Eastwood appeared in ''The Eiger Sanction'' in 1975.

    Another scenario would be a tourist set for some premium give-away, where they didn't want to cheapen the Sigg name by giving sets away for GreenStamps or cigarette coupons. A lot of quality manufacturers rebranded their products for premium merchandising. Not that a lot of 2-pack-a-day men were into backpacking or expeditionary mountaineering, but who knows?
    Until we get more facts, we can only make conjectures.
     
  4. SveaSizzler United States

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    Trevor, your 1979 ad copy looks like something out of "Outside" or "Mariah" magazines. I see the price went up, but that package includes a Sigg fuel bottle, a $2.60 value in my '75 or '76 REI catalog. But then REI's a co-op, so low prices are their reason for being.
     
  5. SveaSizzler United States

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    Eddie Bauer may not have wanted to carry the same brand as REI.
     
  6. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    The advert I posted was from REI in a 1979 'Backpacker' magazine.

    1979_Optimus_123UR+Sigg.jpg
     
  7. SveaSizzler United States

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    OK, so prices went up. I'm unsure about the date on my catalog, but I joined the REI Coop in 1975 or '76. It got waterlogged, but I've managed to get some of the pages unstuck. I almost said ''Backpacker'' too. Outside bought out Mariah in that period and they merged.
    Also they changed the Naked Svea from 123U to 123UR.
     
  8. DAC United States

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    I see the ad lists the weight as 35 ounces. That is exactly what the stove and Eiger set weighs.
    - Darrel
     
  9. snwcmpr United States

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    For some that may get confused with this ..
    As I understand it the 123U to 123UR was the same transition as the transition from 123 to 123R. (1973-74?)
    Svea 123U - Without windscreen, pot, handle, and cleaning needle. (Slanted vaporizer.)
    Svea 123UR - Without windscreen, pot, handle, and WITH cleaning needle. (Horizontal vaporizer)
     
  10. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    @snwcmpr

    That summary is interesting and logical.
    I did not know about the change from 123U to 123UR as I have only seen the 123UR advertised.

    The earliest advert I have seen for the 123UR is from 1975.
    So your estimate for this Eiger combination of 1973-74 or before looks good.
     
  11. SveaSizzler United States

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    With respect, I must differ on your early dating. I am quoting prices from the REI Winter 1975-76 Catalog. They do carry the Svea 123R [as the "self-cleaning model''] for $18.95. The Svea 123 was listed at $17.50. In this catalog they do not yet offer a Svea 123UR (naked Svea) for using in the Sigg Tourist. The Svea 123U sold for $13.75.

    On a side note GAZ cartridges sold for .95 cents each, or a case of six for $5.35. And Optimus Mini Ovens were $10.50. Two Lb can of calcium carbide, $2.60.
     
  12. snwcmpr United States

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    @shagratork
    I am only going by a recollection of a box with the 123U on it. I will try to find it.

    Ken
     
  13. snwcmpr United States

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  14. snwcmpr United States

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    Well, this does seem to be dragging out. But, each time, I do seem to find something to corroborate my (questionable) memory.
    I did find a PDF file .. Link
    The words I found on the Google page seem to be missing in the actual pdf file.

    Google search for quoted "Svea 123U"
    https://www.google.com/search?q="svea+123U"
    The 3rd item in the results list is:
    Page 10 of the pdf shows a slanted 123 inside the Sigg kit.

    I know it's not proof, but it sure makes for an interesting discussion.

    Ken in NC
    Trying hard not to be a 'Troll' here.
     
  15. DAC United States

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    Below the first image in this thread I referenced the thread that I used to date the stove (thanks to Tony Press). I believe the chain, key, fuel cap, and vaporizer (lacking the three rings near the jet), date the stove about 1971. This stove is clearly not a Sievert built model. And the lack of the rings around the top of vaporizer indicates that it wasn't from the mid or late 1970's.
    I bought the stove from the original owner's estate and have every reason to believe the Eiger pot set was sold with it and is the same age.

    It runs very well - though each of the components (the jet, vaporizer, fuel cap, bell and even the key) is less finished than the Sievert made stoves.
    - Darrel
     
  16. snwcmpr United States

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    I believe that that stove, correctly dated as you say, is undervalued. A Sievert stove without the Sievert markings. In other words the parts to make it are Sievert after optimus purchaed the stove line, but before Optimus made/changed them.
     
  17. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    Good research Ken. :thumbup:
     
  18. snwcmpr United States

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    Thanks, I only hope to be an example.
    Some research results can actually be written and read easily. :)