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Unidentified SOG S1 and S2

Discussion in 'SOG Specialty Knives' started by KenHash, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I need help from my fellow vintage SOG experts. On the infamous auction site came across a pair of SOGs that have puzzled me. They are an S1 and S2, purported to be and by all physical aspects appear to be vintage Seki SOGs made
    by Hattori. However, neither have the country of origin on the right side ricasso. But more puzzling is that rather than the familiar square SOG logo, the words SOG SPECIALTIES appears. The S1 has a S/N on the guard a feature I was under the impression existed only on the commemorative S1 in box made 2006-2008. The S2 also has no country of origin, has an early Santa Monica CA nylon sheath, and again no square logo but SOG SPECIALTIES" where it should be. The seller of these two knives purports that they are the very earliest production pieces. Even the S1 sheath has SOG SPECIALTIES stamped on it. The S1 serial number suggests that at least 1000 were made. I was under the impression that the very earliest SOG S1s from Hattori had S/N on the pommel together with a signature by Spencer Fraser. So all of this is very puzzling to me, I have never seen these versions. If anybody has seen the before or has any information to confirm or deny the story behind these two SOGs I would be very grateful.
    Thanks VM.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Carney C

    Carney C

    475
    May 29, 2009
    Bro, I loved SOG for Years, and I don't understand what's happened to them. It's like being a Fender Guitar, (American made) and finding out it's not. Their knew designs look like fantasy knives. And their machetes & such, fold like there made if aluminum. I am proud I have one left, an ol Seki Carbon Steel Tigershark
     
  3. defiant-1

    defiant-1

    285
    Sep 26, 2011
    Hello, Ken:

    I saw these knives on that infamous web site, too.

    I would not be too quick to say that these knives are fakes. I own a SOG Team Leader [folder] which has the exact markings ['SOG SPECIALTIES', '5th SPECIAL FORCES'] as the S1; like the S1 shown above, my knife does not state the location of origin either. I also own a SOG S2B with the boxed SOG logo which does not state the location of origin on the ricasso.

    Photos of SOG Team Leader [folder] and SOG S1: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/909484-Sog-team-leader-folder-vintage-or-sog-hog

    Overall, in my opinion, I would not purchase either of the two knives without authenticating the knives with SOG, Inc.

    Regards,
    d-1
     
  4. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Thank you for your reply. No, I wasn't leaning towards a "fake" on this one because other than the new-to-me logo and lack of origin, they look completely legitimate. And I too have run across SOGs that failed to have the country of origin for whatever reason, but by model and other features that can generally be pinned down. I wasn't thinking of bidding but was curious for collector knowledge sake. And shocked that I hadn't run across this before.
    If I asked SOG in Washington I doubt my question would make it to the older people who would know. I may have to go direct to Seki to answer
    this one.

    PS: I put up a new Hattori site. Although I am adding new articles every couple of days, it is already quite readable.

    http://hattoricollector.com

    Regards,
    Ken
     
    MTHall720 likes this.
  5. defiant-1

    defiant-1

    285
    Sep 26, 2011
    Awesome and very informative site, Ken!

    Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.

    Regards,
    d-1
     
    MTHall720 likes this.
  6. sac troop

    sac troop

    893
    Mar 4, 2009
    Ken this is the 4th S1 I've seen like this. Blade marked serial number with the "SOG SPECIALTIES" on the blade. Also the same markings on the sheath, although one of them had the "SOG SPECIALTIES" stamped on the back of the sheath. I've met with people who contend that these are the earliest knives, but with the possible exception of two of the knife owners saying that they bought them new in the time frame when the earliest knives would have been made and had always owned them, I haven't found anyone who could provide unimpeachable provenance.
    At SOG I've never talked to anyone there that says they were with the company as far back as the Edmonds WA. days let alone California. No one who can or would say how many knives ended up being serialized, let alone the blade marked vs. pommel marked serial numbers. This is the first S2 I've seen with the "SOG SPECIALTIES" stamped blade. I've seen reportedly both Seki and Taiwan made knives that where sterile. One employee at SOG maintains that those were most likely knives sent to them by the manufactures to be used to evaluate different changes and were not intended for commercial sale. He told me that the employee's often get the opportunity to obtain these knives when the company is done with them, and many of these knives do end up in the secondary market. It's a story that seems reasonable to me but I don't know how to verify that with any real certainty.
    Maybe one day I'll luckily cross paths with Spencer Frazier and he'll both remember and feel like talking about certain bits of the companies past. In the meantime I'm thinking your contacts at Hattori may be your best bet.
     
  7. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Thanks vm sac troop. On one hand I'm glad to run into someone else who has encountered this logo.
    On the other hand while theories about prototypes, initial runs, etc are all very well believable, it just amazes
    me that this particular S1 if there were 1000 made hasn't surfaced before and is more widely known. I mean,
    I have several knives that are 1 out of 1000 and they aren't THAT uncommon. 50-200, yes I can understand
    the obscurity. Anyway you are right, only someone who was a participant back in 1986 would know the answer.
     
  8. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
  9. sac troop

    sac troop

    893
    Mar 4, 2009
    Now I'd call that PROVENANCE. Thanks GIRLYmann. Ken I know that in attempts to get to the bottom of things we run into all kinds of stories. separating the dirt from the flakes of gold often takes a lot of work. I'm constantly asking myself "why do I know what I believe I know?". There are knives out there that are more common by numbers that I still haven't run across myself. On the other side of the coin for some reason I can't explain, there are less common pieces I've seem multiple examples of. (??)
     
  10. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Girlymann....your screen name notwithstanding you are as they say "The Man".
    Not one of the "first S1s" but a 1989 commemorative run. Had just sent mail to Seki about this
    but looks like I didn't have to.

    http://hattoricollector.com
     
  11. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    Indeed it was.
    Maybe it wasn't quite the Rosetta Stone.
    But great trivia for vintage sog knife nuts.
     
  12. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    I stand in awe of your passionate "research" and findings!
    great work that can only come from a highly dedicated and investigative mindset.
    Awesome!
     
  13. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Thank you very much Girlymann.
    The part in Spencer Frazer's letter where he says it was made in the same factory as the originals is interesting.
    I believe the original MACV-CISO sogs were made starting in mid 1960s. But not sure until when. Timeframe wise I
    would speculate that the Hattori family's Masahiro factory was one of the makers contracted by Yogi Shokai or Japan Sword. I'm treading on some serious SOG collector trivia turf. Masahiro today only makes kitchen knives, but I know that back then they did make other kinds.

    Sac troop, for me half the fun of collecting is tracing the history. Even the "rumor" that Hattori had made the Seki S1s wasn't "definite" for me until I got confirmation from the Seki exporter who shipped them to SOG. Then, after seeing all the S1s/S2s in Ichiro Hattori's personal sample collection, well, it was an undeniable "fact".
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  14. sac troop

    sac troop

    893
    Mar 4, 2009
    The piece from the Hattori Collector site regarding the production of the S1 and S2 bowies for SOG Specialty Knives, mis-identifies the owner of SOG as a Spencer Davis. His name is Spencer Frazer. No sense in spreading confusion.
     
  15. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Oops.Thank you!.Yes you are of course absolutely correct. Brain fart resulting from working on too many pages at once.
    BTW I managed to get a comment section under each article.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  16. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    That would have been so cool...
    [video]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aV4RnWsP2hk[/video]
     
  17. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
  18. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Great find. Too bad so many links in old info are 404s.
    Clearly I couldn't have afforded even the last serial set at $199 back then.
    I did buy a CS SRK though in 1989 I think at like $50/60.
     
  19. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    anything from the pre-internet period would be a challenge to locate in digital form.
    as it would have to come from someone's memory (if there is still one),
    hard copy, scans or photo uploads...
    and it's no walk in the park
    with bits of information scattered right across the globe
    (even for something quite recently as the late 80's).
    so i applaud your effort in amassing and placing in a blog
    such information as a reference point for the world to see
    appreciate and discover such amassed knowledge
    and perhaps eventually to openly share and even add to it.
    SOG Knives was one of those Japanese OEMed brands
    which followed the exclusively priced route
    chartered out by the late Al Mar.
    Not easily affordable by any account.
    so good luck tapping on the "sacred tree of knowledge"
    http://spencerfrazer.com/Contact.html
    In hind sight, This thread is more than equal to last great event here...
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/631043-SOG-Collector-s-Website-aka-database/page2
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  20. dax0007

    dax0007 Gold Member Gold Member

    610
    Jan 1, 2010
    WOW! What a great thread!! We are lucky to have GIRLYmann on board.... I have learned a ton from him through out the years...

    In my opinion those S1 and S2 are from the rarest group of SOG back in the days where atleast the S1 was number with the SOG SPEICLITES on the blade and the S2. I have only seen that one other time in my 15years.. Then again like defiant-1 said about his SUPER RARE TEAM LEADER>. Thats about as rare as you can get... In the end these are all super rare SOGS.. Also back to the point of Girlymann said about a few slipping thru the cracks with no JAPAN stamp..

    Let me tell you about 8 years ago I found 2 SOG DEMO DAMASCUS blades on a japanese website for 400$ each.. They were not engraved on the but 1 of 10 or whatever. did not have the very weak engraving Spencer on the butt either.. I bought both and resold them for 1200 each.. I love the GOLDEN ERA of SOG but those were the days. I dont think Mr.Spencer realize it was gonna be like this.. if he did he would have done really nice COA documents like AL MAR did for his ROWE 4008-SOG and 10th Anniversary bowies.. Oh well i am rambling.. I am sure Mr.Spencer and others back in the 80s have some of these rare productions knives sitting in closets of collectors.. When i bought those damascus demos i was freaking and quality was awesome..
    Im Addicted to this stuff!
     

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