Monday, May 8, 2017

RFT: Russian Flipping Tanto- a Southard / Shirogorov Collaboration

Beyond the usual procrastination for writing less these days, it has partially been a matter of settling in with edged things by now. Hold enough knives and there are very few that really kick up that sense of excitement anymore. Since I am not into art knives or blades normally decked out with embellishments and exotic materials, things that catches my interest got rather pared down.

Yet, every once in a while, something fascinating will pique my interest....

For one I have been a fan of Brad's work, just never having luck in scoring any. The design elements in many of his work falls in line with my rather acute parameters towards knives. Of course that penchant for anything Shirogorov needs no introduction by now. Hence with the announcement of this collaboration, it was only natural to gravitate into an all-out attempt in securing one.

Let's start at the tip...

Tantō blades or should I say the modern edition, the "American Tanto" has not been my choice of blade design in choosing a carry.

There are other Japanese edged weapons with 2 edges, not curved but known by different names which eludes me now. Anyway this genre of blade shape is very different from the traditional Japanese tantō (短刀) aka "short blade". Barring those oddballs under the tanto family like saw-blades and pistol tanto etc... technically, in the most basic form it is a short sword which normally spots less lines, simpler grinds and definitions overall. Many things done on new age tanto actually would be found in others like a wakizashi or katana especially around the tip (kissaki) area.

It would be really unfair to compare everything to a traditional tanto and desiring to only see things that follow those to the hilt. In any case I view the whole category as a borrowed name. Ultimately it comes down to the creativity of the designer by integrating the aesthetics with functionality.

Many a time it is the abrupt angle of the two edges on the design of many that makes me look away. Generally, I'm more partial to knives with a continuous flow. Therefore another feature normally shunned are compound grinds.

How much the front edge angles inwards has a significant visual impact, tip strength etc, but most have either a dead-on straight edge or in totally opposite fashion with a rather exaggerated curve. The latter is sometimes seen with a more complex "compound" edge too. Just my opinion here.. having too many things that should not have been there in the first place, is like adding legs while drawing a snake.

Sharpness. By far the sharpest Shirogorov received straight from factory. I notice a trend of increased sharpness starting with my Neon3D followed by the RDD and Jeans but this one edge out even the the Vanax37 used in  the cf RDD and Jeans.

Alright, enough rants...  here are the things I find with the RFT from tip to end. This final execution after endless design refinements, no doubt, still puts it in a very odd place within my mind initially...

Note the subtle curve of the leading edge geometry, bordered nicely on the insides with a grind line meeting the "yokote" (dividing line) of the two edges. While not traditional, the execution in the overall design with those resulting lines certainly allude to edged weapons of the country where the modern tanto was inspired from. It is a mixture of seemingly different things found in various Japanese knives, yet it is not.

A modern twist melded with those lines in the background of the mind during the designing process is evident. A case of functionality meets art, nicely accomplished in the RFT.

Sure didn't take long for me to overlook my bias against the 2 edges from here on...  or about 5 minutes after I stared at the blade straight out of the box.

Width. Tapering from 28mm down to 18mm where the edges meet, there is just an ever so slight belly, adding back a sense of gradualness in the overall shape when viewing the entire blade. Together with the straight back and proportionate thickness, it gives a sense of speedy thrusting precision when employed in that manner.

Moving back from the tip, the thicker spine, not often found in traditional tanto does well with the shape of the RFT, imparting a sense of rigidity.

Clockwise from top: Neon 3D, Jeans, RDD and RFT
The edge feels to be convex but I can't be 100%  sure owing to the almost mirror finish and bad eyesight.  Edge width is between that of the Jeans and Dr Death collaborations.

If based on a common sense logic of overall width, then all three seems to be following a descending pattern of width with the Jeans being the broadest, RDD the narrowest and RFT taking an intermediate spot.

Logos are back on the insides of the handles on this collaboration, which is how I like them too. Leaving the external a clean unmarked look.  Of course, by now all special editions comes with milled inner sides to keep weight down.

Serial no. checked,
Symbol for the SRRBS with steel washer, checked.
But where is the the make of the steel on this one, which would be M390.

Double sided pac man screws! No wait... looking again, only one side can be worked on. But this is most certainly a trickle down trait seen in the Shirogorov full customs. There might be some in Custom Division knives but I really don't recall now. However, another obvious can't be missed trait would be the sunken pivot collar. Already seen on a few Custom Divisions but definitely a first in collaboration editions, excluding the Dark which I consider to be something else.

Excuse the specks... the "joys" of dusty city living
The milling in the center 1/3 of the handles is a refreshing touch. 'Spiraling waves'. Personally I reckon this milling pattern has something to do with the imagery to be associated with this knife. Anyway on the 2 sides sandwiching it, is a series of really fine horizontal milling, almost not visible and not captured well on my camera.

One key feature that attracted me early on was the flipper tab. Minimalist. Not some in-your-face giant dollop sticking sorely out of the knife. The concern is always wondering if it is sufficiently big to give the necessary leverage when flipping out the blade... but more on this at the end.

Aesthetics wise-- this scores big points for me on the RFT.

Butt-sthetics. The imagery that comes to mind  "dimples and curves" complementing the milled "spiraling waves" ... much like ogling the bikini tribes at the beach. Only here, it doesn't mind being touched.

Having a screw for the clip which is the same size as that used at the lock insert -- that seem to be the only thing holding up the whole assembly together with the front pivot. Minimalism at work.
This seems to be another trickle down from the full customs, take a look at the presentation side of the F7, like the RFT here there is only 1 main pivot showing. No other screws visible in the rear.

Strength? No discernible weakness or warbling/ play so far after a few hundred flips. The screw clip seems to be a through piece assembly threading both handles and the back-spacer. Yet there is nothing showing on the presentation side. Tip shape naturally allows for a wider back-spacer end for such a design/construction. Maybe part of the back-spacer is interfacing with the handles like Lego bricks? Wouldn't be able to tell unless the knife gets disassembled which I am not inclined to - at least not now, given the smoothness of the action right out of the box. For the moment, how this 1 tiny screw keeps everything together in the rear is a mystery.

Quite pleasantly surprised by the size at first sight. Big, yet didn't feel as big as the 111. A little more like the F95 in thickness but with a little added length to the blade making it feel just right-- The "missing in between-er Shirogorov" that has existed only in my mind before...

Technical specs:
OAL length: 233mm (9.17in)
Blade length: 100mm (3.94in)
Blade thickness at spine: 3.5mm (0.08in)
Cutting edge length: 110mm (4.33in)
Blade steel: M390
Handle length: 133mm (5.24in)
Handle thickness: 13.6mm (0.34in)
Handle material: titanium
Pivot: SRRBS (single-row roller bearing system), on a hardened steel washer
Locking mechanism: frame lock
Weight: 145gr


Giving a +/- 1mm or gram tolerance, numbers as per the above official specifications are spot on, right down to the weight.

Top: Looking bigger on the 111, blade wise, the actual difference in hand is less than what the pic would suggest.
Bottom left: the big difference is in the width together with the  overall thickness. For folks with smaller hands, the 111 has often been said to be "too big" While that is not a problem for me, the RFT do make it a more snug feel when held. The additional closed length on the 111 really stems from the 2 bulging ends and being relatively thicker. Thus the RFT in comparison gets a more "aero" profile and less bulge when pocketed (not clipped).
Left to Right: RDD, RFT and 111, a closed length and width perspective.

Slim seems to be the trademark these days... 3.5mm thick instead of 4mm for a knife this size. I was squaring away mentally whether there is enough steel in the RFT during it's announcement. Turns out to be a case of unnecessary worrying. While slim, the 3.5mm runs the bulk of the blade length and a good 20-30% of the width before tapering off into the flat grind down to the edge. Even with milled handle pockets, the knife still weighs 145gm. Much of that does come from the blade which lends itself nicely to the momentum when flipping open.

The other thing is the tolerance to the handle when closed. It would be a step closer to the Shirogorov full customs and a few other good custom knife makers work I have. Knives like these really leaves very little room for alignment error.

Tip Parking- yet another seemingly new trend to showcase precision these days.

The other attribute that added to the reduced profile on this rather big knife is the flushed spine of Brad's design with the handle. Blade only peeks out from the tiny cut-outs on the handle


Coming to the "default" action clip...

I saw a few videos where there seems to be some fumbling during opening. My first guess was the reduced profile of the flipper tab. Apparently not. The tuning, lock and detent strength is really one of the best for a big 4" blade I came across. The trick lies in not touching the lock bar when opening. To that I would say--this is really a right-hander frame lock that has been optimized for us lefties. The video should be telling :)

Summing up, I never thought a tanto would make it to the collection and entertain even lesser thought of carrying one. This one has tossed things up quite literally for me-- if the stars align as nicely as the blade in closed position here.. I would spring for a second one as a use-and-carry workpiece. In particular that pre-production "unobtanium" prototype with zirconium pivot ring and backspacer would be really nice to have... ;)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tale of Darkness



What began as an idea last Oct over a text chat came to fruition after miles of setback for a "simple" project. A pair of Heimskringla damasteel pivot collar for my Shirogorov/ Sinkevich Dark collaboration.

Machinist pal and long time cycling buddy, Nic took on the challenge, looking for the right material and sneaking in machine time during work hours whenever no one's looking and completing all the rest at home. Manual sawing... yes manual sawing included.

In between insufficient, broken off and replacement tools, lack of the "right" etching stuff like nitric acid... somehow the outcome matches up rather aptly with my initial ideas...

A matching clip at some later time was part of the plan. But with the finish on the collar now, I'm moving away from that..

I'm not really big into modifications most time and this is really one of my favorite knives both in possession and in appreciation of knife designs.

So to actually get all this going, the idea was to complement on an already awesome design and of course great work done with every of the original parts.

No garish over-coloring and things that disturbs the flow

Lacking the photographic skills and equipment to capture proper pictures, I'll just have to say it in words.... The light etching, in part due to a lack of nitric acid and the near resistance of this damasteel to getting etch actually turns out to be a "bonus" when viewed in the hand but a nightmare when trying to capture in pictures...

Use of Damascus by Shirogorov is largely reserved for full customs these days and a few collababorations and odd balls mostly from an earlier period. Most are on the blades and has light smooth etches as opposed to the hi-contrast ones often seen in other makes.  To me that is almost like a subtle signature.

A hi contrast etch would look awesome over here too given the black G10 here but having this now, there is a continuity to the whole knife with its original look.

So when things turn out the way they did on this pair of collars-- it clicked right away for me. enough to tease but not overboard.

I'm still not over-- trying to hunt those elusive Dark V or another one of the seven of this original "100 pc edition" but with a flipper. But it's hard to stomach the prices of those on the secondary market now...

Anyone of those, especially the "V"s will go well with this very last 99th Dark... no, you aren't reading it wrongly... 100 is 99. The story?.. well another time perhaps. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Where is no.18

Knives come and go. Well it's mostly incoming with few going out for me. Even less so when it comes to Shirogorovs.  I recall in the first "flower arrangement", there were 6, a subsequent one yielded 11 and today it stands at 17. Not quite a Fibonacci sequence but I can't really complain.

The last update on this blog was on the Technobambuk. That actually came after the Jeans collaboration which till today, I haven't done it justice by spending enough time carrying or given it that ultra thorough look through.

It may seem odd saying that.. how long can you actually look at a knife? Got to say certain things eluded me for the longest time... I actually took out a knife from 2 years back and only just discovered things about it which I never realized! What's more with Shirogorov, it's never only about the one knife in hand.. there is always much to compare with what came before.. and judging from the present ones to see what else may hold for future models. Ah yes, occupational hazard of mine... always trying to read into minds of others that made something.

Speaking of which, nothing beats looking at some of the older works in my opinion and few of the non flipper models can boast of the top configuration, "titan" bolster with carbon fiber scales.

Of which I actually only know of two. The naming of this older one above is a little ambiguous, it depends whom I ask and am invariably told its a titan Dertnick or T95 (aka predecessor to the Tarbargan NS100)

I think T95 is more likely the one as some info points to the original Dertnick as a 3.5" blade which corresponds to the measuring of mine, with wooden scale, to the specified length. This one here is actually the same size as an F95.. 95mm blade

And the other titanium bolster that makes up the duo here.. yup, my very first Shirogorov, 110B with a little twist.

 As to the significance of this paring... hmmm :)

In a way a number of these are rarer than the collaborations. Sometimes they are one off or just having a few pieces made to "test out" certain things. Sometimes just for the heck of it.. as somebody could have thought it was fun to stick the blade of a Model 110 into the handle of the 110B...leaving the world to wonder why there are 2 logos... To up that juicy "mystery" a tad... there's only 2 pieces made this way (according to my sauce... oops I mean source).

So would have been this duotone "Turtle" F95.. with that depression on the blade. Marking it as one of those seldom made NF1.. aka non flipper version, only to have that little flipper dangling and me wondering why. In fact this is the only F95 NF1 I have seen so far.. The rest that had been floating around on the Internet ( or at least those that I can rummage through) shows one or the other of the 17 F3 NF1.. flipper-less and with a deeper more pronounced indent.

It leaves me wondering.. why it's so different on mine.. Ok chronologically the F3 came much later, flippers in the usual Shirogorov production line-up generally speaking started with the F95, then the Hati, both frame locks and finally came the liner lock F3. The NF1 idea was probably conceived before F3 came about. This here could be an early rendition before the little tab was even lobbed off?
And a few refinement was added later on... ?

Looks like it to me..the later F3 NF1 spotted the deeper thumb indent as that made a side push opening easier together on a liner lock vs a frame lock. Anyway apart from all of these-- it's also one of  the earliest duotone satin finish on a 95 "turtle" as far as I can trace.

Been kicking myself for not knowing what the Cannabis was very early on, especially the "Ice" and giving them a miss in my early collecting days...

Barring the full customs and the Vegas series collaborations... this is the only collaboration that has ever spotted a Damascus blade.. Luck was finally on my side I guess...  That leaves only the True to complete the Cannibis trifecta.

And the most recent one that dropped off the mailbag onto my desk?... Thanks to an early warning radar alert... and and "I'm in"....

The USN Shirogorov Bears Special Edition NeOn Ultralite...

Nope.. this isn't one of the 6 "Broken Bear" F3 but the officially recognized version aka "Shirogorov Bears" on USN, hence the SB initials...

...more details of each of these at a later date

Update 13 Jan 2017... 18?

... C12 Zhivago in the house.... this Mayo/Shiro collab pair is finally completed... 9 months after the ti RDD came.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

ТехноБамбук [Technobamboo]

Coming across it for the first time in first thought was "What a weird name!"  As usual, I was struggling with the translation of things read, piecing them slowly together. Months passed and this model really piqued my interest... It moved to the no.2 spot on my grail list. My list is short. No more than 5-6 items for the really "want" vs "I would like to have". Mindful this was at a time when even a production Shirgorov in the secondary market seldom pop up, Custom Divisions were hardly even heard of then, let alone seen.

One of the most talked about attribute is of course the changeable positions on the integral back half of the handle. It's subjective as I have seen comments on both sides. Frivolous? Gimmicky?

I'll leave that to individual opinion but my take is this... the designer, Dimitry Sinkevich has probably thought some individuals might want an overall straighter knife while some would prefer the ergonomics on a humpback handle. The latter preference no doubt has also been a signature of sort, going back to his other designs like Dark, Tetra and later the Cannabis and more recently the Poluchetkiy and Jeans etc.. Other knives that bear these traits would be the Mangalore II and what I perceived as an angular descendant to that, the DO flipper.. there's more but guess that's enough to bring home the point.

Having an adjustable handle certainly satisfies more people. Only problem, there's a grand total of 10 pieces ever made and one (or maybe two?) prototype.From what I read.. the amount of time to produce one is the equivalent of 15 production knives at the factory. Guess that explains in part the limited numbers made.

More about ergo and adjustment of the handle later.

"Blade length 90 mm at a thickness of 4mm in the butt, Vanax 35 blade material (59 HRc). Execution of the axle assembly - double row bearings"

The above was taken straight off a translation of an official announcement of the specification.

Measurement of blade length is all the way from tip to the edge of the handle (aligned) to the centre-line of the pivot to get that 90 mm. Actual edge itself with the slight "curve" came up to 92 mm from my measurement.

Massive oversized pivots definitely adds to the visual but no doubt has a functionality for a certain stiffness needed in the overall construction.

Where is the Bear?
Almost seems trivial but maker's mark and other info engraved on the inside has also been my thing and that is one reason why I probably am more enthusiastic about the collaboration pieces. This one is no different, both sides facing each other like most of the others... (the recent Dr Death/ Mayo collab was a departure though with those on the outside). Here too it is a little different but a casual look at the usual lower inner side says there wouldn't be enough space at least for the designer's name and logo.. So at the top it is..

Each of these parts are custom milled and each knife comes with it's own brass key/ bit which only makes perfect sense as otherwise I would think those having it will be hesitant to ever tinker with the 3 position adjustment.

The positional changes are quite minimal both in picture and looking at the actual thing


When the knife first came, I was wondering about the groove on the insides of the handle. It became obvious as the positions were adjusted.  Looks simple enough but factoring in all the moving pieces.. the slightest bit of being off would be glaring and not to mention, the potential blade rub. To imagine the amount of time to get each one of these all perfectly aligned...

Not all Shiros I have come razor sharp especially the older ones. However the Vanax 35 here and my other recent arrival the Jeans collab, Vanax 37, are both pretty much up there in terms of sharpness straight out of the factory. I have never really used this steel and could not comment much. But from the initial observation and letting the edge of both knives ride across the thumb, I certainly would not want to apply too much pressure to test their cutting ability.

It's interesting that the steel type is not marked anywhere on the knife. For collaborations, again this is usually found on the insides of the handle. Yet on both of these Vanax blades.. Zilch, nada..  Hidden somehow behind those pivot plates here? Maybe..

My personal preference? Keeping it in the drop down position which gives the best ergonomics when opening the knife... It does make the handle a little shorter. Noticeable but not detrimental when holding the knife.

I'll let the pictures do the talking here...

Symmetry. Almost identical on both sides, saved for the lines milled onto the handle and of course the frame lock. Numbering is external and on the lock side of the knife. No clip, no lanyard hole either. Zen minimalism yet with an exotic techno air surrounding it.

Lock side is flat with rest of the handle when closed. I don't see this in too many knives and here is is perfectly reasonable to be so because if it weren't, the blade around the middle would be rather close, if not rubbing.

Bold and very pronounced jimping.. and lots of it, top and bottom of the tang area. Absolutely essential... apparent once it comes to opening the knife. Index front flip, bottom side thumb flip and 2-step thumb opening

The amazing thing lies in the action of this knife. Smooth actions, slick bearings, deliberate swiveling during open and close.. I have pretty much seen it all from the Shirogorov that been through my hands. Yet not one quite like the Technobambuk. Owing to the way it is deployed, no matter how you look at it, the leverage of such designs are not optimal. With a hard detent, it would be pretty much impossible to open smoothly. Too light a detent, as we all know the tendency of a blade to half flop and not get a full lock on is common. Or simply a blade can be shake loosed from the closed position.

Yet on the Technobambuk.. there is none of these negative attributes. Balanced. The MRBS in here certainly has a part to play, yet I would not overly factor the whole slickness of deployment to that alone. The accelerating momentum once it pass approximately a third from close pretty much ensures a very assuring lockout as long as the thumb and index finger is not in the way. I pinned it down to the pivot size for one and the relatively heavy blade .. or from what can be seen the weight distribution of blade weight that seems a little center to front bias.

In concluding, because of its rarity and possibly one the best knife I have at the moment, it would not likely be carried as often. yet the practical blade shape and the seemingly tough looking satin finish begs to be used without much potential to scar it up too badly. Well it remains to be seen what will be the outcome but whatever the case this would be one knife to be enjoyed for a long time to come.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

And Dragons Gather... Introducing the IFS-20

Like the Poluchetkiy was the one knife that started my collecting journey.. this one CAD drawing on a screen was what started me onto the IFS-20 development as it unfolds..... staring at it for 45 mins to try and decipher what in the world was I actually looking at that time. Seems like any other knife design with a lot of words but I thought I saw something really unique and things never attempted before.  foto@snecx
Still in the midst of writing up my latest grail acquisition, another mega excitement surrounding edged things in recent months culminated in  awesome gatanhering with Snecx and his brother from Malaysia. Of course my resident knife guru friend, Koji-san would have to be present as well on this occasion.

Yes, for some who follow on Instagram... its the IFS-20.

Excitement doesn't even begin to describe it... We had been chatting for months and Snecx had shown me a number of things well before putting it out publicly. Being privy to all the development, the only thing remaining of course is seeing the real thing itself.

As luck would have it.. earlier in the week I was fortunate to receive an all time grail.. after a 20 month search.. something I never thought I would be able to get near, let alone own. The Shirogorov Sinkevich collaboration, Technobambuk.

Separated by time and conceived under very different circumstances, mindset and background, yet each hold certain elements in their lines and construction that I somewhat find an association. Shape wise and overall construction, up to now there hasn't been anything quite like the Technobambuk... An iconic knife which will definitely remain so, formed by the hands of arguably some of the best in the knife industry. The IFS on the other hand, I equate with the unveiling of a top notch supercar equivalent in the world of knives today. First time maker, unheard of, no prior background.. never mind, just let the knife speak for itself as more is unfolded...

Yet between these 2, I think the common thread is the kind of artistic thought process/ talent articulated into a piece of final functional art in the truest sense. Design and concepts that are refreshing. Not just another knife roving and striving to position itself among numerous ones already out there.  Even in the minutest feature, inexorable amount of time is spent to perfectly machine and fine tune during the final assembly. Many things seem impossible but yet they had been achieved respectively in both.

a sizing comparison in the hands
It would be difficult to explain merely by looking at pictures. Snecx has written quite a bit of info of each WIP posts on Instagram,  giving a certain amount of insight into those that have followed closely. Many are wondering why only 5 knives and pushing so hard on every pin and every bevel... There is no comparison out there as this is a one man show getting the parts made externally but stringent self QC to ensure measurements of everything he wants, down to no more than 5-10 micron tolerance in most nook and cranny of the parts. The time, effort and cost are prohibitive factors to churn this into a "production" knife with the full complement of all the bells and whistles.

This is as much as I can shortly summarize -- there are a ton of other technicalities he has mentioned which now escapes my memory on this "impossible" knife.

For my own experience on things CNC machined and having to fix up, precision was a lot more obtuse and forgiving. Only that having gone through tuning, dialing in setups and settings of various mechanical things, I was able to understand, extrapolating maybe by a hundred fold to appreciate the difficulty of this endeavor to create one's own "perfect" grail knife that doesn't have all the usual trappings found in various folders.

Curious as to why the Technobambuk, one of only two collabs that has 10 pieces made were produced in such limited quantity,  I searched out some past info/ comments on it. After reading, that is where I see the similarity. No, not within the knives themselves. Somewhere out there, there is a mention equating how the time spent for making each one is the equivalent of 15 production knives. And Shirogorov production knives are not the usual get off the CNC machine, quick touch up, into a box it goes to be shipped off kind of knives. There are several hours more put into it before each knife is considered finished and given the approving nod. Again I would leave more on the Technobambuk in my next article to espouse on some of the things I have observed to make it such a unique piece.

Back to the IFS-20. No screw, no tool. Designed and engineered such that taking apart and putting back requires no more than what we are born and evolved with.. 2 hands with opposing thumbs.  It sounds strange to mention it this way but that really is what it takes and a lot of those finger dexterity to get it right.

Disassembled with a sub-chassis, that holds some of the most intricate parts in it's fold. From a casual glance, it is much like a firearm would look like when taken apart. Precision machined parts are truly --- precise. Not merely some claimed tacticool blade vying for recognition as "I'm the next coolest kid on the block" kind of knife. To prove the point, everything is laid out bare in the video... right down to sharpness and a "field" disassembly demonstration.

It looks easy enough for the creator of the knife showing it here. Given a hands on step by step live tutorial, I still fumble over 50% in pulling it apart and cobbling back up. It is nothing like any knife I've opened up so far... and if I do make a claim of any sort, it would be opening up many knives in the past 2 years... many that most people would be too scared to pull apart.
Ok most time I leave these out as the information for most knives are out there somewhere. In this case it is a little obscure.. if it is not easy to judge, the IFS-20 really is almost the same size as a large Sebbie, in both open and closed form. Hence a blade length of 3.625" and OAL should be almost the same if not same. A tad slimmer in hand feel due to a straighter butt of the handle.

The name...IFS-20?  
It stands for Interlocking Frame System 20 where the number comes from the 20th prototyping giving rise to this final form.

I am merely skimming on the surface for now as this probably won't be the only write-up. A more in depth and technical piece later on is needed to give a better understanding into the mechanism of this knife.

If the video was a little too fast or small.. here is an "exploded view" of all 18 components...
The "keys" or pins are well.. key to holding up the knife together. Again to stress, it's precision, precision and more precision on each of these parts to get things right. They are also the parts where everything is pivoted or locked against etc without a thread to provide any kind of possible adjustment. Yet upon assembly, everything is centered up and would need to stand the test of time and usage.

Each cutout and shape has a specific purpose.

A fully detachable and hence replaceable lock bar insert and shaped detent. While I don't think this is the first ever attempted.. at least on a shaped metal detent but it serves dual function as an anti rock lock mechanism...a two point blade engagement in a perpendicular fashion, keeping things snug. Clean and functional but quite a challenge to final-fit it right...
Next comes the convoluted part that I was obsessed  to find out every detail- which was only revealed late in the progress. The spring tail latch locking backspacer keeping the integrity of the knife in one piece when assembled. Each section of the convoluted look is not for aesthetics as once in place, almost nothing can be seen. Again it's form following function, each in itself a functioning section for something within the knife, holding it together.
Having avoided mentioning the pivot, I will admit that is because for weeks, it got me stumped on how it actually worked until a few key pieces were in place and I saw how thy fit together on the knife... There really is a fair amount of interlocking not only on the handle and sub-chassis main pieces but in these smaller parts as well. Since there are no screws, the fit and alignment has to be spot on.  The clip is another dual functioning part. As a clip and the final piece in the assembly to latch the rear up.
Just to complete and show the other side of the earlier full open pairing...
There are a ton of things to question apart from it's seeming complexity like why asymetric sized washers instead of bearings. Why the need for a different detent etc.

After a long winding post, I'm not sure if how these 2 are viewed by now has changed for some. It is not easy with just titanium sandwiching a piece of steel and make it attractive and classy.  What I see really is how design elements and concepts have materialized into a final functional form without the need for extraneous embellishments. In fact simplicity of material reduces the clutter letting many of the ideas and design show itself which are composed very much of clean lines in both. There is nothing wrong with adding other materials like Damascus or Timascus etc but rather than add, in these instances it would detract from the intended visuals and masculinity of such designs. To end it... I'll leave an inverted pic over here.. further simplified to see the actual lines by removing the colors.