Treasure Trove of Late Al Mar’s Designs Surfaces with Debut of Mar Private Reserve

Jeff Hall of Nemesis Knives is bringing out a series of never-before-seen knives designed by Al Mar under a new production label, Mar Private Reserve. The MPR-1 will be first out of the gate, but according to Hall plenty more will follow.

The MPR-1 sports a classic 3.4-inch Mar spear point, rendered in VG-10 steel. An elongated, slim titanium handle houses the lock back mechanism and a four-way positionable deep-carry clip. According to Hall, Mar designed the MPR-1 in the 80s and originally envisioned it with an injection-molded Zytel handle. The titanium handle and milling are judiciously chosen updates on Hall’s behalf. “I did take some artistic license with the design to adjust it for the modern market,” he tells us.

When Mar passed away in October 1992, his wife inherited an incredible number of unproduced knife designs that were not part of Al Mar Knives, Inc. “He was so creative and such a prolific designer,” says Hall. “I’ve got a stack of drawings three inches high.” There are literally hundreds of knives waiting to see production. “It covers the gamut. There’s tactical folders, gentlemen’s knives, hunting knives, filet knives, and even a whole set of kitchen knives,” he says.

Hall plans to debut a new MPR release every two to three months. Most will be produced overseas with high-quality materials to offer a competitive value. “You can expect us to stick right around the MPR-1’s price point for the standard models,” Hall says. But he tells us that at some point, there will be limited edition, high-end fixed blades made in the USA and hand-sharpened by Hall himself.

With so much material to work with, Hall is open to collaborative projects with others as well. “Other companies are excited about the drawings and I expect several new collaborations,” he says. “There are enough designs here to share, and heads of the knife companies handle the drawings with reverence when we meet.”

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The MPR-1 quietly released on October 17 – the 25th anniversary of Mar’s death. The Mar Private Reserve project has been in the works for years. Ann Mar, who passed away this year, didn’t live to see them come to fruition, but Hall intends on following through with her wishes. “Al was always on the cutting edge. I think he’d be bored with the designs of his that are out there now.” The next release is scheduled for December and Hall promises it’ll be a big one. “If the MPR-1 was a home run, the next will be a grand slam.”

Knife featured in image: Nemesis Mar Private Reserve MPR-1

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