Posts Categorized: Watch History

The History of IWC Pilot Watches

One genre of watch which will forever be associated with IWC is the Pilot’s watch. The company from Schaffhausen has a rich history of producing timepieces for use in the cockpit. IWC produced its first Pilot’s watch in 1936, named the ‘Special Pilot’s Watch’. This inaugural aviator’s timepiece incorporated a triangular index below noon, anti-magnetic… Read more »

Tudor Watches History

In 1926, “The Tudor” was registered as a trademark by a watch dealer called ‘Veuve de Philippe Hüther’. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, took over “The Tudor” brand in 1936 with a desire to offer his retailers an alternative, more affordable range of watches to be sold alongside his legendary Rolex timepieces. Tudor Watches… Read more »

Ulysse Nardin History

The story of Ulysse Nardin began in 1846, when a 23 year old son of Le Locle founded a watchmaking company bearing his name. This maison became known for the production of pocket and marine chronometers. Ulysse Nardin History In 1865, the watch company relocated to new premises at 3 rue du Jardin in Le… Read more »

Tag Heuer History

Tag Heuer can trace its origins to 1860 when a 20-year-old called Edouard Heuer opened a small workshop in Saint Imier, Switzerland. In 1887, Edouard invented the oscillating pinion, an invention which continues to be used in many chronographs to this day. Interestingly, the year “1887” would be subsequently used by TAG Heuer for the… Read more »

A Lange & Söhne History

In 1845, Ferdinand A Lange established a workshop in Glashütte in what was, at the time, a small village in Saxony, Germany. The workshop became a manufacturer of pocket watches. The move proved challenging as the local population lacked the necessary skills to make watches and Lange had to expend much energy bringing the workforce… Read more »

A Brief History of Panerai Watches

Officine Panerai, meaning Panerai Workshops, can trace its origins back to 1860 when Giovanni Panerai opened his first watch shop in Florence selling Swiss timepieces. Subsequently, Guido Panerai took over the business and the company diversified into manufacturing high precision instruments for the Royal Italian Navy whilst still retaining its retail premises. Panerai History Over… Read more »

A Brief History of IWC Schaffhausen

IWC, International Watch Company, can trace its back origins to an American engineer and watchmaker, Florentine Ariosto Jones. This gentleman, from Boston, wanted to build watches in Switzerland, drawing on the nation’s famed craftsmanship, watchmaking expertise while enjoying the cheaper labour costs prevalent in this European country at the time. IWC History: A brand with… Read more »

Cartier Watches History

In 1847, Cartier was founded in Paris by Louis-François Cartier, a master jeweller. However, it was his grandsons, Pierre, Louis and Jacques who would ultimately bring the brand to worldwide prominence, opening boutiques in Paris, London and New York. Cartier has always been a company synonymous with the creation of high-end and exquisite jewellery. In… Read more »

A Brief History of Omega Watches

La Chaux-de-Fonds is synonymous with horology. Several watch brands have been founded in this Swiss city, located in the canton of Neuchâtel, including the company which would ultimately become OMEGA. Image: Omega Museum in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland Early History of Omega Watches In 1848, Louis Brandt, aged just 23 years of age, established an assembly workshop… Read more »

Breguet History

When it comes to watchmaking history, one name which often comes to the fore is Abraham-Louis Breguet. The famous watchmaker was born in Neuchâtel, but spent much of his life working in Paris. Breguet History: The Genius of Breguet Breguet was an innovator and ahead of his time. In 1801, he famously patented the tourbillon,… Read more »

A Brief History of Breitling Watches

Breitling was founded in 1884 in St. Imier, Switzerland by Léon Breitling. The company has a long history of creating chronographs for use in science, sports and industry. In 1892, the brand moved to larger premises in La Chaux-de-Fonds. These premises were named the Montbrillant building, a nomenclature that would subsequently be used for various… Read more »

Bell & Ross History

Bell & Ross was founded in 1992 by designer Bruno Belamich and business graduate Carlos Rosillo. Their surnames provided the source of the watch company’s nomenclature. Bell & Ross History The company initially consisted of a team of designers as well as specialists from the field of aerospace. At the outset, the company focused on… Read more »

A Brief History of Patek Philippe Watches

In 1839, Antoine Norbert de Patek, a former Polish cavalryman, established a watch factory with his compatriot, François Czapek, a watchmaker. They registered a partnership, Patek, Czapek & Cie, which was limited to six years. This company was subsequently liquidated and Patek went on to seek the services of another watchmaker. Patek Philippe History: The… Read more »

Bvlgari Watch History

Bvlgari is a name which is synonymous with fine jewellery and stylish watches. The company has always been known as a magnet for affluent and famous clientele. The founder of the luxury house was Greek-born Sotiro Bulgari. Sotiro, a silversmith by trade, arrived in Rome in 1881 and founded his business three years later in… Read more »

Chopard History

Chopard is synonymous with glamorous jewellery worn by the glitterati. Moreover, the company has earned an enviable reputation for its timepieces, which exhibit a notable quotient of style and high-quality construction. Its origins can be traced back to 1860, when Louis-Ulysse Chopard established his watchmaking workshop in Sonnvilier, located in the canton of Bern. Chopard… Read more »

Franck Muller History

In the sphere of high-end watchmaking, employing the strapline, “Master of complications”, is a very bold claim to make. However, the Swiss-born watchmaker, Franck Muller, earned a reputation early in his career for producing watches which harnessed complicated movements. Franck Muller History During the 1980s, Muller displayed an obsession with Abraham Louis Breguet’s invention, the… Read more »

Glashutte Watches History

The German town of Glashütte, the home of Glashutte Original, has a rich tradition of watchmaking dating back to 1845 when Ferdinand Adolph Lange established his workshop in the town. During the years that followed, the region became a beacon for horological talent, with the likes of Adolph Schneider, Moritz Grossman and Julius Assmann being… Read more »

Girard Perregaux History

La Chaux-de-Fonds, together with its neighbour, Le Locle, are located in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. The two cities are synonymous with watchmaking and appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The architectural influence of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, often referred to as “Le Corbusier”, is evident with the styling of the buildings. The streets of La… Read more »

Montblanc Watches History

Montblanc was born from the idea of creating an ink pen which contained an integrated ink reservoir, making it ideal for travel. Indeed, it was this idea which led three men to form a company in 1906 with the express aim of creating such pens. Montblanc Watches History In 1908, the convenience accorded by the… Read more »

Piaget Watch History

Piaget, the prestigious practitioner of Haute Horlogerie, is one of the oldest watch manufacturers in Switzerland. It was founded in 1874 by Georges Édouard Piaget in his family home located in La Côte-aux-Fées, in the canton of Neuchâtel. Similar to other companies in the Swiss Jura, it began its life as a movement manufacturer. Its… Read more »