In order to become a world-famous brand, you must have a memorable name. We have gathered sector giants in the watchmaking industry who, unlike most, do not use the name and surname of their founder to name their brand.
Antoni Patek, Adrien Philippe, Jules Audemars, Edward Piguet, Jean-Marc Vacheron, François Constantin, Adolf Lange ... The list goes on and on. Many of the world's most famous watch brands are named after their founders. Let's take a look at the watch brands named without being affected by this trend.
I want to start the list with the undisputed leader; Rolex. The story of the brand that was founded by Hans Wildorf in England in 1905 is quite interesting. Wildorf wanted a name for his watches which should be short, catchy, easy to pronounce in every language and look good on the dials and movements. Wildorf tells this interesting story as follows; "I tried to combine all the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. Hundreds of names appeared, but none of them sounded right. One morning in London I was sitting in the caravan over the Cheapside, and a fairy whispered in my ear - Rolex". Well, we won’t be exaggerating to call the result “King of the Watch World”.
When we start with the leaders, let's go away in Europe and move to the far east. Seiko, the inventor of the Quartz watch that has driven the Swiss watch industry to the brink of bankruptcy, has a name derived from the combination of the words exquisite and success.
Another Japanese miracle is named after the founders' imagination and desire to open up to the world. Founded just after the end of World War II, Casio produced the Yubiwa cigarette holders that allowed you to smoke without getting your fingers dirty, before the world's first fully-electronic calculator. The brand, which was founded by Kashio Seisakujo, started to reach today's popularity thanks to Kashio's brother Toshio. Kashio, Toshio, Casio!
The first watch worn on the moon, James Bond's choice, and more. There's a lot more to the Omega. Founded with the name La Generale Watch Co. by Louis Brandt, in 1848, Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, originally came from the Omega movements produced back in the late 1800s. The movement that made a breakthrough in the history of watchmaking for being manufactured by a brand-new production technique, has became the eponym of the brand.
Oris, another important brand in Swiss luxury watchmaking industry, was founded in 1904 by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian. The partners, who had just purchased Lohner & Co, which had just been shut down in those years, have no need to go too far to find a name for their brand. The name of the small river flowing right next to the factory was, well you know, Oris.
Rised by Jean-Claude Biver's magical strategy; Hublot was founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco. The name of the brand that produces the world's first natural rubber strap watch comes from French and means port hole. I don't need to explain the close connection of the name to the luxury watchmaking.
TAG Heuer also has an interesting story. Founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer, the brand was renamed as TAG Heuer in 1985. The name given by the TAG Group, which comes from the abbreviation of ‘Techniques d’Avant Garde, continues to live although almost all of the company shares were sold to LVMH Group back in 1999.
Founded by the 22-year-old genius George Favre-Jacot in 1865, Zenith takes its name from the highest point. Aiming for the highest point in quality and prestige, Jacot's move was perhaps the basis for the creation of one of the most memorable brand names in today's luxury watchmaking.
Another name on the list is Longines, founded by August Agassiz in 1832. In fact, the name of the brand that gained its name in 1866 is inspired by the prairies along the River Schüss, which is Les Longines in French. The name has been followed by the winged hourglass logo a year after. Today Longines is one of the most effective players in its category.
The last but not the least and my personal favorite. IWC, International Watch Company. The adventure which has begun with the American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones founding the company in 1868 and continued with taking over the “Internationale Uhrenfabrik” in 1880, was more than enough to make the brand one of the industry giants worldwide.