Monday, October 13, 2008
From where comes the name?
A name is the ultimate defining factor of a person, place or thing. A single name has the power to brings forth an entire landscape of images. The name of a luxury watch company is the name chosen to display the image of the company. So let us review the origins of the name of some of the popular watch manufacturers.
Audemars Piguet - Two French proper names taken from the Swiss founders: Watchmaker Jules Audemars and financial expert Jules Piguet.
Baume & Mercier - Two French proper names taken from the Swiss Baume family and the Genevan jeweler Paul Mercier.
Blancpain - The French language last name of the founder - Swiss businessman Jean Jacques Blancpain.
Breitling - The German language last name of the Swiss born founder of the company Leon Breitling.
Bulgari - The last name of the Italian Bulgari family.
Cartier - The last name of the French-born Louis Cartier.
Chopard - French language last name of the Swiss born founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard.
Corum - Swiss founding partners Gaston Ries & Rene Bannwart chose the Latin word "quorum" as the company name and changed the spelling.
De Grisogona - The maiden name of an associate's mother who worked with Italian born founder Fawaz Gruosi when he opened his first boutique in Geneva.
Ebel - Name taken from the first letters of Eugene Blum et Levy. Levy is the maiden name of Swiss Eugene Blum's wife.
Gerald Genta - Name of Swiss born watchmaker Gerald Genta, a man of Italian descent.
Girard-Perregaux - French proper names derived from a company eventually owned by
Swiss Constant Girard - Perregaux.
Hublot - A French word meaning "porthole". The Italian founder Carlo Crocco chose this name for his watches as they reminded him of a ship's porthole.
IWC - Stands for International Watch Company, founded in Switzerland by an American Florentine Ariosto Jones.
Jacob & Co. - Russian-born American Jacob Arabo's first name. He is the company founder and owner.
Jaeger-LeCoultre - Taken from the last names of Swiss founders Pierre Jaeger and Charles Antoine LeCoultre.
A. Lange & Sohne - Taken from the German founding watchmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange's name.
Longines - Swiss founder Ernst Francillon purchases a property by the name of Longines. He built a watchmaking factory there, and named his brand after it.
Richard Mille - French owner and founder Richard Mille's name.
Ulysse Nardin - French language name of Swiss founder Ulysse Nardin
Omega - Name chosen for the company by Swiss founder Louis Brandt's sons, Louis Paul and Cesar.
Panerai - The Italian word officine means workshop (sometimes included in the name). Panerai is taken from the name of the Italian founder, Guido Panerai.
Patek Phillipe - Last names of founding Polish immigrant to Switzerland, Antoine Norbert de Patek, and French watchmaker Adrien Phillipe.
Piaget - French-language last name of Swiss founder Georges Piaget.
Rado - Later director Paul Luthi renamed the Swiss company Schlup & Co. Rado in the mid 1950's.
Rolex - German-born founder Hans Wildorf took the name from a combination of the Spanish words "reloijes excelentes" (excellent watches) and came up with the name Rolex.
Daniel Roth - The name of the Swiss founding watchmaker Daniel Roth.
TAG Heuer - Swiss founding watchmaker Edouard Heuer's last name and the TAG group who acquired the brand in 1985.
Tissot - French-language last name of Swiss founders Charles-Felicien and Charles-Emile Tissot (father and son)
Urwerk - Name chosen by Swiss founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei meaning "otiginal movement"
Vacheron Constantin - French language last names of Swiss foundes Jean-Marc Vacheron and Francois Constantin.
Zenith - Swiss-born founder Georges Favre-Jacot chose the name Zenith for his company.
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Your explanation of the name of Rolex is pure conjecture. Another common belief is that it is a contraction of the term Royal Excellence which is more likely given that Wilsdorf was British and loyal to the monarchy. He also chose Tudor (the house of royalty in England) for another brand he created. There is no official explanation from Hans Wilsdorf explaining his choice of name.ReplyDelete