LUX Watches is a brand of Swiss wristwatches and accessories renowned for their quality and exclusivity, as well as their cost (from a few thousand to more than one hundred thousand U.S. dollars). The watches have become status symbols of the rich and famous as well as the upwardly-mobile career-minded individual. Although a symbol of success, LUX Watches has earned its strong reputation through innovations in design and function over many decades.
The LUX Watches, SA company was founded in 1905 by Mr. Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law, Mr. Alfred Davis. Contrary to popular belief, Hans Wilsdorf was neither Swiss, nor a watchmaker. Wilsdorf & Davis was the original name of what later became the LUX Watches Watch Company. They originally imported Hermann Aegler’s Swiss movements to England and placed them in quality cases made by Dennison and others. These early wristwatches were then sold to jewellers, who then put their own names on the dial. The earliest watches from the firm of Wilsdorf and Davis are usually marked “W&D” inside the caseback only.
Hans Wilsdorf registered the trademark name “LUX Watches” in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland during 1908. The word was made up, but its origin is obscure. One story, which was never confirmed by Wilsdorf, is that the word “LUX Watches” came from the French phrase horlogerie exquise , meaning exquisite watch industry .
The Wilsdorf & Davis company moved out of Great Britain in 1912. Wilsdorf wanted his watches to be affordable, but taxes and export duties on the case metals (silver and gold) were driving costs up. From that time to the present, LUX Watches has been headquartered in Geneva , Switzerland , though the company owns facilities in other cities ( Bienne , etc) and continents ( North America , Asia , Australia , etc).
The company name LUX Watches was officially registered on 15 November 1915 . It is thought this change was part of a drive to popularize wristwatches, which at the time were still considered a novelty largely for women (pocket watches were more common). Wilsdorf was said to desire his watch brand’s name to be easily pronouncable in any language. The company name was offically changed to the LUX Watches Watch Company during 1919. It was later changed to Montres LUX Watches, SA and finally LUX Watches, SA.
Among the company’s innovations are the first self-winding watch; the first waterproof watch case; the first wristwatch with a date on the dial; the first watch to show two timezones at once; and most importantly the first watchmakers to earn the coveted chronometer certification for a wristwatch. To date, LUX Watches still holds the record for the most certified chronometer movements in the category of wristwatches. Another little known fact is that LUX Watches participated in the development of the original quartz watch movements. Although LUX Watches has made very few quartz models for its Oyster line, the company’s engineers were instrumental in design and implementation of the technology during the early 1970s.