Nowadays, everyone associates the name Swarovski with shiny luxury crystals that sparkle on stylish earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and so on. But besides the widely popular jewelry and watches, the Swarovski stones decorate figurines, chandeliers, keyrings, and even pens. Companies from all over the world buy Swarovski crystals and decorate their products with this cheaper but just as impressive alternative of the diamonds.
The brand has an interesting history that dates back to the end of the 19th century. It was founded in 1895 and it has been a family business since then with headquarters in Wattens, Austria. The company is split into three major areas – Swarovski Crystal Business (crystal and jewelry manufacturer), Tyrolit (manufacturer of professional grinding tools and machinery) и Swarovski Optik (manufacturer of optical instruments).
The founder Daniel Swarovski
The founder of the company is Daniel Swarovski who was born in 1862. His father owned a glass cutting factory where Daniel took an apprenticeship while he was still young and learned more about the job. As the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Daniel turns out to be a successful entrepreneur just like his father. In 1892 he patented his own electric machine for glass and crystal grinding. With this machine, the work in the factory became much easier, faster and more successful. It also made possible the perfect crystal polishing, something which was extremely hard to be done by hand until that point.
Three years later Daniel Swarovski founded his own company, together with his partners Armand Kosman and Franz Weis. The now known brand as Swarovski was initially founded with the name KS & Co. The factory the three businessmen founded was in Wattens, Austria. Thanks to the climate there, they could take advantage of the hydroelectricity and use it to power the already patented machine for glass and crystal grinding. Besides that, they believe the town is far away from all their competitors who might steal some of their ideas.
Swarovski wants everyone to be able to afford diamonds but as we all know they are too expensive for most people. That’s why he started cutting and polishing crystals that resemble the precious diamonds so much.
Later on, the company continued to grow and develop and in 1899, it reaches the French markets. In Paris, fashion and jewelry have always been of great importance. This is why they received a lot of orders from there.
The company during World War I
During World War I, the grinding machinery was scarce. Daniel Swarovski saw this as another great opportunity for profit and developed his own tools and machinery for grinding and cutting. The research and development process took 2 years but in the end, he managed to create the necessary tools. That’s how in 1919 he founded another company with the name Tyrolit. Today, the company is still one of the main leaders in this field in Europe and the world.
- Swarovski Optik
Daniel Swarovski had three sons who also worked in the family business. The eldest one – Wilhelm created his own customized pair of binoculars in 1935. Later on, this leads to the creation of another product and branch of the company – Swarovski Optik. It specializes in the manufacture of binoculars, telescopes and optical glass for rifles and is just as successful during the war when all those products were needed. Nowadays, Swarovski Optik is still one of the leading manufacturers of precise optical instruments.
The brand during the fashion boom
In the years after World War II, the fashion and film industries were thriving. There are new fashion trends and styles. World-known designers like Coco Chanel and Christian Dior work with Swarovski crystals. The collaboration of Dior and Swarovski lead to the creation of a new effect on the crystals called Aurora Borealis. This effect makes the crystals shine in different colors just like the Northern lights and is still being used in jewelry.
The jewelry with Swarovski stones conquer the film industry and appear in many Hollywood classics. Marilyn Monroe wears a Swarovski necklace and a one of a time red gown with 2500 hand-sewn crystals when she performed her famous birthday song for John F. Kennedy. Besides this epic performance, the actress wears Swarovski jewels in some movies too. The ruby slippers of Dorothy in the movie The Wizard of Oz and the jewels that Audrey Hepburn wore in Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s also have Swarovski crystals.
The Swarovski watches
Of all the products the company offers, there is no doubt that the most wanted ones and the jewels and watches. They are stylish, elegant and glamorous but at the same time, they are much more affordable than other luxury brands.
The company came up with their own watch line in 2009 and since then their goal is to create models that don’t just show time but are also accessories. Each Swarovski watch carries the brand’s style and its iconic crystals. However, there are so many different models that there is something for each taste – casual or classy, glamorous or minimalistic, they are all attractive. They can be found in many different colors, materials, shapes, and stripes. Besides that, you can customize your own model. If you want to surprise a close one, you can take advantage of this option and you can create something unique for them.
The brand offers watches for men and women so everyone can express their style. Besides their impeccable look, the watches have high Swiss quality. And while the price of a diamond watch can reach hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, the models with Swarovski crystals cost tens of times less but are just as impressive.
The Swarovski watches combine the premium quality established for years with the current modern trends. They can be an addition to every outfit and occasion. For more than a century now, the company listens to the demands of the customer and the mass user and aims to fill in their needs. They are recognizable by everyone, they draw attention and compliments and help you express your individuality. Artists and models like Boy George and Naomi Campbell are ambassadors of the brand. Known all over the world and worn by many celebrities, the Swarovski products are timeless and modern and their crystals and the iconic swan logo are expressed on every single one of them.