The Wenger brand have a history dating back over 125 years, but they have not always been best known for watch manufacturing. The brand has a wide-ranging product portfolio and have had to change and adapt in order to stay afloat over the decades. Wenger are a key name in Swiss Watch manufacturing, and yet are one of the lesser-known brands as watches are a relatively new product within the brand’s portfolio. Their watches are incredibly functional, with some models designed to be elegant and fashionable. Wenger Watches have a diverse and convoluted history.
The Beginning of the Brand
The history of Wenger Watches began in 1893 in Courtételle, a small town near Delémont in the Swiss Jura region. The brand started as an industrial cutlery house name Paul Boechat & Cie. The company managed to get a contract with the Swiss Army to produce knives, beginning production of the tool that is now commonly known as the Swiss Army Knife. Theodore Wenger became part of the brand in 1897, some years after it was founded. He served as a minister in the United States and was hired by some entrepreneurs whilst on his journey back home to Switzerland. This group of entrepreneurs had just bought Paul Boechat & Cie. Wenger became a board member and made it his immediate mission to acquire a machine to manufacture spoons so that the company could diversify their product range.
The company continued to grow over the years, developing a passion for quality, precision and outstanding craftsmanship. Their most iconic and sought-after product continued to be the Swiss Army Knife. This knife is a multi-tool that is designed to be multifunctional and able to assist its owner in a variety of tricky situations.
Wenger’s Move into Watchmaking
Wenger began to make watches in 1997. Despite only having just over 20 years’ experience in the craft, the brand is one of the key names in the Swiss watchmaking industry. Their watches are designed to have multifunctional uses, making them suitable for people who like to spend a lot of time adventuring in the outdoors. Wenger realised that a purely practical watch was not going to appeal to everybody, and so expanded their range to include watches that were designed for the sole purpose of style and fashion.
Wenger in the Modern Day
The brand faced trying times in 2001 after 9/11 had taken place. A popular sales point for Swiss Army Knives was at duty free kiosks in airports. After the tragedy, pocketknives were banned in air travel, causing Wenger to lose an awful lot of profit. The brand was forced to restructure their business. Fortunately, another Swiss Army Knife manufacturer, named Victorinox was able to acquire Wenger, saving the brand in this time of hardship.
After the acquisition, Wenger retained their own brand identity and shifted their focus to the production of watches and other products that the brand sold. In recent years, Wenger have expanded into luggage and other travel accessories in order to diversify their business and appeal to a wider audience. The brand’s watch portfolio contains a myriad of choices so there truly is an option for everyone, whether it be for outdoor adventuring, or to pair with a smart suit.
With the history of Wenger Watches being rooted in multipurpose tools, the brand’s watches can be relied upon to be robust, practical and often multifunctional. Despite having faced troubling times, Wenger have managed to shift their focus onto watches in order to become a key name in Swiss watchmaking.
If our history of Wenger Watches has caught your interest, keep reading for some of our Wenger Watch recommendations.
Wenger Watch Recommendations
This Wenger model is part of the brand’s Urban Metropolitan Collection. The watch has a very classic look with its all-black dial, but the two sub dials provide a touch of added interest. The dial features a date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock and the hands and sub dial indices are blue. The pop of colour from the blue detailing is eye-catching against the dark dial, ensuring that this watch will get noticed on the wrist. To complete the simple look, the black dial is framed by a 44mm black IP steel case. This model is powered by a quartz movement, ensuring that it is precise and reliable. The watch is finished with a brown genuine leather strap that fastens with a pin buckle. This chronograph model embodies what it means to be a Wenger product as the sub dials give the watch multifunctionality. The watch is practical and precise, but it is also sleek and fashionable, making it perfect for both every day and occasion wear.
Wenger create a diverse range of watches for both men and women. This ladies’ watch is simple and practical, a perfect example of the Wenger brand. The black dial features easy to read Arabic numeral indices, for easy timekeeping even when on the move. The silver-coloured hands stand out from the dark dial and perfectly match the colour of the numerals. The dial features hour and minute indices for optimal timekeeping. A red second hand provides a pleasant contrast to the minimal dial and makes it easy to keep track of short time periods. This model is finished with a black silicone strap, making it a perfect practical, everyday timepiece.
This model provides a touch of elegance to the Wenger collection. It boasts an entirely silver colour scheme, giving the watch a minimalistic look and ensuring it will match any outfit it is paired with. The white dial features three sub dials, including one to track the day of the week. A date aperture can be found at the 4 o’clock point. The complications on this watch give the product multifunctionality, which is very befitting for a product from the Wenger brand. The dial includes hour and minute indices with small green Arabic numerals around the outer edge for optimal readability. This model is secured with a silver mesh bracelet, making the watch comfortable to wear as it is easily adjustable to all wrist sizes. This Wenger watch would be the perfect addition to any watch collection as a simple and elegant timepiece suitable for special occasions.
The stainless-steel bracelet and thick blue bezel of this watch give it a robust, sporty look. The blue dial features a date aperture at 3 o’clock and white hands and indices for easy readability. The rotating diver’s bezel has a luminous key mark so that it can be read even in the dark. The Arabic indices on the dial and bezel are large and easy to read. The sturdy practicality of this watch is typical of the Wenger brand. It is a great option for outdoor adventuring and its simple silver and blue colour scheme make it suitable as an everyday accessory.
What did you think of our history of Wenger Watches? Will you be adding one to your collection? Let us know in the comments below!