HIRSCH
HISTORY

The history of our company dates back to the year 1765, and since this time leather working has stood at the center of the business activities of the Hirsch family. This family tradition has been successfully continued over the generations. Please click on a year to find out more.

From the very beginning, the success of our company has been largely marked by three things:

  • a long, successful tradition of leather working
  • a constant striving to develop
  • an ambition to actively contribute to the market and present new developments

1765 - Leather workshop

Johannes Franz Hirsch opens a leather workshop in Lower Austria, producing leather for shoes and saddles in a small tannery.

 

1935 - The first patent for Hirsch

The HIRSCH vacuum belt is invented and patented for the upcoming automobile industry.

1945 - Watch bracelets made of leather

Hans Hirsch starts to produce watch bracelets made of leather from the Carinthian shoe industry, using his kitchen table in Klagenfurt as his work bench, and a pocket knife and a household sewing machine.

1955 - Rembordé technique

Hans Hirsch discovers a way of seamlessly binding the upper leather to the lining. This method, which was patented by Hirsch, is adopted by leather and handbag master craftsmen as the HIRSCH Rembordé technique, and is now a standard in the world wide watch bracelet industry.

1957 - HIRSCH turnover

Hermann Hirsch joins the company. Three years later HIRSCH sales top 1 million Euros for the first time.

 

1961 - Invention HIRSCH Point-Of-Sale-unit

With the invention of the HIRSCH Point-Of-Sale-unit, HIRSCH takes bracelets out of the drawer and on to the sales counter, thus revolutionising the sale of watch bracelets. For the first time, the bracelet range is visually presented to the customer in the shop. The development of HIRSCH sales units is influenced over the course of time by well known architects and designers. The POS unit developed by Professor Hollein for HIRSCH has been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

1970 - Removal

The company moves to Hirschstraße 5, with 130 employees. International distribution and sales are constantly expanded in the course of the seventies and eighties.

 

1990 - The 100 millionth bracelet for watches is produced

HIRSCH employs a staff of 640. A joint venture in China is concluded.

 

1991 - Production in India

HIRSCH starts production of bracelets for watches in India. Since that time bracelets have been produced for the Indian market in their own production sites.

1995 - Display unit Corniche

Under the leadership of the Italian designer Matteo Thun, the new Corniche display unit is developed. The Corniche offers a new, top quality presentation of the bracelets in the stores. This unusual design item was given the European Design Award. HIRSCH is the first manufacturer of bracelets for watches to achieve ISO certification. The ISO 9001 certification is evidence of comprehensive HIRSCH quality management in all spheres of the organisation.

2000 - Generational change

There is a generational change in the house of HIRSCH. Hermann Hirsch moves to the Supervisory Board and his son Robert Hirsch takes over the management of the company.

 

2002 - HIRSCH develops the IDentification bracelet

With the aid of integrated microchips, the bracelets can be fitted with functions. Access authorisations, currency values and personal data can be stored in the bracelet.

 

2003 - Switzerland

HIRSCH becomes the main supplier to the Swiss luxury watch industry.

2004 - Introduction of the Leonardo Collection

The perfect aesthetic symbiosis between watch case and bracelet.

 

2005 - Purchase

Robert HIRSCH buys his father’s company, in keeping with the family tradition.

2006 - Display system Sette

HIRSCH renews its role as an innovative forerunner in the field of “scene setting”. The new revolutionary display system Sette is brought on to the market.

 

2007 - Premium Caoutchouc bracelet

HIRSCH presents with “Lance” the very first natural Premium Caoutchouc bracelet in one entire product family and ensures herewith a further competence area.

2008 - 100 m Water-Resistant Alligator bracelet

HIRSCH develops the first 100 m Water-Resistant Alligator bracelet and presents it to general public on the occasion of Baselworld 2009 for the first time.

 

2009 - Aloe Vera

HIRSCH develops the first Aloe Vera bracelet that nourishes the skin during wearing.

 

2010 - HIRSCH is celebrating a jubilee

245 years leather craftsmanship, 65 years HIRSCH bracelets and 30 years HIRSCH Premium Caoutchouc!

 

2011 - Comfort Buckle

HIRSCH presents a true innovation - the HIRSCH Comfort buckle with full-leather fold-hinge mechanism. It adjusts to the natural form of the wrist and no metal touches the skin. 

2012 - A jubilee year for HIRSCH!

In the course of a great anniversary party the production of the 250 millionth bracelet is being celebrated! In autumn HIRSCH emerges as the happy winner in the competition “Austria`s Leading Companies” and achieves gold in the category “Golden Central Structures”.

 

2013 - A milestone in the area of sustainability is being set!

A highly modern photovoltaic system is being built in the roof area of the production and does not only supply the company with “clean” energy, but also the local distribution system.