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It is only by being aware of our past that we can successfully shape our future.

We can proudly say that uvex is one of the major brands to have helped write the industry’s history, not only in Germany, but also the entire world.

     
History of safety

the history of safety

The first safety eyewear created by Philipp M. Winter was designed for labourers. They protected the eyes from metal fragments and sparks, when drilling, machining or welding, for example.

In 2014, the range of products includes safety eyewear, safety helmets, hearing protection, breathing protection, safety gloves,safety footwear and workwear.

history of sports

the history of sports

Skiers, motorcyclists and mountaineers trusted in our high-quality products long before the term “sports marketing” was invented.

In 2014, our first-class products for sports ranges from innovative ski goggles to professional racing helmets for cycling, equestrian and winter sports.

     

It has been a long journey from the company’s humble beginnings in a suburb of Fürth to its present status as a major international group. uvex’s history has been characterised by difficult times, by long years of war and economic depression, but also by dynamic years of development and other highly successful periods.

The oft-quoted maxim “think global, act local” has been our guiding principle and embodied our aims since long before words such as “globalisation” and “global player” emerged as mainstream concepts.

     

1926
The beginnings

 
Philipp M. Winter, born in Fürth

Philipp M. Winter, born in Fürth im Wald on 3 May 1898, attended Fürth High School in Bavaria. After the First World War, he started his career as an export businessman, concentrating on Portugal and Spain.





First facility in Fürth/Poppenreuth

After establishing a small distribution company in Barcelona, he returned to Fürth, Bavaria, and founded the “Optische-Industrie-Anstalt Philipp M. Winter”, which was a handcraft-oriented establishment in Fürth/Poppenreuth.

uvex ski goggles

1. uvex ski goggles


Ski goggles already featured ventilation, but this simply comprised holes punched in the sides. The plastic lenses sewn together by hand and strip of soft fabric attached over seams to smooth the edges.





uvex safety goggles

1. uvex safety goggles

  

1936
uvex products at
the Olympic Games

Philipp M. Winter equipped a number of athletes with safety eyewear at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

 
Salzstrasse in Fürth, the headquarters for many years

After successfully mastering the challenges of the early years, the premises soon became too small and the company moved to Salzstrasse in Fürth, which remained the headquarters for many years.



1948
Pioneering spirit drives company expansion

Pioneering spirit drives company expansion

A pioneering spirit, ingenuity and dedication helped uvex through the trying war and post-war years. It marked the beginning of a targeted, market-oriented business structure.

1956
The uvex brand is
born

The uvex brand is born

Rainer Winter, son of Philipp Winter

The company under the sole proprietorship of Philipp M. Winter is renamed “Winter-Gesellschaft für Optik und Augenschutz” with the family becoming legal shareholders. Rainer Winter is appointed as joint Managing Director together with Philipp M. Winter.

 

uvex champion: first antifog ski goggles

1964 uvex champion: first antifog ski goggles

 









„Consumer products require distinctive brands and brand management.”


Consumer products require distinctive brands

Rainer Winter coined the “uvex” brand name, based on an abbreviation of the quality seal for lenses – Ultra Violet EXluded. From this moment on, all sports and leisure products were and still are sold under the uvex brand.




Stylish sunglasses under the Filtral brand

In 1967, the uvex group started selling stylish sunglasses to retail under the Filtral brand.

1970
Onset of the most successful growth years

Diversification and internationalisationare driven forward by the new management team.

 

uvex downhill: the first ski goggles with spherical, injection-moulded lens

1972 – uvex downhill: the first ski goggles with a spherical, injection-moulded lens and anti-fog coating.

 






uvex successfully made the leap across the Atlantic

uvex successfully made the leap across the Atlantic to North America and established manufacturing and distribution facilities in Canada and the USA.

 

Range expanded to include footwear

Range expanded to include footwear.

Rosi Mittermaier won two gold medals

1976 – Rosi Mittermaier won two gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria

  
  
 

1980
Continuation of steady growth

The subsidiary Alpina is founded

In 1980, the subsidiary Alpina is founded in Derching, Bavaria.

 

Alpina Ski & Surf shield eyewear launched

1985 – Alpina Ski & Surf shield eyewear launched (later SWING), which then became the top-selling Alpina sports spectacles in the world.

Profas GmbH was established

1986 – Profas GmbH was established; today operating as uvex safety gloves.








Martina Ertl and uvex ski helmet

Many top athletes place their trust in the uvex  brand







Biker Erik Zabel
Katja Seizinger and uvex

Many top athletes place their trust in the uvex brand!


The first manufactured helmets were introduced
in Germany in 1987/88.

The first manufactured helmets were introduced

Airtech cycling helmet: very lightweight and extremely safe due to EPS and ABS materials, a unique combination on the market.

One of the first uvex ski helmet models

One of the first uvex ski helmet models




laservision was founded as a joint venture

In 1987, laservision was founded as a joint venture and has been wholly-owned by the uvex safety group since 2004. The company has achieved global success with technologically advanced laser protection products.

1990
Future-oriented
group structure.

 
Facility  UVEX SAFETY GROUP GMBH & Co. KG

UVEX SAFETY GROUP GMBH & Co. KG.

Facility ALPINA INT. Sport-Optik

ALPINA INT. Sport + Optik Vertr. Ges.mbH

In 1994, the GmbH was split into four market-oriented divisions to establish a group structure that is fit for the future.

UVEX WINTER HOLDING GmbH & Co. KG assumes overall control of the Group

Facility UVEX SPORTS GmbH & Co. KG

UVEX SPORTS GmbH & Co. KG.

Facility FILTRAL GMBH & Co. Vertr. KG

FILTRAL GmbH & Co. Vertr. KG

 

uvex astrospec: a design revolution was launched

uvex astrospec: a design revolution was launched on the market and quickly became the world’s most popular uvex safety spectacles. To date, more than 50 million pairs of uvex astrospec have been sold worldwide.





Michel Winter became Managing Partner of uvex Winter Holding

1999 – After 12 years of preparation, Michael Winter became the Managing Partner of uvex Winter Holding, with responsibility for sales totalling EUR 360 million and approximately 2,200 employees worldwide.

2001
Acquisition Heckel

 
Acquisition Heckel

In 2001, uvex acquired the product specialist Heckel, which still operates as an independent brand.

 
 

2005
uvex academy

  The uvex academy was founded

The uvex academy was founded as the first privately managed training centre in the field of occupational safety and personal protection equipment (PPE).

2006
laservision expansion

 
laservision became the leading provider of laser protection products

laservision became the leading provider of laser protection products through acquisition of Trinity Technologies (laservision USA).




uvex super g: the world’s lightest safety goggle

uvex super g: the world’s lightest safety spectacles at only 18g.

2007
Made In Germany

 
Expansion of the manufacturing plants in Obernzell

German sites continued to grow, with the expansion of the manufacturing plants in Obernzell (BSA) and Lederdorn in the Bavarian Forest.

Expansion of the production plant of uvex sports in Nyrsko

Expansion of the production plant of uvex sports in Nyrsko, Czech Republic, doubled the manufacturing capacity.




uvex safety group selected as one of the TOP 100

uvex safety group selected as one of the TOP 100 for being among the most innovative companies in Germany.

 

2009
Products for
equestrian sports

uvex sports launched the new equestrian product range. Athletes including Ingrid Klimke and Isabell Werth now wear uvex.

uvex sports launched the new equestrian product range
Athletes including Ingrid Klimke and Isabell Werth now wear uvex.

uvex received the “Brand of the century”

uvex received the “Brand of the century” accolade for its concentrated and consistent brand management of the ski goggles.


uvex core range Core Range rider Roman Rohrmoser uvex core Range at ISPO exhibition

uvex Core Range winter: a product range for the freeride skiing community was launched.

uvex Core Range winter: a product range for the freeride skiing community

uvex ski helmet and ski goggle

2012
Proven leaders of innovation

 
uvex take off ski goggle

Introduction of many new innovations at both uvex safety and uvex sports, including uvex variotronic, uvex take off ski goggles, uvex pheos spectacles and helmet, uvex phynomic safety gloves and many more.

Introduction of new innovations at both uvex safety and uvex sports


uvex Core Range Bike launched Core Range driver on a trial


uvex Core Range Bike: launched a range of products for the freeride community.

uvex Core Range driver Magnus Baumann uvex i3 safety goggle

uvex i-3: the latest injection-moulding technology combines three materials to create a spectacle frame that is totally metal free which adjusts for any face shape.

2013
Focus on safety and sustainability

 
Launch of one of the lightest ski helmets

uvex plus: launch of one of the lightest hard shell ski helmets.

uvex texpergo Collection 26 launched

uvex texpergo Collection 26 launched, featuring a sporty design that is sustainable and functional

 

2014
Gold medals in Sochi

Most successful Winter Olympics ever in Sochi for uvex: 62 medals and 450 athletes, including Felix Neureuther, Marlies Schild, Felix Loch and Anna Schaffelhuber for Alpina.

Marlies Schild with uvex ski helmet Anna Schaffelhuber with Alpina helmet
Matthias Mayer and uvex ski helmet Luger Felix Loch
uvex receives 'Top national employer 2014'

uvex receives “Top national employer 2014” award.