The West End Watch Company was created in 1886. The West End, a district of the centre of London, inspired its name to Mr. Arnold Charpié who was the Bombay representative of the Alcide Droz & Sons firm, a watch company established at Saint-Imier (Canton of Bern) in Switzerland. In 1886, MM. Amstutz and Droz, the owner of Alcide Droz & Sons firm, began the exploitation of the trademark West End Watch Company in the Indian market and developed the first waterproof pocket watch ever produced : “L’Impermeable” (nowadays displayed at the International Watchmaking Museum of La Chaux-de-Fonds).
During the First World War, a large force of British and Indian soldiers was sent from Bombay to the Persian Gulf to reach Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). They received some West End Watch Company watches.
In 1917, West End Watch Company changed its name to Société des Montres West End SA and was registered in Geneva. At the same time the sub-brand Sowar was also registered.
In 1934, the Société des Montres West End SA was the first brand to introduce the Incabloc anti-shock system invented by Mr. Braunschweig.
In 1973, after several years of development, the company was finally sold, for lack of heirs, to his main supplier : “Aubry Brothers Ltd”, established in Noirmont (Jura) to keep open the Bombay West End Watch Company’s office.
Since 2000 the workshops and the head office of the company have been moved to Leytron, in Wallis. At the same time, the company was taken over by new shareholders and the management changed.
In 2005 West End Watch Company celebrated its 120th anniversary of uninterrupted presence in Asia with the introduction of its “Silk Road concept”. This concept came from the fact that the Silk Road crossed most of the regions where the brand possessed, and still possesses, counters.
Nowadays, West End Watch Company is active in Saudi Arabia, in the United Arab Emirates, in the Himalaya Range (in particular in Tibet, Nepal and in Bhutan) and as well as in western half of China.2010 A first in the brand’s history, West End Watch Company watches are now exclusively distributed/sold in the USA and Canada by Empire Brands.
EB is a distributor of leading products around the globe
.In 2011, West End Watch Company will celebrate its 125 years of uninterrupted activity so a commemorative book redrawing the history of the brand will be published in 2010[dated info] in association with the Centre Jurassien d’Archives et de Recherches Economiques.
The model still manufactured today is Sowar. In Hindustani, Sowar means “warrior” and this name was selected in honor of Sir Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) because it’s said that he and his soldiers wore some West End Watch Company watches during the war.
ORIGINAL RADIUM DIAL
INITIALLY MADE FOR BOTH BRITISH AND INDIAN TROOPS