HISTORY OF VERTEX

Claude Octavius Lyons, was born in London in 1885 and started working in the watch trade when he was just 17 years old. He loved nothing more than solving problems and making things work. He set up Dreadnought Watches in 1912 with a £1,000 loan from his father-in-law and had paid it back within the year. He based himself in Hatton Garden and spent over 50 years in Diamond House where he became a leading light of the local community and the international watch trade.  His devoted wife Dollie spoke fluent French and German and was an enormous support to him. Claude was a leader, a trader and, later in his life, a philanthropist.

THE TIMELINE

1912
Claude Lyons borrows £1,000 from his father-in-law Mr Mayer and sets up Dreadnought Watches, specialising in Swiss movements re-cased in Britain.
1915
Dreadnought produces watches for the British Military under the brand ATP.
1916
Vertex Watches Ltd is founded in London at 37 & 38 Hatton Garden and in Switzerland at 133, Rue de la Paix in La Chaux de Fonds.
1922
Aureole starts producing complete watches for Vertex and movements for the Platinum Ladies watch range.
1927
Vertex becomes the exclusive importer of Movado watches to the UK.
1931
Vertex starts working with Revue Thommen on a range of steel ‘All Proof’ watches.
1938
Henry Lazarus, who married Claude’s younger daughter Peggy, joins Vertex.
1940
Vertex’s Hatton Garden factory and showrooms are destroyed by enemy action.
1941
Henry, now a Captain in the British army and with his unique understanding of the Swiss watch industry, is asked to help with procurement of watches for the British Military.
1943
Navigation watch specs are received and production begins across four separate factories in Switzerland.
1944
Vertex starts producing the Cal 59 Nav watch. Vertex works with four Swiss factories to supply 15,000 watches.
1951
Vertex becomes the exclusive importer of Thommen-manufactured watches to the UK.
1956
Vertex starts co-branding watches as Vertex Revue in order to capitalise on both the Vertex and Revue Thommen reputations.
1960
Vertex launches the 87 Calibre 22 Jewel movement.
1972
Faced with pressure from the emergence of the new quartz watch revolution and the expiration of Vertex’s lease in Hatton Garden, Henry closes the company.
2016
Vertex is re-incorporated 100 years after Claude Lyons started the company by his great-grandson Don Cochrane.
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