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Swarovski
Type Private
Founded 1895
Headquarters Austria
Key people Daniel Swarovski
Industry Crystal
Products Figurines, jewellery and couture, home decor, chandeliers, loose crystal elements
Revenue
Employees 25,995 (2008)[1]
Website brand.swarovski.com

Swarovski (English pronunciation: /ˌswɔrˈɒvˌskiː/(swore-off-ski)[2]) is the brand name for a range of precision-cut crystal glass and related luxury products produced by Swarovski AG of Wattens, Austria. The company was founded in 1895 by Armand Kosman and Franz Weis using Daniel Swarovski's expertise at glass-cutting and his family name. It was the 1892 invention and patenting of Swarovski's innovative electric glass-cutting machine which prompted the company to be created. Their first factory for producing carved crystal was built in Wattens, Austria.

Contents

History

Daniel Swarovski (1862–1956), the founder of the company

Daniel Swarovski (October 24, 1862 – January 23, 1956) was born in northern Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). His father was a glass cutter who owned a small glass factory. It was here that a young Daniel served an apprenticeship, becoming skilled in the art of glass-cutting. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of crystal glass.[3][4]

In 1895, Swarovski financier Armand Kosman and Franz Weis founded the Swarovski company, originally known as A. Kosmann, Daniel Swarovski & Co, which was later shortened to K.S. & Co.[5] The company established a crystal cutting factory in Wattens, Tyrol, to take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes which Daniel Swarovski had patented.[3][6]

Products

The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal sculptures and miniatures, jewellery and couture, home decor and chandeliers.

All sculptures are marked with a logo. The original Swarovski logo was an edelweiss flower, which was replaced by a "S.A.L." logo which was finally replaced with the current swan logo in 1988.[7] The Swan logo, however, is currently being phased out in favor of simply the Swarovski name.

In order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its crystals with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis, or "AB", is one of the most popular coatings, and gives the surface a rainbow oil slick appearance.[8] Other coatings include Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.

In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a new copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (crystal components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).

The Swarovski Group also includes Tyrolit (makers of abrasive and cutting tools); Swareflex (reflective and luminous road markings); Signity (synthetic and natural gemstones); and Swarovski Optik (optical instruments such as binoculars and rifle scopes).

The company runs a crystal-themed indoor theme park, Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) at its original Wattens site (near Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria). The Crystal Worlds centre is fronted by a grass-covered head, the mouth of which is a fountain. The grass-covered Crystal Worlds houses exhibitions related to, or inspired by, the crystals — but do not include explanations of how the famous designs are made, produced or finished.

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Subsidiary companies

The Swarovski-crystal-covered Christmas tree at the Toronto Eaton Centre in 2006.
Swarovski Christmas tree at the Zürich Hauptbahnhof in 2009
Swarovski;

Fashion accessories and various crystal-based ornaments.

Daniel Swarovski

Jewelry, handbags, accessories and interior design objects.

Swarovski Optik

High-precision optics.

Atelier Swarovski

Fashion and jewellery designers.

Swarovski Crystal Palace

Avant-garde lighting and design (chandeliers etc).

Crystalized - Swarovski Elements

Crystal designs.

Enlightened - Swarovski Elements

Gemstone designs.

Strass Swarovski Crystal

Crystal components used in lighting, design and manufacturing.

Swarovski Lighting

Swarovski finished lighting products and solutions with crystal for architecture.

Tyrolit

A bonded grinding and dressing tools company.

Swareflex

A road safety products specialist.

Schonbek

A crystal chandelier manufacturer.

Active-Crystals

In 2007 Swarovski formed a partnership with electronics giant Philips to produce the "Active-Crystals" consumer electronics range.[9] This includes six USB Memory keys and four in-ear headphones, and in 2008 they included Bluetooth wireless earpieces for the brand, all with some form of Swarovski crystal on them as decoration.

Figurines & collectibles

Swarovski's figurines are highly collectible, with a stylized mouse being the very first figurine created. A smaller version of this mouse, now labeled the "replica mouse", is still available. The company produces many types of figurines from ladybugs to limited edition Disney collectibles.

Crystallized - Swarovski Elements crystals were included in some collectible silver coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2009.[10]

Sponsorship and placement

In 2004, Swarovski created the nine-foot diameter, 550 pound star that tops the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City for the first of five consecutive years.

Swarovski was also a sponsor for The Phantom of the Opera, in which the "standing model" of the chandelier was composed of Swarovski crystals. A Swarovski shop window is also visible later in the film. However instead of using the edelweiss flower, which would have been the case in the era the film was set, the current swan logo was used instead.

For the 75th anniversary of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Swarovski crystals decorated the costumes worn by the Rockettes during the final number.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "Swarovski press centre". Brand.swarovski.com. http://www.brand.swarovski.com/Content.Node/home.en.html#/presscentre/factsfigures/swarovskifactsheet. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  2. ^ "About Swarovski". Crystalfanaticsclub.com. http://www.crystalfanaticsclub.com/about_swarovski.php. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  3. ^ a b Callan, Georgina O'Hara; Glover, Cat (2008). The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers. Thames & Hudson. p. 248.
  4. ^ "Swarovski: About Us - The Story". Swarovski. http://www.swarovski.com/Web_GB/en/thestory. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  5. ^ Pederson, Jay P. (1988). International directory of company histories‎. St. James Press. p. 422.
  6. ^ Campbell, Gordon (2006). The Grove encyclopedia of decorative arts, Volume 2. Oxford University Press US. p. 407.
  7. ^ Swarovski Crystal Worlds. Ninemsn. October 25, 2007.
  8. ^ Dodds, Jo-Ann (November 20, 2004). "A real gem off the beaten path." Toronto Star.
  9. ^ "Swarovski, Philips unveil 'Active Crystals'." Press Trust of India. September 24, 2007.
  10. ^ Royal Canadian Mint 2009 Holiday Gift Guide.

External links


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