C.W. Dixey & Sons

C.W. Dixey & Sons

In 1777 Beethoven was still in short pants, and yet that was when William Fraser opened his optical and mathematical instrument company in Bond Street, London, which in 1824 would be purchased by Charles Wastell Dixey. Long before he went completely nuts, George III still valued seeing things clearly and awarded a Royal Warrant to Fraser for his finely made optical products.

Today C. W. Dixey and Sons remains an English family business, despite many episodes, up and down, in its 230-year history. Having been patronised by many monarchs of Britain, Emperor Qianlong of China, the mercenary Napoleon, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Corsican militia, author Ian Fleming, and of course dogged statesman, historian and arch-nemesis of the Third Reich, Sir Winston Churchill.

Whether you want to destroy Europe like Napoleon or save it like Churchill, you won’t want to read your semaphore or telegrams with pharmacy specs or survey the battlefield in fluoro M frames. Dixey currently produces reproductions of their most famous designs, which are available in their Chartwell line. Designed in Great Britain and handmade in France. Sacré bleu!

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