C.W. Dixey & Son of London have been crafting exquisite eyewear for a discriminating and sophisticated clientele since 1777. Founded by William Fraser, the family proudly served as optician to the King or Queen of England. But it wasn’t without its hardships. Despite its resilience throughout recessions, depressions, and wars, dishonesty from within has almost bankrupted the company on several occasions (e.g. an assistant, Mr. Grice, used the premises as a gambling den in the early 1800s). It comes as no wonder their motto is ‘vide verum’—see the truth.
The company’s distinguished patrons included the likes of Kings and Queens of England (seven to be precise), Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor Qianlong of China, Tennessee Williams, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, and various other leaders, artists, writers, and royalty. Legend has it that Churchill discovered C.W. Dixey & Son while he was a pupil at Harrow school. My Chartwell 01 frames* are a faithful replica of his legendary circular frame. Rendered in a light tortoiseshell, it simply boasts a two white spot motif on the temple tips, just as Churchill personally requested in September 1944. Each pair is still accompanied with an invitation to enter your name into their storied archives dating back to 1780.
“I am easily satisfied with the very best.” —Sir Winston Churchill
C.W. Dixey & Son remains the oldest independent eyewear company in the world. Since its inception, ownership has passed only between friends or family and to this day they remain an English family business, based in London.
*courtesy of C.W. Dixey & Son