Limit Founder Alfred Hirst
In August 1884 Alfred Hirst established Hirst Brothers as a company in Union Street, Oldham, Great Britain. His aim was to produce timepieces, jewellery and optical goods of every kind.
By 1894 the business was flourishing and the company moved to a bigger premises in Curzon Street, Oldham. Four years later Hirst Brothers registered as a limited company and moved into the twentieth century with prospects of a very bright future.
The company was on the move again in 1904, a year which also saw the acquisition of a second business in Withy Grove, Manchester. This was followed in 1907 by the purchase of a further business at Great Hampton Street in Birmingham.
Movement Factory, Waldenburg, Switzerland
In 1912, Alfred Hirst saw one of his greatest ambitions realised with the introduction of the Limit trademark on his range of watches, a move which heralded the start of a new era in the watchmaking industry.
Originally the early Limit watches carried a movement from the Waldenburg factory in Switzerland, which were shipped to the Oldham headquarters for assembly into British made ‘Dennison’ cases.
High industrialisation resulted in rapid growth of the company, with new sales offices opening in London and Glasgow.
However, with the outbreak of war in 1914 and in line with the rest of the country, Hirst Brothers switched from normal production to the manufacture of optical instruments.
Tameside Factory, Saddleworth, England
After the war, the company again began to prosper and expansion continued with the construction of the 5 storey, 7 acre, Tame Side clock factory in Saddleworth, near Oldham.
The architecture echoed the modern functionalism of factories that Alfred Hirst had seen whilst visiting America, with huge windows providing as much daylight as possible during working hours.
This forward thinking was reflected in all aspects of the day-to-day operations at Limit, with tennis courts and a cricket field installed at the Tame Side factory for the leisure and well-being of employees.
Limit boasted its own successful staff cricket team competing in local leagues in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Cricket was central to the lives of many of the watch-making, managerial and selling staff at Limit in the early 1920s.
By now the number of people employed by the company had grown to over 500. At this stage the product range was varied and included watches, clocks, jewellery, tools and materials, as well as optical goods. There was also an excellent repair department specialising in clocks and watches.
In 1963 Limit was acquired by Time Products (UK) Ltd of London.
Celebrations took place as it was 100 years since Alfred Hirst opened his first premises in Oldham.
Limit watches moves into a purpose built Time Products Volume Division HQ near Leicester. In-house watch design and quality control ensure that the original high standards are maintained.
Limit launches a Centenary Collection to celebrate 100 years as a watch brand.
Elegance, quality and tradition. These are the principals that Alfred Hirst used as the foundation for Limit watches and are still paramount to our values over a century later.
Limit enters a new era in its history with a total rebrand, the focal point of which is a bold and modern new logo, featuring a chevron icon and the year of establishment. This branding represents a more cohesive, recognisable and ultimately stronger aesthetic across all platforms, as Limit looks to build upon the success it has enjoyed for over 100 years.