History of Bowers & Wilkins

In 1966, John Bowers and his lifelong friend Peter Hayward founded a manufacturing company, then called B&W Electronics, in Worthing, on the south coast of England. They agreed from the outset to live modestly and plough any profits back into the business to further research into the quest for the perfect loudspeaker...


1965: Beginnings

Bowers & Wilkins is now a very large company, with distribution chains and customers all over the world. But it started life with John Bowers hand-assembling speaker systems for local clients in Worthing, West Sussex, in the back of the electrical store that he ran with his friend Roy Wilkins.

B&W Electronics Ltd

1966: B&W Electronics Ltd

Following a bequest from an elderly lady called Miss Knight, John Bowers founds B&W Electronics Ltd. Because she was so impressed with John Bowers' knowledge of classical music, and so pleased with the loudspeakers that he had made for her, Miss Knight left him £10,000 in her will to develop a business.


1966: P1

The same year saw the development of the first Bowers & Wilkins loudspeaker: the P1. The cabinet and filter were Bowers & Wilkins' own, but the drivers came from elsewhere. The profit from these loudspeakers allowed John Bowers to invest in calibration equipment.

Domestic Monitors

1968: Domestic Monitors

Bowers & Wilkins has always aimed to produce the finest loudspeakers across a broad price spectrum. And the Domestic Monitors in the form of the DM1 and DM3 were launched to provide a more affordable option for potential customers. The idea of the Domestic Monitor lived on for many generations of superb and affordable loudspeakers, right to to the current award-winning Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series.

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