P. Orr & Sons Pvt Ltd HISTORY AND HERITAGE
A journey through generations over 170 gratifying years
A "Bracket Clock" for placing on a shelf, 1832.
A silver - cased watch made in London in the year 1834
Peter Orr and his younger brother Alexander and Edinburgh Lawyer landed in Madras in search of fortune in 1843. In 1849, the Orr took over the running business from retiring Gordon and relocated to 628, Mount Road, the present Location in a partnership. The company was named as P.Orr & Co in 1849.
Peter Orr sent his sons, James and Robert to Switzerland to study about watch and jewellery in 1850’s. Orr senior went back to London in 1866 leaving the business to his sons. Robert, the younger of the sibling is reported to have created the landmark building that stands even today on Mount Road, Chennai.
The P.Orr & Sons building on Mount road, a landmark in the city, is built in the Byzantine style of architecture.
P.Orr & Sons first occupied this building way back in 1873. The Three-faced Tower Clock installed at top of this building was connected to the Madras Observatory and corrected hourly to ensure that it is always right on time!
By 1880‘s P.Orr & Sons was supplying Silverware, Goldware
Ornaments and Watches with special appointment from High Royal Highness. The Prince of Wales, His Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad and many other Princely states in India
In the year 1885, P.Orr & Sons was given special warrant of
appointment certificate as manufacturing Jewellers, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths.
In the year 1893, Native Jewellery - Swami Silver special certificate.
The gold and silver work of P.Orr & Sons is famous all over the east. Their trophies are to be found in Hong Kong and Aden. A model in silver of the Brabourne Stadium was made for the Cricket Club of India Ltd, Bombay for a special presentation. One of the biggest achievements of Orr’s craftsmen was a complete dinner service 144 pieces in gold was made for one of the wealthiest Indian princess.
In the history of Horology, 1927 is the very special year. English Channel was crossed for the 1st time by Mercedes Gleitze, a lady swimmer wearing a Rolex Oyester Watch. Oyester became the first water proof in the history of Horology along with its legendary screw on crown called Coller system. It is not surprising that the basics of Rolex Oyester, including the same has remained unchanged during the past 82 years. Rolex Oyster Perpetual, the best selling watch in the world, sold over $2 billion a year making it a single largest brand in the world.
By 1932, five years after its global launch, P.Orr & Sons Madras was already advertising Rolex Oyester watches for sale in India. Of course you cannot miss out the fact that 18 carat Gold watches were sold for Rs.198/- only.
During the Second World War 1939-1945, P.ORR SONS directed all its activities to the production and repair of war materials for all the services which varied from instruments parts for Range Finders to Jacks for Aircraft. The firm built up a very efficient repair organisation for all type of Aircraft instruments. At the end of the war this department was repairing 2000 instruments per month.
The establishment was sold to
Karumuttu Thiagarajan Chettiar, a famous Textile Mill baron in 1967. Today, the chain of stores is part of his Loyal Textiles group.
Mr. Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director of Titan along with CEO’s of Citizen, Seiko and Timex, honored the occasion with a new look to P.Orr & Sons. Coinciding with the inauguration was a spectacular month long exhibition of old and Vintage Swiss Watches and clocks of various makes collected during the last century. This is the first event of its kind in India and was a must visit for watch lovers.
Historical and emotional re-union of Great Great Grandson of Founder's Family.
Dr. Andrew Orr and his wife Antonia were greeted by some of the long time employees, esteemed customers and established brands who recalled their association with P.Orr & Sons which was opened in 1849.