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.
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.
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.
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 the current award-winning Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series.