The uvex brand (uv-ex = ultraviolet excluded) was first introduced in the the Mid fifties by Rainer Winter, managing director of UVEX WINTER HOLDING GmbH & Co.KG, based in Fürth, Germany, for a line of sunglasses. It soon turned into an umbrella brand for all their sports products and was then extended from the mid-seventies onwards to include the safety division.
From this point on, all sports and leisure products (ski, cycling and riding helmets, ski, cycling, equestrian and sports eyewear) made by UVEX SPORTS GmbH & Co. KG, Fürth, and all the products in the industrial sector (protective eyewear, helmets, hearing and hand protection, safety footwear and workwear) made by UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG., Fürth, were brought together under one brand: uvex.
In order to create a presence in the US market, a subsidiary company, UVEX WINTER OPTICAL, Inc., was founded in 1980 in Smithfield, Rhode Island. This subsidiary also produced protective eyewear in its own factory. In 1993, the uvex safety division was gradually sold to the French Bacou Group, including trademark rights in the USA. The sports division, however, was retained in full by the uvex group.
As a result, in the Western Hemisphere (North, Central and South America) the uvex brand name related to the safety division is now only used by the Sperian group (part of Honeywell International). uvex sports products however are distributed by the uvex group. In the Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa) the trademark rights for both divisions are still held by the uvex group (Germany).