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Rooted in optics since 1966!

The chronicles and milestones of an entrepreneurial family

HELBRECHT optics is an owner run family company, which is working in optics for the 2nd generation. Our family was already rooted in this industry in 1966 and established its headquarters in Hilden/Rheinland. Today’s company was founded in 1992 by the oldest of the three Helbrecht brothers (Helly). HELBRECHT company optics operates worldwide and is lead collectively by the three brothers.

Company history: the 1st generation

FOUNDING: Already very early on, the young couple that was not yet married at the time began with combined forces to produce the first optics machines by hand. The sale of the first machine was the financial basis for a collective and hopeful future. Married in 1966, the company “Ing.O.Helbrecht - optics machines” was founded and a small workshop with an adjacent and shared apartment was rented. Production began with one employee.
First Property: First property: The enormous success of the company made in the mean time a wide expansion at the beginning of the 70’s inevitable. On a green meadow in west Hilden, the future headquarters were established. In 1973, the new building (in Weiden 3) was obtained privately and commerically. Little “Helly” was four years old at the time. In the following years came his brothers Markus (1973) and Heiko (1979). At the time of the move, around 50 employees were working in production, management, operations, and service.
High point of success: The owner run company is at the high point of success with over 170 employees (worldwide): At the time it was the no. 1 on the world market, with customers in over 70 countries on earth, represented at every trade fair, on every continent. In countries like Cuba or China, optics machines, diamond grinding wheels, refraction units, etc. of the “Ing.O.Helbrecht - optics machines” company are in high demand. At this point in time only a couple of productions plants existed in Germany and Brazil.
Independence has its price: Commercial success was put above everything else. As with so many other entrepreneurial families, also this one broke under the growing pressure of the business. From this point on they went their separate ways. The sole owner Otto Helbrecht reoriented himself privately.
The once so successfull business in the mean time found itself in hopeless financial difficulties. The “Ing.O.Helbrecht - optics machines” company had to declare bankrupcy and was liquidated. The production sites / real estate was lost to bankrupcy.

REMARK (Bros. Helbrecht): The ex-owner (Otto Helbrecht) finally attempted a new start at age 73. However, as far as we know, the “Ing.O.Helbrecht UG”, which was founded in 2014, had no business activities to speak of.

Company history: the 2nd generation

Helbrecht Garagen FOUNDING: After completing the education (in his parents business) the oldest son went his own way. On February 20th, 1992, Helly Helbrecht, at the age of 22, founded today’s business “HELBRECHT optics”. Everything began classically in a garage with the distribution of sunglasses for market traders, kiosks, and drug stores. Because of his passion for motorcycles and his existing friendships with bikers or rather with diverse motorcycle clubs, already very early on, the young company began to develop and operate an optical collection for the special needs of motorcyclists. Since then, a multiplicity of partially very meaningful technical innovations followed, which were specially designed for motorcycling sunglasses. Among other things, because of the very early development of glasses with the highest of protective properties (bombardment-steady lenses / stone impact resistance), the company or rather Helly himself, was the pioneer or founder of so called biker glasses. Up until today because of personal contacts, under the brand, “Helly N°1 Bikereyes”, biker glasses are individually made for countless MCs worldwide.
It got tight: Total financial reserves were used up for advertisements, product buying & developement of protoypes, as the first free Harley dealers and motorcycle affiliates gained attention and from now on began to sell Helly’s biker and motorcycle glasses. From here on things were uphill. Another garage was already needed for the one man company. As glasses were eventually being worked on in Helly’s apartment, and the entire apartment at the time was totally piled with glasses, it slowly became time to have a change of space.
Helbrecht Bilder-Kollage1 Expansion: In the middle of the year, “a one man company” moved into a 320 sm space. The previous electroplating was realistically considered to be in a miserable condition. No heating, no insulation, no electricity (merely an electricity box), daylight only rarely, depending on the weather considerable odor development etc. etc. However from the perspective at the time, it was a quantum leap for the owner, operator, advisor, warehouse clerk, buyer, secretary, assistant, etc., etc. - everything taken on by one person: Helly Helbrecht. “Something could be made of it and above all, the rent at 1,200 DM per month was affordable for me.” In addition to the “normal work”, the hall was tirelessly worked on 7 days a week. Every Mark that was left over went directly into renovation and expansion. Two years after moving in, the renovation was largely completed by Helly with the help of friends and buddies. The results could be seen. In the end (through built in mezzanines) there were altogether 550 m² available, including an apartment (for Helly). Over the years however, this space became too small. With a lot of help, Helly managed the seasonal business from year to year. Over the course of the coming years other halls were also rented in order to work on the accruing orders.

New bank: With the Wever company in Essen, among other things supplier for over 10,000 gas stations in Germany, Helly entered into a close collaboration. For three years, the respective gas station chain of a famous mineral oil company was supplied with sun glasses via the Wever company.
From whole-seller to brand manufacturer: With the registration of the first brands, the era of brand manufacturing was rung in. A multiplicity of brands and patent entries followed consistently in the following years. to the brands

www: The first humble website, from today’s view, can be seen on the “world wide web”. Currently HELBRECHT optics has a number of online shops and pages, which are exclusively created in house. The company currently has over 160 domains world wide, on which our products can be found.
the first employee: On 7/1/1997 the first permanent employee was hired. It was no one less than Helly’s little brother “Markus Helbrecht”. Finally, relief, now they were fighting as a team. Admittedly, it could have happened earlier, but the boys’ mother prohibited it: “One should first learn something reasonable.”

Advertising in view: With the slogan “advertising in view”, the company successfully expanded into the advertising industry. Europe wide, the sun glasses became advertising media for the most renowned advertising agencies, normally in very high numbers (for advertising actions), supplied especially to France, the Netherlands, and Germany. Fashion sun glasses from the Helbrecht house were individualized and turned into advertising glasses. They had among other things labels from the largest liquor, cigarettes, beer or automotive brands. From this point in time, the Helbrecht house started to calculate the yearly volume of glasses in tons.
On the top: Under the brands “Helly – N°1 Bikereyes” and “THUNDER roadware” already at this point in time, more biker / motorcycle glasses were being sold than by another other company, by a great amount. Due to a passion for motorcycles, this became a fixed pillar.
Helbrecht Bilder-Kollage1 TV-Shopping: In spring 1999, fashion sunglasses were beamed from a large sales station Düsseldorf over the airwaves. The collection originated from the Helbrecht house. In the following years, the glasses received a couple of one hour broadcasts, due to the success of the previous year, with fixed broadcast times and a its own lead-in trailer. The catch in the story: The TV shopping broadcast rested on an employee from the Helbrecht house, who was supposed to accompany the TV broadcast. Helly: “I don’t do that shit.” The decision was therefore clear. Markus Helbrecht represented the company in front of the camera with bravery.

The fashion world: The first world wide renowned fashion label was exclusively supplied with high value fashion sunglasses from the Helbrecht house.

First official representation: In Austria (Kettel Agency).
Continually followed in the coming years the expansion with direct state representation or distributors/partners in the following countries: Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Canada, Katar, Czech Republic & Russia.
On the top - the 2nd: With the “SKIPPER - polarized Eyewear” brand, the brothers place themselves at the top with fishing glasses in this year in Germany and Austria. Top quality lenses in attractive models at attractive prices, which was well received. All over the country, in leading fishing business and fishing chains, polarized glasses with the house brand “SKIPPER - polarized Eyewear” could be found.
The second employee: On 2/1/2001 the second permanent employee was hired. This time, no one less than Helly’s younger brother “Heiko Helbrecht”. Now the tightest circle was complete and Helly had two sharp swords at his side.

“His first time”: After long intense and partially very loud internal confrontations, Helly was finally convinced to have himself depicted on the catalogue cover. The ice was broken. Helly Spot Until today Helly is closely connected with the product “Helly – N°1 Bikereyes”. Even today it’s not easy to get him in front of the camera; this happens with every request for a new photo shoot (from our media department), which has become the standard sentence: “Leave me out of this photo shit.” At the same time it is very important to him that it is clear that here it doesn’t have to do with some thought up brand with a fictitious history (as is the case partially with other glasses companies), but rather the brand name which at bottom is the name of a real person who is responsible and stands behind the development and quality of the product. That is, by the way, the only reason that brings him in front of the camera from time to time.
Video catalogue creation (in house media department)

First spot: The personal contribution was very uncomplicated (on a flash basis) a first advertisement in moving pictures in the Helbrecht house which was created for a video production (Biker lifestyle TV). Helly began on a Friday evening to work on and implement the spot (with a friend / external employee). They worked 72 hours straight on it. Monday was the deadline and the first spot was ready on time. Both of them as well. The spot ran unchanged in the coming years on a number of productions from "Biker Lifestyle TV" Play the spot
Film- & TV presence: The time came, because many friends, acquaintances, and also customers had seen that our glasses (brand: Helly & HSE) had appeared in film and on television. Not without pride, we have listed the known productions / TV broadcasts since this time:

Helbrecht Bilder-Kollage2 ARD: 4x im Tatort
Center TV: RheinSPORT
DMAX: “Bikerlifestyle TV” | “Motor”
DSF: Motomagazin
Kabel1: Achtung Kontrolle
MDR: "Hier ab vier"
N24: Reportage | Doku (SEK- / PEK-Berlin)
Pro7: Millionärswahl
RTL: Richter Hold | Guten Abend RTL | SternTV
SKY: MotorvisionTV (Reportagen)
SAT1: Bericht ”Sat1-NRW”
SPORT1: BIKE - Das Polo Motorradmagazin: Motorradtest , Test Naked Bikes ; Motorbike: Fischereihafenrennen ; Motorbike: 1.000km Hockenheimring
VOX: 2x in Mieten Kaufen Wohnen
Weser TV: 51. Fischereihafenrennen
WDR: "Aktuelle Stunde"
ZDF: Wetten dass...? | Hallo Deutschland | Fernsehgarten
Kino: Werner - Eiskalt
Push: In 2002, a company was founded in the USA: The HELBRECHT LLC with its headquarters in Florida. The goal was to bring the market in North America “into motion”. From the start of 2003 then, the dealer and end user were supplied from the subsidiary directly from Florida, as is common in the USA. After a successful market entry, our brand and products division entrusted a distributor with the operations for the US and Canada starting in 2006.
Innovation:The company introduced in this year, the double sided anti fog coating (internally and externally on the glass) for biker / motorcycle and sports glasses. An unbeatable bonus for all bikers and extreme athletes.
Helly H-RX Technologie Revolution: HELBRECHT optics moves the world of optics and offers almost all biker / motorcycle glasses as well as sports glasses as individual constructions in individual prescriptions. One of a kind, is also the patented glazing of the so called single lense glasses (H-RX technology). The bonus on top of it all: All glasses are made in a safety glazing. This creates the highest degree of protection for the eyes! The operation took place at the time exclusively over the motorcycle dealer and the local optometrist.
H-FLEX® (TOP TECHNOLOGY)!
Helly H-RX Technologie While very early on after the founding of the company there was a concentration on extremely high (as good as undestroyable lenses / stone impact resistance), the ever increasing comfort of the glasses (on the road) was a top priority in the previous years. With a couple of models it was already close. However, the big breakthrough took place in the company in 2006 with the Helly - No.1 Bikereyes 4th Generation (moab4). Biker glasses with super flexible and bendable arms for the highest degree of riding comfort while being worn under the helmet. Many additional undestroyable glasses followed in this time (H-Flex® Technology). More
Second TV spot: Second TV spot: Even though a lot of time and energy was invested in the first spot, it was high time to present something of high value. This time the Helbrecht brother’s (Heiko & Helly) took action. That looked totally different. Play the spot
Hayabusa Racing sports: For the sun glasses brand HSE, the motorcycle racer Elmar Geulen alias MR. HAYABUSA, the 15 time world record holder, was selected as the brand representative for the sport glasses brand HSE (Helbrecht SportEyes). Among other things through a number of TV appearances of the charismatic racer, the sport glasses brand became increasingly known.

Helly Bikereyes No.1





DMAX & N24: Once again, they went their own way and even today it is the only manufacturer in the motorcycle industry that advertises with TV spots. While in past years a TV spot would be seen only occasionally, since 2008 Helly advertising spots have become a solid component of German television.

COR - Custom Optic Revolution
Not only TV spots are created in our media department. A sounds studio was also created in house at Helbrecht. Helly’s friend “Ike” lent the Helly spot his voice. Employees were and are always quickly and painlessly sentenced to speaking for our TV advertisements, as in 2013 when our very own Eric (warehouse management) did so for our COR-TV-spot.
Online sales: Among other things because of the personal expansion and the additional “man” and respective “woman power”, the to date only European manufacturer and wholesaler engaged company now established also with an online shop for end users.

Helly Bikereyes Truck ON THE ROAD: The long term partnership with the keepers of the motorcycle scene (Evy & Lars) found a new high point. The Helbrecht company products, especially the “Helly – N°1 Bikereyes” brand, were presented at every large Harley meeting in all of Europe from now on. With a promotional and professional appearance: The “Helly - Promotion-Truck”. Image: The delivery of the newly branded truck in Hilden.
Prominence: The company start with two of the most famous and renowned customizers in the Harley Davidson scene in Europe, with a small but excellent collection, which got a lot of attention straight away: Fred Kodlin (Kodlin Murdercycles) & Marcus Walz (Walz Hardcore Cycles).

KAKS: Since 2010 we have been supporting the children’s eye cancer foundation. More...
Buy back: On April 30th, the three brothers reacquired their parent’s old house and previous business premises (In the Weiden 3). The acquisition took place with 15 renting parties. After 4 weeks there were already 6 renting parties that moved out and made it therefore possible to start the necessary core renovation of the property. The work was realized in large part by themselves. The remaining renting parties slowly moved out. Also the exterior was restored and was able to be seen again.
HELBRECHT optics neu an altem Standort Back to the future: January 2012- moving into the new / old company center. While still working in 1992 in a garage opposite their parent’s factory, they were now located opposite the founding garage. In the same year, the number of employees grew. All together, now up to 40 employees work in the company.




HELBRECHT optics Einschleiferei Video PRODUCTION: The long sought after centralization of the manufacturing took place directly after the purchase of the property. First of all, the in house edging department was equipped with the most modern CNC directed edging automation technology. The in house optometrist received the production in the new / old company center. Helly: “Finally the trusted scraping noises can be heard in the hall again ;-)”.


HELBRECHT optics moderner Maschinenpark
The expansion and modernization of the machine park followed at a breathtaking pace. Among other things through a pneumatic precision press as well as a new high performance pneumatic tampon printing machine. The adjustment of the machines followed in house according to the needs of the production and continued with the process of the house and license brand, as well as for the diverse OEM collections.

FACTORY SALE: With the move into the new and renovated space, the company opened the gates to the end user. There was sufficient space for direct sales on site here. “You are welcome!” With this motto, the factory sales began.
HELBRECHT optics erweitert sich One-time: The normally one time opportunity emerged to acquire neighboring property. “No question, we’re doing it”, said the three brothers. However at this point it wasn’t totally clear what should happen with it, so the property was first rented out.

Accept Heavy Metal bei HELBRECHT optics





Heavy Metal: Requests from the management of the heavy metal band “ACCEPT” for the purpose of a glasses collection for the cult band. However it didn’t stop there. Already after the first meeting between Wold (band leader), Gaby (manager) and Helly it became clear that Fa. Helbrecht would also offer and ship all of the band’s merchandise in the future. Note: Helly had already passionately listened to ACCEPT when he was 14. He still has their LPs today.

Laboratory: The company sets up a technical test laboratory. The glasses are tested here according to the normal and required norms in Europe, Germany, USA, and Australia. Even according to the demanding military norms such as the MIL-Norm (US Army) & STANAG-Norm (Nato), the house’s products undergo extensive testing.
IT-master stroke: The house’s It team is achieves extreme programming performance, and makes available an external online shop for business customers and partners. What looks so easy, is behind the scenes actually a master achievement. Because for only one pair of glasses, which are ordered online in a certain prescription, at the same time, on the optimized served, 37,000 queries are also taking place. On an extra HELBRECHT optics server that was made available for this, the partner or subshops are managed. To the Partner-Shops

KHS Brillen by HELBRECHT opticsMilitary & emergency personnel: This is nothing new for the company. Already for around 15 years, the emergency personnel of the Germany army and the US army (in foreign deployment) have been wearing glasses from Helbrecht. Now under a fitting label as a licensed brand: KHS. Among military personnel and special emergency personnel, etc. the brand is well known. Everywhere in this world where things get intense, or where the extreme implementation of man and material is required, KHS military watches are worn. From now on, also KHS military glasses. These special glasses are manufactured for the most extreme demands according to the Nato STANAG norms of the US military “MIL-norm” and all of the according to individual prescription. The direct glazing in prescription according to the high military standards in one of a kind world wide!

ACCOLADE: Already innumerable tests and reports can be read in the press world wide. Europe’s largest motorcycle newspaper “MOTORRAD” tested in 2014 sunglasses from Alpina, Fielmann, Fospaic, Harley Davidson, Hellfire, Helly - No1 Bikereyes, HSE - SportEyes, Louis, Nike & Uvex. All together the 4 tested glasses (from the Helbrecht house) were recognized as excellent 7X.
4X "VERY GOOD" | 1X "BUYING TIP" | 2X "TEST WINNER"

Among other things, the newspaper “Motorrad & Reisen” reported on the products of the house a number of times extensively. in particular the double sided report in the 05/2014 edition as well as the extensive and also double sided test report in the 10/2014 edition show the evaluation of the products: MADE IN GERMANY. to the tests and reports
Megalomania?!
HELBRECHT optics saniert und renoviert neue Halle "We are building the largest optics business in the world!" The brothers settled on what should be done with the neighboring hall: A factory outlet!
The renovation began in summer and was of course done largely by the brothers themselves, and the oldest brother (Helly) began to develope ideas on the side and to create the first 3D planning for the future factory outlet. Moreover, together with the trusted architects he took also care of the corresponding building permit.
HELBRECHT optics 50-jährige Historie How fast time passes - when one is happy...
or just work like a madman!

The way to here was hard and stony. If someone puts stones in your way, build something that is solid and big with it, so aptly states. The three "Helly Brothers" have done so far and they are not finished! They continue to build in the truest sense of the word. The work on the future factory sale (neighbors building) is going ahead.
The 50-year history is celebrated with the introduction of a new category "SUPER DEALS" together with all customers and partners. In this category, HELBRECHT optics exclusively offers glasses that are most brutally reduced.



EXPANSION IN PRODUCTION There were many innovations in production alone. A highlight for the production department was the acquisition of a "new" ARBURG injection molding machine. That thing is a real powerhouse. Weight: 3.5 tons / closing force: 60 tons. Thus, there's nothing standing in the way of the company's strategy to further increase the production capacity of "MADE IN GERMANY" glasses.


Blue / White - is not just the sky above Bavaria
BMW Motorrad and HELBRECHT optics Blue / White - these colors are also one of the world's best-known traditional companies, with more than 100 years of company history: BMW.

BMW Motorrad and HELBRECHT optics have launched their cooperation with a motorcycle goggle, which is worldwide distributed directly by BMW in 2017.

We are particularly pleased with the high appreciation of our company, which is reflected in the fact that HELBRECHT optics is controlled by Bayerische Motoren Werke in the category of a so-called "system supplier" (highest supplier status).










King Kerosin Eyewear by HELBRECHT opticsThe King is in the House: Another great cooperation sealed Helly (himself) & Mr. King Kerosin (Ralf Rossman) in early September.

Of our expertise as manufacturer, Ralf and his entourage had already been able to convince themselves during their first visit in the middle of the year, at our factory.

We are looking forward to produce in the coming year the cool glasses of the brand KING KEROSIN under licence and to distribute them exclusively worldwide. This much we can already divulge: A very own typical design, the King Kerosin Eyewear will distinguish.




Speed is no witchcraft - Or as in only 2 days, over 2 continents, six companies agreed.
Harley-Davidson Eyewear and HELBRECHT optics This speed eclipses everything that previously discovered.
Shortly: HELBRECHT optics is already from this year onwards the official and exclusive contact person for eyeglasses of the Harley-Davidson brand.
The first concrete talk about a cooperation took place, in a small circle, at our factory in Hilden. Already 48 hours later, the future partnership was sealed in writing. A breathtaking speed, if one considers that there a total of 6 companies, on 2 continents, in 3 languages, finally had to agree. After all, the brand, licensing and distribution rights had been divided into three companies for Europe. In this regard, our respect and gratitude applies to the management and their participants of the companies involved in Europe and the USA, to assign the exclusive (DE, AT, CH) distribution to HELBRECHT optics.




Indian MOTORCYCLE and HELBRECHT opticsFurther growth
We are also looking forward to receiving another cult brand from the motorcycle sector in our product portfolio: Indian MOTORCYCLE
From the end of this year, we offer the opportunity to purchase the glasses of Indian Motorcycle for the specialist retailer as well as the end user, directly by HELBRECHT optics. Naturally also as individual production in prescription - MADE IN GERMANY by HELBRECHT optics.

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