Nautilus Story – The 30th Anniversary of The World’s Most Iconic Loudspeaker

Beyond the Curve: Celebrating 30 Years of Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus.

@Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus

For 30 years, the Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus speaker has stood as a pinnacle of audio excellence, captivating listeners with its iconic design and exceptional sound quality. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled a one-of-a-kind pair that pays homage to the speaker’s legacy, featuring a stunning Abalone Pearl exterior inspired by the marine creature from which it takes its name. Hand-crafted by the dedicated team at Bowers & Wilkins’ headquarters, this special edition exemplifies the brand’s commitment to meticulous craftsmanship and innovation.

The Nautilus speaker is undeniably bold, even for Bowers & Wilkins, a company renowned for pushing the boundaries of audio engineering. Its striking form, inspired by the science of sound, is a testament to what is possible when design and function converge. With limitless creativity and an unwavering pursuit of perfection, the Nautilus embodies the essence of Bowers & Wilkins, showcasing their passion for True Sound and their commitment to delivering the ultimate loudspeaker experience.

To shed light on the rich history behind the Nautilus and to commemorate this milestone, Bowers & Wilkins has released a film titled “Beyond the Curve.” The film features conversations with key contributors to the Nautilus legacy, delving into the inspiration and design process that led to its creation. It also offers an exclusive look at the craftsmanship involved in producing the 30th Anniversary Edition, highlighting the dedication and pride felt by the artisans who work on this celebrated and iconic loudspeaker.

The Nautilus’s journey began in 1993 when a team of Bowers & Wilkins engineers embarked on a five-year project to develop something truly extraordinary. The result was the Nautilus, which coincided with notable events such as Buckingham Palace opening its doors to the public and the release of Nirvana’s final studio album. From the outset, Bowers & Wilkins understood that the design of a loudspeaker cabinet profoundly affects sound quality. Thus, the Nautilus aimed to achieve the theoretically perfect loudspeaker design, embodying the brand’s commitment to excellence even after the passing of its founder, John Bowers.

@Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus loadspeaker

@Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus loadspeaker

Central to the Nautilus story is Laurence Dickie, the key contributor to its design and realization. Dickie was given unprecedented freedom by John Bowers to push the boundaries of conventional speaker design and think beyond established norms. Working alone for extended periods, Dickie meticulously crafted every aspect of the Nautilus, from its innovative tapering tubes that optimize the performance of the drive units to its minimalist frontal aspect that enhances dispersion. Many of the groundbreaking technologies developed by Dickie for the Nautilus continue to influence Bowers & Wilkins’ speaker designs to this day.

Over the past three decades, the creation of Nautilus speakers has been a labor of passion and expert craftsmanship. Each pair is meticulously hand-made, sprayed, polished, and tuned at Bowers & Wilkins’ Worthing, UK factory. The process involves the dedicated efforts of a team of Nautilus experts, each playing an integral role in bringing the iconic loudspeaker to life. From sanding and polishing the casing to constructing the physical speaker and testing its performance, every step is executed with meticulous attention to detail.

Mark Hazell, a longstanding Nautilus Sander, emphasizes the hands-on nature of the production process, with each loudspeaker being individually crafted. Dave Funnell meticulously sprays the Nautilus by hand, ensuring a flawless finish, while Nick Curling, the Nautilus Polisher, spends hours expertly polishing the exterior to a mirror-like shine. Darren Evans, another skilled craftsman, assembles the physical speaker, combining the four drive units produced by Rob, Alfie, and the dedicated team.

Before a Nautilus speaker reaches its recipient, Dave Naylor, a Quality Engineer, conducts rigorous testing to guarantee optimal performance. The result is a testament to Bowers & Wilkins’ commitment to delivering True Sound and fulfilling the vision of their founder, John Bowers.

As Bowers & Wilkins celebrates three decades of the Nautilus, the iconic loudspeaker stands as a symbol of unrivaled audio quality, innovative design, and the relentless pursuit of perfection. The Nautilus continues to inspire awe and admiration, and its influence can be felt throughout the audio industry. With its unique blend of art and science, the Nautilus remains a testament to Bowers & Wilkins’ unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of audio technology and creating an extraordinary listening experience.

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