The Oxylane Group contains our range of Passion Brands, which are focussed on particular sports to provide our customers with quality products at affordable prices, making sport accessible to all. This blog takes a look at the history of our climbing brand, Simond.
The history of Simond is somewhat different to many of the brands within the Oxylane group. It is a longer history than any of the other brands, and longer than the history of Decathlon itself by more than 150 years! The brand is based at the foot of Mont Blanc, and throughout their history have specialised in mountaineering equipment. With values aligning with those of the Oxylane group, Simond has been a part of the Oxylane network since 2008.
In the early 1820s, adventurers looking to explore Mont Blanc approached the Chamonix-based blacksmiths the Simond brothers to make the tools they needed for their expeditions. By the 1860s the number of visitors had grown to the point that the brothers had to divide up the work at their forge, and François Simond took responsibility for manufacturing the mountaineering equipment.
A Family Legacy
The company was passed on from François to his son Claudius, and then onto François” grandson Ludger. Simond produced innovative new designs, such as the first lightweight carabiner in 1948 and the first curved pick in 1975, innovations which allowed climbers to explore previously inaccessible places. Ludger Simond sold the company to the French company Wichard on his retirement in 2004, before Simond joined the Oxylane group in 2008.
Becoming a part of the Oxylane group has allowed Simond to benefit from the additional expertise, technologies, organisation and manufacturing techniques within the network. These benefits have allowed Simond to create new product ranges such as ropes, harness, shoes and clothing, whilst expanding the range of high quality technical climbing and mountaineering equipment available in Decathlon stores.