Speidel began as a jewelry maker in 1904, but very soon it was known for "Ratchet-buckle" watchbands introduced in 1920, the "Scissors Action Expansion Band" introduced in 1936, plus costume jewelry. In the 1930s, Speidel was the first company in the world to introduce ID bracelets. During During World War II, the company briefly produced cathode-ray tubes. In addition to watchbands, Speidel produces wristwatches, lighters, writing instruments, small jewelry, and other accessories.
Twist-O-Flex watch band
Though Speidel was very famous as an identification bracelet maker, the company is still best known as the manufacturer of the "Twist-O-Flex" watchband. Speidel introduced the Twist-O-Flex in 1959, after licensing the technology from its German inventor, Karl E. Stiegele. The Speidel logo is a Twist-O-Flex watchband tied into a bow.
The "Twist-O-Flex" consists of various styles of metal bracelet watchbands; the special link design creates a single-component, stretchable bracelet (also called an "expansion bracelet" and once known as a "scissor-link" bracelet).
In 1956 the first automatically produced bracelet under patent was introduced. By 1959 the company officially introduced the new watchband as the “Twist-O-Flex”. This watch band was and is considered light years ahead of any other watchband products, was a sales phenomenon and was the fashion statement of its time.
Twist-O-Flex introduced in 1961 and the Youth Twist-O-Flex in 1963.
The Twist-O-Flex continues to be the company's most popular product. The Twist-O-Flex was popularly called the "tank track" due to its resemblance to the tread of a tank when laid flat.