The Meopta Story

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posted on January 16, 2013
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Is there room for one more optics company? There is if the company already exists. To learn what this means read more.

“Uncommonly good glass.” “True European optics for a lot less money.” “The Best Glass You’ve Never Heard of.” These are but a few of the things optics aficionados have said about Meopta, which begs the question: Why haven’t more hunters, shooters and outdoor enthusiasts heard of the Meopta brand?

According to Reinhard Seipp, general manager of Meopta USA, much has to do with the company’s history. “Meopta has been making precision optics for 80 years, mostly for military forces due to the ever evolving political circumstances of the times. As a result, the company remained product focused for more than 50 years. They didn’t have to market because sales channels were built in. When Meopta did start supplying riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes to the hunting and outdoor consumer market here in the United States, we initially did so as a manufacturing partner to many of the world’s finest optical brands. Only in the last five years have we introduced our own line of sports optics under the Meopta brand. In light of this, it should come as no surprise that we make great optics but have little expertise in selling them.”

Meopta traces its roots back to 1933, when the Optikotechna company was founded in Prerov, Czechoslovakia. Originally founded to produce optical lenses, the company rapidly expanded its product lines to include binoculars, cameras and projectors.

Optikotechna enjoyed a thriving consumer business until the company was seized by the German Wehrmacht in 1939 and forced to produce military riflescopes and binoculars. At the close of World War II, the company was renamed MEOPTA and intended to refocus on the design, development and production of consumer optics. However, Czechoslovakia fell under Soviet occupation and Meopta was once again shifted into military production.

From 1971 until 1989, almost all of the company’s capacity was allocated to military and industrial products for Warsaw pact countries. In 1992, Meopta was acquired by a New York-based American family of Czech decent and fully privatized. Significant investment into infrastructure and personnel quickly enabled Meopta to become one of Europe’s dominant optical manufacturing companies. Today Meopta is globally recognized as a supplier of premium grade, high-performance optics to the military, aerospace, medical and industrial markets.

When it comes to sports optics, Meopta says its greatest strength today is in riflescopes and takes great pride in its 30mm MeoStar and 1-inch MeoPro riflescopes lines. In fact, they are so confident in their expertise in this realm, Meopta is launching 10 new riflescopes at the 2013 SHOT Show.

“The Meopta brand is relatively new to the consumer, but we are confident that it will continue to gain traction among serious hunters, shooters and outdoor enthusiasts who not only seek high performance but also appreciate value,” said Seipp. “Sure we aspire for the Meopta brand to be among Europe’s big-name elites, but we are conservative and choose not to spend our money on flashy ad campaigns. For now, we are simply focusing on producing the finest quality optics at the best prices possible. Meopta gives dealers a great alternative for customers who want authentic European optics–that top-tier quality and performance–at a lower price."

Despite their modest marketing budget, Meopta’s product speaks for itself when given the chance. Hunters who have used Meopta in the field will attest to the exceptional low light performance of these riflescopes and binoculars and both categories have won prestigious awards. Most recently, the MeoStar 10x42 HD binocular was named Editor’s Choice by Outdoor Life magazine, edging out the three big brand names from Europe. The MeoStar binocular also won Field & Stream magazine’s 2012 Best of the Best award as did Meopta’s Meopix iScoping Adapter. Impressive for a little known company that launched its consumer line just five short years ago.

For more information on Meopta, visit meoptausa or call 800-828-8928.

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