before 1854 until 1880
1885 to 1918
1893 to 1953
1964 to the mid 70s
1968 to 1985
1985 to 2000
2000 to 2014
2015 until today

before 1854 until 1880

In the beginning was…

…a spirit of discovery, a lost treasure and a great idea that would soon become a worldwide success. Joseph Williams Lovibond is the forefather of Tintometer – and a pioneer in colour measurement.


…lost gold

Joseph Williams Lovibond is 13 years old when he leaves England and his father’s brewery in the middle of the 19th century, hires as a ship’s boy on a windjammer and goes on a long journey.

Off the Australian coast, Joseph Williams Lovibond has had enough of the sea. He jumps overboard and tries his luck searching for gold on the mainland. With a few gold nuggets, safely hidden under his hat, he sets off on his journey home to England. There, however, he goes ashore empty-handed: he lost his gold by sinking into the sea. Back home again, he enters his father’s brewery in Greenwich.


…the brewery

In 1869 Joseph Williams Lovibond moves with his family to Salisbury and establishes his own brewery as part of the family business.


…a sugar bowl as a prototype

In 1880, Joseph Williams Lovibond is looking for a method to give beer a consistent colour for his brewery.

The light that colourfully shines through a church window in Salisbury gives him a groundbreaking idea: he wants to use glass to achieve consistent, constant colour standards.

Lovibond develops the first worldwide comparator in the kitchen of his home: a disused sugar bowl with improvised slits is the prototype. Exactly two beer glasses fit into it, which can be easily compared.

At the same time, he develops his own colour scale, which makes it possible to measure each colour accurately. The basis for this are glasses in the three basic colours red, green and yellow. 200 glasses with colour variations of each basic colour allow 9 million combinations and thus the option to adjust every conceivable colour. If all these glasses were combined at the same time, they would range from Salisbury to London. A route that today takes one and a half hours to cover by train.

1885 to 1918

Tintometer is born

In Salisbury in Great Britain lies the birthplace of Tintometer. It was here that Joseph Williams Lovibond researches colour measurement, develops the first instruments and publishes scientific works that are still world-famous today.


In 1885 Joseph Williams Lovibond founds Tintometer Limited in Salisbury, Great Britain. The new company is established in a shed of the Lovibond house in St Ann Street. Chemical analysis and colour measurements are the basis for the research carried out here.



In order to give the Lovibond colour scale the desired perfection, Joseph Williams Lovibond manufactures the glasses himself: the Tintometer Glass Works are created.


In 1887 Tintometer introduces the first colorimeter ever. The instrument is granted a patent as “new instrument for measuring colour”.


1893 to 1953

Worldwide fame and a new Tintometer era

With dedicated research, Joseph Williams Lovibond becomes a pioneer in colour measurement. He writes standard works and develops completely new instruments, which are in demand worldwide at an early stage. After his death, a new era for Tintometers begins.


A standard work and international reputation

In 1893, many years of research bear fruit: Joseph Williams Lovibond publishes a scientific work on colour measurement: Measurement of Light and Colour Sensations becomes a standard work.


Lovibond products enjoy a worldwide reputation right from the start and are adopted early on by renowned institutes such as the Institute of Petroleum, the Massachusetts Board of Health, the International Association of Leather Trade Chemists, the Inter-states Cotton Seed Oil Association and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in China. Even before 1900, there are exports to the USA, Germany, France and Belgium, even to Australia and India.


Pioneer of color measurement

From 1904 onwards, worldwide awards for pioneering work in colour measurement are presented at various exhibitions, including the gold medal for the Hemoglobin Meter – a device for blood testing.


A new Lovibond era begins

In 1918 Joseph Lovibond dies. The company remains a family business – until today.
In 1941, Tintometer begins manufacturing its own cuvettes for its measuring instruments.


A reference work for color analysis

In 1953, the book Colorimetric Chemical Analytical Methods (CAAM) introduces the reagent tablet as an alternative to liquid chemistry, especially in water analysis procedures. It becomes a reference work.

1964 to the mid 70s

Conquest of water analysis in Germany

As early as 1964, Cay-Peter Voss from Dortmund in Germany organises a trade fair appearance for Tintometer® in Berlin. The fascination is so great that he moves to England and begins an internship with Tintometer®. This takes two years. The idea of establishing a sales base for continental Europe in Germany is born. This opens a new Tintometer® chapter.


In 1967 Cay-Peter Voss founds the Tintometer® GmbH in Dortmund. The company is the sales base for Tintometer® products for water analysis in continental Europe.


What begins as a “one-man show” in the basement of a single-family house including storage room is rapidly developing into a success story in its own right. Tintometer® products can now be delivered to customers cost-effectively and promptly, including advice and service. By the mid-1970s, the new premises on Westfalendamm are already bursting at the seams and are being extended.


Tintometer® is involved in the establishment of DPD as the reagent of a new revolutionary method for the determination of chlorine in the water analysis market. This method enables the differentiated analysis of chlorine content – without any adverse health effects.

1968 to 1985

100 years of growth

It’s own glass factory, branch in the USA, growth in the product range by devices for water analysis: After 100 years Tintometer® has a proud record – and receives praise from the British Prime Minister.

In 1968 the Optical Glass Accessories Limited was founded in Wadebridge/Cornwall as its own glass factory for the production of particularly sophisticated and precise glasses for colour measurement.


In the USA, the Tintometer Company was founded in 1978 in Williamsburg, Virginia.


1982 sees the development of the first photometer system for water analysis – a “revolution” in this field of analysis. The instruments enable a new level of accuracy.


Prime Minister Margret Thatcher congratulates Tintometer Ltd. in Salisbury on its 100th anniversary in 1985.

1985 to 2000

On the global road to success

In Germany, Tintometer® is growing inexorably, establishing a new subsidiary and combining additional brands. Tintometer® becomes a global player in water analysis.


In the 1980s the demand for Tintometer® products from Germany all over the world grow to such an extent that the number of employees continues to increase and more space is urgently needed. The foundation stone for a new company building is laid in Dortmund-Aplerbeck in 1987.

In 1989, a company building is erected in Schleefstraße: Tintometer® Germany moves and expands.



In 1996 the Aqualytic® brand enriches the product range and is integrated into Tintometer® GmbH.


1997 is celebrated in Germany: The Tintometer® GmbH has turned 30. In the same year, the company receives DIN ISO 9001:2000 certification for its quality management from the DQS.

The PC Checkit® photometer system is introduced in 1998 as a successful product line. Sustainable research and development ensures the production of numerous instrument systems and reagents for water analysis. By the turn of the millennium, Lovibond® products have long been marketed globally.


2000 to 2014

New Tintometer® paths: Lovibond® is made in Germany

In the new millennium Tintometer® is breaking new ground. As a global player, the former subsidiary in Germany now becomes the parent company, with the headquarters relocating to Dortmund. New branches, a rapidly expanding worldwide sales network, completely new products: The structures and contents are changing. Tintometer® remains a family business with many generations of experience in production, research and development.

Headquarters relocates to Germany

In 2003, the new logistics centre in Dortmund is opened and enables optimised packaging of Lovibond® products and delivery times.


In 2004, Tintometer® GmbH in Germany becomes the parent company for the Tintometer® Group: its headquarters are now in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia.

In 2005, the Tintometer® Group can celebrate 120 years of Lovibond®. Almost simultaneously, the new company building in Solstice Park in Amesbury, England, is inaugurated in the same year.

The Tintometer®-Group is growing steadily worldwide

Orbeco-Hellige, Inc., USA joins the Tintometer® group in 2006 and becomes Tintometer Inc.



In 2007 the logistics centre in Dortmund is enlarged once again.

2010 sees the introduction of the new PFXi series spectrophotometers with a unique concept: liquid colour control using remote “RCMSi” technology.


The head office in Dortmund continues to grow: in 2012 the research and development department expands and there is a new expansion of the logistics centre.

In the same year, Lovibond® in the mother country contributes to the success of the Olympic Games in London: Its own equipment ensures the water quality of various sports facilities, including the pool for water polo.

The Tintometer Group® continues to grow: Tintometer India Pvt. Ltd is founded in 2014 in Hyderabad in India.

2015 until today

The Tintometer® Group is 130 years old and is really taking off with this anniversary: In England the company moves to new premises, the highest award in the kingdom is presented, new product ranges are introduced to the market and new branches are added. Lovibond® Tintometer® is and remains on the move.


2015 Happy Birthday Tintometer

2015 is an eventful year. The Tintometer Group is 130 years old! The company’s anniversary is not only celebrated at its parent company in England.


Logo for The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2010

In the same year, the Queen’s Award for International Trade is presented to Tintometer Ltd in England. It is the highest award given to companies in the United Kingdom. Tintometer Ltd is thus honoured for its overseas growth: a 160 per cent increase in profits within six years also impresses the Queen of England.


The Lovibond team in England has grown and expanded, moving into a larger building on Sun Rise Way in Amesbury.


The close cooperation with Drop Test Kits in England culminates in a merger: the company becomes part of Tintometer Ltd, thus placing a stronger focus on the industrial water sector.


New instrument lines are created

2017 Development of the first process water instrument PTV 1000 and 2000


Introduction of the EComparator series, which enables both visual and electronic colour measurement.


New product routes and branches

2018 Introduction of the first online process instrument PTV 1000 and 2000.


Introduction of the new spectrophotometer line as an economical system solution: The XD 7000 and XD 7500 with bar-coded reagents and automatic test recognition.


New sales office in Hong Kong.


Tintometer India Pvt. Ltd is bursting at the seams and is moving to a new building in Hyderabad.


A preliminary Tintometer® balance sheet

Currently employing many hundreds of people around the world, the Tintometer® Group is represented in almost 160 countries with it’s range of around 5,000 products. Through its subsidiaries, the Tintometer® Group is present in England, the USA, India, Brazil, China, Switzerland, Malaysia and Spain.