The Wild (Heerbrugg) company was founded in 1921 in Switzerland.
The company manufactured optical instruments, such as surveying instruments, microscopes and instruments for photogrammetry among others.
The company changed its name several times, first being known as “Heinrich Wild, Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Optik”,
then “Verkaufs-Aktiengesellschaft Heinrich Wild’s Geodätische Instrumente”, later “Wild Heerbrugg AG”, later “Wild-Leitz”.
The company was linked with Leica in 1989, then it became part of Leica Holding B.V.
Its subsidiary Leica Geosystems AG became part of the Swedish Hexagon AB Group of companies in 2005.
Heinrich Wild (1877–1951), a leading designer of geodetic and astronomical instruments, was born in Switzerland and began his career as an apprentice surveyor.
In 1908, having invented a military rangefinder and convinced Zeiss to manufacture it,
he moved to Jena and became head of GEO, the new Zeiss branch responsible for surveying instruments.
In 1921, with the help of Swiss financiers, he established a Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Optik in Heerbrugg, in the Rhine Valley.
As the first major product, it developed the Theodolite T2.
Later models were launched when he already had left the company, still bearing his name, such as the theodolite T4.
Another important new product engineered by this company was an aerial camera, later called “Aviophot” for cartography.
The brand name is still in use for stereo microscopes and precision level measuring such as the WILD Heerbrugg N3 Level.