There have been three Ignacio Ugartecheas in the history of the company- founder, son, and grandson. It was founded in Eibar in 1922. The first Ignacio called his company Casa Ugartechea (House of Ugartechea) and set up shop in the Bidebarrieta, the first of serval locations the company occupied as it grew and diversified. After a few years it moved to San Augustín Kalea, and finally to Txonta Kalea, No. 26, which it occupies to this day.
Excerpt taken from Spanish Best by Terry Wieland
The second Ignacio Ugartechea was trained in the tradition of gun making at the prestigious Escuela de Armeria in Eibar. At one point, he was known as one of the most prominent sportsman in Spain, developing a relationship and participating in social hunts with the likes of the king of Spain, Juan Carlos I.
Like all of the Basque industries, the firearms industry is based on the Basque ability to reproduce a process or part cunningly and inexpensively. Armas Ugartechea builds guns based on designs and patents originating from London and Birmingham firms such as Holland & Holland and Westley Richards. When shotgun-making was in its heyday, in the late nineteenth century, patents were only granted for fourteen years. After that period, advancements like the Anson & Deeley boxlock action were reproduced all over the world. When a patent that seemed efficient and easy to reproduce became available, it was not uncommon for Basque shotgun-makers to reproduce it with local components, and market it as a less-expensive alternative to the English offerings.
Eventually though, the sidelock fad passed and the simpler and less expensive boxlock action gained popularity. Driven shooting and Pigeon rings became less and less accessible, and sidelocks came to be considered more of a luxury. This was especially true for the rapidly-growing American market after WWII. In the United States, consumers were generally looking for a gun that had the features of the traditional English shotgun, but not the corresponding steep price tag. Up until this point, Armas Ugartechea traditionally spent less time on their boxlock guns, producing mainly lower-end offerings. However, perceiving a change in the market, the company switched its focus to the boxlock, and now exports them to the United States.