Tiny Fontainemelon Dominated Swiss Watchmaking

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Tiny Fontainemelon Dominated Swiss Watchmaking

Post by koimaster » August 20th 2022, 9:39pm

Although it is located in a tiny village of less than 1,000 residents, the factory in Fontainemelon looms large in the history of Swiss watchmaking. The oldest and largest ebauche factory in the country was established there early in the 19th century, and Fabrique d’Horlogerie Fontainemelon (FHF) was a founding member of Ebauches SA 100 years later. Even today, the Fontainemelon factory remains a cornerstone of the Swatch Group. Let’s look at the history that made Fontainemelon the dominant supplier of ebauches in the 19th century.

1793: Benguerel-Humbert Brings Ebauche Manufacturing to Switzerland

The Fontainemelon factory traces its establishment to 1793, long before mass production. The etablissage system established by Daniel JeanRichard in Le Locle was centered on hand-made products, with most work still dispersed at home workbenches. Frédéric Japy had improved on the machines he brought from Jean-Jacques Jeanneret Gris in Le Locle and had established the first mechanized watch factory in Beaucourt, France in 1777. Over the next 25 years, Swiss watchmakers embraced Japy’s movement blanks (“ebauches”) as a way to make watchmaking more profitable and efficient than hand-cut metal.

https://grail-watch.com/2022/08/10/how- ... h-century/


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