Some horological anniversaries in the year 2010

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Some horological anniversaries in the year 2010

Post by koimaster » November 26th 2019, 4:48pm

600 years ago in 1410 the French invented the first clocks powered by flat barrel springs having an escapement mechanism. The flat barrel springs allowed for a clock to function in any position. In the same year the astronomical clock of Prague has been wound for the first time, too.

500 years ago the first pocket watches have seen the light of day. The clock became transportable so to speak. The European towns Augsburg and Nuremberg became the world's pocket watch centers and the French town Blois the world's horological center.

250 years ago the world's first shop dedicated to clocks and watches only, the Maison Beyer was founded in Feuerthalen in Switzerland. Beyer transferred its operations to the Central Square in Zurich in 1800 where it still operates.

150 years ago the company Ed. Heuer et Cie. was established in St. Imier. It was the first watch company manufacturing chronometers only. They were above all used in horse racing to measure lap times!

The same year Mr. Louis-Ulysse Chopard established his company Chopard in Sonvilier. Chopard turned over the decades into one the best known high-end watch manufacturers.

The Italian watch maker Guido Panerai + Sons was founded in Florence in Italy in 1860, too. They dedicated themselves to the manufacture of precision instruments for the Italian navy. Later on Panerai started importing Rolex watches to kit them out according to the norms of the Italian navy seals.

1860 was also the year that the Oberservatoir de Neuchâtel started distributing the exact time through a signal. It was sent over wire to every Swiss railway station and to the various Swiss Post offices using a kind of Morse code. This allowed all of Switzerland to synchronise from a time point of view.

150 years ago in 1885 the world's largest astronomical clock was set in motion in the Cathedral of Besançon in France. The clock is made up of 30,000 parts, 11 movements with 57 dials.

125 years ago the Swiss watch company Audemars Piguet showed the first watch with a power reserve indicator.

In the same year (1885) the American Waltham launched the first quartz watch. For the first time their watch called The Stone Mountain had a glass made of crystal.

100 years ago the Swiss watch maker A. Ducommun-Müller from La Chaux-de-Fonds designed the first chronograph movement for a wrist watch. Later on this movement formed the basis for the first Rolex chronograph. It was operated with a single pusher.

In the same year Rolex issued the first certificates of accuracy for a wrist watch. Every Rolex came with a certificate detailing its accuracy values. From there on Rolex pushed the watch making frontiers with water proofed watches, automatic movements, etc….

75 years ago in 1935 the Geneva based watch manufacturer Universal showed a chronograph movement with a counter for 30 minutes and 12 hours. The Compax was born.

In the same year the French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels launched its watch Cadenas padlock watch. Back then it was one of the world's most expensive and complicated watches.

In 1935 watch was propelled into a new era. The Nivarox spiral as well as the Clucydur saw the light of day.

50 years ago watch making made a leap. Bulova launched the famous Accutron series. The watch was made of 27 parts of which 12 formed the movement. Its accuracy was 1 second per month.

In the same year Corum launched its famous collection Admiral's Cup. These watches are still made today.

Rolex fixed a Rolex Deep Sea to the submarine Trieste of the [url= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Piccard]Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard
and his American partner Lt. Don Walsh which dived down to the bottom of Mariana Trench to set a world record of 10 916 m.

The American director Stanley Kubrick made his famous film Sparatcus in the same year. It became famous too because some distracted extras had forgotten to take off their Rolexes!

The year 1960 was also the year Hans Wilsdorf the founder of Rolex died on July 6. He had founded Rolex and Tudor in 1908 and had built it up in the world's imminent watch manufacturer by his death. It was in 1963 only when André Heiniger followed Wilsdorf up as CEO of the Rolex Foundation and of the Rolex Watch Company.

40 years ago in 1970 the quartz movement Béta 21 was launched at Baselworld simultaneously by 15 Swiss watch manufacturers. Some 6,000 movements were manufactured. Not much compared to the 500,000 pieces the Japanese Seiko manufactured of their quartz movement in the same year.

In the same year the Swiss manufacturer Girard-Perregaux showed its quartz movement GP 350. It oscillated at 32,768 Hz which was to become the industry standard.

30 years ago Corum showed its Golden Bridge movement the world's tiniest baguette movement. Vincent Calabrese had the watch case made out of crystal to enhance the technical beauty of the Golden Bridge.

In the same year Carlo Crocco showed the Hublot for the first time. The marriage of gold and rubber (vanilla scented at that) proved so intriguing that the MDM later adopted the name Hublot as brand name.

1980 was an important year for the French defence group Matra too. They joined forces with the German VDO and started trading under the name Matra/VDO made up of the brands Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaz, Yema, IWC, Favre-Leuba and many others. The company was not headquartered in Switzerland but in the French town of Besançon. Part of it transformed itself in Richemont Group later on. Matra/VDO brought the priceless technical rigour to the watch industry.

27 years ago in 1983 the world's largest watch group from a turnover point of view, Swatch Group was established by merging ASUAG and SSIH.

23 years ago the Indian Titan Industries was launched. Today it is the world's largest watch manufacturer form a volume point of view and manufactures the world's thinnest watch called The Edge measuring 3.50 mm only.


Of course the above list is not exhaustive. There literally thousands of large and small anniversaries alike in our industry. So please feel free to add to this list as you see fit from your point of view.
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