In 1891, a young, talented master watchmaker, Henri Frédéric Sandoz, founded the Tavannes Watch Company in a small Swiss village, Tavannes, in the Jura mountains. He and his partners, the Schwob Brothers who were rich fabric merchants, soon opened markets around the world, notably in Canada, Russia, Far East and United States.
By 1905, the 750 employees produced 450’000 watches and the production grew very fast to reach 750’000 pieces made by 950 employees in 1909. Thanks to its constant innovation, Tavannes Watch Co won the Gold Medal at the Grand Prix de Berne in 1910 and 1914.
The company’s 20th-century product range naturally included wristwatches of the most diverse character for example the shock-proof models with a protective cover over the fragile crystal glasses that were issued to soldiers in 1915. During WWI, the Tavannes Watch Co was approached by two British submarine commanders to consider the construction of a watch suitable for work on submarine decks awash in water - This watch was supposed to be water-tight, non-magnetic, and the balance wheel had to be of a material which shows a minimum of expansion and contraction with variations in temperature - The face had to be legible at all times - In 1917 was born the first waterproof wrist watch made by the Tavannes Watch Company. In half a century, Tavannes built five factories in Switzerland, and became the fourth largest watch manufacturer in the world. At that time they employed over 2,000 skilled watchmakers and produced over 4,000 watches a day. A huge fire destroyed several buildings of the factory as well as most of the archives, setting the company back.
In 2008, a rebirth of the Tavannes Watch Co, which comes back with a new generation of watches, greater, more reliable and more perfect. Several collections, limited editions as well as a few rare unique pieces.
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