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Treasures from the past
History & Masterpieces

Treasures from the past

Monday, 19 July 2010
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Christophe Roulet
Editor-in-chief, HH Journal

“The desire to learn is the key to understanding.”

“Thirty years in journalism are a powerful stimulant for curiosity”.

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1 min read

While numerous contemporary watchmakers are leaving their mark, and their name, on horological production, others from the past are proving to have no less of an appeal, even after decades of oblivion when communication plans step in to remind us of the position these firms once occupied, and the heritage they represent.

Thus the sector has witnessed some impressive resurrections these past years with Badollet, a family of watchmakers in Geneva from 1655 to the mid-twentieth century, revived by a group of private investors; Bovet (1797-1849) by Pascal Raffy; Jean Dunand (1877-1942) by Christophe Claret and Thierry Oulevay; L. Leroy (manufacturer since 1751) by Aldo Magada; Louis Moinet (1768-1853) by Jean-Marie Schaller, who previously brought Perrelet (1729-1826) back to life; and Rieussec (1781-1852) by Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie which produces high-end collections for Montblanc.

As one would expect, given their illustrious predecessors, all these firms immediately trained their sights on the high end of the market. An ambition that seemed perfectly compatible with watchmaking’s golden years, but less certain these past eighteenth months as attitudes towards price have changed. While a name can carry weight, a reputation is something that must be earned.

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