Buser Frères & Cie S.A. – A Brief Introduction

Buser Frères & Cie S.A. – A Brief Introduction

Vintage
There have been countless Swiss watch companies come and go over the last 200 years or so. Literally every single day I come across at least one defunct name I’ve never heard of before, and I know of many Swiss watch brands (not to mention German and French brands too)! A sizeable proportion of these old brands were merely that – brands only, meaning that they did not manufacture any components of the timepieces they marketed. Rather, they designed (sometimes they didn’t even go that far...) or assembled watches from components supplied by other factories; a successful business model that continues today in the Swiss watch industry. Buser Frères & Cie S.A., a family owned business whose origins began in 1892 in Niederdorf, Switzerland; were a true ‘manufacture d’horlogerie’. Buser…
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Winding Back the Years

Winding Back the Years

Vintage
The vast majority of wrist watches, from their very conception, have a crown on the right hand side of the case, at 3 o’clock. Most crowns protrude from the case, where they are grasped for setting and winding of the watch, if the watch is of the mechanical variety. However in 1953, Jaeger LeCoultre released the Futurematic, with the technically impressive calibre 497 bumper automatic movement. What was different about the Futurematic, lies in how the watch was set – there was no crown to be found at 3 o’clock. This watch was the first ‘back-set’ wristwatch, a true innovation where the tiny coin-like crown was located flat against the back of the case, in contact with the wrist when worn. The crown would slide one way to be rotated…
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The 40’s still amaze us with some treasures

The 40’s still amaze us with some treasures

Vintage
The 1940s are indisputably one of the golden decades for watch design. Benefitting from being preceded by both the hugely influential Bauhaus design school and the Art Deco eras; watches from the 1940s developed an identity of their own, becoming recognisable for their simplicity, style and class. This decade in particular is known for its outstandingly beautiful chronographs, which are highly sought after by many collectors (with increasingly deep pockets). Quite remarkable really, that so many fine watches were conceived in the 1940s; for half of that period Europe was embroiled in the resource-draining effects of World War II, where both materials and of course labour were under stress. Although the fact that neutral Switzerland avoided widespread bombing (unlike Germany and France), probably helped its watchmaking industry weather the storm…
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