Mr. Auguste Reymond, a young enthusiastic man of twenty-six, rented a small apartment in Tramelan and hired a handful of watch-makers to start manufacturing watches that would bear his name.
His modest business had grown into a huge factory in la Rue du Midi 9 in Tramelan, that employed over one hundred people in its own premises.
Mr. Auguste Reymond purchased ébauche company “Val de Joux Watch Co” in Les Bioux in the Valley de Joux to produce his own movements. After having moved all equipment to Tramelan, he sold it in 1910 to “Reymond Frères SA”, which becomes in 1929 “Valjoux SA”, the famous producer of the Valjoux chronograph movement.
The brand received a gold medal at the Brussels World Exposition to reward the quality of its watches. Four years after, A. Reymond SA received another gold medal at the Swiss national exposition. The brand’s popularity soared and the firm flourished.
The need to expand production meant attracting investor, that’s why A. Reymond SA becomes an incorporated company and produces its watches under the brand name ARSA (initials of the firm name Auguste Reymond SA).
The manufacture A. Reymond SA enlarged its production by purchasing the movement factory Unitas Watch Co in Tramelan, well known and worldwide famous for their high quality and competitive prices and also supplied to numerous other watch manufacturers.
Mr. Reymond rightly predicted the decline of the age of pocket watches, certain that the spread of motor vehicles and the development of technology would result in a faster pace of life and that people would find wristwatches more convenient to use. The Auguste Reymond factory switched to producing mainly chronometer, chronograph and alarm wristwatches. Auguste Reymond was one of the first firms to start using water resistant gaskets and shock absorbers in wristwatches. Its pilot watches quickly gained popularity among people with an active lifestyle.
The growth of the company was stopped dramatically by the stock market crash. Auguste Reymond had to
transmit the financial management of his company to ASUAG (Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG), which was created to merge most of the Swiss movement producers. A. Reymond SA was splited in 2 companies: ARSA for the watches, UNITAS for the ébauche. Mr. Auguste Reymond remained in charge as sales manager until 1934, when he was forced to retire due to ill health.
With the start of the 2nd World War, the hostilities spreading throughout Europe destroyed its economy and
the traditional markets for its goods. Nevertheless, the firm managed to survive this dramatic period undamaged thanks to the same ideas set out by its founder in the early 1920s. Water resistant and impact-resistant ARSA chronometers were reliable and well-suited to use in field conditions, so they proved appealing not only to private purchasers, but also the military authorities of the warring countries.
Auguste Reymond engineers developed two new lines of products that ensured the fame of the brand: the digital watches with “jumping hours” and the “braille” watches for the blind. Today Auguste Reymond SA is still the unchallenged specialist for tactile “braille” watches, which are distributed under the old brand name ARSA.
Very early Auguste Reymond developed watches with the indication of the phase of the moon (under their both brands ARSA and UNITAS brand). Until today this is still one of the strong points of the brand. The engineers of the developed various innovations and got various patents.
Advertisement of the year 1958 to commemorate the 60 years of the Auguste Reymond brand.
Swiss watch industry was confronted with a huge foreign competition. Nevertheless, A. Reymond company is the biggest employer in Tramelan. Over 300 people are working at Auguste Reymond manufacture.
A. Reymond SA merges with Béguelin & Cie SA and Hoga Watch SA. 3 brands under one roof with the corporate name ARSA. In 1975 the aging company was badly hurt by the “quartz crisis” that hit the entire Swiss watch industry at the end of the seventies.
After years of loss, ASUAG and SSIH merge in 1983 to stabilise the swiss watch industry. One year after, the group sells many brands among them ARSA. By management buyout, one of the directors, Mr. James Choffat, bought back whatever could be saved from the disaster and continued to manufacture Auguste Reymond watches, mostly operated by quartz movements as competition dictated, for the last few importers that were still distributing the brand.
Mr. Choffat sells the brand to the watch company “Montres Nitella SA” in Tramelan, owned by the Loosli family.
Thomas Loosli’s challenge was to bring back to life the “good old” mechanical watch. Within less than two years he designed an entirely new collection for Auguste Reymond, which featured exclusively mechanical watches and was positioned in the medium price range. Since then, 3 companies got together: Auguste Reymond SA, which produces watches in the middle range; ARSA, which produces braille and low vision watches and Nitella SA, which produces private label watches.
Mr Loosli created a new Auguste Reymond logo. From now on, the nice sounding Auguste Reymond was written on our watches and no more the short version of ARSA. The ‘A’ was standing for Auguste, the ‘R’ for Reymond and the ‘SA’ for limited company in French.
The brand is present at Baselworld exhibition for the 50th time! Within ten years, the small company of Tramelan has taken back its rank among the major Swiss watch brands and the swinging names of Auguste Reymond’s models have become references for watch connoisseurs all over the world.
Mr. Loosli created the new Cotton Club line.
The Ballad was a successful line over many years.
The new Jazz Age was born.
An advertisement of 2005 promoted the Cotton Club watch with its decorated mechanical movement.
The Cotton Club watch with a new automatic GMT version with a blue, a black and a brown dial.
The new Elegance line replaced the previous 36 mm case size by a new case (in steel, bicolor and rose color) with diameter of 40 mm and a great variation of different roman and index dials.
Introduction of a bigger lady Elegance automatic line with dials with mother-of-pearl and diamonds.
Phase lift on the Cotton Club line with a change of the case diameter to 42 mm and nicely elaborated moon phases. Some of the phase of the moon indication are patented by Auguste Reymond.
Launch of the successful Magellan Lunar Line with a big case and special double moon phase.
Cotton Club ORBITAL. The patented moon index turns on its orbit around the Earth index, indicating a moon day or moon phases.