Charles Hahn & Cie
Just 10 days later, on December 31, 1844, Aimé-Auguste and Charles-Alfred Hahn founded the firm of Hahn Frères. The company was established for the manufacture and trade of watches. The firm was located at rue de là Charrière 81 in La Chaux-de-Fonds until 1859, when it moved to number 2 on the same street.
On January 1, 1875, the brothers opened an ebauche factory in Le Landeron near Lake Neuchâtel, with the La Chaux-de-Fonds operation disappearing that same year. Some sources put this date at 1873, but contemporary references are specific that it was two years later.
By 1879, the factory of Hahn Frères in Le Landeron employed 100 workers and was powered by a 15 horsepower steam engine. That same year, on May 28, Aimé-Auguste Hahn and Charles Hahn formed a general partnership with Charles-Frédèric Couleru under the name "Hahn Frères & Cie", This company was responsible for operating the ebauche factory in Le Landeron.
The company was reorganized effective January 1, 1883, as "Hahn Frères & Cie." Still owned by Aimé-Auguste Hahn and his nephew Charles Hahn, the company specialized on producing and finishing ebauches.
Charles Hahn & Cie
Hahn Frères was dissolved on March 20, 1889, and was replaced on April 1 of that year by a new company called "Charles Hahn & Cie." The company was a partnership of Charles Hahn (son of the co-founder of the same name), unlimited partner, along with Laure Reutter (née Hahn) and Julie Hahn. Aimé-Auguste Hahn was not a director of the new company, though he was given power of attorney on June 20.
The company used a variety of rooster designs for its logo (a reference to the family name of Hahn) and traded under the names "Hahn", "C. Hahn", "Hahn Landeron", and simply "Landeron." The firm was expanded after 1900, with a new annex added on the east side. The firm soon converged to electric power as well, offering the old steam boiler for sale in 1899. The new system must not have performed well since it was also offered for sale in 1901.
The company was a maker of ebauches and a finisher of movements and watches and could produce simple or complicated watches in Landeron. The company was producing chronograph movements by 1923 and its growth lead many people to refer to it simply as Landeron by the 1910s.
In November 1919 the name of the company was modified to become "Charles Hahn & Cie, Fabrique d'Ebauches du Landeron."
FHF and Ebauches SA
In 1925, Landeron merged with Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon (FHF), being renamed Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon, succursale du Landeron ci-devant Charles Hahn & Cie ("Landeron branch under Charles Hahn"). FHF/Landeron became a founding member of Ebauches SA in 1926.
Landeron's column wheel chronograph movements were famous, and the company supplied these movements to many militaries. Examples include Cal. 11 and 13 and the state-of-the-art Cal. 39. Because they held the Breitling patents, Landeron was the exclusive supplier of column wheel chronograph movements until their expiration in the 1930's.
Just before World War II, Landeron developed the first cam actuated chronograph. Their Cal. 47 had three pushers: One to start, another to stop, and a third to reset the counter. They refined this movement to become the two-pusher Cal. 48. This would become one of the most popular chronograph movements ever made, with more than 3.5 million examples produced between 1937 and 1970. The lower price of production compared to a column wheel model meant an average person could afford a chronograph for the first time.
In the 1960's, Landeron produced the first Swiss electric movement, Cal. 4750. It featured a battery-powered balance wheel rather than a mainspring.
- See also Category:Landeron calibres
- Landeron 19 - 19 ligne pin set
- Landeron 11, 13 - 13 ligne column wheel monopusher chronograph
- Landeron 39 - 14.5 ligne column wheel chronograph
- Landeron 52 - 14.5 ligne column wheel chronograph
- Cam actuated three-pusher chronograph Landeron 47 family
- Cam actuated two-pusher chronograph Landeron 48 family
- Landeron 54, 56, 58
- Landeron 51/151, 59/159, 80/180, 81/181, 55, 57
- Landeron 148, 185, 186, 154
- Landeron 149, 189, 349, 248, 187
- Landeron 152/153, 352/353
- Landeron 4750 - Electro-mechanical balance wheel
- Landeron 4750, 4751
- 1883 - January 19 - Aimé-Auguste Hahn and Charles Hahn form the company Hahn Frères & Cie
- 1889 - March 30 - The general partnership Hahn Frères & Cie is dissolved
- 1889 - April 1 - A new firm called Charles Hahn & Cie is established by Charles Hahn and Laure Reutter (née Hahn), wife of Louis Reutter to take over the assets and liabilities of the former company
- 1889 - June 20 - Aimé-Auguste Hahn takes power of attorney
- 1898 - October 22 - Laure Reuters (née Hahn), wife of Louis Reutter leaves the firm with her 30,000 francs of capital
- 1905 - September 25 - Aimé-Auguste Hahn is removed from managment
- 1907 - November 14 - Charles Hahn (junior) joins management
- 1912 - October 25 - Charles-Alfred Hahn (junior) takes over the company
- 1919 - The company is renamed "Charles Hahn & Cie, Fabrique d'Ebauches du Landeron"
- 1927 - August 31 - The factory officially becomes a branch of Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon, called "Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon, Landeron branch"; the Board of Directors consists of Paul Robert, Maurice Robert, Raoul-Armand Goetschmann, Auguste Roulet, and Emile-Antoine Perrenoud; Maurice Robert is managing director, Sydney de Coulon and Jules Ganière are authorized representatives; Charles Hahn (junior) is manager and Emile Hahn is authorized representative