Charles Ziegler

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Charles-Albert Ziegler (1891-1956) was technical director for Zénith from 1934 until his death in 1956.

Ziegler was born on August 7, 1891 in Schaffhausen. He studied at the Technicum in Le Locle from 1907 to 1912, earning a technician-watchmaker diploma. He entered the watchmaking industry on September 23, 1912 as an apprentice at the Le Locle firm known later as Zénith, joining just a few years after Jämes Favre forced his father in law Georges Favre-Jacot out of his namesake firm.

In 1921, Charlez Ziegler went to France to manage the Compagnie Francaise des Montres Zenith, a new subsidiary set up by Jämes Favre. He remained there until 1923. He was married in 1929 in Le Locle to Ruth-Hélène Eberlé of Neuchâtel and had a large family. His surviving children were Doctor Charles Ziegler-Rosenes, René Gallandre-Ziegler, and Jacques Ziegler-Thommen.

Ziegler returned to Zénith on April 9, 1934 at the behest of Raoul Perret, scion of Universal Genève who had just become chairman of the firm. He headed up the technical department following the abrupt departure of Fritz Cosandier who was loyal to former Zénith boss Ernest Strahm. Ziegler's arrival coincided with that of new director Edgar Bichsel who arrived after a turnaround at the firm of Achille Hirsch. In 1942 Ziegler was named technical director.

Ziegler was known as a friendly but strict man, always striving "for fine work" from his employees. His motto was "Jamais assez bien!" ("Never good enough!") and his focus on craftsmanship and precision made him the spiritual successor of Georges Favre-Jacot at the company.

Charles Ziegler remained technical director of Zénith through the World War II takeover of the firm by Georges Perrenoud and the subsequent sale of the company to the Dupasquier-De Montmollin private bank.

Charles Ziegler was a member of the Progressive Party and represented it for several years in the General Council. He chaired the Sommartel Group of the Swiss Alpine Club, supported the watchmaking museum, and contributed in many other ways to life in the town and the Canton.

Ziegler died on August 23, 1956 in Le Locle and was cremated in nearby La Chaux-de-Fonds.