Ebosa

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Ebosa SA was a maker of affordable watch ebauches and alarm clocks primarily using Roskopf style movements from 1925 through the 1970s. The company was a founding member of the Roskopf Association and produced one of the first automatic Roskopf movements in the 1950s.

Ebosa SA was registered on March 2, 1925 in Grenchen. The industry was in the midst of a slump at that time, with vicious competition especially for inexpensive movements. Yet Paul Glocker's decision to enter the market would prove successful. The company, which then had just 36 employees, increased its share capital from 60,000 to 70,000 francs on February 21, 1927, enabling the company to invest in new movement concepts. By 1930, Ebosa was producing a range of Roskopf movements, from 14 to 21 lignes, some with visible balance, a seconds hands, and or even 8-day winding. Ebosa even patented alarm and chronograph movements and produced a 3/4 plate Roskopf movement.

Two members of the Baumgartner family from Trub entered the company in 1933: Marie Glocker, Paul's wife, and her brother Willy Baumgartner-Sch├Ądeli. Glocker was the founding president of Roskopfuhren (later known as Joba and Rodania) which would be run by his brother-in-law Hans Baumgartner. Ebosa's share capital increased again in 1938 to 100,000 francs. Ebosa launched a novel alarm clock in 1942 with an over-sized movement that separated the clock and alarm functions. That same year Paul Glocker began producing watchmaking machines which he sold to other companies, including a cam-driven automatic lathe.

Ebosa prospered after World War II, with its alarm clocks found all over the world and its wristwatch movements used by many manufacturers. An affiliated company, Apella, produced travel alarm clocks with lever movements. By 1967 the company employed over 500 workers in Grenchen and operated a large and modern factory there. A focus on simplification and automation improved profitability, with most movements produced with very little worker involvement. The company added the new Cal. 68 with day and date indication in 1968.

Ebosa produced a number of pin lever, anchor, and the "Bluebird" analog quartz movement in 1980. Later in the 1980s Ebosa added more quartz movements, including those with calendar, moon phase, and more powerful stepper motors.

The ebauche manufacturing operation of Ebosa SA was sold to ETA on February 27, 1991. According to Paul Glocker, who remained in charge at that time, the company opted to focus on producing watchmaking machinery. Since the Ebosa factory was located next door to the ETA headquarters in Grenchen, it was a simple shift of work for the 40 of 78 ebauche workers who moved to the new owner. But the collapse of the USSR and new competition in CNC machinery lead to the collapse of the machine tool operation as well. In May 1993 Glocker closed the doors of Ebosa permanently. The factory was listed for sale in 1997.