Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon
The Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon was founded in 1793 by Isaac and David Benguerel together with Julien and Francois Humbert-Droz in Fontainemelon under the name "Benguerel & Humbert" and is the oldest Ebauche movement manufacturer in the world. In 1816, FHF started industrial production of watch movements in its first factory, a move which would be the foundation for ETA, today the largest movement manufacture.
FHF expanded throughout the 19th century, purchasing a factory in Corgémont in 1838 to use hydraulic energy from the River Suze and adding steam power in 1862. By 1876, FHF was producing 240,000 ebauches per year with 400 employees. In 1900, Paul Robert modernized an FHF workshop with American machines, bringing the quality of Swiss watches up to the standard of American factories. FHF merged with Landeron in 1925 and became a founding member of Ebauches SA in 1926.
In the 1950's, FHF was relegated to mass-production of watch movements for Ebauches SA. They introduced a low-priced mechanical option which became the "standard" grade in 1955, and were precluded from advanced developments. By the mid 1960s, the FHF Standard Cal. 608 was the most popular movement in the world, with over 40 million examples produced.
In 1979, FHF introduced the mini-quartz, the world's smallest movement.
- 1925 - May 4 - The company is reorganized at a special meeting: A board of directors is appointed for the first time, consisting of Paul Robert-Tissot, Maurice Robert-Tissot, Emile-Antoine Perrenoud, Raoul-Armand Goetschmann, and lawyer Auguste Roulet. Maurice Robert is managing director; Sydney de Coulon becomes representative; Paul-Arthur Vogt, Henri Brand, and Paul Vuille are proxyholders