Fabrique Suisse de Balanciers

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Fabrique Suisse de Balanciers was a company that produced balances for watches, first in La Chaux-de-Fonds and later in La Sagne. It was active between 1906 and 1934.

La Chaux-de-Fonds

The Fabrique Suisse de Balanciers was established in La Chaux-de-Fonds on July 13, 1906. Its purpose was the acquisition and operation of watch balance factories and the sale of these items, including escapement parts. The initial share capital was 80,000 francs. The board was composed of Philippe Favre and Ulysse Thiébaud with Charles-Albert Vuille serving as commercial director. All of them came from La Sagne but lived at this time in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The initial office of the company was at Rue de la Serra 15 in the city.

Share capital was increased to 100,000 francs in 1909, but the company was ultimately unsuccessful. It was liquidated on June 17, 1916 under banker Ali Bingguely and lawyer Alphonse Blanc, with assistance from Auguste Herren of Geneva. The liquidation was unsuccessful, with the liquidators released and the entire share capital of the company was renounced. Instead the company continued operation in hopes of returning to profitability.

Philippe Favre gave up on the company in January 1917, leaving it in the sole hands of Charles-Albert Vuille. Amazingly, Vuille was able to raise 400,000 francs to recapitalize the company in March 1918, no doubt helped by the boom in watch production and export after the war.

La Sagne

Vuille moved the company to La Sagne in December 1921. The following year Vuille brought in a new management team: Albert-Arthur Perret-Gentil operated the business with Pierre-Mario Girard serving in a technical capacity and René-Ernest Ruchti also managing. Vuille himself remained the sole director of the company, however. Girard was removed in May 1925.

With his health failing, Charles-Albert Vuille retired from all of his positions in 1931. The Fabrique Suisse de Balanciers was taken over by ASUAG on May 5, with Ernest Dubois being appointed administrator and Louis Huguenin replacing Perret-Gentil and Ruchti as manager. William Borle and Emile Etienne, who had been on the board, were removed, with Dubois, Gustave-Adolphe Ulrich (secretary), and Huguenin becoming directors, along with chairman Ali Bingguely and Armand Berg and Raoul Goetschmann.

The factory was closed in 1934, with a skeleton board left to operate and sell the La Sagne factory. This too was eliminated in 1937.

Fabriques de Balanciers Réunies

The Fabriques de Balanciers Réunies was created by ASUAG in 1932 to organize makers of watch balances, and this included the Fabrique Suisse de Balanciers.

The Fabriques de Balanciers Réunies continued to manufacture balances in La Sagne, however. As early as 1934 a factory in the name of the cartel was listed there, coinciding with the liquidation of Fabrique Suisse de Balanciers, and it remained in operation at least through 1977.

See Also