Fleurier Watch Co

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Fleurier Watch Co. is a watch and movement manufacturer founded in 1902 in Fleurier, Switzerland joining ASUAG in 1932, and resurrected by Arcadia in 2011.


The town of Fleurier has a long history of watchmaking, remaining a center of production today with Parmigiani and Vaucher Manufacture. The Borle and Jéquier names are familiar in Fleurier watchmaking, dating back to the mid 19th century.

The roots of the eponymous Fleurier Watch Co. were later dated to 1858, though this date is not directly tied to the later firm.

On August 1, 1850, Henri Vaucher, Edouard Jequier, and Jules Jequier, watchmakers in Fleurier, formed a general partnership to produce watches with a duration of 4 years. The company was called Jequier et Vaucher and was active from that date to November 15, 1852, when it was prematurely dissolved. Edouard and Jules Jequier liquidated the firm, replacing it with a new company called Jequier Frères et Cie which continued the same line of business in Fleurier.

Jéquier Frères were watchmakers since 1853, with Jéquier et Reymond listed in 1866 and Paul Jéquier and Ulysse Jéquier appearing in 1869. Jules Jéquier appears in 1873 as Jéquier Frères is removed.

Jules-Henri Jequier forms a partnership with David-Louis Petitpierre of Couvet in 1884 known as Jequier et Petitpierre. The firm is located at Grande Rue 3 in Fleurier. This company is dissolved in July 1889 and taken over by Jéquier alone as Jules Jéquier Fils. Located on Rue du Pasquier in Fleurier, the company specializes in watch movements. Petitpierre's own firm, called D. Ls. Petitpierre and located in Couvet, continued until his death in 1911.

Ulysse is gone after 1880 and only Jéquier et Petitpierre (genre Anglais, seconde au centre at Grande Rue 3) and Numa Jequier (at Perron 12) are listed in 1886. Jules-Samuel Jéquier founded a watchmaking company in Fleurier specializing in "Chinoise" watches at Grande Rue 3 in 1889 and Jequier et Petitpierre disappears in 1893.

On January 1, 1894 Jules-Samuel Jéquier and his sons Jules-Henri Jéquier and Charles Jéquier-Borle formed a new firm in Fleurier under the name Jéquier Frères et Cie. This was a general partnership for the manufacture and sale of watches, specializing in central seconds. The firm was located at Pasquier 1 and is perhaps a successor or companion firm to Jequier et Petitpierre, though Jules continues in operation. C. Jéquier-Borle was a producer of silver cases at Pasquier 1 by 1894. Louis-Emile Borle produced gold and silver watch cases from 1865 until 1877. In August 1899 the general partnership Jéquier Frères et Cle was dissolved due to the retirement of Jules-Samuel Jéquier. The company continued under the name Jéquier Frères under Jules-Henri Jéquier and Charles Jéquier-Borle.

Another important firm was Borle et Jéquier, the first "rebel" balance spring maker. It was established in June 1896, less than a year after the announcement of the FSR cartel, and continued in operation until 1932.

Borle and Jéquier ran other watch companies as well: Jéquier Frères was a producer of watches for the English market, C. Jequier-Borle produced Roskopf watches, and another firm with the same name also produced watch cases and claimed the Tell, Corma, Orabek, Andika, and Inimitable brand names.

Fleurier Watch Co

The Fleurier Watch Co. was created as a Société Anonyme on April 4, 1902. It was managed by Paul Jéquier and remained in the Jéquier family for several generations. It incorporated many local brands over the next half century, including the original Arcadia. Before World War I the company was focused on production of complete watches from third-party components (établissage), but it expanded into full-scale manufacturing, including movement production and other watch components, in the 1920s.

The firm brought in young watchmaker Charles Berner in 1920 to establish manufacture of ebauches. Berner was the son of professor Paul Berner in La Chaux-de-Fonds and had worked at Cortébert and Omega to improve manufacturing capabilities. In just over 3 years, the Fabrique d’ébauches de Fleurier was established to reduce the firm's reliance on external suppliers in pursuit of vertical integration. Berner then left to found the Fabrique d'Ebauches de Peseux.

In 1932 the company sold its movement factory to Ebauches SA. The company was brought into ASUAG at the same time. The company survived the depression thanks to careful financial management.

After World War II the company focused on sales, including the use of traveling salespeople and direct sales relationships with retailers.

Société des Garde-Temps

In 1968 the company became a member of the Société des Garde-Temps (SGT) alongside Degoumois/Avia, Helvetia, Silvana, Solvil et Titus, and Vuilleumier. The group also included various sales and finance companies, as well as a balance factory in Dombresson, and the former Jeanneret jewel company in Neuchâtel.

The company and its brands gradually disappeared over the next few decades, even as Ebauches SA grew to become part of ETA in today's Swatch Group. The movement manufacturing component of the business was sold to Chopard in 1996, with their historic building following in 2000. Today, the former Fleurier movement works are a core component of Chopard's manufacture capability.

Arcadia was re-established in 2010 by Claude Sanz. Now located in Geneva, Arcadia acquired the Fleurier Watch Co. name as well in 2011 with plans to return to Fleurier for production.

Other Firms

Charles Jéquier-Borle was a founding member of the Fabricants de Montres, Système Roskopf in June 1906 alongside Georges Eberhard of Eberhard & Cie, Jules Rusbach of Fabrique Centrale F. Roskopf & Cie, Henri-Louis Jeanneret of Jeanneret & Cie, Léon Ducommun, Gustave Krentel, Henri Daleber, Georges Quartier of Emile Quartier, Fils, and Albert Study Junior.

William Borle-Jéquier hired architects Prince & Béguin to build him a villa and estate in Fleurier in 1904.

See Also