Louis-Edouard Berthoud

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Louis-Edouard Berthoud (1867-1947) was a Swiss watchmaker and co-founder of Universal Genève (originally called Perret et Berthoud).

Louis-Edouard Berthoud was born around 1867 in Couvet in Neuchâtel, where he registered a watchmaking workshop in 1883. He moved to Le Locle and joined the firm of Numa-Emile Descombes and George-Ulysse Perret in 1896. Following Descombes death a year later, the firm was reorganized as Perret et Berthoud.

Berthoud was responsible for bringing complications to the company's products, foreshadowing the domination of their Universal branded chronographs in later decades.

Louis-Edouard Berthoud joined the board of Zénith in Le Locle in 1922, part of a group formed by Jämes Perrenoud to take over the firm. Once the cantonal bank replaced Perrenoud with Ernest Strahm, Berthoud remained to help it reorganize. He left the board in 1934 with his partner's son Raoul Perret taking his place there.

In 1928, Berthoud was appointed as a delegate to the Swiss Chamber of Watchmaking and became part of the Central Committee the same year. He served the chamber for 16 years, including 3 years on the Management Committee of the Compensation Fund for the watch industry and the Compensation Fund for worker allowances. Berthoud was a founding board member of ASUAG in 1931, retiring in 1944.

The firm of Perret et Berthoud moved to Geneva in the 1930s but partner Georges Perret died in a swimming accident there in 1933. Thus Berthoud found himself partnered with the aggressive young Raoul Perret, who closed the Le Locle operation and refocused it on growth. It was later known as Universal Genève, with Louis-Edouard Berthoud serving as chairman of the board. Berthoud retired from his company in 1945 after nearly 50 years working for the firm.

Louis-Edouard Berthoud died on March 3, 1947 at the age of 80.