Louis-Edouard Huguenin-Jeanneret

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Louis-Edouard Huguenin-Jeanneret (1894-1973) was the third generation of the Huguenin family to produce escapements in Le Locle. He inherited the La Concorde factory from his father, Charles-Louis Huguenin, following his death in 1940, and his son (also of the same name) took over on his retirement.

Charles and Lewis Huguenin of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds

The Huguenin families of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds were quite large and involved in watchmaking. Many were named Charles or Lewis, and even those that had other names (or hyphenated versions) commonly used these names. It can be quite confusing, since records show "Louis Huguenin" of Le Locle being active in watchmaking from the 1880s through the 1980s, though this represents three generations.

Early Life

Louis-Edouard Huguenin was born in 1894 in Le Locle and was commonly called "Louis Huguenin" throughout his life. His father, Charles-Louis Huguenin (also called "Louis Huguenin"), was prominent and respected in the town and operated a workshop to produce assortiments there. His mother was Adèle Favre and came from another family involved in Le Locle watchmaking. His parents were married in August 1891, shortly before the death of his grandfather, Charles-Lewis Huguenin-Virchaux, who had founded the factory with his brother, Williams Huguenin-Virchaux.

Louis Huguenin attended the school of watchmaking in Le Locle and was awarded a "first class notice with mention" on graduation in 1915. By this time he had already started working at his father's workshop, a landmark factory now called La Concorde after the street on which it was built. Like his father, Lewis Huguenin saw an opportunity in bringing together various components of the watchmaking industry and dedicated his professional career to advancing the interests of his family, his home town and its workers, and the Swiss watchmaking industry.

La Concorde and FAR

In 1917, Louis and his brother Willy were brought into management of the La Concorde factory. It was soon updated with the modern hipped roof, and was growing rapidly. His father remained active in management of the factory as well as industry groups like FSR and Louis became interested in the emerging cartels.

On February 20, 1928, the family firm (officially called "Chs et Ls Huguenin") was reorganized as a Société Anonyme called La Concorde SA. This new company was capitalized with 250,000 francs, 187,000 going directly to Louis Huguenin senior along with 179 "profit-sharing certificates" totaling a 412,000 franc payout for the former owner. The new company was administered by a board composed of Louis Huguenin senior, Louis Huguenin junior, and Charles-William Huguenin.

After Ebauches SA was created, Louis Huguenin and his father pushed for the creation of ASUAG and a cartel of assortiment factories within it. This would become Fabriques d'Assortiments Réunies, which was founded in 1932 with Louis Huguenin senior serving as vice president. This was a radical move, uniting La Concorde with its local rivals, G. Perrenoud, Stella, and Pierrehumbert Frères, as well as national rivals in Bienne, Le Sentier, and Reconvilier. Each factory became a branch of FAR, with La Concorde becoming "Branch B".

Louis Huguenin senior died on April 4, 1940 at 71 years of age, leaving Louis Huguenin junior to take up management of the various business activities of the family. The younger Louis Huguenin immediately joined the board of FAR, though he did not yet become vice-chairman like his father.

The Huguenin factory continued in operation and grew in importance under FAR, thanks to Louis Huguenin's involvement in many areas of the cartel. In future decades, new branches (called "G", "J", and "M") shared the La Concorde factory.