Louis Müller

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Louis Müller (1864-1943) was a watch manufacturer based in Bienne known as the founder of the La Champagne factory there as well as his work in Swiss watch manufacturing organizations including ASUAG. His name was originally spelled with an umlaut ("Müller") but is often spelled without.

Louis Müller was born around 1864, son of Louis Müller senior and Caroline Finkbeiner. After attending school in Bienne and Neuchâtel, the younger Müller joined the firm of his father, of the same name, in the city. In 1890, after his father's death, he inherited the firm, which was officially called Vve. Louis Müller as of August 18, 1890.

The company was registered as Louis Müller & Cie. as of January 1 1893 but was commonly called La Champagne after the area of the city in which it was located. His mother turned over control to the younger Louis Müller, though she retained her ownership stake. Alfred Perrenoud joined the company in 1904 and would rise rapidly in the company, replacing Muller at his namesake firm.

Muller joined the the Intercantonal Society of Jura Industries from 1890 to 1892, then the Central Committee of the Swiss Chamber of Watchmaking, from June 9, 1904 until 1931, nearly three decades. He was vice president of the organization in 1904, 1905, and from 1913 to 1931. He was also president of the Society of Watch Manufacturers of Bienne from 1894 to 1924.

Vexed by the FSR cartel, Muller was a founder and board member of the Société Suisse des Spiraux in 1898. He served as vice president of the company and remained on the board through 1940.

The company was reorganized as a limited partnership on May 1, 1908. The new company had the same name and was still controlled by Louis Müller and Carolina Müller (née Finkbeiner). It was managed by Alfred Perrenoud and Louis' wife, Sophie Müller (née Grunau).

On May 1, 1916, the company became a Société Anonyme with share capital of one million francs. Alfred Perrenoud was made president and Louis Müller chairman. Perrenoud and Müller made up the board of directors as of 1922.

Muller saw the need for consolidation in the watchmaking industry and became a founding board member of ASUAG in 1931.

Louis Müller died on April 29, 1943 at the age of 79.