Paul Robert

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Paul Robert-Tissot (1863-1940) was the heir to and leader of the Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon from 1890 through 1940 and was a founding board member of Ebauches SA.


Paul Robert-Tissot was born in 1863 in Le Locle and later lived in La Chaux-de-Fonds. As reported in his obituary, his life "was essentially devoted to the factory of Fontainemelon blanks."

In 1888, Robert-Tissot was appointed director of the Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon. Two years later, Paul Robert-Tissot and his cousin Auguste-Charles Robert-Tissot were appointed managers of the FHF branch in Corgémont upon the retirement of Charles Ramus. They were soon also given management responsibility for the main factory in Fontainemelon.

Paul Robert-Tissot was responsible for bringing American-style mechanized mass production to the Fontainemelon factory and switched it to electric power four years later. After Auguste-Charles Robert-Tissot died in 1907, Paul Robert-Tissot took sole management of FHF. Seeking more assistance, he brought in young banker and businessman Sydney de Coulon to help manage the factory in 1918, and this proved a wise choice.

In 1926, Paul Robert (as he was then known) brought FHF together with erstwhile competitors A. Michel and A. Schild, both of Grenchen, to form Ebauches SA. He then served in management for this organization as it brought much of the rest of the ebauche industry under its control. Notably, it was Paul Robert who insisted that management of the cartel be centered in Neuchâtel.

Paul Robert-Tissot represented the district of Val-de-Ruz on the cantonal council before ascending to the Swiss Council of States as the deputy for Neuchâtel.

His obituary also lists him as chairman of the board of directors of Zénith, part of the Swiss Society (S.S.S.) in charge of the mission in Paris.