Robert Maire

From Grail Watch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Robert-Maurice Maire-Giroud was a Swiss watchmaker who became technical director for Martel in the 1950s and Zenith in the 1960s.

Robert Maire was born in 1927 to watchmaker Aurèle Maire-Pellaton (1895-1977). His father married Marie-Madeline Pellaton (1896-1983), daughter of Georges Pellaton-Steudler, founder of the Martel Watch Co. His brother, Aurèle, was born four years earlier and would become technical director of Longines after giving his place at Zenith to Robert.

The Maire family lived in Ponts-de-Martel, a small town near Le Locle famous for talented makers of complicated watches. He likely attended the Technicum in Neuchâtel like his older brother, and both were talented watchmakers. But Robert was overshadowed by the award-winning Aurèle.

Robert Maire joined the board of directors for Martel on May 9, 1956, the same day Universal Genève president Raoul Perret left as chairman. Maire was technical director for Martel through the 1950s and 1960s. By 1962, Robert was secretary of the Martel Watch Co. in addition to being technical director. The company, then part of Zenith, was run by president Raoul Pellaton, René Gugger, banker Jean-Pierre de Montmollin, Genri Thiébaud, and Georges Pellaton-Rickli, who had been vice president to this point.

On December 30, 1961, Aurèle Maire was appointed central technical director of Zenith, replacing Henri Robert, who moved to manufacturing inspector. Henri Thiébaud of Martel joined the firm as director on the same day. On December 6, 1967, Aurèle Maire gave up his position as technical director for Zenith. He was replaced by his brother Robert Maire, former technical director of Martel.

Robert Maire remained technical director of Zenith through the company's merger with Movado and acquisition by Zenith of Chicago. On January 28, 1972, however, all Zenith directors were removed as the company was reorganized as Zenith Time within the large American firm.

Personal Life

Robert Maire married Colette Giroud, daughter of hotelier Jules Giroud, and the couple had three daughters:

  • Françoise Maire married Philippe Jeanneret
  • Réjane Maire
  • Valérie Maire

The family lived in Le Locle and later moved to Neuchâtel and Rolle.


  • In 1967 it was noted that Robert Maire is the nephew of Raoul Pellaton.