Auguste Reymond’s history began in 1898 when a young man manufactured the first watches to bear his name or the initials ARSA (for Auguste Reymond SA). Success came quickly. Ten years later, his Manufacture had more than a hundred employees, becoming one of the leading employers in the Bernese Jura region. His UNITAS movements and timepieces gained a reputation for quality and reliability. Acquired by Philip Klingenberg in 2019, the workshops moved to Nidau. Today, while staunchly adhering to the brand’s values, Auguste Reymond expresses a new philosophy of time with their three new collections: Origin, Unity, and Heritage 1898.
Auguste Reymond SA is an independent Swiss luxury watch manufacturer founded in 1898 by Auguste Reymond in Switzerland. With a history spanning almost 125 years, this Swiss watch manufacturer is famous for its high-quality wristwatches and UNITAS movements.
In 1898, Auguste gathered a small group of watchmakers and started manufacturing pocket watches in a rented apartment in Tramelan. A decade later, he had over 100 employees working for him in his own factory and became the most important employer in the Bernese Jura region.
To strengthen its factory production, Auguste Reymond purchased watch manufacturer Unitas Watch Co. (Tramelan) in 1926 and converted the factory for movement production. They sold their watches under two sister brands, ARSA and A. Reymond. In 1932 the brand joined the ASUAG (General Swiss Watches AG). By the early 1970s, the number of employees rose to 300, and the company accumulated sales of over 15 million Swiss francs.
The quartz crisis negatively affected the watch industry between the 1970s and the early 1980s, and many brands suffered. Auguste Reymond was no exception. The brand was sold to Montres Nitella SA in 1989, owned by the Loosli family. They developed a new line of mechanical watches and stayed in business until 2019 when Auguste Reymond was sold to Phillip Klingenberg, owner of Century Time Gems.
In the early 1950s, Auguste Reymond became well known for its “Braille Watch” for the visually impaired. Using relief hour markers on the watch case, the wearer could read the time by lifting the watch case’s hinged cover. To this day, the Auguste Reymond Braille watches are marketed under the old brand ARSA.
Auguste Reymond started as an independent company, but in 1932 they became a member of the ASUAG group and then the SWATCH group. In 1984 James Choffat bought the Auguste Reymond brand from the ASUAG/SSIH group, and Auguste Reymond has operated as an independent company ever since.
Phillip W. A. Klingenberg, a Swiss entrepreneur, based in Nidau, Switzerland, acquired Auguste Reymond in 2019 and now operates as the company’s owner and president.
Auguste Reymond still uses UNITAS movements in their mechanical watches today.