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Thread: The Community of Precision Watchmaking, 1957-197something

  1. #1

    The Community of Precision Watchmaking, 1957-197something

    In 1957, Charles-Eugen Blum of Ebel wrote a letter, joining with other watch company heads to create a new high-precision consortium, called "Communaute d'horlogerie de precision" (CHP).

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    The above letters are presented on Ebel's website, but are too small to read. The letter on the left is Blum's promotion of the concept, and the one on the right appears to be a draft of an article about the group.

    What pointed me in this direction was a statement in the service manual for Zodiac high-beat movements (of the late 60's and 70's) boasting of Zodiac's membership in this group.

    So, I started digging, and found the article (that may be what is shown in draft form above) in the June 11, 1958 issue of L'Impartial, the local newspaper in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

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    Here's a translation:

    'Nine Watchmakers Founded a "Community of Precision Watchmaking"

    Considering that the evolution of the watch-making makes desirable for closer collaboration between manufacturers of precision watches, watchmaking factories here after listed,

    Ernest Borel & Co. S.A., Neuchatel
    Doxa S.A., Le Locle
    Ebel S.A., La Chaux-de-Fonds
    Eberhard & Co., La Chaux-de-Fonds
    Favre-Leuba S.A., Geneva
    Girard-Perregaux & Co. S.A., La Chaux-de-Fonds
    Heuer & Co., Bienne
    Juvenia, La Chaux-de-Fonds
    Zodiac, S.A., Le Locle,

    have formed a company under the name of "precision watchmaking community."

    This company, while respecting the individuality and independence of its members, aims to promote and foster their activity and development.'

    This was the organization behind the development of the autowinder for the A. Schild 1687/1688, which became the Ebel 213 and 214, the GP 32 series, the FL 1152, and Zodiac calibers 70 through 88. This was also the consortium that took the work done by GP to turn a 1687 into a high-beat movement (which they did in 1966) to the other members of the consortium in 1968. This was the basis for the Zodiac SST line and many other high-beat implementations.

    It's an example how how the Swiss industry worked cooperatively while still being competitive with each other. Many of the owners of these companies were probably regulars at Charles Blum's legendary weekly card game in La Chaux-de-Fonds, and I wonder if this idea was hatched there or at some similar informal gathering.

    Rick "a little more Ebelian history that really is history of the whole industry" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; Feb 24, 2015 at 07:28 PM.
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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    Ich bin ein Ebeler! WWII70's Avatar
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    Hi Rick
    Interesting. Unfortunately, the attachments aren't working.
    Ebels (lots), IWC, Omega, FC, Eterna, Tag, Invicta, Movado
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  4. #3
    They seem to be now

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    Ich bin ein Ebeler! WWII70's Avatar
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    Yes, Herr Amf!
    Ebels (lots), IWC, Omega, FC, Eterna, Tag, Invicta, Movado
    If you are interested in the details http://www.intlwatchleague.com/membe...70&tab=aboutme

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by WWII70 View Post
    Hi Rick
    Interesting. Unfortunately, the attachments aren't working.
    My computer burped mid-composition, and when I "restored auto-saved content", it kept the thumbnails but lost the images. When I posted, even the thumbs disappeared. I just relinked them.

    Rick "who could spend days translating articles from L'Impartial" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Very nice. I am still amazed today that the number of hi-beat movements is as limited as it is. Progress and all that rot would have dictated faster speeds. Thanks for the history lesson!

    Dan

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