Monday, July 22, 2019

Zero chance you'll figure this one out. Sorry.

Let’s have some fun: I'll throw in a bunch of historical data, and you have to figure out the Swiss maker/brand name (without Googling).

In 1891, in the well-known Jura mountains, a talented master watchmaker named Henri Frédéric Sandoz founded a watch company.  He and the Schob Brothers - his partners - opened markets all around the world, particularly Canada, Russia, Far East and the US.  Henri was a pioneer and entrepreneur and, thanks to his engineering and watchmaking abilities, was the first to create machine tools for the Swiss watch industry.

In 1902 Sandoz built his first factory and by the next year he had to expand and build a new one.  A year later 750 workers were producing 450,000 watches.  Their output increased to 750,000 and they won sought after Gold Medals in 1910 and 1914.
In 1915 it issued its first shock-proof watch to soldiers and in 1917, after being approached by two British submarine commanders, it created its first waterproof wristwatch suitable for submarine decks.  
In 1930 there was another Gold Medal win for a completely new watch concept - the "La Captive" or the Belt-Watch.

By 1938 (half a century later) it had built five factories in Switzerland and became the fourth largest watch manufacturer in the world with over 2,000 watchmakers producing more than 4,000 watches per day.  The size of its factories is simply mindboggling!  

And if that's not enough to impress you then these sales stats will - an astonishing 30 million watches sold by 1938!

Unfortunately in 1940 a huge fire destroyed several factory buildings as well as many of its archives.  Yet that didn't stop the brand to restart production once again.  
In 1943 the company launched its first automatic movement which it fitted into its square cased Watersport model and by 1950 the company had registered over 300 patents and was producing movements for most Swiss brands including Patek Philippe, Hermès, Dunhill and Zenith.
Its Autorotor self-winding calibre 485 was released in 1955-1957 and is now considered a collector's item.
Still no clue?

It is TAVANNES (pronounced tav-anh).  

Tavannes today - the Swiss village the brand originated from, with a total population of 3,585.

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