In 1850, brother’s Marc & Emmanuel Didisheim opened a comptoir in Saint-Imier, in the middle of the Jura, the birthplace of Swiss watchmaking. Saint-Imier has a long watchmaking tradition. The first pieces appeared here in 1720, and the rhythm of production increased from 1770.
At the time, most watchmakers only made a part of the watch, often the gold or silver cases, which were then delivered to finishers in La Chaux-de-Fonds or Le Locle. The system of établissage* began to develop in 1800. The établisseur was the owner of a Comptoir (workshop), where watchmakers performed checks, added the necessary finishes, and then assembled the components – which came from a number of different suppliers – before adjusting, setting and dispatching the finished watches. It is in this context that the Didisheim brothers opened their Comptoir. [Reference points]
Marc and Emmanuel Didisheim create their first watch making comptoir in Saint-Imier, Berne.
Henri-Albert, Edgar and Charles – Marc’s sons – take on the succession and build a factory. The company is renamed `Albert Didisheim et Frères´.
The MARVIN brand is officially registered with the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in Berne.
The Company moves to La Chaux-de-Fonds and becomes `Albert et Edgar Didisheim´.
After Edgar’s death, Henri-Albert is joined by his 3 sons – Marc, René and Jean – and the company is renamed `Maison Henri-Albert Didisheim´.
The company changes its name to `Henri-Albert Didisheim, fabrique MARVIN´.
The Company becomes a Manufacture in its own right. The move to 166 rue Numa Droz in La Chaux-de-Fonds means that the entire design, production and sales chain can be organized and grouped under one roof. It had a branch in Reconvilliers in the Berne Jura for the production of the most frequently-used parts.
Marc, René and Jean succeed their father and change the company name to `Fils de Henri-Albert Didisheim, fabrique Marvin, Marvin Watches Co.´.
Marvin is one of the largest manufactures in La Chaux-de-Fonds, with more than 300 employees, not including those working from home. True to the company philosophy of constant innovation, an annex is built especially for the technical department.
The organisation of the Manufacture is held up as an example in the 15th April edition of the Journal Suisse de l’Horlogerie for its premises, health and working conditions and rigour in manufacturing processes.
The drive for rationalization of production and improvement of productivity generates a labour dispute that lasts two months.
The Company moves into larger premises, still in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The Manufacture provides munitions to the French army until its surrender.
The Manufacture becomes a Public Limited Company under the name `Compagnie des Montres MARVIN SA´.
Marvin celebrates its centenary, is at the height of its glory, and launches a commemorative automatic calendar watch to celebrate a century of existence. The company has a workforce of around 200.
In the middle of a watch-making crisis, Marvin takes a gamble and reinforces the company structure. It joins the MSR group – Manufactures d’Horlogeries Suisses Réunies – and becomes one of the leading brands. The brand is then operated under license by an Italian group.
Marvin regains its independence under the leadership of a group of skilled and qualified enthusiasts, determined to return the company to its original brilliance and dynamism.
Marvin Watch Co. launches its new, fine horology collections – Swiss quality watches with a contemporary design that redefine watchmaking codes and conventions.The watch collections are distributed internationally since, through a strong network of partners.
*Etablissage: French term for the method of manufacturing watches and/or movements by assembling their various components.