The History of Schwarz Etienne

An uninterrupted industrial trajectory

For over one hundred years, the watch manufacturer Schwarz Etienne has endeavoured to transform its century-old tradition into a watchmaking art which is constantly evolving. From the beginning of the 20th century to this day, its motto has never failed; Schwarz Etienne has been in movement since 1902, following an extraordinary, uninterrupted industrial trajectory.

In 1902, Paul Arthur Schwarz and his wife Olga Etienne founded the Schwarz Etienne company in La Chaux-de-Fonds and its name is a combination of their surnames. The family business distinguished itself from the beginning as a player in the manufacture of mechanical movements. It worked within the various brands it owned, such as Venus, Alpha, Sultana Le Phare and Astin, but Schwarz Etienne’s fame also grew through its various partnerships, dedicating a large part of its business to the supply of movements and its work of excellence to big brands, such as Chanel, Dunhill, Mauboussin and Caran d’Ache. Schwarz Etienne quickly became a benchmark in the watch movement industry and was considered a reliable production partner.

As a dynamic company, which was taken over by the family’s sons in 1940, Schwarz Etienne progressively extended its business across Europe and also across Asia and the Near-East. In the middle of the 1960s, the watch manufacturer enjoyed growing success. It attracted prestigious clients, such as the Vatican and Leonid Brezhnev (the then Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet).

Following a broad diversification of its production in the 1970s and 1980s and in order to alleviate the watchmaking crisis, from 1985 onwards the company decided to return to its original know-how, i.e. the creation of movements and watches. During this period, it developed its own brand and its own collections, and progressively became a watch manufacturer in its own right, exploiting its major strengths: creativity, innovation and know-how.

In 2003, a passionate Chaux-de-Fonds business man, Raffaello Radicchi, bought the Schwarz Etienne company and has since then carried the group’s aspirations to produce exceptional watches. Since its close collaboration with the Radicchi Horlogerie group, Schwarz Etienne has strived to enhance the original, authentic products which built its reputation. Through all its exclusive models, embodied in the company’s prestigious collections and the creation of new calibres, Schwarz Etienne offers a blend between modernity and tradition. And this requirement is maintained through complete mastery of component assembly, flawless workmanship and unique know-how.

After dedicating over two years to the development of exclusive products, the watch manufacturer Schwarz Etienne created three new calibres in 2013, which are intended to integrate the creation of its own compositions and to constitute the foundation of its watch client base. In 2015, a fourth calibre was created in the Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture, the ISE (Irreversible Schwarz Etienne). This reverse movement was presented for the first time at Baselworld in the latest Roswell model.

Our values

The Schwarz Etienne master watchmakers have always crafted their creations in the desire to seize the living power of time, the very essence of the watchmaking conquest.

Schwarz Etienne’s values have remained unchanged since the company’s creation in 1902: quality, authenticity and respect for watchmaking traditions. The intrinsic values of the craftsmanship which forged the reputation of the family business, to this day remain the keywords of its prosperous successors.

Deeply tied to its roots in the Neuchâtel mountains, a brand representing tradition and creations crafted with patience and rigour, the watch manufacturer delivers products characterised by exceptional craftsmanship, of which it controls the entire craftsmanship process. And the company evidently owes its image of excellence and its current success to the talent of these master watchmakers, who are true craftsmen in the mastery of time.

The proximity of its affiliated businesses, all located close to each other in the Neuchâtel mountains, allows Schwarz Etienne to maintain special relationships with its trusted partners, thus guaranteeing the manufacturing quality as well as finished products of impeccable manufacturing quality.