The art of watchmaking first gained a foothold in the mountainous Jura region of Switzerland, which stretches from Basel to Geneva, more than 200 years ago. In those days farmers often learned this craft as a means of filling the long winter months and boosting their meagre income. For some of them, this challenging and highly sophisticated craft became a true passion.
The history of DAVOSA Swiss Watches can be traced back to one of these families of farmers and watchmakers from the Jura Mountains.
The Hasler family was a family of four brothers. Two of them left their small mountain village in the Vallé de Joux to work in watch factories in Geneva and Biel. The fourth brother, Abel Frédéric Hasler, began manufacturing small series of silver pocket watch cases with the greatest precision craftsmanship. Six of his sons went on to inherit his watchmaking talent.
For one of them, Paul Hasler (1883-1977), watchmaking became both a passion and a vocation. Even as a small child, he was fascinated with the complicated watches he discovered on his father's workbench.
Upon completing his watchmaker training, he saved up a little capital and a few years later, was able to found his own business, Paul Hasler Terminages d'Horlogerie, which specialised in watch assembly for a range of prestigious watch brands.
It was a time of high unemployment and many companies were forced to close down their operations. Paul Hasler managed to prevail thanks to his high standards of quality, which were greatly valued by his customers. By this stage, he was already employing twelve additional watchmakers.
David Hasler (1897-1951), who had already worked for his brother Paul as technical director for many years, joined the company in 1946. This partnership marked the beginning of Hasler Frères. The company soon began designing their own creations and transforming them into finished timepieces. Their circle of customers was not only limited to Europe; one of their most important export markets was the United States.
Business continued to prosper. In 1961, a third generation of Haslers, Wilfred and Eric Hasler, joined the business as joint partners after completing their watchmaker training.
Kurt Wittwer joined the company to support the commercial side of the business. He succeeded in opening up new markets and supervised product development from the initial creative idea to the finished product. The company began specialising in timepieces with sophisticated mechanical clockwork.
Switzerland started to come under pressure from watchmakers from the Far East. The technical revolution brought about by the introduction of the quartz watch almost succeeded in ousting the traditional mechanical watch from the market. In response to this new market demand, Hasler & Co S.A., a legal entity from 1974, also began incorporating quartz watches into its product range.
This year marked the beginning of the sustainable development of the DAVOSA brand. The mechanical watch was already experiencing something of a renaissance, especially in Germany. A high-quality, limited collection of mechanical timepieces under the brand name DAVOSA was a resounding success. This collection included 3-hand, automatic chronographs with 7750/7751 Valjoux calibre, as well as power reserve and regulator models and a mechanical alarm watch.
The success prompted further successful series and the cooperation between Hasler & Co. SA and Bohle GmbH became ever closer over the years.
The production of the first limited series in 2002 named DAVOSA Panamericana was a particular milestone. The entire series can now be found in the portfolios of private watch collectors.
Today the DAVOSA brand is an integral part of the watch world.