Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fw: CIMER – from 1924 to today

CIMER – from 1924 to today

Lapanouse SA, Bubendorf

In 1925, the first ads from a company Lapanouse SA appeared, featuring Swiss watches under the brand name CIMIER.

The company had been founded the year before by the watchmaker R. Lapanouse in Hölstein, a small and structurally weak town in the canton Baselland. The family enterprise had been producing the so-called "Roskopf" watches since its relocation to the neighbouring Bubendorf.

Roskopf movements are very robust and exceptionally reasonably priced movements, featuring vertically standing steel pins instead of the usual stone palettes for the time scaling.

A whole new range of customers was addressed with the production of these affordable watches, and Lapanouse SA rushed from success to success.

The fifties
The age of the beginning economic boom demanded more striking and distinctive wrist watches, and CIMIER launched pieces with luminescent numerals, centre second, as well as a novel chronograph. The company's pioneer role in this field was to pay off: The striking timepieces were sold very successfully worldwide, and even the company's stationery proudly announced: "Production of 5000 watches daily". An incredible 1,5 million watches were produced yearly by the 500 employees in Bubendorf.

The sixties
In the 60s' a pin lever chronograph with seven stones and two pushers for controlling diverse functions, as well as several additional dials was launched. The simultaneous arrangement of tachy and telemeter scale completed its impressive appearance.

The seventies
In the seventies, pulsating quartz crystals were introduced to the watch industry. Lapanouse SA applied itself to this new technology and once again adopted a pioneer role in developing its own quartz movement.

The eighties
In a risky transaction, a large part of the production machines was sold to a competitor at the beginning of the 80s, who was henceforth to be a supplier of the company. This outsourcing measure, however, did not result in the expected reduction of production costs. On the contrary; due to the now costly purchase of movements, Lapanouse-Cimier clearly suffered a competitive disadvantage when it came to competitors from abroad, and particularly when it came to the important new domestic player.

Disaccord within the owner family concerning the future strategy and the choice of a successor to head the enterprise finally lead to the provisional production shut-down in one of the largest Swiss watch manufactures in 1985.

Since 2003, the long-standing tradition of the brand is being carried toward the future by a young team with experience in different Swiss watch manufactures.

CIMIER-Models from 1950 to 1970
CIMIER-Models from 1950 to 1970

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