In 2006, the luxury watch industry witnessed the rebirth of a Swiss legendary watch brand, Mermod Freres. The MERMOD family is one of the oldest of Sainte-Croix, a small village in the Jura mountains, in Switzerland. The inhabitants of Sainte-Croix have always shared their time between farming and working at the workbench. They have worked both in watchmaking and mechanical music, two mechanical arts that have common roots in Sainte-Croix.
- To restore Sainte-Croix the status of major actor as it was at the end of the 19th century, in the field of the mechanical watch-making.
- To rediscover MERMOD FRERES noble pedigree, a brand that marked the industry in the past, because of its international renown, the quality of its products, its unequalled avant-gardism.
- To position MERMOD FRERES on the market of luxury watches with complications implementing a selective approach and an original product offer : a musical mechanical watch.
- To merge two know-how : watch-making & mechanical music that have common roots and origins.
- To generate a “cataclysm” in the market of luxury watches by launching a revolutionary product that will liven up the traditional circle of watchmakers.
- To drive through the product and communication tools a guideline that belongs to MERMOD FRERES DNA : MUSIC
A HARP belongs to their family coat of arms. Music was already a key element in this family. The BLUE AZUR symbolizes the sky, beauty, nobility, and love. From centuries they were seduced by beautiful and noble items. The SIREN and sea symbolize expeditions and travels. At that time, passion for trips was already in their genes.
1816 : THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MERMOD FRERES
Family archives attest that MERMOD family’s members did commercial trips to Geneva at the end of the 17th century to sell their watches. Minute Repeater and pocket watches with complications, MERMOD watches were deeply appreciated for the quality of their movement and finishes. In 1816 the four sons of Louis MERMOD – watchmaker – took up the torch with the name MERMOD FRERES (Mermod Brothers) in Sainte-Croix. As former apprentices of Geneva’s master watchmakers, the 4 brothers brought back their know-how to the village they originated from. In 1883 they founded in Sainte-Croix a MERMOD FRERES counter.
During 19th century, MERMOD FRERES became one of the most famous watch family business in the very exclusive field of Swiss watch-making. They were strongly present in Vienna, that had an exceptional international influence. It opened the doors of Central and Eastern Europe for MERMOD FRERES who did huge business in these regions. New York, the most lively city of the New World, hosted a MERMOD retailer.
MERMOD FRERES was one of the most awarded brands in the Swiss mechanical watch industry. MERMOD FRERES took part in many Universal Exhibitions like Paris 1855, Anvers 1885, Chicago 1893 and won 27 gold medals.
MUSIC, THE HEART OF MERMOD FRERES
MERMOD FRERES’s watch-making know-how was at the highest level when the family business was extended to mechanical music. MERMOD FRERES became a distinguished music box manufacturer of Sainte-Croix, producing outstanding prestigious pieces. Musical richness and technical watch-making know-how merged.
Music became the beating heart of MERMOD FRERES. MERMOD FRERES had an excellent watch-making and mechanical music business when the Crisis of 1929 ended their activities in this product segment. The sleeping beauty kept asleep for some 80 years (1927-2007).
In 2006, under the impetus of Reuge, the brand MERMOD FRERES has been revived and presented at BaselWorld 2007 as a concept. In 2008, the first finished watches have been presented and instantly sold. The Primo 4 by Mermod Freres is the only mechanical watch with a musical function that provides 4 tunes on 4 separate musical discs.