Since 1888, the traditional Swiss brand, ROAMER OF SWITZERLAND in Solothurn, has been producing quality materials and fine movements to meet the most demanding requirements for Swiss-made watches, combining sheer elegance, distinctive design and sporty functionality. In 2013, the brand celebrated its 125th anniversary.
The success story of Swiss watch maker ROAMER OF SWITZERLAND starts in 1888. With a past steeped in tradition, ROAMER has kept its identity and independence as a Swiss watch maker and for the past 125 years has stood for the reliable innovation and exceptional quality of the classic Swiss watch.
The beginning of the ROAMER story is the vision of a pioneer; Swiss industrialist Fritz Meyer (1859 – 1926) wanted to develop a solid but elegant watch with the aim of establishing it as a valuable accessory. To get a step closer to his dream, he opened a workshop in Solothurn in 1888, producing cylinder escapements for mechanical watches. With this the 29-year-old laid the foundation stone of the 125-year tradition of ROAMER.
The company grew substantially over the next seven years, producing complete watches as well as cylinder escapements. In 1897 Meyer achieved the first milestone in ROAMER’s history. Already employing a staff of 60, he built his first watch movement and in honour of his 38th birthday named it Kaliber No. 38.
At the turn of the century Meyer used the occasion of having produced his 500,000th watch movement to complete his dream: in 1905 he partnered with ambitious watch maker Johann Stüdeli and launched Meyer & Stüdeli. In 1908 the successful watch brand “Roamer” was registered as a trademark in Switzerland.
In the years following, the company specialised in the production of high-precision mechanical watch movements, which are named after Meyer and Stüdeli as MST. Demand for the popular watch movements grew rapidly, and Meyer & Stüdeli increased production to 3000 movements per day. In 1923 more than a million watch movements left the factory. To ensure quality control the company now also produced its own watch cases, assuring a near independence from its suppliers.
One of the successful MST automatic watch movements of the collection already took the later brand name of ROAMER. In 1909 Leo Meyer, Fritz Meyer’s son, opened a branch in Great Britain, which until well into the 1970s would serve one of the most important markets for ROAMER.
The number of employees increased steadily in the 1930s. A total workforce of 1300 enabled the first in-house production of a Meyer & Stüdeli dial. With this the company now produced all elements of a watch in its own factory and established itself as one of the most distinguished Swiss watch and component manufacturers.
With the successful development of complete watches, many patent applications followed in the 1940s. One of many milestones was a low maintenance casing with exceptional water resistance, a leading innovation at that time. Furthermore, British test pilots realised that the automatic movement of the ROAMER watch was equal to the extreme conditions during supersonic flight, even height and temperature drops had no repercussions whatsoever on the precision of the watches tested.
Henceforth advertising placards and advertisements emphasised in particular the ROAMER models of Meyer & Stüdeli, who also successfully managed to break into the American market with the opening in 1945 of the first branch in New York. The success of the prestigious ROAMER line and the increasing importance of a worldwide market lead to a change of company name. In 1952 the watchmaker became known as ROAMER Watch Co. SA. The English word “roamer” in the sense of “world roamer and rambler” paid tribute to the progressive aspirations of the company and emphasises the importance of the British, and later the international market.
In 1955, ROAMER’s Anfibio line caused great excitement with its patented water tight casing, a revolutionary technical innovation. Thanks to its functionality and reliability, Anfibio captured the hearts of watch wearers worldwide. The Stingray line, which was produced from the late 1950s onwards, was also legendary. Today the classic Stingray models with their simple watch hands, detailed face indices and high quality MST automatic movements are rare collector’s items. In the current collections new editions still represent the long tradition of ROAMER.
Owing to continued innovation ROAMER expanded its range in 1972 with quartz movements. Within three years of the world’s first quartz movement having been sold, the brand started selling its own quartz collections. ROAMER captured the Zeitgeist and successfully marketed its watches internationally.
With the launch of the Competence collection in 2003, ROAMER OF SWITZERLAND returned to its traditional past as the producer of mechanical watches. The new models lived up to their Swiss watch heritage through unique historical designs and exceptional quality.
By 2010 ROAMER, with its value for money, was one of the most powerful Swiss watch brands in the mid-price range. Together with renowned international business partners the brand was able to continually widen its network.
Since 1888 the ROAMER OF SWITZERLAND brand stands for exceptional Swiss quality watches combined with classic elegant designs. Through continuous innovation, use of high quality materials and precision Swiss watch movements ROAMER continues its success story. The company remains true to the motto of founder Fritz Meyer: exact detailing and exceptional and personal involvement in all areas. The story of the brand merges with virtues like unmistakable design and form in its collections.
On the occasion of its 125-year anniversary in 2013, ROAMER OF SWITZERLAND launched a limited new edition of the popular Stingray Chrono Diver. The numbered, limited run of 333 watches is presented in an attractive jewel case with a certificate and special history booklet. This collector’s edition is one of the highlights of the anniversary year and heightens the anticipation of the continuation of Roamer’s success story.
Hohle Gasse 7