Revue Thommen is one of the oldest Swiss watch brands.
Revue Thommen was originally founded in 1853 by Gedeon Thommen. In the early days, the production was mainly focused on wristwatches and pocket watches. Around 1920, Revue Thommen also decided to start producing instruments for the aviation industry. This segment was constantly expanded, and today, Revue Thommen’s instruments are among the leading products in the aviation industry.
Gedeon THOMMEN took over the profit challenged company from the village of Waldenburg in 1859. While not exclusively a family business having converted to a Joint Stock company in 1905, the shares of THOMMEN have passed from generation to generation within Waldenburg and nearby communities resulting in the company being run with the pride of a family business.
World War I was one of the first real tests for the practical application of the airplane and in 1916 the Swiss Air Force issued the order to THOMMEN to design and develop an aircraft chronograph. That initial involvement in aviation would shape the company’s future. It was, however, the awarding of a major contract by the Swiss Military in 1936 that proved the turning point in the history of the company. REVUE THOMMEN was entrusted with the development and supply of altimeters, airspeed indicators, vertical speed indicators, clocks and the landing gear for the C-35, a multi-purpose double-decker aircraft. That contract laid the groundwork for today’s instrument and machine tool manufacturing capabilities.
Over the years THOMMEN’s business has been precipitating to aviation with 80% of their recent business attributed to this sector. The balance of their business comes from Sports and Leisure Instruments (Hiking, Skiing and Parachuting Altimeters) and Industrial Pressure Measuring Instruments. Until very recently, virtually all of THOMMEN’s aviation business has come from the European Military and Transport Category aircraft market segments.
During this period THOMMEN products have found application in 30 Commercial Airline and Regional Airline aircraft types, 23 Commercial Helicopter types, 16 Fighter aircraft types, 9 Military Helicopter types, and 24 Military Trainer aircraft types.
Since choosing business aviation as a target, THOMMEN has had remarkable success due to their perfect fit in niches where other suppliers have failed and withdrawn. The result has been the accumulation of an impressive list of TC’d and STC’d installations for THOMMEN Altimeters, Airspeed Indicators and Airdata Computers in many applications including several RVSM solutions.
In 2001, Grovana Watch Co. Ltd., a leading Swiss watch company watch took over production and global sales of Revue Thommen watches. Revue Thommen makes Airspeed aviation chronometers (Airspeed line) and the traditional watches with exclusive Revue Thommen Manufacture movements.
In 2012, GT Thommen Watch AG (GTWAG) is established as a joint venture partnership to restructure and develop REVUE THOMMEN watch brand, and step-by-step bring it back to its roots of origin in Waldenburg, Switzerland. In 2014, the partnership ultimately acquired the full brand rights from Revue Thommen AG and production rights from Grovana Watch Company.
In 2014, a sales & distribution platform was established in Hong Kong to cater to the international sales activities, and to spearhead the commercial brand-building developments of REVUE THOMMEN. Since early 2015, the REVUE THOMMEN watch trademark is operated by Swiss Initiative Limited, managed by Roland Buser, and under the license of GT Thommen Watch AG for the sole production and worldwide distribution.
About Roland Buser
The Man at the Helm of the redevelopment of the brand is Roland Buser. A true artisan of time born in to a family of Swiss watchmakers, he graduated from the Technical College of Watchmaking in Solothurn, Switzerland as a Horloger-Rhabilleur.
As a third generation watchmaker he travelled the world extensively on professional assignments for the Swiss Watch Industry setting up and managing production sites for renown companies such as RONDA and ETA. One of his first big assignments brought him to China in 1988 and subsequently amongst others to the US Virgin Islands, India, Thailand, and Malaysia.
In 1997, he moved to Hong Kong and joined Cartier, where he subsequently and as a Director of the Richemont Group played a pivotal role in establishing the service functions and operations in the AsiaPacific region. In 2004, he moved to Chopard for whom he reorganized the distribution, re-positioned the brand and set up offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing for the Greater China region.
Believing in the greatness and potential of this brand from his valley, in 2012 he left the haven of the luxury segment to pursue his dream, which is to establish REVUE THOMMEN in the under-developed segment of reliable and practical timepieces, in a price-range where consumers and watch collectors will appreciate the True Value.
Both his father and grandfather worked in the BUSER Manufacture in Niederdorf, Switzerland, which later was integrated in to the Manufacture Suisse Reunis (MSR) Group. It was from this group of companies that REVUE THOMMEN emerged as the chosen brand for the worldwide commercial deployment and where another success story was born, and added to the brands legacy.
- 1853: The small town of Waldenburg founds the “Société d’Horlogerie à Waldenburg”, due to the high level of unemployment at this time.
- 1859: Louis Tschopp and Gédéon Thommen take over the „Société d’Horlogerie à Waldenburg“.
- 1869: Louis Tschopp withdraws from the company. Gédéon Thommen becomes the sole owner and renames the company “Gédéon Thommen – Uhrenfabrikation”.
- 1870: Gédéon Thommen patents the “System der Auswechselbarkeit der einzelnen Werkbestandteile” and the “Remontoir-Patent” .
- 1875: In parallel to previous production of cylinder watches, Thommen starts producing Lever watches.
- 1885: The construction of the smallest narrow-gauge rail way in Europe from Liestal to Waldenburg leads to the invention of the “Springeruhr GT” watch.
- 1890: Production reaches over 13 000 watches annually. Gédéon Thommen dies unexpectedly as a result of an insidious illness. His son Alphonse takes over the company.
- 1905: Alphonse Thommen transforms “Gédéon Thommen – Uhrenfabrikation” into a limited company. From now on the company is called “Thommens Uhrenfabrik AG”.
- 1936: The production of aviation instruments becomes the second main activity of Thommens Uhrenfabrik AG.
- 1947: The Waldenburg watchmakers develop the world famous “Cricket”watch. Various American presidents wear a Cricket, which is why it is also called the president’s watch.
- 1950: Thommen develops various new watch movements, including the GT 82 movement. From this point on “Thommens Uhrenfabrik AG” is a completely independent company, which also produces watch components in parallel to its own movements. The factory produces the necessary machines for this in its own workshops.
- 1961: Thommens Uhrenfabrik AG develops the GT44, GT54, GT56, GT12 and GT14 movement ranges. The MSR Holding is founded. It brings together the Revue, Vulcain, Buser, Phenix and Marvin brands under one umbrella.
- 1969: The first Saltarello collection is launched. This model is based on the legendary “Springeruhr GT” watch of 1885.
- 1987: Thommens Uhrenfabrik AG launches the double brand “Revue Thommen”. This brand now serves as the main brand for clear brand positioning on international markets.
- 1990: In the 90s Revue Thommen increases its production of aviation instruments and since then has supplied all the leading airplane manufacturers in the world.
- 2000: The MSR Holding is dissolved and the company Vulcain & Studio SA liquidated.
- 2001: Grovana Uhrenfabrik AG takes over the production and worldwide sales of Revue Thommen watches.
- 2002: Following an interruption of several years, Grovana resumes the production of own manufacture movements for Revue Thommen watches. The movement ranges GT44, GT54, GT56, GT12 and GT14 form the framework for this range.
- 2006: The first prototypes of the new GT60 movement design with power reserve, moonphase, small second hand and date hand are coming into existence.
- 2012-14: The newly formed GT Thommen Watch AG (GTWAG) acquires the full brand rights from Revue Thommen AG and production rights from Grovana Watch Company.
- 2015: REVUE THOMMEN watch trademark is now operated by Swiss Initiative Limited, managed by Roland Buser, and under the license of GT Thommen Watch AG for the sole production and worldwide distribution.
Official website: http://www.revuethommenwatches.com/