10:101stHISTORICAL FEATURESJSH PRINT

Jubilee Witschi, the institution with a future

Temps de lecture : 2 minutes

Viewed at EPHJ 2022. In 1947, Paul Witschi was developing the world’s best measuring instruments for watches. 75 years later, the company has never been more synonymous with innovative reliability. Its name is now a generic one.

By Emmanuel Alder / JSH Magazine & TàG Press +41’s Independent Columnist
Write to him | Insta SWP | Insta JSH® | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin

A brand is said to have been lexicalised when it is used to designate a common use or generic type of object.

30 years after it was first established, Witschi launched its range of measuring instruments in Waldhausbrunnen in 1977

From a key name to an ecosystem

There are few registered proper names which, like Frigidaire, Scotch, Escalator or Botox, have been turned, by a rare phenomenon of antonomasia, into common names. Thus, in watchmaking, when people talk about “putting their watch through the Witschi“, they are unquestionably referring to the famous precision tests in force, regardless of the brand used.

Therefore, any user should also be able to enter the Witschi ecosystem. This means that the company is the only one to offer the entire range of products in this field and thus offers the assurance that one device fits another and that all measurement needs are covered. Technical Director Daniel Hug enthusiastically comments: “We can learn from our past about our future, because regardless of the technology or the speed of innovation, it is always people who do their job with passion“.

In 1947, Paul Witschi was renting a garage in Gerlafingen where he was tinkering with measuring devices. 75 years later, his name has become a symbol of Swiss precision watchmaking

Ongoing innovation

The tone is given from Büren an der Aare, a canton of Bern commune in the Seeland district, where in 1952 the founder, a mechanical engineer from the Federal Institute of Technology, moved from his initial garage in Gerlafingen. Déjà à cette As early as that time, the company’s workforce grew from 5 to the almost 70 employees it has today in the Bahnhofstrasse, where it has been anchored since 1988. While Witschi Electronic made its first test device for quartz watches in 1977, the company is still one of the leading manufacturers of test devices for watches. Five years later, for example, it marketed the first water-resistance tester.

The iconic and award-winning Wisioscope uses a combination of acoustics and optics to measure mechanical timepieces. Witschi Electronic is working on a cloud solution while bringing to market wireless and iOS-compatible measurement device systems

The company, which was handed over in 2006 by the Witschi descendants to two members of the former management team, Andreas Bläsi and Daniel Hug, continues to pursue its quest for excellence with the steady hand of those who make, build, innovate, improve and sometimes forget to mention it. Under the banner of Swiss made and of a fierce independence. In 2017, it was awarded first prize in the innovation contest at the EPHJ, while working on the market implementation of two other essential watchmaking instruments: the ProofMaster for controlled water-resistance and the Wisioscope, a measurement device for mechanical watches that combines acoustics and optics.

Sustainable values

Able to hold off on its investment ambitions on its own, Witschi Electronic, which has just completely redesigned its website, is discreetly investing in the field of environmental ethics. Little by little, it has covered 50% of its electricity needs with photovoltaic cells on its roofs. It then introduced charging stations for electric vehicles in its parking lots. A state of mind and a commitment “to the well-being of our customers, to our image as an attractive employer and to fairness towards all our business partners“, as General Manager Andreas Bläsi underlines.

Next 'must-have' for any watchmaker's bench? The ProofMaster checks for water resistance with a fully automatic closing and testing cycle

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