The Buttes Watch Company (BWC) was found in 1924 by Mr. Arthur Charlet, in his birthplace, Buttes (Canton Neuchâtel). The “Val de Travers”, an aesthetic high-lying valley in Switzerland nearby the French border, is well known for watchmakers in the 18th Century. During the economic crisis in 1923 which Switzerland was also oppressively affected, he founded courage to pioneer as a watch manufacturer.
From this time on the BWC-SWISS was the only used trade mark in Europe and in English speaking countries. It is also registered as a world-wide trademark.
The company first started off with producing all different variety of pocket watches. The first markets was initially launched in Germany and then expanded to England, Spain, Poland and Hungary. Later, sales areas were opened to the most important trading countries in Europe at that time like Greece and Turkey. The main overseas markets were USA, Cuba and Canada.
Mr. Arthur Charlet’s son-in-law, Mr. Edwin Volkart, took over the company in 1953 and continue to operate it with alacrity.
BWC-SWISS realized quickly the state-of-the-art in watch-technology. By 1967, electro-mechanical watches were also part of their watch collection. Thus in 1972 the collection of the BWC already carried the first quartz-digital-display and in 1975 the first fully developed quartz-analogue watch.
With the lack of competent workers in the “Val de Travers” valley and the changing of ownership in 1991, the company had to move the manufacturing plant to Canton Solothurn. All commercial activities of the BWC Fabrique d’Horlogerie SA / Bienne is since then availed by Reek GmbH in Pforzheim, Germany.
In the course of re-organization in 1999, BWC-SWISS was integrated in the newly founded Maddox AG in Pforzheim, Germany. In the year 2000, the 75th anniversary watches, designed by Mr. Alexander Schnell-Waltenberger from Pforzheim, won the Good Design Award. This award which is one of the oldest and most meaningful awards for industry design in the United States, was presented to BWC-SWISS in Chicago.
More information about BWC-SWISS BWC "Time zones" Collection