Montilier watches goes all the way back to 1852 when Etienne-Ovide Domon (1807-1873) founded the Fabrique d’Horlogerie Montilier. A couple of years later, Constantin Dinichert became his partner and since then Dinichert and his son were an important part of the success story.
Only 3 years later in 1855, the factory owned a rare steam engine and employed more than 200 people. At this time, the watch factory was the first in the Swiss watch industry crafting complete watches in-house, a true manufacture.
The company began to construct new technical features, which gave the watch factory of Montilier a name for innovation and quality. It received many awards at world exhibitions starting from 1867 in Paris (1878, 1879, 1889), Geneva (1896 ) or in Brussels (1935) to name only a few.
In 1890, the "Société Suisse d'Horlogerie, Fabrique de Montilier" had around 600 employees and exported watches around the world in countries like the Benelux, British India, Egypt, France, Germany ,Italy, Mexico, Ottoman Empire (Turkey), USA and many, many more. At this time, the company was one of the most successful watch company in Switzerland.
The outstanding quality and durability of wrist watches became legendary and Montilier was asked to produce military watches which were manufactured until the mid-1950s.
During many decades, Montilier was exhibiting the newest watch collections at the Basel Watch Fairs.
In 2006, an enthusiastic crew of watch lovers revived this legend with the aim to bring back the glorious ages of of the past back to life.
Since 2007, a permanent exhibition about the Fabrique d'Horlogerie Montilier was opened in the Museum of Murten (Musée de Morat), just in the neighbourhood of the village Montilier. Unique exhibits of Montilier from the times of early horology can be admired.
Today, Montilier watches are worldwide sought after by collectors and aficionados. Particulary rare and precious watch models are sold in famous auction houses like Sotheby's, for example a Lady's sapphire and diamond cocktail watch and brooch of the 1950s.
1950s Lady's sapphire and diamond cocktail watch and brooch, 1950s (Sotheby's)
Montilier watch factory around 1902
Launch of model TELEFOOT 1947
Window at Basel Watch fair 1947.
1950s chronometer in 18ct gold