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Revue Thommen

Solid and reliable mechanical Swiss watches
The Pilot Watch Magazine
Revue Thommen
19 May 2024

Tradition in the production of pilot watches and flight instruments

The history of the traditional Swiss watch brand Revue Thommen goes back to 1859, when the Swiss watchmaker and entrepreneur Gédéon Thommen and a colleague took over the Waldenburg watch movement factory Société d’Horlogerie à Waldenbourg. The business flourishes, Thommen optimizes the company’s processes and successively expands production. In addition to inexpensive raw movements, Thommen also manufactures complete pocket watches and watch cases, including under license one of the first timepieces with a mechanical digital display.

After the death of the company founder in 1890, his descendants successfully continue the business. In the following decades, precision measuring instruments for aviation are produced in addition to pilot watches. Not only the Swiss Air Force trusts in the products from the house of Thommen. On-board chronographs from the traditional watchmaker are also installed in the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter of the German Air Force as well as in helicopters and the Tornado of the Royal Air Force.

Solid and reliable mechanical Swiss Made watches have been produced here for almost 170 years.

Andreas Thommen

Revue and Thommen

Thommen develops and builds all essential components itself. Even the necessary tools and machines are manufactured in-house. In the course of various mergers with other watch manufacturers, Thommen also produces timepieces of the Revue brand in the early 1960s under the umbrella of Manufactures d’Horlogerie Suisses Réunies, or MSR-Holding. As part of an international realignment of the company, the watchmaker was given its current dual name – Revue Thommen – in 1987.

Revival of a traditional brand

As a result of the so-called quartz crisis – manufacturers from the Far East flood the markets with inexpensive digital watches in the 1970s and 80s and displace classic watch manufacturers – Revue Thommen also experiences long-term economic turbulence. In 2001, the Swiss Grovana watch factory acquires the trademark rights for the manufacture and sale of wristwatches under the Revue Thommen flag. The once shining star in the sky of the Swiss watch industry seemed to slowly but surely burn up in the Swiss brand firmament.

But things were to turn out differently. In 2012, Andreas Thommen, a direct descendant of the company’s founder Gédéon Thommen, took over the business and revitalized the traditional family brand. Old and modern models are launched, new markets are opened up. Today, Revue Thommen supplies more than eighty civil aviation companies and military air fleets with on-board watches. Even the paratroopers of the Swiss Army used chronometers and altimeters from the house of Thommen during their missions, thus allowing the traditional Swiss brand to shine again in a new light.

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