Armand Nicolet Tramelan
The Maison d'Horlogerie Armand Nicolet was founded in the 1875s by Mr. Armand Nicolet in Tramelan (Swiss village in the Jura mountains between La Chaux-de-Fonds and Biel/Bienne). If watchmaking is already very important in the region, it is also a family history for the Nicolet, as his father was a watchmaker and he himself followed an apprenticeship as a watchmaker before setting up his own business.
As wristwatches did not yet exist at that time, they first made pocket watches with many complications, very elegant with guilloché cases ( an engraving technique) made of precious metals.
In 1939, after the death of the founder, the family business passed quite naturally into the hands of his son Willy Nicolet, who continued to run it. During these years (1930 to 1970), the group's ateliers were among the best in Switzerland for the assembly of movements. (T1)
The T0, T1, T2, T3 system in Swiss watchmaking
The Swiss watchmaking industry has divided the steps necessary to create a mechanical watch into 4 steps:
- T0: The manufacture of components
- T1: Assembly of the movement
- T2: Embedding, installation of the dial and hands
- T3: Putting on the bracelet
Thanks to the skills and knowledge of the master watchmakers in the workshops, the company, which focused particularly on complicated mechanical movements, finished and sold these movements to many of the most prestigious Swiss watch brands.
The watchmaking crisis of the 1970s dealt a severe blow to the family business, which nevertheless managed to remain open, but ended up with a large stock of components.
In 1987, a cooperation was set up with Mr. Rolando Braga, a passionate Italian entrepreneur who was active in the watch industry. This cooperation brought the best of both worlds and revived the interest and success of the brand.
The O.H.M. collection
The OHM (Original Historical Movement) collection is a great idea of the brand and a unique opportunity for all watch lovers. Indeed, they had the brilliant idea of using the large stock of components at their disposal to recreate watches with historical movements.
This exclusive collection is only available in limited editions, as the stock of parts does not allow for indefinite production. With their O.H.M. collection, they have found an exceptional market that delights connoisseurs from all over the world.
The other collections
Armant Nicolet has several collections: AL3, J09-3, JS9-41, JS9-44, M02-4. We will not talk in detail about all the models, but about the three following ones:
AL3: The first collection of Armand Nicolet quartz watches. Two models exist, a chronograph and a model with moon phases.
J09-3: Collection of historical automatic watches with a beautiful retro look and a Guilloché dial. If the model is historical, many improvements have been made (thickness, materials, ...) to better match the contemporary demands.
JS9: The JS9-41 and JS9-44 series are both collections of divers watches.
The divers watches
So-called divers' watches have a lot of characteristics and can be interesting even for those who do not practice this sport. The particularities of this type of model are:
- To be water resistant and to have normally water resistant straps.
- They are usually more robust.
- They have very legible hours and hands.
- Often the numbers and hands are luminescent and therefore glow in the dark.
- They have a rotating ring that allows you to measure the dive time or the duration of the stages. For safety reasons, it only rotates clockwise.
This type of model therefore has many interests other than its aesthetics. They are also ideal for people who want to use their watch in all daily activities or who do not have very good vision.
For more details about the brand or the collections, we invite you to visit their website Armand Nicolet.
Our opinion on the brand
If Armand Nicolet is not particularly successful in promoting his brand, he is really good at producing quality and beautiful watches that reflect the historical style of Swiss watches. Their J09-3 models are reminiscent of the watches that our grandparents wore, but with a very contemporary and modern touch.
The fact that the brand's historic headquarters in Tramelan is less than 30 minutes from Sovogue's offices in Biel/Bienne also encourages us to promote the incomparable know-how and the unique watchmaking heritage of the region.