The story of Armand Nicolet begins around 1875 in Tramelan, Switzerland, a little town in the Bernese Jura. Armand Nicolet, son of a watchmaker, after a brilliant apprenticeship set up his “Atelier d’Horlogerie”. In 1902 he affirmed his technical maturity by producing a pocket watch with “Guilloché” rose gold case, enamel dial, single button chronographic function, complete calendar, repeating hours, quarter hours and minutes. When he died in 1939, his son Willy assumed the reins of the family enterprise and developed it to be one of the most important production facilities in the region. During the 1970s and 1980s, the entire Swiss watch industry entered difficult times, due to the influx of quartz timekeeping, a period known as the quartz crisis.
Throughout these years, many storied Swiss watchmakers closed their doors, and the industry dramatically shrunk in size, due to its reliance on mechanical movements and its slow adoption of quartz technology. Armand Nicolet did not fold during these difficult times, and kept the doors open by working with some of the most important companies in the industry, thanks to the reputation they had built up as an excellent watchmaker. However, they were left with a large stock of mechanical movements and no one to assemble them for. In 1987 Willy Nicolet met by chance Mr. Rolando Braga, an Italian entrepreneur active in the watch field. The encounter proved to be strategic and was the beginning of the cooperation between the extraordinary Swiss technical skills and Italian creativity.
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