1970's Auguste Reymond Braille Watch In 18kt Gold

By Satoshi Kodama
published on April 3rd 2015

Our love of fine timepieces starts with a lesser known Swiss pioneer in the industry, Auguste Reymond, whom many will not recall immediately, however may see his name connected with the famed Valjoux watch movement. In 1898, Reymond at twenty-six, rented a small apartment in Tramelan hired a handful of watch-makers to start this unique watch company, which later will become integral to the growth of the Swiss watch industry.

One key and exciting event in the history of Swiss watches is when Mr. Reymond purchased ébauche company "Val de Joux Watch Co" in Les Bioux in the Valley de Joux to produce his own movements. After his move of operations to Tramelan, he sold it in 1910 to "Reymond Frères SA", which becomes in 1929 "Valjoux SA", the famous producer of what we now prize as the Valjoux chronograph movement, and various iconic Valjoux movements. Valjoux is now part of the Swatch Group where its movements can be found in high end watches such as Omega, Longines, Tag Heuer, Breitling.

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In the 1920's, The Auguste Reymond Brand, later branched into ARSA and UNITY watches, after recieving praises worldwide from 1910, gold medals at the Brussels World Exposition for the quality of his watches. And in 1914, A. Reymond SA received another gold medal at the Swiss national exposition. The brand reached popularity into the 20's and the firm flourished.

In a rather unique and bold move in the Swiss watch industry, Auguste Reymond decided to create a line of Braille and Low Vision watches, and since 1970 has been the leading Swiss manufacturer for this specialty, distributing under the name ARSA all over the world, in cooperation with all major associations dedicated to the support of the visually impaired.

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Its amazing.. To behold one of our own Auguste Reymond Braile Watch's, owned by our publisher. The 18kt Gold plating is uniqely rich in colour. The unique centre pin located in the crown's centre, pop's open the glass and bezel. i can imagine with over 40 years of use now, how remarkable the shape of this watch is. Each opening of the glass is energetic, each closing is accompanied by a crisp snap into place. The inside of the dial, where a person can touch the Braille is in great condition, and lends even more respect to the watch maker in just how tough this watch is made to wear and function, from opening the glass, pressing into the dial, Braille and hands for many times a day. And it works perfectly to this day. Its remarkable how durable this watch has been made, specifically for this purpose, to be pressed over and over without damage to the hands and movement inside. An incredible feat of quality and engineering. What has impressed our staff even more after showing this watch around at the office, is how much attention has been given to its beautiful finish, design, and possibly a Valjoux Movement, into a watch that some watchmakers may consider to be more for a utillitarian purpose, perhaps for a segment of the population that wouldn't appreciate its luxury aspects. Bravo to Auguste Reymond for giving the visually impaired life's finest, the finest gold plating, the finest craftsmanship, and the finest movement.