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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 

Dubey Schaldenbrand

Dubey Schaldenbrand watchesGeorges Dubey, teacher at the La Chaux-de-Fonds Watchmaking School, developed a simple and ingenious device called the Index Mobile in the early 1940s. It performed the functions of the split-seconds chronograph by linking the twin chronograph hands with a coiled spring.

In 1946, Georges Dubey and fellow watchmaker René Schaldenbrand officially founded the company to exploit the Index Mobile and to expand the line of watches.

The Index Mobile was patented worldwide in 1947-48 and was well-received, but its commercial success was limited. In the ensuing two decades, from 1950-1970, watch production reached a peak of around 2,000 pieces a year—mainly automatics and chronographs for men and women.

In 1960, Cinette Robert, aged 16, joined a local watch-supplies company as a business apprentice. Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, the series production of watches ceased as Dubey & Schaldenbrand declined to convert to quartz. Instead, the company concentrated on specialized watchmaking—restoring antique watches and building sophisticated pieces such as minute repeaters and tourbillons. In 1985 Robert began collecting old watch movements and became an independent dealer.

Georges Dubey finished his 17th tourbillon pocket watch in 1990 and upon his retirement in 1995, Robert acquired Dubey &
Schaldenbrand with the aim of selling high-quality watches worldwide. Today, more than 5,000 watches are exported to 30 countries.

Dubey & Schaldenbrand, headquartered in the village of Les Ponts-de-Martel in the Jura foothills, maintains its workshops in nearby Les Brenets. The brand specializes in dressy watches—with retro-inspired cases that are fashionable today.

Typical of this styling is the Vintage Caprice model with an Art Nouveau dial, up/down power-reserve indicator and large date.


Almost all of the watches are automatic and many have practical complications—calendars, large dates, power-reserve indicators, time zones. Most of the movements are ETA or Valjoux calibers, but the company also issues limited editions housing classic movements that are no longer in production.

Some movements are transformed with gilt and engraved openwork, blued screws and burnished steel; others are COSC-certified chronometers.

Dubey & Schaldenbrand watches have all the attributes of value—fine workmanship, distinctive styling and rarity.

The basic version of the Aerodyn model is enhanced with diamond and gemstone accents, and the Gran’Chrono Astro chronograph features a full calendar with moonphase indicator.

Dubey & Schaldenbrand watches are popular in Asia and Europe, which together account for 80 percent of production. The other 20 percent of the watches are sold primarily in the United States. Hong Kong and New York are Dubey & Schaldenbrand’s biggest city markets.

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