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Besançon, capital of time

The traditional home of French clock-making, Besançon is continuing its avant-garde and innovative transformation into a leading-edge domain, in which it has excelled for more than 200 years.

A unique know-how which is perpetuated generation after generation, combining the flagship technological changes of each period. Today, the capital retains a certain power of attraction thanks to a synergy of competencies based around clock-making. And it is not a coincidence that prestigious brands set up or develop in the capital of Franche-Comté to develop their projects and invent the watches of tomorrow.

Inspiration from excellence

Today, numerous major clock-making brands have found in Besançon the ideal backdrop for their development.

BENJAMIN MULLER

A designer, developer and watchmaker, this is how this Besançon business describes itself. The M. Benjamin brand offers exclusive watches that combine the ultimate in mechanical excellence, beauty of shapes and quality of materials. A partnership with the prestigious American brand Jacob&Co is a true leap in terms of volume and reputation for Benjamin Muller, who is already working on new concepts.

www.muller-benjamin.com

BREITLING

In 1995, the prestigious Swiss brand selected Besançon to set up its European after sales service, together with a training centre for future Breitling watchmakers. In 2012, the company confirmed its installation by building an ultramodern facility on the TEMIS technology centre.

www.breitling.com

BENJAMIN MULLER

A designer, developer and watchmaker, this is how this Besançon business describes itself. The M. Benjamin brand offers exclusive watches that combine the ultimate in mechanical excellence, beauty of shapes and quality of materials. A partnership with the prestigious American brand Jacob&Co is a true leap in terms of volume and reputation for Benjamin Muller, who is already working on new concepts.

www.muller-benjamin.com

DODANE

Since 1857, Dodane has been the official supplier of the General Staff of the French Air Force and of numerous pilots in the world. Now it is developing a chronograph intended for civilians.

www.dodane1857.fr

FESTINA

Established since 2000 in Besançon, the French distribution subsidiary of the Spanish brand sells nearly 1 million watches each year! The official timekeeper of the Tour de France, Festina has also developed its European after-sales service in the capital of French watchmaking.

www.festina.com

FESTINA

Established since 2000 in Besançon, the French distribution subsidiary of the Spanish brand sells nearly 1 million watches each year! The official timekeeper of the Tour de France, Festina has also developed its European after-sales service in the capital of French watchmaking.

www.festina.com

LES ATELIERS BRUNO LAVILLE

After several years of activity in Swiss watchmaking, Bruno Laville put its experience and know-how at the service of leading brands. He has created a workshop for the development and manufacture of collections, and an after-sales and reconditioning service adopted by the most prestigious Swiss brands.

LES ATELIERS BRUNO LAVILLE

After several years of activity in Swiss watchmaking, Bruno Laville put its experience and know-how at the service of leading brands. He has created a workshop for the development and manufacture of collections, and an after-sales and reconditioning service adopted by the most prestigious Swiss brands.

LES ATELIERS L. LEROY

In 2010, Leroy came back to basics in Besançon, with two men- Miguel Rodriguez, owner of Festina and William Tripet, a Swiss designer. Skills and talents: Besançon has all it takes to spread the brand from France.

VUILLEMIN WATCH FACTORY

The last French factory to perpetuate the expertise of the MAYET brothers from Morbier in the Jura, who in 1660 invented and perfected the so-called "cage-iron" mechanical clock movement.

The Vuillemin factory perpetuates the tradition and develops new collections of clocks.

Rustling ticking remains the same, but the timepiece dresses in new colours, and takes on new clothes.

www.seiko.fr

MATY

Established more than 60 years ago in Besançon, the French specialist in distance selling of watches and jewellery has more than 600 employees specialising in the manufacture, expertise, service, and marketing of more than 4,000 different products!

www.maty.com

MULLER

A designer, developer and manufacturer of watches and precious jewellery, Jean Muller has chosen to put his talent to the service of prestigious names in Swiss watchmaking.

www.jean-muller.com

SEIKO

Seiko Watch Corporation chose Besançon more than 15 years ago. The headquarters of Seiko France ensures the marketing and distribution of Seiko, Pulsar and Lotus watches and clocks, as well as part of the creation of Pulsar watches...

www.seiko.fr

SMB

Philippe Bérard now bets on more upscale collections. The company has partnered with the brand Certus Paris, and several designs have already been developed. The company relies on the reputation of France, inspired by great Paris monuments.

www.go-watches.com
www.certusparis.com

SMB

Philippe Bérard now bets on more upscale collections. The company has partnered with the brand Certus Paris, and several designs have already been developed. The company relies on the reputation of France, inspired by great Paris monuments.

www.go-watches.com
www.certusparis.com

SEIKO

Seiko Watch Corporation chose Besançon more than 15 years ago. The headquarters of Seiko France ensures the marketing and distribution of Seiko, Pulsar and Lotus watches and clocks, as well as part of the creation of Pulsar watches...

www.seiko.fr

WEAL'S CONCEPT

Manufacturer and creator of contemporary Comté clocks, Philippe Labru clearly states his attachment to the city of Besançon with its Latin crest. Some monumental creations: two clocks fixed on the Museum of Time and a six-ton model which marks the time at the new Besançon – Franche-Comté TGV station.

www.utinam.fr


At the heart of French clock making

A few miles from Besançon, on the heights of the Jura, the clock-making tradition remains dynamic.

The jewels of the French clock-making business are therefore spread over a few kilometres.

  • The Emile Péquignet de Morteau firm has just opened a store in Besançon
  • The Ambre brand designs and manufactures under Zadig & Voltaire licence, Younger and Bresson woman and Yema, Prima Classe watches.
  • Charquemont is home to the Saint-Honoré (125 years old) and Héberlin brand
  • In Maîche, the Christian Bernard group has been entrusted with the distribution of Cacharel and Replay watches
  • And lastly in Fins… the TWC Clyda group designs models with the Cerrutti, Christian Lacroix, Ted Lapidus and Thierry Mugler brands

A solid network of subcontractors

They work with the greatest discretion, but their know-how is much valued by Swiss watchmakers and the major brands of the Place Vendôme. In Besançon and in the area around the regional capital, the manufacturers of components have followed the ups and downs of world clock-making and have been able to adapt. They still manufacture here cases, bracelets, leather or metal, blanks for movements, crowns, glass faces, etc.

CHEVAL FRERES GROUPE IMI

A watchmaking subcontractor since 1848, Cheval Frères has diversified its production, from parts of movements of which it is a specialist, to winder crowns to buttons. Its expertise: high-end watchmaking and luxury items.

www.groupe-imi.fr

CREATECH

Established in 1999, this innovative company has switched from the design to the manufacture of watch components for Swiss and French brands. Equipped with modern machinery, it produces with extreme precision, for small, medium or large series, links, prototypes or parts of boxes, buttons, steel, titanium, and gold bezels.

www.createch-developpement.fr

FRALSEN

A subsidiary of TIMEX, the company designs and manufactures gears, wheels, springs and plates on the site of the old Kelton factory.

REPARALUX

Know-how handed down from father to son for four generations. A specialist of technical products, well known on the Place Vendôme, the company conducts highly delicate, à la carte work, from development to watch assembly, to logistics and to after-sales service.

www.reparalux.com

SIBRA

Established in 1991 by Gerard Simon, the company specializes in the production of leather bracelets for the upscale watch market.

www.sibra.biz

In the immediate vicinity of Besançon, several well-known businesses are developing in subcontracting for the clock making industry.

  • In Avoudrey, SIS produces every month almost 10,000 leather bracelets for the large Swiss and international groups
  • In Vercel, FM Industries manufactures cases and metallic bracelets but has also diversified into top of the range leather goods!
  • Again in clock-making country, ISA France, BERTHET and VERLUX manufacture with great precision movement blanks, complicated mechanisms or watch glasses
  • A genuine network of excellence and precision, from which one can also cite: VUILLEMIN-REGNIER, MB WATCHES, MOUCHES, Manufacture JEAN ROUSSEAU, SILAQUE, DECODOL, BARON SAS, AVIPO SAS, EDITOR CONCEPT, MUNNIER FRERES, COURTET HORLOGERIE, CRD, JEAN-LOUIS FRESARD, Groupe TWC CLYDA, JEAN MOREL, GERARD MIDEZ, NOVAT’HEURE, SLAVA PRECISION, SM 25, THEMATIK SYSTEM…

Adapted training courses

Learning nourishes excellence - A training course in "luxury and precision" engineering

'ENSMM', the Higher National School for Mechanics and Micro-techniques

The National School of Mechanical and Micro-techniques of Besançon (ENSMM) proposes, in collaboration with the Centre for Training of Apprentices for Industry (CFAI) Sud Franche-Comté, the Union of Metallurgical Industries and Trades (UIMM) and the Regional Institute for Techniques for Engineers in Industry (ITII), a training course by apprenticeship delivering the diploma of engineer, specialising in Microtechniques and Design in the luxury and precision market.

FOR MORE DETAILS: WWW.ENS2M.FR

The AFPA provides training for the clock-making trades

The AFPA proposes four training courses in the area of clock-making Two modules are dedicated to the trade of clock repairs and two others to that of clock technicians.

FOR MORE DETAILS: WWW.FRANCHE-COMTE.AFPA.FR

The Jules Haag lycée, a specialist in microtechniques

The Jules Haag high school in Besançon offers several training courses in microtechniques related directly to clock making, with in first position the Baccalauréat STI Microtechniques, then the BTS CIM (Design and Industrialisation in Microtechniques) and MAI (Industrial Mechanics and Automation).

FOR MORE DETAILS: WWW.LYCEE-JULESHAAG.FR

The Edgar Faure lycée, speciality clock-making

Also highly reputed in the clock-making world, the Edgar Faure high school in Morteau is at the head of a network of schools offering training in clock-making since 2008. Its clock-making course includes a CAP (Certificate of Professional Aptitude), a Qualification in Art Trades ('BMA') and a Diploma in Art Trades ('DMA'). A partnership with the GRETA (Grouping of Public Establishments) of the Haut-Doubs, also enables the training of adults with the key advantage being the obtaining of a cross-border CAP.

FOR MORE DETAILS: WWW.LYCEE-MORTEAU.ORG


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Key figures

Economic area of 230,000 inhabitants

82 600 salaried jobs

A pool of 10 200 businesses and institutions

75 hectares of activity spaces immediately available for businesses

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