History of Haldimann

written by YWH team 1 January 2016
History of Haldimann

History of Haldimann
Founded: 1642 (as in: can be traced back to)
Founding place: Horben, Switzerland
Founded by: Ulrich Haldimann and Hans Haldimann
Current headquarters: Thun, Switzerland
Owned by: privately held
Official name: Haldimann Horology

The history of Haldimann goes back to the 17th century. The brand is the number two on the list of oldest watch brands in the world, so far. And the cool thing is, they still exist, and they are still run by a Haldimann. Another cool thing is that they don’t claim they were established in 1642, but say that their company has traces that go back to 1642. They can proof that as their pedigree is quite impressive.

It starts in 1374 with a man called Heinrich Haldemann, member of the council of Winterthur in Switzerland. Genealogical research leads to a record in the register of Winterthur from 1374 with this name. He can be assumed as the progenitor of the Haldimann family that still runs the company.

A purchase agreement from the clockmakers Haldimann

From Heinrich Haldimann the pedigree leads to father and son Ulrich and Hans Haldimann, clockmakers in Horben, Switzerland. Researchers found a purchase agreement, or bill of sale, from 1642 where they are selling a clock, we assume. This agreement still exists. There is also a clock, not the one from this sale, in the Historical Museum of Bern, Switzerland, from 1650 which might have been made by Hans Haldimann.

We make a big step in time to 1964 when Beat Haldimann is born in Oberdiessbach Emmental, Canton of Bern, Switzerland. He is a descendant of the first Haldimann and in 1991 he founds Haldimann Horlogery. And still leads the company today.

Is Haldimann from 1642 or 1991?

We could not find traces of a watch company called Haldimann existing before 1991, and directly connected to Heinrich Haldimann. However, in the old days it was quite common that clockmakers and watchmakers just put their names on a clock or watch, without having an officially registered company. Moreover, most of the time their names were not even on the dial of a clock or watch, but somewhere deep inside the mechanism.

Also, a lot of old clocks and watches from the old days don’t even have a name on or in it. People, potential buyers, specialists, and lovers from that era could just recognize ‘the hand’ of the clockmaker or watchmaker. By the design and building style, or the style of the mechanism and mechanical construction.

So, Haldimann as an official registered brand is not from 1642, but the first traceable Haldimann clock or watch related product was definitely sold in that year. And you can still find clocks and table or pocket watches from (a) Haldimann between the 1700s and 1900s in museums and watch collections. Which underlines the rich history of Haldimann that surely started in 1642. Or maybe even earlier…

The history of Haldimann:

1374 – Person with the name Heinrich Haldimann found in register of Winterthur
1642 – Father and son Ulrich and Hans Haldimann, clockmakers from Horden, made a bill of sale
1964 – Beat Haldimann is born
1991 – Beat Haldimann founds Haldimann Horlogery

Beat Haldimann has created a book with his pedigree, some old documents (including the purchase agreement from 1642) and photos of old Haldimann clocks and watches. Also all models since 1991 are documented. You can download the book on the website of Haldimann or via the link here.

The full list of oldest watch brands in the world might interest you…