Just before the dawn of the twentieth century the Geneva watch firm of Colomb & Balmer became successor of interest to J.J. Badollet, another name famously associated with the Swiss city of Geneva for its fine watches. To say that Colomb & Balmer saw this as an opportunity and made the most of it would be an understatement. How do you not make the most of Badollet, a legendary name in Swiss watch making? This was the name of an eminent family of watchmakers deeply rooted in Geneva. Imagine acquiring a company that carried skills and traditions going back three generations. Such was not merely the case with the Badollet family of watchmakers. Theirs went back three centuries!
The family's offspring had established themselves prominently in the three major metropolitan marketplaces by 1800: Paris, London and New York. The Badollet family continued to operate out of Geneva, fulfilling orders for rough movements and wheel trains, having produced ebauches and finished watches for Breguet immediately after the revolution in 1796. J.M. Badollet, who would run the family business until his death in 1854, distinguished himself famously as a maker of fine chronometers and complex watches, further enhancing Badollet name.
By now, the Badollet trademark was recognizable at a glance. And many the eyes there were that glanced upon the lion rampant facing right holding a serpent, enclosed in a shield.
Exhibitions began bringing in awards with a Diploma of Honor at the Vienna Universal Exhibition in 1873, and an award at the high-profile U.S. Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia three years later. Medals came at Paris Universal Exhibition 1878, 1879 and ten years later in 1889, at Grooningen in 1880, and that same year in Graz and Melbourne.
The next decade would see Badollet move into the industrial revolution, employing 250 souls in its Geneva shop and using 120 horsepower motors to power watch making machines. Badollet's project? The Non-Magnetic Watch Co. of America.
In 1897 Colomb & Balmer became the successors of interest to Badollet, continuing their legacy, assuming not just one name, but many names. They continued creating watches as "The Non Magnetic Watch Co." and "Charmille," using names already familiar in the marketplace. In the coming decades their wings spread into other fine brands such as Geneve, Geneva and Etna to name only a few. Until the mid-twentieth century, many of these brand names have been shelved or sadly seen little use or been taken by companies not endowed with the same vision of quality as the original Badollet family.
After seven years of product development in Neuchatel, Switzerland, we are proud to reintroduce this prestigious brand as simply Balmer. This is done with the same spirit of perfection and commitment toward craftsmanship, we believe, as was the case four centuries before our time.
Balmer watches are about timeless watches, if there can be such a thing. These are Swiss-made watches upon which you can behold the time, and then behold the heavens and thank them for such a thing as time and these devices we must wear to make ourselves aware of this illusive linear habitation that remains otherwise immeasurable.