150 years of history: ready for new challenges

No accomplishment in art or craft is possible without drawing from tradition - whether that be in perpetuating conventions or seeking to renew them. Schweizer Développement’s expertise in design and materials has its historical origins in a bookbinding and «gainerie» (sheath or case making) workshop founded in Le Locle by Swiss-German craftsman Samuel Schweizer in 1869. Schweizer had come to the Jura Neuchâtelois region to take part in the local boom in watch making and he met with success. In 1899 his son, Emile Schweizer, assumed responsibility for a branch office in the neighbouring town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, and partnered with Edouard Schoepf as an associate in 1909.

Almost seventy years later, in 1975, the founders’ descendants passed the company to Roger Lebet and his associate Pierre-Antoine Nardin. Lebet’s son, Philippe Lebet, joined the company in 1985 as a third associate, followed by Jean Blanc, who joined in 1990 and became an associate in 1992. Today Philippe Lebet and Jean Blanc direct the company from its modern day headquarters in a Le Locle factory that was built in 1993. The factory is symbolic of the directors’ moderate yet proactive management style, an approach that has led to the extension of more than 150 years of history and expertise. In recent years, this continuation has perfectly combined with new and well-identified challenges taken on by the company, officially established in 2012 as Schweizer Développement SA.