In 1865, Belgian armourer Auguste Lebeau set about making the world’s most sophisticated hunting rifles at his workshop in Liège. By the time Ferdinand Courally took over the company in 1896, its exceptional guns had already won the hearts of the nobility across Europe.
The first watchmakers were often also armourers, the two fields brought together by a common vocabulary and similar production methods. As early as the end of the 16th century, clock makers were producing the mainplates and trigger mechanisms for guns produced in Liège. By the 18th century the town had some 900 watchmakers, including the legendary Hubert Sarton, to whom some attribute the invention of the automatic watch.
Four years after reuniting the two historically-linked trades with the launch of its first watch collection, the Belgian family that owns Lebeau-Courally acquired the prestigious IMH watch and movement manufacturing company based in Le Locle, Switzerland. It now produces the finest Swiss Made watches incorporating 40 different traditional crafts that have been brought together under the same roof.