In the last century, this legendary maison produced work not only under its own name, but also for some of the most prestigious names in the watch industry. Tucked away in Les Ponts-de-Martel in Switzerland, back in the 1920s Mathey-Tissot started manufacturing simple but elegant watch movements, as well as extraordinary and rare complications, many of which were patented, including some remarkable chronograph calibres and quarter and minute repeaters.
The company spent its formative years producing these complications and supplying them to prestigious watchmakers such as Vacheron & Constantin, Ulysse Nardin, Breguet and Girard-Perregaux, as well as securing certifications and chronometry awards from renowned observatories including Kew and Geneva. In 1914, the family firm was also awarded first prize at the Swiss National Exhibition in Bern.
Mathey-Tissot began designing its own watches, which displayed a unique sense of creativity. One memorable concept was the “Coin Watch” – a coin, split in two, with an extremely thin hand-wound movement sandwiched between the halves. Later, the company turned to supplying watches to the armed forces, including some chronographs of its own design such as the famous Type 20. Finally, Mathey-Tissot developed the highly specialised ability to provide a high level of customisation for its clients, a possibility still available to existing clients of the brand. One of Mathey-Tissot’s most famous clients was Elvis Presley.
Drawing from an immense back catalogue, which dates back to 1880 and stretches to the 1970s, the brand now offers both modern timepieces as well as models inspired by the past. With its vintage dials, integrated lugs and customised designs, Mathey-Tissot’s savoir-faire is preserved and enhanced in its technical, colourful collections, which are always fairly priced. This doesn’t apply to period pieces, which are often snapped up by collectors for eye-popping sums – proof of the enduring prestige of a Mathey-Tissot.
Today, Mathey-Tissot is managed by Alberto Frigerio Bonvicino, who joined the company in 1994. Having occupied many roles within the firm, he is well placed to ensure the company’s independent family spirit lives on.