G.Gagnebin & Cie
THE INFLUENCE OF THE GAGNEBIN
One will never too much tell the scientific and artistic influence, which was illustrated in many domains, that the family Gagnebin have had. From the beginning of the 18th century, some of its members open the first chapter of a new adventure intimately linked to that of watchmaking. In 1718, Sir Gagnebin commits himself – as testified by a document kept in the archives of the Canton of Neuchâtel – to teach the craft of watchmaking to Abraham Favre. His son became himself a watchmaker in 1737 and later, the company will be named Abraham Favre & Fils.
The works in physics and mechanics of Daniel Gagnebin, brother of Abraham the naturalist, highly contributes to the progress realized in watchmaking art. His initial medical training will not prevent him from extending his action beyond his first profession : He will invent several very precise machines intended for the manufacturing of pendulums. The history also remembers that he helped Jaquet Droz in the making of his automatons.
A FAMILY OF WATCHMAKERS
The following generations strive in an even directer way to the evolution of watchmaking. Some are merchants, others study the specific aspects of watchmaking art. Among them, we can especially mention Frédéric-Guillaume Gagnebin, born in 1744, who went to Paris in order to study the theory and manufacturing of spirals for watches and becomes a talented chronometers maker, François-Louis Gagnebin, born in 1820, founder and director of the watchmaking factory Gagnebin & Cie in Saint-Imier and Louis Gagnebin, born in 1847, director of the watch factory Longines in Saint-Imier.
The father of the founder of G.Gagnebin & Cie, Numa Gagnebin, also creates a watchmaking factory that he names «Les Fils de Numa Gagnebin».
These few examples express the close link between the Gagnebin and watchmaking art. Way more than a simple professional activity, watchmaking has become a real passion for this family, in the heart of which motivation and necessity to advance the traditional art of their region have never been faulted.
The family motto « from good to better » thus perfectly corresponds to the conquering state of mind that inhabits, since long, the family Gagnebin.