22. oktober 2016

The history of the Elix watch brand

Not much has been written on the net about Elix, an old, french watch brand. Luckily I found this very interesting article with a lot of facts.
Article about Mougin Piquard and their watch brand Elix.
Click here to open a pdf with the article in french and a Google translation to english.

The Mougin-family began the production of watches under the brand name "Elix" in 1852 in Besancon in France. Besancon is just near the border to Switzerland and home to some of the most wellknown french watch brands, like Lip (est. 1800), Yema (est. 1948) and Maty (est. 1952).

In 1927 the company were taken over by Ernest Mougin and Paul Piquard. It is said that they continued the production of Elix watches and also used their own names "Mougin Piquard". I have however not been able to find any vintage watches bearing their names.
Elix pocket watch, probably from the 50s
Elix watch from the 60s

Elix diver from the 60s
Looks very much like a 36mm Super Compressor.
From another angle it seems to have crosshatched crowns.
At some point the next generation has taken over and the management were Jean-François Piquard, President and CEO, Jean-Claude Mougin, CEO, and Philippe Piquard, Commercial Director.

Mougin Piquard "Elix" ad from 1975.
Each watch model had an unique number.
In 1968 they produced 30 000 watches per year. In 1975 they moved to a new, larger location in Besancon and had opened an office in Paris.

The sales increased and in 1979 the production had reached 110 000 watches. Mougin Piquard S.A. employed 40 people, participated in the la Foire de Bâle (now Baselworld) and issued an annual catalog. It must have been happy and prosperous times.
The factory at 1, rue des Cras, Besancon. As seen in 2015.
The shop in Paris at 24, rue Pastourelle. As seen in 2009.
Promotional item, Elix watch brand
Elix chronograph from the 70s
One watch maker that worked for Mougin Piquard in 1970s tells that it was easy to get a job at one or another factory in Besancon, but in 1980 it was all over and the quartz revolution changed everything.

According to Mikrolisk a new company "Mougin & Piquard SA" were registred in Bienne in Switzerland in november 1980. From then on the brand "Elix" seems to have disappeared and a lot of "Mougin Piquard" watches with quartz movements can be found.
Mougin Piquard quartz watch from the 80s
Mougin & Piquard still exists and sells "vintage-inspired timepieces perfected with a century of watchmaking expertise"... The new Mougin & Piquard is located in Bienne at the same address as - and probably owned by - Roventa-Henex, makers of private labels watches.

Thanks to these sources:


8 kommentarer:

  1. Wow. Very nice article and thank you very much for the information. I never knew that Elix has such a long history and is more than 150 years old.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Really appreciated.

  2. A fantastic look at the history of these beautiful watches. Thank you for sharing your passion.

    1. Hi Andrew. Thank you VERY much for your comment.

  3. Hi! I've got mechanical manual Mougin Piquard from early 80's, can send quality photos if it will be useful for your great blog.

  4. I just love this blog. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  5. I was looking for some information on the golden watches of my deceased mother-in-law. These watches laid for many years in a cupboard. Whilst cleaning out the cupboard I wanted to know they were still in working order or I should throw them away. It turned out that both are mechanical watches, probably from the fifties or sixties and so I wanted to know more about it's history and found your interesting and very informative blog. Thanks!

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