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  1. I recently bought a watch signed Allaine on the dial, with a Felsa 4004 automatic movement. I soon realised I wasn’t alone in trying to find out about the maker of Allaine watches, but nobody seemed to get beyond the basic information on the Mikrolisk trademark database. I wondered if it would be possible to find out more about the Allaine story. It turns out there is quite a lot out there about Allaine Watch SA, taking in a venture to sell watches in China, a spell as part of the Micro-Time conglomerate and finally, sale to Patek Philippe. If you want to by-pass the gory details, there’s a summary timeline at the end. This is a long post, but I hope it will be interesting to a few people, especially those with Allaine watches. Some of it may already be known, but I wanted it to be as complete as I could make it. If anyone has additional information, please post it here and I’ll fill in the gaps. Likewise, any factual errors, please point them out. Who or What is Achille Barré? The information we can get from Mikrolisk is that Allaine Watch SA was associated in some way with Achille Barré and had registered the trademark “Dania” in Porrentruy, Switzerland on 24th September 1940. The trademark “Allaine” was registered on 22nd March 1941. The company had a number of other trademarks: Allena, Atomic, Rubina (in 1959), Saras Watch, Saras (in 1961) and Veronica. But who, or what, was Achille Barré? The earliest reference I can find is in the journal of La Fédération Horlogère Suisse, which reports on February 28th, 1917: “The Emile Barré-Cie partnership, Horloge Courgenay, is dissolved. The liquidation is carried out by Achille Barre and Joseph Petignat, under the reason Emile Barré & Cie, in liq.” (The original is in French and this is a Google translation. I’m not sure about “reason” in this context, it seems more likely to be “registration” or “partnership”. The original is “la raison”.) Then, on 24th August 1917, the journal carries the registration of “Achille Barré (of Faverois, France) for manufacture of watchmaking in Courgenay (Porrentruy)”, a town in the Jura district of Switzerland. The next appearance is on 25th Nov 1924. - “The Achille Barre house, watchmakers of Courgenay, transferred the headquarters of his business to Porrentruy.” Then a slight detour, as in August 1926, an Adolphe Barré, fabr. d'horlogerie, Porrentruy, begins negotiations with creditors and in July 1928 is declared bankrupt. This doesn’t seem to affect the Achille Barré operation and there is no further news until April 1944, when the journal records: “Achille Barre, at Porrentruy, manufacture of horlogy. The reason is canceled because of the handing over of the business to the reason "Achille Barre et Cie" in Porrentruy. Achille Barre, son of Arthur, of France, at Porrentruy, and Alfred Barre, son of Emile, of Ocourt. in Porrentruy, formed under this name a partnership which began its operations on April 1, 1944 and which took over, as of that date, the assets and liabilities of the house "Achille Barré", Porrentruy, canceled. Watchmaking manufacture. Belfort Street 53.” So this brings us into the period covered by Mikrolisk, with Achille Barré now trading as ‘Achille Barre et Cie’. Connection Between Achille Barré and Allaine Watch SA Is there one? Apart from both companies trading in Porrentruy, I haven’t found anything I would regard as a conclusive link. I did find an advert hidden on the La Clinique Horlogère website for Achille Barré of Porrentruy offering “Montres <<Allaine>> et <<Dania>>”. All that proves, however, is that they were using the names. The question of where the “Allaine” name comes from is easily answered by looking at a map of Porrentruy, where you will see that the River Allaine flows through the town and out towards Alle, a few kilometres north of Courgenay. It’s likely that Achille Barré used the name of the nearby river to brand some of their watches, but what I don’t know is whether the name was transferred legally to a new “Allaine Watch SA”, or whether it was just a coincidence. On Clinique Horlogère I found a list of watchmakers in Porrentruy which shows:- Allaine Watch | Saras Watch | 1959 Allaine Watch | Allaine and other brands | 1966 Barré Achille & Co | Allaine | no date Again, inconclusive and, whatever those dates are, different from Mikrolisk. There is one further piece of circumstantial evidence – in 1964 L’Express Neuchatel stated that Allaine Watch was owned by Mr. Auguste Petignat, Mayor of Miécourt. A Joseph Petignat appears above in the 1917 dissolved partnership Emile Barré-Cie, so it may be the Petignat family is the link. What is there to know about Allaine Watch SA? I found three references to Allaine Watch SA in various trade directories. Swissguide.ch states that the company was founded in 1957, trading from Quai de l'Allaine 2, 2900 Porrentruy, with Yuming Yang (of whom more anon) as “representative”. The road Quai de l'Allaine appears to house small commercial premises by the river. Swissfirms.ch lists “Horlogerie Allaine SA, La Fenatte 20, 2942 Alle”, founded in 1985, manager Marcel Lachat. Alle is a town a short way from Porrentruy. La Fenatte is a short road not covered by Google Streetview, but with only a couple of buildings visible on the satellite map. Kompass gives us Horlogerie Allaine SA, established in 2000 and trading at Route de Miécourt 20, 2942 Alle. Area of activity: Watch subcontracting and any activity in the field of watchmaking. Thierry Stern, Director (of him also more anon). Route de Miécourt houses a number of watch component manufacturing businesses. This gives us a somewhat straight line for Allaine Watch SA from 1957, though it is possible the company didn’t trade uninterrupted. The Clinique Horlogère site has pictures from 1960 of a rather fine Allaine Chronographe sporting a Landeron movement, calibre 149. I think if more Allaine watches like that were turning up on Ebay, the brand’s reputation would be a lot higher. https://www.cliniquehorlogere.ch/en/base-chronos/landeron-hahn-charles-le-landeron/landeron-149.html On 9th October 1964 disaster struck. L’Express Neuchatel reported: “A major robbery was carried out on Wednesday night in Porrentruy, on the premises of the ‘Allaine Watch’ watchmaker, owned by Mr. Auguste Petignat, Mayor of Miécourt.” The thieves made off with four thousand pieces including 150 to 200 gold masters. The haul was valued at 180-200,000 francs and wasn’t adequately covered by insurance. It was, apparently, unusual for so much stock to be stored at the factory, but this was due to a delivery the previous day worth 30,000 Francs. It was thought the contraband would be heading for France. The Micro-Time era and ambitions in China In June 1979, the newspaper L'Impartial reported that: “Micro-Time SA of Tramelan has just appointed a new president in the person of Mr. Guy Cattin … Micro-Time is a watchmaking factory that currently has seventeen affiliated companies, including twelve watchmaking factories and five partner suppliers. Essentially Jurasian, with houses such as: Arly, Dulux, Gigandet Ch, Soprod, Speraà Tramelan (the only member of the Neu-Châtelois society being Nestor Landeron), it has just welcomed four other houses watchmaking: Allaine Watch of Porrentruy; Hebe of Alle; P. V. Matthey of Tramelan; Nitella of Tramelan.” Allaine Watch seems not to have stayed in the Micro-Time hemisphere. On 2nd July 2005, L'Impartial carried a lengthy article on Allaine Watch and its flamboyant owner Yuming Yang. Yang arrived from China in Switzerland in 1980 to study watchmaking and graduated from the IUHEI of Geneva. He then became a consultant for Swatch Group before acquiring New Onivia SA in Porrentruy, a company specializing in manufacturing mineral crystals and crowns for watches. However, his dream was to manufacture his own brand of watches in China. Through a delegation of Chinese businessmen to Jura he met Marcel Lâchât, who had recently become owner of Allaine Watch. In March 2005, Yang became the majority shareholder and president of Allaine Watch SA, with Marcel Lâchât as managing director. A third partner, ShaShengxi, a “powerful Chinese watchmaker” based in Shenzhen, also joined the company. “My ambition, says Yuming Yang, is to launch this autumn a line of mid-range watches by Allaine Watch in the Chinese market. The assembly will be operated at Alle, from elements manufactured locally or acquired from subcontractors in the region.” In the article, Allaine Watch was described as making “watches, assembled at Alle and labeled Swiss”. A later article, about Yuming Yang’s scheme to hold a Miss China contest in Switzerland, said he employed a total of 25 people at Onivia and Allaine. It also reveals he was a Red Guard under Mao and his father-in-law was the former secretary of the Communist Party of Inner Mongolia. Allaine bought by Patek Philippe I don’t know how well Mr Yang did with his venture into selling Swiss watches to China, but in 2008 a press release announced “The Geneva group Patek Philippe strengthens its industrial capacity in the Jura. It has just acquired a majority stake in Horlogerie Allaine in Alle (JU), for an undisclosed amount. New jobs will be created.” The announcement continued: “Specializing in the assembly of movements - mainly canning - it will remain at the service of all its clients in the watchmaking sector. The current managing director, Marcel Lachat, is kept in office. As part of this new partnership, Horlogerie Allaine has purchased a plot of 4000 m2 to build a production area of 1000 m2. Founded in 1985, Horlogerie Allaine currently has 17 employees. The workforce should reach 50 employees by the end of 2010.” Those who have been paying attention will remember Kompass listed Thierry Stern as Director of Allaine Watch. Thierry Stern has been Chairman of Patek Philippe SA since August 2009, taking over the reins from his father. Conclusions There’s enough information here to form a partial time-line for the Allaine Watch company. 1917 - The Emile Barré-Cie partnership, Horloge Courgenay, was dissolved by Achille Barré and Joseph Petignat. Achille Barré came to Courgenay from Faverois, France and registered as a watchmaker with La Fédération Horlogère Suisse. 1924 – The business moved from Courgenay to Porrentruy. 1944 – A new company, Achille Barre et Cie, was registered in Porrentruy. Achille Barre used the trademarks “Allaine” and “Dania”. 1960 – An Allaine Chronographe was produced using a Landeron movement, calibre 149. 1964 – Allaine Watch, owned by Auguste Petignat, Mayor of Miécourt, was the victim of a major robbery and lost stock worth 180-200,000 francs. 1979 – Allaine Watch was acquired by Micro-Time SA of Tramelan, a conglomerate including Gigandet, Nestor Landeron and Matthey. 2005 – Chinese businessman Yuming Yang becomes Chairman of Allaine Watch SA, with Marcel Lâchât, the previous owner, as managing director. Yang’s plan is to sell mid-range Swiss watches into the Chinese market. 2008 – Patek Philippe acquired a majority stake in Allaine Watch, promising new investment in the company. Marcel Lâchât remained managing director. The company now specialised in the assembly and casing of watch movements. There are still lots of gaps, including the conclusive connection between Achille Barré and Allaine Watch. That’s something that requires more research.
  2. Hi, I'm trying to decide on a piece I can wear for everything. This is my first watch and at the age of 31 I am running out of reasons not to buy a watch for myself. I can't find a fiancé which comes with an engagement offering, or parents that will produce a graduation present. So I'm looking at either a more practical Bell & Ross BR02/BR03 Diver or a Blancpain FF (2200-6530-66) or a IWC. Any other suggestions welcome. All I know is I don't want something too recognisable . Would like something a bit different. The Blancpain FF with the black bezel is where I'm currently leaning, thanks in advance. https://ibb.co/Ypw8nL3 https://ibb.co/T0G0X9g https://ibb.co/8BYm5nP https://ibb.co/mGbkqfC https://ibb.co/7kYVg4g A D E E free online picture hosting
  3. Hello Community, I am pretty new member of the watch community so I might be asking silly questions. Apologies if this happens. I recently came in possession of a Bernex Watch (BN 24101). Although I like the watch itself I realize I know very little of the brand and don't really find a way to communicate with the makers (whereabouts, etc...) Does anyone know this brand? Is this a relatively well-known business? As I am relatively neophyte, I feel it might be easy to do an otherwise ill-advised purchase. Many thanks !
  4. Hello, I'm a newby, I have a circa. 1979 Omega Constellation DD 368 0855 with steel & gold bracelet. A small screw or bolt is missing from one of the link joints. I have no idea how to identify it, or find a replacement part. I will attach some Imgur images, the first couple show the watch, the rest show the bracelet and highlight the area where the missing part is. The adjacent links on this side of the bracelet have screw heads, I presume this is the same and just worked loose. I need help in sorting this out, rather than go to an Omega shop and be stared at. I have a small collection of NOS 1970s Omega watches, this is my hands down favourite. It is so 70s but also has the proportions of an Apple watch. All help gratefully received!
  5. Hi, am struggling to choose the ap roo titanium or the Rolex Daytona white gold with red bits, maybe here can help me decides which one looks better and will last longer, keep in mine I already have the Daytona ss panda, and the new Daytona white gold with oysterflex, I was going to buy the ap but I just saw that Daytona preowned and I can get it out of my head it looks fabolous but the ap do as well
  6. Subo


    Hi there. Looking for some advice from ones more knowledgeable than myself. I recently turned 30 and have threatened treating myself to a decent timepiece for years. But now it comes to buying one I'm struggling to decide. I ideally want one that won't absolutely haemorrhage money once purchased and maybe even one for a sound investment for the future. So looking for some suggestions or even warnings of what to avoid. Willing to push upto 6k mark at the very most at the time being. For a bit of context the watches I like at the moment are:- Bretling Superocean Heritage II Rolex GMT master, black/blue bezel Omega speedmaster Omega Seamaster planet ocean 600m Open to any suggestions or advice.
  7. Hi there can anyone help me on how to remove the movement of a pocket watch from the case.I have retired and have taken up tinkering with watches as a hobby and I have a silver pocket watch that appears to have a broken mainspring as you can keep winding and it doesn't store any power.Also when releasing the click there is no power in the mainspring barrel.I cannot see any case screws or anything that holds the movement into the case and I need to remove the movement to replace the mainspring any help would be great.Many thanks,Sethnettles.
  8. A very good morning to you. I apologise if I am starting this thread in the wrong place, but I am after some help please. I am going through my brothers old watches, and came across a watch that is a "Tag Heuer" (I say that loosely as I am not sure if it is a fake or genuine) Where is the best place to get it looked at to see if it is a genuine Monaco watch or another fake that seems to have been made. I appreciate your advice I do have pictures I have just taken but not sure how to upload them here
  9. Can you tell me what type of strap this is with the screws, and if you can give me some products similar so I can keep the original buckle , This is a Buler Alpha performance, very difficult to find because it is one of the last watches the company made before it closed. For more info DM I cant find the warranty card or manual etc. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/16GmPTCN-8PkEZpMbD1TAgOKdFCQwaLPR?usp=sharing
  10. hi there I've been a watch collector (and seller) for a good few years now and read lots of your posts with interest. Now I'm going to ask for some of your fantastic knowledge. I be just bought a 1940/50 Ogivalin rose gold with a good looking movement but I know nothing about them. I've seen a few before and they all looked like quality pieces. If you can enlighten me I'd be grateful.
  11. Just pinged two of my watch back screws while changing the battery on my Raymond Weil 9826-2 dress watch. The slotted screw heads are approx 1.5 mm dia. Far to tiny for me to attempt to measure with my vernier gauge. I have had the watch for nearly tthirty years, and changed the battery many times without mishap, I must be getting old. Does any one know the correct size. Thankyou.
  12. I have a North Flag on bracelet. Does anyone know where I can purchase the leather strap? Thank you.
  13. Hi Everyone, brand new to the forums, Im trying find any information on this Roamer regarding model and age. The only thing that I know for sure regarding age is my Grandfather had it in 1978. Any help would be much appreciated.
  14. I need to find a couple links for my Chanel 33mm ceramic watch band.. Does anyone have any to sell?
  15. I’ve bought an Omega Seamaster st.166.0174 cal.1022, setting the date was fine but when I tried setting the time the hands moved at first and then the crown started slipping and I could hear a clicking noise. I’ve had it apart and looked at the keyless works and everything seems to be in order, has anyone experienced the same problem or have any idea what’s up with it?
  16. Hello everyone! Long time no see! I have been away from the forum for ages and thought this wee Rollie I picked up today was a great excuse to join back in. It's a 15 jewel "Standard Quality" Rolex movement in a Stainex case which seems to fit but the crown looks much newer. The NATO is my own. What do you all think? http://imgur.com/Ft5BPEK http://imgur.com/PZkp1rA http://imgur.com/uVb0Z1M
  17. Having just about recovered from finding the cost of watch servicing at Omega can anyone recommend a reliable mechanical watch reparer/servicer please. Also, now that Paul Wirdnam appears to be no longer available who is the go to person for Omega f300 work? Many thanks in anticipation
  18. Hi, has anyone done any business with Chronoexpert?
  19. HI All, I love watches and love discovering new marques. I really woudl like a new (mechanical if possible), - fairly cheap, panda chrono. Any options greatly received!
  20. I'm looking at getting my first watch and just wanted some opinions. I'm quite young which is why Gucci is an appealing brand to me, especially as friends who know less about watches will recognise it. I know there are brands at a similar price range such as Longines, but I would rather save these for later watches if possible. This watch is at the upper end of Gucci and I can get it for around £1300 new. It is Swiss made with automatic movement and a silver guilloché dial. My main question is - is this still a good quality watch of good materials and craftsmanship so that I'm not just paying for the brand? Is it a good purchase for the money as a first watch given my age? https://www.gucci.com/uk/en_gb/pr/jewelry-watches/watches/for-men/eryx-watch-40mm-p-532538I16001402?position=2&listName=ProductGrid&categoryPath=Jewelry-Watches/Watches/For-Men
  21. Hi, Please can someone help with reassembly of the clicker and more importantly the spring. Iam at a loss as to how the spring is fitted and how you do it without losing it??.
  22. Hi! First of all, I'm new to this forum, so this is my first post. Recently I wanted to get a new watch, so started exploring online stores, forums and YouTube channels dedicated to watches, found out that Seiko 5 would be the best choice in this price group under 100 bucks (Problem is that I couldn't find the Seiko with delivery from Europe, ones from Asia would take several weeks). I also really liked the Luch designs (downside is that they are manual-winding) and Vostok Amphibia (I heard that they just don't keep the time too well). What are some other solid pieces you could recommend me getting under 100$? Mechanical movement would be the main priority, however some decent quartz is ok too, Also 'Swiss made' or 'Japanese made' on the dial would be also nice.
  23. Hi All I have recently inherited a Badollet pocket watch and I am wondering what approximate age it is. (For some reason, the forum is not allowing me to upload pictures.) It Has a Badollet movement and the case has LFB stamp on it with the code i038i stamped bust below it. The case is extremely ornately designed with a very intricate face and it has a key for which to wind it up. It looks like it is silver plated. Does anyone by any chance know what approximate age and value this is? Unfortunately, it is missing the minute hand and the glass that is supposed to cover the face. Thank You Matt
  24. Hello guys, I am new to vintage watches and I would like to get one. Can anyone tell me is this a good buy, how much is it worth and is it original? It is allegedly in working condition, is it worth fixing it and making it nice? Thank you!
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