It takes more than merely maintaining excellence and traditional know-how to successfully perpetuate the values of an artisan and industrial era that begin in 1869… We see it as our duty to question our traditions so that we may continuously adapt and respond to the evolving needs of new generations. Better still, we seek to anticipate those needs by acting responsively and proactively, an essential part of our high quality and environmentally friendly «Swiss Made» promise.
No accomplishment in art or craft is possible without drawing from tradition – whether that be in perpetuating conventions or seeking to renew them. Schweizer Développement’s expertise in design and materials has its historical origins in a bookbinding and «gainerie» (sheath or case making) workshop founded in Le Locle by Swiss-German craftsman Samuel Schweizer in 1869. Schweizer had come to the Jura Neuchâtelois region to take part in the local boom in watch making and he met with success. In 1899 his son, Emile Schweizer, assumed responsibility for a branch office in the neighbouring town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, and partnered with Edouard Schoepf as an associate in 1909.
Almost seventy years later, in 1975, the founders’ descendants passed the company to Roger Lebet and his associate Pierre-Antoine Nardin. Lebet’s son, Philippe Lebet, joined the company in 1985 as a third associate, followed by Jean Blanc, who joined in 1990 and became an associate in 1992. Today Philippe Lebet and Jean Blanc direct the company from its modern day headquarters in a Le Locle factory that was built in 1993. The factory is symbolic of the directors’ moderate yet proactive management style, an approach that has led to the extension of more than 150 years of history and expertise. In recent years, this continuation has perfectly combined with new and well-identified challenges taken on by the company, officially established in 2012 as Schweizer Développement SA.
Created before Mr. Bell invented the telephone and Mr. Edison the light bulb, the company has grown, has weathered wars and economic crises, has been able to adapt to its environment to be ready to face the challenges of tomorrow. It has been run by just two families since its inception, who have teamed up with partners over time.
The pursuit of quality and inventiveness have been part of the company’s DNA since its inception.
150 years of history inevitably leads to a distinct understanding of time and durability, but also of fragility.
In this day and age, fragility has become apparent not only in our way of life, but also in our global environment and natural resources. We believe that all of us, as individuals and as companies, are responsible for doing our part to ensure sustainability. In this sense, Schweizer Développement is fully aligned with the highest of international standards and all of our final products pass through demanding multi-certification processes. In accordance with this, our leathers are exclusively sourced from ratified American and European farms, our wood comes solely from certified operations and all of our components are REACH certified. Additionally, as we care greatly about the health of our staff, we exclusively use solvent-free, water-based glues.