Thanks to its history and dynamism, La Chaux-de-Fonds is now an important and attractive industrial center, particularly in the watch industry. That's the reason why it is often called the Watchmaking City.

It is here that G&F Châtelain SA was founded, in 1947. Since then, its existence is characterized by a remarkable development.

 

Family tradition ...

Having grown and worked in the polishing workshop of gold parts held by their mother in the family house, brothers George and Francis Châtelain decide to develop their activities and give a new impulse : they inscribe their company in the commercial register and settle in independent workshops.

As precursors, they were among the firsts to settle in this watchmaker city.

Beginning with the polishing of bracelets' loops and lapping of gold and steel cases, G&F Châtelain SA has gradually become a recognized main contractor for the manufacture of complete watches. It currently offers nearly 100 different jobs dedicated to watchmaking and jewelery and has over 350 employees.

In 1993, the family Châtelain wished to pass their legacy to another society who shares their entrepreneurial values. Today, G&F Châtelain is always an independent house and claims a position as a major actor in the luxury industry.

1936 : Creation of a polishing workshop of watchcase by Blanche Châtelain Degoumois. Halt of activities in 1939 during World War II.

1947 : Restart of activities by Ms. Châtelain in collaboration with her sons, George and Francis. The same year, creation of the company G&F Châtelain SA, whose principal activity is polishing clasps for leather bracelets. Then, quickly, activities extend to polishing gold cases.

1954 : The company has an exemplary expansion and complete its know-how with new skills, such as lapping and finishing of jewelry and gold cases. This is to satisfy the requirements of its jewellers-watchmakers clients and to follow technical developments.

1963 : Francis Châtelain joined forces with his brother-in-law and invests in the company Sandoz & Co, specialized in progressive stamping and precision tools manufacturing. It manufactures and markets under the name of Madimédic podiatric sterile blade-gouges. Francis Châtelain assumes the management of both companies.

1967 : G&F Châtelain SA continues to grow and move into new buildings, where Sandoz & Co also move in the first 2 floors.

The diversification continues through the production of metal bracelets. On 8th of June of that year, G&F Châtelain deposits the hallmark "C", witness of a growing reputation and quality label easily identifiable.

1984 : The witness from the entrepreneurial audacity of the two brothers Châtelain is the impressive expansion of the company by taking over new activities from independent workshops, such as cutting, machining, assembly and an electroplating unit.

At the advent of computers in industry, creative centers of the company are then equipped with the latest generation of computers, placing Châtelain at the forefront of a technology greatly envied at that time .

1987 : The Châtelain family business realizes his mastery of several jobs by becoming the main contractor for the entire watchmaking luxury goods that are entrusted.

1993 : G&F Châtelain SA fully incorporates the company Sandoz & Co, directed by Francis Châtelain for 30 years. This acquisition leads to a further expansion of activities by providing new skills : progressive stamping, precision tools manufacturing and fully robotized production lines for cases.

The same year, the brand CHANEL buys all Châtelain's activities but retains its name.

1997 : Unable to contain, under one roof, all activities of the company, as its development is important, a new factory is initiated.

1998 : Move to the new factory of 8000m2, which reflects the company's precursor dynamism, both by its contemporary and industrial architecture and by its geographical location. Indeed, many other well-known watch companies will move around afterwards.

This new site has 250 employees and a huge variety of skills, technologies and expertise.

2006 : The company develops a new activity of ceramic components. Since then, it continues to strengthen this specific know-how in processes of shaping hard materials. It controls all aspects of the supply chain, from raw material production to the finishing of the created elements.

2012 : The factory includes a full Jewellery workshop in order to meet the increasing demands of various clients.

In addition, a new extension of 8'000m2 adjoining to the existing factory is built.