Donzé-Baume - Les Breuleux
Case Study Donzé-Baume - Les Breuleux

The dream of a perfect timepiece: Coordinate metrology makes it possible

The Swiss Jura has long been regarded as the cradle of clock- and watch making. Since the upheaval of the industry in the 1980s, companies operating at the cheaper end of the market have gradually turned to the Far East. Suppliers of luxury brands of traditional clocks and watches have remained true to the Jura. They form the regular clientele of Donzé-Baume, a company which makes watch cases and straps. The watch components are accurately checked at Donzé-Baume using coordinate metrology.

Donzé-Baume, probably the world’s oldest watch case manufacturer, was founded in 1868 and today is part of the Richemont Group, which specialises in the manufacture of luxury goods. In addition to watch cases, Donzé-Baume produces metal watch straps for these reliable “Zeitgeists”. From its headquarters in Les Breuleux, the company supplies cases and straps to around 15 renowned watch making concerns. Almost all the makers of famous brands of haute horology produce watch cases of their own. But when it comes to complex, exclusive, limited volume batches, they have to call upon the knowledge and expertise of traditional companies like Donzé-Baume.

Development is the phase which takes place right at the beginning of the manufacturing process. In over 90% of its orders, Donzé-Baume takes on this task and creates the construction drawings and devises the process specification for each part. Turning, milling, polishing, finishing or mounting – every stage of work is precisely explained. Equally precisely specified are the permitted tolerances applied when measuring the components. Using the PRO Engineer software package, technicians produce the CAD drawings, which will serve as a reference for quality checks later. As soon as the prototypes are complete, the team obtains the customer’s approval and series production can start with the blanks . . . . .

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