After lying dormant for more than 30 years, Angelus has now been revived by Manufacture La Joux Perret, which has spent four years developing the next generation of visionary timepieces. The Angelus’ manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds is just a stone’s throw from where the Stolz brothers established their original manufacture.
Still enjoying the creative freedom afforded by having its own manufacture and using the brand’s rich history as a guiding principle and source of inspiration, Angelus has spent over four years developing the next generation of Angelus timepieces, which uphold the brand’s reputation for horological ingenuity. Featuring complications from classic watchmaking, ultramodern materials crafted using cutting-edge techniques, highly visible movements and contemporary design cues, these innovative timepieces push the boundaries of contemporary watchmaking, while remaining true to the haute horlogerie traditions of the brand.
The Angelus manufacture
Angelus is owned by Manufacture La Joux-Perret SA, which operates out of its own manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the heart of fine Swiss watchmaking. The new Angelus base is a stone’s throw from where the Stolz brothers set up their first watchmaking manufacture in 1891.
Today’s Angelus manufacture is fully equipped with a highly-skilled workforce allowing Angelus to design, produce, finish, assemble, regulate and test all of its movements and timepieces in-house. For non-movement components, e.g. cases, dials and hands, Angelus partners with the best suppliers in the Swiss luxury watch industry, many of which are close neighbours.
Like an Angelus timepiece, the Angelus manufacture blends the very best of classic haute horlogerie with ultra-modern watchmaking production methods. While the Angelus manufacture employs a number of skilled artisans who use time-honored techniques and tools to delicately craft and finish components using traditional methods, it also boasts a state-of-the-art production facility featuring semi-automatic machines – lathes, milling machines, drills, pointing and centering tools – and CNC machines programmed and operated by experienced technicians, engineers and watchmakers.
The seeds of a new Angelus movement and timepiece are typically sewn in the bureau technique, where the latest Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) programs are used by Angelus movement constructors to design and model the latest concepts and ideas.
The skilled craftsmen of the Angelus decoration department provide an inimitable, personal touch to Angelus creations by adorning plates and bridges with artful, traditional finishes including Côtes de Genève, circular graining, snailing and sunray guilloches using traditional watchmaking tools guided by experienced human hands. Spectacular modern finishes can also be achieved using the latest technology such as laser engraving.
Meticulous quality control checks are performed during each process, between operations and, of course, on the completion of the finished timepiece, using a variety of measuring equipment – digital sensors, microscopes, binoculars, photo-cameras, gauges and projectors – to conduct a battery of checks including precision, torque, strength and water resistance tests. Throughout, the Angelus manufacture team strives to continually innovate and is always researching and investigating new techniques, as well as keeping abreast of developments in other fields of fine mechanics.
Angelus Chronology – Key Dates
1891: Brothers Albert and Gustav Stolz – distinguished watchmakers and former students of Henri Sandoz who was director of the Tavannes Watch Company – establish their Angelus watchmaking manufacture in Le Locle, Switzerland, a city world renowned for high -end watchmaking. They began with just a room on the Rue du Marais, modest beginnings for what would become an important brand.
1914-1918: The First World War proves an obstacle to the development of Angelus, but does not prevent it from creating a repeater timepiece for blind people that is offered to returning soldiers who have suffered facial injuries. This gesture earns the Stolz brothers a letter of thanks from French army general Marshal Joffre.
1930: Angelus starts selling the smallest – only 32 mm x 21 mm (10.5 lines) – 8-day movement in the world with an excellent precision of +/- 1 minute per week. This movement actually has a potential power reserve of 10 days. It remains the smallest 8-day movement in the world to this day.
|ANGELUS 8 Days Watch, Circa 1930|
|ANGELUS Two Pusher Chronograph, Circa 1935|
1937: Angelus launches the Foursome compact table clock, featuring an 8-day power reserve, automatic calendar, barometer, and thermometer.
|ANGELUS Foursome compact table clock, Circa 1937|
|Angelus Caliber SF240|
1943: Panerai equips its legendary Radiomir Mare Nostrum chronograph with Angelus’ calibre SF215, however, the watch stays in the prototype stage.
|Radiomir Mare Nostrum chronograph, Circa 1943|
|Angelus Chrono-Datoluxe, Circa 1948|
1956: Angelus launches the Datalarm, the first wristwatch ever featuring both alarm and date function, the latter displayed in a window at 3 o’clock. The Datalarm comes in different versions, including a world-timer with 24-hour chapter ring on the bezel and, inside on the dial, the names of 24 cities, each representing a world time zone.
|Angelus Datalarm, Circa 1956|
|Angelus Tinkler, Circa 1958|
2015: Now owned by Manufacture La Joux-Perret SA, Angelus unveils its re-launch collection – the U10 Tourbillon Lumière – at Baselworld fair.
|ANGELUS U10 Tourbillon Lumière|
Boulevard des Eplatures 38
2304 La Chaux-de-Fonds