Latest news at Horlyne

Horlyne celebrates 45 years of watchmaking history

Jun 2023
Horlyne celebrates 45 years of watchmaking history

Founded in 1978 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Horlyne has become a benchmark in high-end watchmaking over the past 45 years. A look back at a remarkable story told by Raymond Leitenberg, who has steered Horlyne’s destiny for over 30 years.

Horlyne is first and foremost the inspiration of one man, engraver-setter René Schmidlin, who decided alone with his wife to create a first workspace in 1978 in his apartment in La Chaux-de-Fonds, before excavating his own villa to set up a workshop specializing in watchmaking and other types of setting.

In 1992, Raymond Leitenberg joined Horlyne to take over management at its new premises on rue du Collège in La Chaux-de-Fonds. “At the time, there were around fifteen of us, with real expertise in the watchmaking arts of gem-setting, guilloché and engraving,” recalls Raymond Leitenberg. Horlyne is fast becoming a watchmaking benchmark in the field of high-end oscillating weights in precious metals and tungsten, which are personalized, engraved and set with diamonds or the finest stones on the market.

Parts produced individually or in larger series.

The most prestigious watch brands have placed their trust in Horlyne for many years. Blancpain is also a long-standing partner of the company, contributing to its development. Today, the company is the Swiss benchmark in this sector, thanks to its multiple crafts and equipment ranging from guilloché machines to the latest generation FEMTO Laser.

For almost 30 years, without ever losing its identity or its local roots, Horlyne has continued to grow, expanding its premises and adding to its workforce, with 40 employees today, including some managers with 15 to 20 years’ seniority. “ Our staff have skills that are rare and highly sought-after. He’s also loyal because we work in a true family spirit,” says Raymond Leitenberg. We also have highly operational workshops in which we have invested heavily.

History is one thing, but Raymond Leitenberg has always been concerned with the future of society. With this in mind, in 2022, he decided to join the Acrotec Group and prepare his succession by recruiting Zian Kighelman, who recently became Horlyne’s new CEO, ably assisted by Isaline Leitenberg, Raymond’s daughter, in charge of marketing and human resources.

I’ll soon be celebrating the company’s 45th anniversary with the whole team, and then gradually stepping down after a while,” confides Raymond Leitenberg. A page is about to be turned, but Horlyne’s history is writing its finest pages. We have the trust of the most prestigious watchmaking brands, and we do our utmost to ensure that our technologies continue to improve, while always remaining in tune with the market.

To read the full press release click here (in french).