The originator of the line is Jules-Frédéric Jeanneret. He is listed as a finisseur in the village of Reprises in 1866, and this is the date traced by many of his family firms. He came from Dombresson, though his family was originally from Valangin. In Dombresson, Jeanneret married Cécile Sandoz, and the couple had two daughters and six sons, all of whom became watchmakers.
Jeanneret's initial firm was bankrupt by 1868, but he persisted. Jeanneret appears to have moved to Rue de la Malatte in Saint-Imier in partnership with Edouard Fallet. The firm is known as Jeanneret et Fallet starting in 1869, and relocated after 1871 to 34a Rue de Tramelan. Jeanneret et Fallet is listed there from 1873 through 1882, indicating the extent of this partnership.
The firm is called Jeanneret et Fils from 1883 through 1886, as Jules-Frédéric and Edouard go their separate ways. It is said that Jules-Fréderic Jeanneret and his brother in law Fritz Thalmann purchased the steam-powered factory on Rue du Pont known as Usine du Parc in 1885. Soon his brother Albert moved the family there, leaving Jules-Frédéric at 34a Rue de Tramelan. By 1890, advertisements list Jules-Fréd as a specialist watchmaker focused on interchangeable components and chronographs. By this time, Jeanneret had registered the Pigeon brand and had won a silver medal at the Anvers exposition in 1885.
Alb. Jeanneret & Frères is listed as successor to Jeanneret et Fils by 1889 but it is simply called Jeanneret Frères by 1894. This firm is located at 296 Rue du Pont advertised that it used the local steam plant to power its production machines, with the slogan “usine (a vapeur) du parc.” This firm also boasts of winning the 1885 silver medal, but advertises that it relies on the Colombe and Diana brands.
Jeanneret-Brehm was the successor to Jeanneret Frères by 1902, as Henri Jeanneret-Brehm took over the firm. Located in Saint-Imier on Usine du Parc, it claimed “fondée en 1866” in a 1902 advertisement in Indicateur Davoine.
By 1902, Jeanneret had registered the Excelsior name for 18 and 19 ligne chronograph movements, and noted in advertisements that these were intended for “Italie et Portugal” watches. Excelsior also produced “Compteurs de sport”, 30-minute stopwatches.
Jeanneret-Brehm purchased the Magnenat-LeCoultre factory in Saint-Imier in 1911 with financial assistance from the Gallet company. He had previously registered the Excelsior name but added the English “Park” at the suggestion of Gallet to make their products more accessible to English-speaking buyers. It is listed as Jeanneret-Brehm & Cie. by 1912 and Les Fils de Jeanneret-Brehm in 1918. In 1925 it is simply called Excelsior Park.
Henri Jeanneret-Brehm died on August 4, 1932 at the age of 76. He had long suffered a painful illness. Henri's brother Samuel Jeanneret followed in December 1939 at 73. The firm remained in family hands, however. In their place, Robert-Henri Jeanneret managed the factory before turning it over to his son, Robert-Edmond Jeanneret, grandson of Jules-Frédéric. He oversaw the end of Excelsior Park, with closed shortly before his death in 1985.
From 1918 through 1983, Excelsior Park manufactured a range of stopwatches, branded watches, and watch movements for Gallet, Girard-Perregaux, and Zenith. The company focused on timing movements, including stopwatches and chronographs, and was quite successful in the post-war period. Their chief competitor (especially for business with Zenith) was Martel and their close partner, Universal.
Excelsior Park faced many difficulties and nearly ceased operations in 1975 as the American market, which made up as much as half of the market, switched to cheaper Asian or electronic timers. Still, production in Saint-Imier continued until March 31, 1983, when the company sent all the workers home and stopped production. Although companies like Gallet and Revue Thommen were able to purchase some remaining stock, the brand and factory went unclaimed. The company was finally liquidated on December 12, 1985, shortly after the death of fourth-generation president Robert-Edmond Jeanneret in May. The name went to Flume Company of Germany who were unable to revive it.