Indicateur de l'Horlogerie Suisse was a publication of Davoine from 1842 through the late 1970s.
The Almanach de Commerce de La Chaux-de-Fonds et du Val de Saint-Imier (“Almanac of Commerce for La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Saint-Imier valley”) appeared in 1841 with a date of 1842 on the cover. It was an imprint of Convert et Heinzely of La Chaux-de-Fonds and served as a general almanac for the Jura Triangle area. The primary focus of the Almanach was a list of addresses for producers and sellers of watches (“Négocians et Fabricans d'Horlogerie”) in La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Saint-Imier area. This included the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds and the villages of Saint-Imier, Sonvillers, Renan, Ferrière, and Villeret. It also included printers and merchants, and even “Adresses Diverses” for hotels, cafes, and government offices. A similar almanac was printed for 1843.
The 1845 edition was renamed Indicateur des Montagnes (“Mountain Indicator”) and expanded to cover Le Locle as well as La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Jura Triangle. The format was similar to the Almanach, with a list of “Négocians et Fabricans” but was now organized by locale, beginning with La Chaux-de-Fonds but also including Locle, Brenets, Saint-Imier, Sonvillers, Renan, Ferrière, and Villeret. It continued to list “Adresses Diverses” and “Professions Diverses” in the area as well as “Partie Administrative”.
The book was made available at the Convert & Heinzely book store in La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Chapuis book store in Le Locle, with other stores added soon after. Ferd. Heinzely is listed as editor in the 1849 edition and focused on expanding the coverage. Later editions explicitly listed volume numbers, starting at 1845. The Indicateur des Montagnes was not published after 1861.
The Indicateur was taken over by F.-L. Davoine of Marin by 1864 and his name would be linked to the publication afterwards. The publisher was listed as Bureau de l'Indicateur, 10A Rue de la Balance, La Chaux-de-Fonds, that year as well.
Because of this change in ownership, and the expanded scope of the publication under Davoine, only an abbreviated edition for La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle was published in 1864. The expanded publication, covering much of the industry with as many as 10 local editions, was launched in 1865. In 1870, the Indicateur grew to cover the Bernese Jura, Biel et Seeland, and the whole of the Neuchâtel mountains.
Davoine expanded the scope of the publication further in 1873, now covering “des Fabriques de Pièces à Musique” (manufacture of musical pieces) and expanded coverage of other aspects of Neuchâtel manufacturing. Three editions were now published, covering Swiss Watchmaking, a Business Directory for Neuchâtel, and a general Commercial Directory for La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1875, the Indicateur included a list of jewelry retailers in Geneva and German-speaking regions of Switzerland. In 1880, German and French watchmakers appeared as well. One notable addition in 1880 was extensive coverage of the Metric System, which had just been adopted in Switzerland.
In 1888, the main title is changed to Indicateur Davoine, with a biennial edition focused on the entire industry as well as local La Chaux-de-Fonds editions. But the work proved too much for F.-L. Davoine and he retired from the effort in 1893. Starting with the 1894 edition, the Indicateur-Davoine is edited by A. Maridor and published by his firm, Maridor & Cie. of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Publication was taken over by Agence Wolff in 1899, with Alphonse Gogler appearing as editor in 1902. By 1913, A. Gogler SA was listed as the publisher, and the Gogler family would control the publication of the Indicateur for decades.
In this period, advertisements (“Annonces”) become more important and prolific, filling the pages and expanding the size of the Indicateur. What had been roughly 200 pages until then became over 500 pages in 1895, expanding past 800 in 1908 and over 1200 in 1928! The publication also listed customs rates and legal notes for export to most major countries as well as currency exchange and local agencies.
As the watchmaking industry consolidated and brands and trademarks became more important, the Indicateur Davoine became a primary source of information on watchmaking groups. A table of trademarks was included as early as 1920 and was a fixture through the 1960s, expanding from just 58 to over 1,700 in that time!
Ownership of the Indicateur Davoine passed to Boillat Publicité of Evilard in 1963. This change also included a focus on advertisers and an update to the look and design of the publication. The 1964 edition was entirely new, with a clearer layout and reorganization. The Boillat group became Publipress SA in 1970, though Pierre-A. Boillat remained editor.