Conseilray

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Conseilray was a watch movement design and manufacturing consulting company active in the 1980s and 1990s.

History

Conseilray was founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds by Claude Ray in 1977 to assist watch companies in developing new watches and movements. The company was an early adopter of computer-assisted design (CAD) and mechanized production and helped many large companies make this transition in the 1980s and 1990s. The company also produced prototypes and worked with other companies to realize new designs.

Although not well-remembered today, the Jean d'Eve Samara was the world's first automatic quartz movement on its launch in 1988. The design was created by Conseilray, along with Le Pharr-Jean d'Eve, and Kinetron and was based on a patent from Eindhoven University in the Netherlands. The basic concept was later adopted by ETA as their Autoquartz line.

Conseilray worked with Memotime to develop a range of quartz and hybrid movements for their late 1980s products. These included modular components on ETA Cal. 2671 automatic and Harley Cal. 775 quartz movements including a chronograph, regatta timer, and decompression timer. Unusually, these modules operated independently of the main movement and included their own battery.

Conseilray was also closely involved in the rebirth of Camy around 1990. Conseilray designed a multifunction analog chronograph movement for Camy, which helped launch the company. Claude Ray was closely involved, serving as director of MTM of Switzerland and Camy SA as and collaborated with National Electronics of Hong Kong.

Perhaps the longest-lasting development from Conseilray was the Zenith Elite automatic movement. Named "Best Movement" at the Basel Fair in 1994, this remains in production as of 2020 and is still considered a leading slim automatic movement design.