Marvin

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Marvin is a Swiss watch brand dating to the early 1900s.

History

The Marvin Watch Company was founded 1850 by Marc and Emmanuel Didisheim in Saint-Imier. Already in 1854 one could move to the newly built office building of the pocket watch manufacture. 1891/92 the new generation change was performed: the three sons of Marc Didisheim, Henri-Albert, Edgar and Charles, took over the management of the company, which changed its name to Albert Didisheim et Frères. In 1894 the company moved to La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1895 Henri-Albert took over the management. The American market became the marketing focus. The export to America was organized by the general agency in New York, headed by Hippolyte Didisheim. With the establishment of the new factory building in 1912 the company name was modified to Marvin.

1917 the three sons of Henri-Albert took over the management of the company. Despite reorientation towards wristwatches the production of fine manufacture movements was maintained. Besides own movements Marvin also used Rolex movements for a short period. In the 1930's Marvin brought the model La Gauche on the market. Its development was probably due to the fact that Henri-Albert Didisheim himself was left-handed. 1936 the trade mark Nivrel was introduced. After acquisition of the company Election Marvin kept this name as a factory brand.

From 1940 the company began alliances with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Ferrari, Mercedes, Jaguar, Fiat, MG, Rover and Chevrolet. 1950, at the 100-year anniversary, Marvin could refer to a global distribution network that stretched across 70 countries. One product during this period was the "Flying Dutchman", a wrist or pendant watch worn by KLM pilots and flight staff. The company also produced the iconic "Tire Watch", a keychain watch in the shape of an automobile tire. Another well-remembered watch was the "Motorist", introduced at the Basel Fair in 1959, which included a case back insert so it would rest on the inside of the wrist while driving.

By 1976, the firm became part of the MSR Group, along with Revue Thommen and Vulcain. But Marvin did not succeed in making a transition to quartz and the brand was abandoned by the 1980s. It was produced under license by various firms, chiefly in Italy, before being acquired in 2002 by Time Avenue. The brand was re-launched in 2007 as a maker of midrange luxury watches powered by ETA and Valjoux movements. The new Marvin retained the historic crown logo and red double marker at 8:00 that had been featured on previous models.

Since 2015, Marvin has been focused on Asian markets, especially China.

Literature

  • Swiss Timepiece Makers; Author: Kathleen H.Pritchard; ISBN 0-914659-79-0