Those who innovate

In the white rooms of CSEM


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October 2020

In the white rooms of CSEM

In the early 1980s, at the height of the crisis affecting the Swiss watch sector, three separate institutes funded by the Swiss state and large watchmaking groups of the time, Centre Électronique Horloger (CEH), Fondation Suisse pour la Recherche en Microtechnique (FSRM) and Laboratoire Suisse de Recherches Horlogères (LSRH), merged under the auspices of the Swiss Confederation to become the Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, or CSEM. Major watch brands teamed up with this institution and also became shareholders. Today, this research centre is the beating heart of horological innovation.


aradoxically, the world’s first quartz watch was developed in Switzerland by one of CSEM’s founders, the CEH (which developed the famous Beta 1 back in 1967). Short-sightedly, the Swiss missed the industrial opportunity and were overtaken by the Japanese.

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