Monday, September 19, 2011

Ernest Borel

Ernest Borel is a watch manufacturer founded in 1856 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. They have traditionally focussed on export markets outside Europe. They won several awards in the late 19th century, including first place in the 1866 Neuchatel observatory timing accuracy competition. This was viewed by the company as an important marketing strategy for increasing the brand's value, since the Neuchatel observatory was famed at the time for its timekeeping accuracy. In 1876 they were awarded the "Premium Award" in Philadelphia, USA, and in 1878 won the only "Precious Premium Award" given to the Swiss watch and clock industry in Paris that year. The company was run by the eponymous Borel family until 1975 when, owing to the 'Quartz crisis' affecting the entire Swiss watchmaking industry, it was sold on and became a member of the Synchron Group which consisted also of Cyma and Doxa.

 Ernest Borel Chrono Watch

Ernest Borel SA is headquartered at their new factory premises at Le Noirmont, Switzerland. Previously it was located at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The current CEO of Ernest Borel is Mr Raphael Bouillat, who has been at the helm of the company since 1997.

Ernest Borel currently produces traditionally styled automatic and quartz-movement wrist watches for men and women. The majority of their product line are fashion and dress watches, with a quartz chronograph line. They have recently discontinued their diving line, "Deep Blue".

Ernest Borel Jules Borel Watch
Elegance and Romanticism

This is speculated to be a brand positioning attempting, with the company choosing to focus on a traditional and conservative image. This is in keeping with the fact that their designs are often of a similar style to Longines.

The manufacturer's life-time warranty on movements, sets Ernest Borel apart from most competitors.

Corporate logo
Their corporate logo of a dancing couple in 19th-century dress is intended by the company to reflect the elegance, tradition and inspiration of romance, however this traditional logo is seen by many as being old-fashioned in modern times. It is often cited as a reason for overlooking the brand in favour of its competitors.

The brand is a second-tier Swiss brand, competing with brands such as Enicar, Oris, Titoni and Sandoz. Its major approach to the market appears to be price-based, but without sacrificing the quality expected of a Swiss made watch.

The prices of their watches range from the low hundreds of USD up to the mid thousands of USD.

Ernest Borel appears to be focussing their marketing on China at present, with the opening of a dedicated Ernest Borel shop in Beijing in late 2007. This also reflects the marketing strategy of their competitors.

 Rocky II Series from Ernest Borel