Josef Wyss, a certified watchmaker born in 1914, founded JOWISSA Watches in 1951. He used his own name in combination with the official Swiss corporate registration “SA” designation to name his brand JOWISSA. Born and reared in the village of Bettlach, Switzerland in the Canton of Solothurn, he was impressed early on by the long tradition of watchmaking in his hometown. Bettlach has deep roots in this craft going back to the 18th century. As a consequence, Josef Wyss decided in early 1940 to learn the watchmaking profession.
With growing experience and an ongoing passion for producing timepieces for the wrist, he became motivated to start his own watch company. His tight finances and the problems of obtaining a government license to produce watches posed real challenges. He finally overcame both obstacles and launched JOWISSA in 1951.
Wyss initially produced watches at his home, located at Hasenmattstrasse 29. Josef’s wife Mathilde and their five children were from the start important pillars in the daily activities of the company. During the initial years, the business flourished because of the “busyness” of the Wyss family. This made it necessary to build a larger factory adjacent to the existing property.
After 20 years, JOWISSA’s growth necessitated new headquarters, which were found at the present address, Dorfstrasse 16. Over the years, the children took on central roles in the company, which freed up Josef Wyss for his second passion: local politics. He was elected mayor for the township of Bettlach and served in this honorary capacity for 25 years. His son Leander Wyss took over the management in 1980 and directs the company to this day.
Ronda 762 Quartz movement
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