Born into a family of watchmakers from the 15th century, Adam-Louis Juillard founded a watchmaking counter in Sonvilier in 1790. The story of Cortébert and Tellus has just begun.
His son Lucien took over and developed the company and, after having transferred its headquarters to Saint-Imier in 1830, he in turn transmitted to his son Albert the destinies of what was still only a family business. We are in 1850.
Feeling the rise of the Swiss watch industry coming, and under the impulse of Albert Juillard, several manufacturers in the region gathered around him to create a factory of blanks in Cortébert, under the name Raiguel, Juillard & Co. Inaugurated in 1865, the manufacture very quickly integrated the watch counter and the blanks factory. The building, unusual for the time, was characterized by the presence of 66 windows on the south facade.
In 1880, the factory took the name of "Factory of drafts of Cortébert".
In 1887, Albert's sons, Henri and Emile took over the family business and continued to develop it. Cortébert watches were then unanimously recognized and acclaimed for their quality, robustness and longevity.
The 5th generation of Juillard took over the reins of the company at the beginning of the 20th century. After the prosperous years of the Belle Epoque, Ernest, Emile, Charles, Albert and Henri Juillard were confronted, like all their Swiss watchmaking counterparts, with the unprecedented shock of the Great War.
At the end of this period, most countries then experienced unprecedented economic development. Global demand for new products and consumer goods once reserved for the elite continues to grow. Pocket watches are one of them.
Nevertheless, the Juillard family observed that despite the quality of Cortébert products, despite strong worldwide demand and despite a more modern name (the corporate name was changed to Cortébert Watch Co.), Cortébert watches did not meet with the success that they would deserve internationally.
It was then that the Juillard brothers met Wilhelm Ulrich, a German merchant, who convinced them to launch a more "universal" brand, the Cortébert brand being too French-speaking, in order to combine the secular know-how of the Juillards and Cortébert with the more avant-garde vision of Wilhelm Ulrich in terms of marketing.
Tellus has just been born!
BIRTH OF TELLUS
The choice of the Tellus name was twofold:
- on the one hand, it was the expression of a tribute to the Earth ( Tellus meaning planet Earth in Latin) and the symbol of the attachment of its founders to our planet;
- on the other hand, it was an invitation to travel, to discover our world, to wonder but also to sharing, to conviviality, everything that a trip, whether real or imaginary, can give us provide as emotions.
The values of the Brand were laid down.
It is on the strength of these convictions that the company Montre Tellus SA was formed on June 29, 1926. Its head office was established at 25 rue du Parc in La Chaux de Fonds, capital of the Swiss watch industry, in the premises of its parent company, the Cortébert Watch Co.
FROM ITS BEGINNING
A SNAPSHOT SUCCESS
Moreover, the unanimously recognized quality and performance of its in-house movements enable Tellus, just a few years after its creation, to achieve the highest quality standards by officially obtaining “chronometer” certification. Its constant quest for excellence naturally led it to develop its own in-house quality labels such as “ Tellus Extra ”, “ Tellus Chronometer ” or even “ UOT ” for “ Uhr ohne Tadel ” meaning “flawless watches”.
On the strength of this technological recognition of quality and reliability, Tellus will at the same time adopt avant-garde marketing strategies. Indeed, faithful to their initial desire to create a brand known and recognized by all, its leaders decided to give it its own visual identity, a logo recognizable among all: the Tellus pentagram.
The choice of the Pentagram was not the result of chance. It was supposed to represent the five points of the usual representation of a star. By placing the Tellus mark within, the message was to link the Earth to the Stars. Tellus was thus both terrestrial and celestial. In any case, that's what the legend says… in which we believe and which continues to guide us even today.
But let's not go too fast.
Thus, in 1931, barely 5 years after being crowned, Tellus was selected to equip all of the Romanian border guards and thus delivered more than 6,000 chronometers stamped on the lid with the mention " Corpul Granicelor 1931 Apartine Granicerului " (Border Guards 1931 – belongs to the border guard)
In 1933, it was the turn of the Romanian railways to select Tellus and in 1938 that of the Ministry of Air and Marine to order Tellus Chronometers for monitoring military aviation. The greats of this world were also interested in Tellus since in 1936, it was Tellus who was selected to produce the pocket watch commemorating the royal coronation of King Faruq I of Egypt.
Unfortunately, the Second World War broke out and put a stop to the expansion of the Tellus brand.
In 1942, Cortébert took over the Tellus brand on its own and continued its development. Nevertheless, without the marketing and visionary genius of Wilhelm Ulrich, the commercial impetus is no longer there even if for another 2 decades, Tellus watches continue to be distributed all over the world, from the countries of Eastern Europe East, United States and the Caribbean.
A page of history turns
In 1962, Albert Juillard, representative of the 6th generation of this illustrious family of entrepreneurs who presided over the destiny of Cortébert watches for 172 years and, since 1926, over those of Tellus, sold the family stake in the Cortébert Watch Co.
A page turns for Cortébert. In the years that followed and until the mid-1990s, Japanese quartz watches gradually invaded the market and eclipsed the Swiss watch industry, which, with rare exceptions, experienced a fall in love with the public.
TELLUS IS FLYING ON ITS OWN WINGS
In 1993, Tellus left the Cortébert group and decided to focus initially on setting up a clean and efficient organization with dedicated distribution channels. These are years of major restructuring intended to prepare the Brand for the great challenges of the new millennium that is coming.
The timing could not have been better chosen for this restructuring because at the turn of the year 2000 the market regained a strong appetite for authentic, quality watches with innovative designs.
At the dawn of this new millennium, the world is in search of meaning and is once again turning to watches that touch them, watches with values in keeping with the times. It is within this framework that the parenthesis was created.
Creation of the BRACKETS
Tellus immediately understood this need for meaning and decided to return to the fundamentals of the Brand when it was created in 1926. A watch is more than a simple indicator of time: it is its witness. This relationship to passing time, each of us experiences it in a different way. For some time passes too quickly, for others too slowly. For some, it creates anxiety, nostalgia, for others it creates expectation, hope, serenity.
"What if we could just suspend the flight of time and, just for a moment, put it on hold?"
From this simple phrase Tellus has made it a reality: a collection of watches with pure and refined lines. So, failing to stop time, we have symbolically put it between parentheses. The success was immediate. Not only because of the unique design of the T1064 which stands out from other models on the market or even by the innovation of the sealing system which was patented but above all by the symbolism of the watch. With this iconic model, Tellus returned to its fundamentals: a watch must arouse emotions in those who wear it or contemplate it.
Since then, Tellus has continued to offer people in search of meaning, quality watches with unique designs in order to reconnect those who wear them to the very essence of the passage of time.