The Beyer Watch

The design of this watch emulates the giant timepiece that hangs outside the Beyer shop. It has served as a trademark for decades, and can be seen from a long way off on the Bahnhofstrasse.

1760

Historic documents mention the existence of a watchmaker called Beyer. 

1822

The Beyer family originated from the German town of Donaueschingen, in the south-west of Baden-Württemberg, where the Beyers worked as watchmakers and traders. In 1822, 23-three year old Stephan Beyer brings the name to Switzerland. 

1830

Around 1830, Stephan Beyer founds a “watchmaker’s and spice shop” in Feuerthalen. Presumably the watchmaker also travels to markets both in the region and further afield, trading in spices. 

1860

 A business is opened at Niederdorfstrasse in Zurich. When the Limmatquai develops into Zurich's main shopping street, Theodor Beyer-Danioth sets up his shop window, still in the same building, so that it overlooks this street. 

1877

The business moves to representative premises in the splendid, newly built Palais du Crédit Suisse on the Bahnhofstrasse, shortly after the street is built (house number 25). Beyer carried out its business in this magnificent building designed by Alfred Escher for 50 years. A few years after the move, the management of the company is taken over by Adelrich Beyer (1858‒1915). 

1927

The firm takes up residence in the brand new Orell Füssli building at Bahnhofstrasse 31, where it is able to rent larger premises. Beyer has remained at this exclusive address to this day. 

1936

Beyer's existence hangs on a thread, a fate that during the world economic crisis it shares with many other companies. The collapse of various foreign currencies, the absence of German clients and the devaluation of goods causes considerable problems for the company. However, here Beyer’s strong, long-standing business relations pay off – banks come to the rescue, the landlord reduces the rent and the brand companies offer their support. 

1946

Theodore R. Beyer, father of the present proprietor, joins the business run by his father, Theodore Beyer and takes over the management in 1955.

1948

The firm becomes a joint-stock company. All the shares are family-owned.

1968

When Patek Philippe begins producing electric clocks and watches, Beyer follows suit. Its department for electronic time measurement and acoustics exists until 1993. 

1971

The shop undergoes extensive renovation and the Museum of Time Measurement is opened. This museum is later renamed the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum, Zurich. 

1982

The shop (display areas, representative sales rooms, additional shop windows and office) and the museum are further expanded and once again renovated. 

1996

Muriel Zahn-Beyer and René Beyer take over operational management of the firm, representing the 8th generation of family proprietors. From 2003, René Beyer manages the company alone. 

1998

The entire business premises are modernised, both inside and out. 

2002

The goldsmith’s atelier is opened. 

2010

Our 250th anniversary is celebrated with exclusive events, as well as with the launch of special watch editions and a new jewellery line. Beyer’s eventful history is related in a jubilee magazine. 

2011

Our shop premises undergo extensive renovation and conversion. A new Rolex Corner is created and a separate Diamond Centre is opened. 

2011

The Patek Philippe Boutique opens next door to the Beyer shop. This is the first dealer-managed Patek Philippe Boutique in Switzerland. 

2012

The watchmaker’s and goldsmith’s workshop has been moved to the shop premises. Now all our employees are united under one roof.

Today

Nowadays, Beyer employs 58 members of staff, who work in the departments, Sales (Beyer Watches & Jewellery and the Patek Philippe Boutique), Services and Administration, as well as in the workshop.

1760
1822
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1877
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Beyer Chronometrie, located on Zurich's prestigious Bahnhofstrasse, is the oldest clock and watch shop in Switzerland. In the course of 250 years and eight generations, the family firm has cultivated the most beautiful aspects of time. On doing so, it sets great store by fostering its traditional heritage.

For more than two hundred and fifty years, Matthäus Beyer laid the foundations for this impressive family history in the German town of Donaueschingen. In 1822, his grandson, Stephan Beyer, brought the name and the firm to Switzerland, to Feuerthalen in the canton of Zurich. His son opened the first shop in the Niederdorf, one of the top locations in the city of Zurich, in 1860, and in 1877, Beyer Chronometrie moved to the city's new epicentre – the Bahnhofstrasse. The company first took up residence in the building of the former Kreditanstalt on Paradeplatz, and in 1927 moved to the other side of Bärengasse, where it has remained until this day. Since 1996, René Beyer has been at the helm of the firm, representing the eighth  generation of the Beyer family. Like all his predecessors, he is a qualified watchmaker.