Revue Thommen was originally founded in 1853 by Gedeon Thommen. In the early days, the production was mainly focused on wristwatches and pocket watches. Around 1920, Revue Thommen also decided to start producing instruments for the aviation industry. This segment was constantly expanded, and today, Revue Thommen’s instruments are among the leading products in the aviation industry.
Gedeon Thommen took over the company in the village of Waldenburg in 1859. While not exclusively a family business having converted to a Joint Stock company in 1905, the shares of THOMMEN have passed from generation to generation within Waldenburg and nearby communities resulting in the company being run as a family business.
World War I was one of the first real tests for the practical application of the airplane and in 1916 the Swiss Air Force issued the order to THOMMEN to design and develop an aircraft chronograph. That initial involvement in aviation would shape the company’s future. It was, however, the awarding of a major contract by the Swiss Military in 1936 that proved the turning point in the history of the company. REVUE THOMMEN was entrusted with the development and supply of altimeters, airspeed indicators, vertical speed indicators, clocks and the landing gear for the C-35, a multi-purpose double-decker aircraft. That contract laid the groundwork for today’s instrument and machine tool manufacturing capabilities.
Over the years THOMMEN’s business has been focused on aviation with 80% of their recent business attributed to this sector. The balance of their business comes from Sports and Leisure Instruments (Hiking, Skiing and Parachuting Altimeters) and Industrial Pressure Measuring Instruments. Until very recently, virtually all of THOMMEN’s aviation business has come from the European Military and Transport Category aircraft market segments.
During this period THOMMEN products have found application in 30 Commercial Airline and Regional Airline aircraft types, 23 Commercial Helicopter types, 16 Fighter aircraft types, 9 Military Helicopter types, and 24 Military Trainer aircraft types.
Since choosing business aviation as a target, THOMMEN has had remarkable success due to their perfect fit in niches where other suppliers have failed and withdrawn. The result has been the accumulation of an impressive list of TC’d and STC’d installations for THOMMEN Altimeters, Airspeed Indicators and Airdata Computers in many applications including several RVSM solutions.
In 2001, Grovana Watch Co. Ltd., a leading Swiss watch company watch took over production and global sales of Revue Thommen watches. Revue Thommen makes Airspeed aviation chronometers (Airspeed line) and the traditional watches with exclusive Revue Thommen Manufacture movements.
See Grovana for more information.