Nivada Grenchen was founded in Grenchen, Switzerland, in 1926 by Jacob Schneider. The firm wasted no time innovating and was one of the first companies to manufacture automatic watches at scale. Known for its accessible and reliable watches, Nivada Grenchen first released the Aquamatic and Sea Blade watches for seafarers. In 1950, the Antarctic, which was based on the Aquamatic, became the brand’s first hit model. It was famously issued to the US Navy during Operation Deep Freeze to the South Pole in 1955 and 1956.
Taking things to the next level in 1961, Nivada Grenchen introduced the Chronomaster, a watch designed to do it all: chronograph, aviation watch, and dive watch. The Chronomaster would find great success throughout the following decade and was made in myriad configurations through the 1970s. The Depthmaster, another cult classic, followed in 1965. Rated to an astounding 1000m, it was a marvel of its time and was considered the world’s most waterproof watch.
The company changed hands in the 1980s and again in the 2000s as the quartz crisis disrupted the Swiss watchmaking industry. In 2018, Guillame Laidet and Remi Chabrat relaunched Nivada Grenchen in its home of Switzerland with three of its most iconic models – the Antarctic, Chronomaster, and Depthmaster. With faithful reissues, Nivada Grenchen has captured the hearts of collectors as it continues to build its current lineup.