Wyler Watch Company

Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Jason

This is another obscure company, the Wyler Watch Company, that I came across whilst researching a post on vintage watch shock protection systems. The company was real, there are plenty of Wyler vintage watches available on the market, but there is no official history of their time from inception in the 1920s to their ultimate demise in the 1970s.  The company was relaunched in some form in 2006 as Wyler Vetta.

The Wyler Watch Company was a Swiss watch manufacturer. Two brothers, Paul and Alfred Wyler, launched the company in Basel Switzerland on 28 March 1924. The Wyler brothers were born in the late 19th century, with Paul’s birthdate being 15 June 1896. It is not known how long Alfred remained involved with the company because the business is largely associated with Paul’s name.

Wyler Dynawind automatic wrist watch, 1950s.
Wyler Dynawind automatic wristwatch, 1950s.

According to Mikrolisk, Paul Wyler & Cie registered the trademark ‘Paul Wyler & Cie’ in Basel, Switzerland on 21 April 1925. The company registered itself as a maker of pendulum clocks and small clocks. Fabrique des Montres Wyler SA & Paul Wyler & Cie registered subsequent trademarks, such as a Wyler logo, on 29 June 1925. This trade mark was registered in Geneva & Biel and at this point in time, the companies were listed as making pocket watches, alarm clocks, pendulums and watch parts.

From its inception, Wyler Watch Company embraced a philosophy focused on crafting innovative timepieces that prioritised durability, reliability, and affordability. Shortly after the company’s establishment, Paul Wyler uncovered his inaugural breakthrough, the development of the Incaflex shock protection system.

Shock protection

The pivots of the balance staff of a watch are designed to be very thin to minimise friction, as a result, they are brittle and delicate. If a watch is dropped the shock can cause the pivots to bend and break. This will cause the watch to stop or at best, run inaccurately. Early watches were subject to this problem. It was not so much of a problem for pocket watches, which were normally kept on a chain, in a pocket. However, wristwatches are particularly vulnerable at the end of the arm, where they can easily get knocked. Broken balance staff pivots were a common occurrence in early wristwatches and every watchmaker kept spare balance staffs in stock.

Incaflex shock protection system

In 1927, Paul Wyler developed the Incaflex, a revolutionary shock protection system for watch movements. The Wyler Incaflex system was actually incorporated into the balance. Instead of straight spokes on the balance wheel, Incaflex used two curved flexible spokes embedded on either side of the balance and joined at the level of the staff to absorb any shock. The inbuilt system granted greater protection to the balance. This major, patented innovation became a standard in watchmaking production. Although, ultimately, it was overtaken in popularity by the Incabloc system.

In 1956 a public demonstration of the effectiveness of the Incaflex shock protection system was made when two Wyler watches were dropped 300 meters (almost 1000 feet) from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Both watches were damaged in the fall but were confirmed to be running afterwards. A similar test took place in 1962 when six Wyler watches were dropped 318 feet from the Seattle tower in Washington USA and again damaged, but confirmed to be running after the drop.

Wyler Watch Company, Incaflex advertisement, 1960s.
Wyler Watch Company, Incaflex advertisement, 1960s.

The Italian connection

In the 1930s, Wyler collaborated with Italian entrepreneur, Innocente Binda, to market its watches in Italy. This was a successful partnership that contributed to the brand’s recognition and development in Europe.  The Binda Company, founded in 1906 and headquartered in Milan specialised in watches, jewellery and accessories. It had made inroads into the Swiss watch market, forming partnerships with established watchmakers early in the 20th century. In 1933, the Binda group took over the brand and renamed it “Wyler-Vetta”.

 In 1934, Binda suggested the Italian national football team wore Wyler-Vetta watches. A contract linking a watchmaking brand to international sport was groundbreaking at the time. It proved a true stroke of genius, as Italy won its first World Cup that year. This brought the Wyler-Vetta brand into the spotlight. Binda appears to have limited its ownership of the Wyler-Vetta brand largely to the Italian market, because Montres Wyler SA & Paul Wyler & Cie continued to register trademarks for Wyler branded watches in Switzerland.

Wyler brand names

Mikrolisk has dozens of Wyler, non-Vetta, trademarks registered to Montres Wyler SA & Paul Wyler & Cie from the 1930s until 1970. Many of these trademarks included Incaflex in the brand name.

  1. Wyler Incaflex Dynawind – automatic watch ETA 1256 21 Jewels 1950s.
  2. Wyler Incassable (Unbreakable) – manual wind, 17 jewels with Incaflex, 1930s.
  3. Wyler Incaflex Life-Guard – automatic watch ETA 2770, 17 jewels with Incaflex, 1970s.

Related content

Wyler at Chronopedia.

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