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History of watches : Dodane


Dodane was founded in 1857 and rapidly became known in the world of watchmaking for its research ethos. Five generations have succeeded the time when Alphonse Dodane, as well as his father-in-law François-Xavier Joubert, had the idea of creating a watchmaking facility and ebauche workshop in the heart of the Doubs gorges, on the edge of the Swiss border, in order to make use of the hydraulic power that the river offered. 

In order to take advantage of its electricity and railroad, the facility was transferred to Morteau (in France’s Haut Doubs region). It was here that Alphonse Gabriel took the reins from his father at the dawn of the First World War. He gave the House of Dodane its very special character by diversifying its activity in traditional watchmaking. He was convinced that the conquest of the skies would be every bit as important as that of the road.
 
 
 
Since ballistic science was still in its infancy, the projectiles dropped from the first bombers had the singularity of landing far from their targets. Alphonse Gabriel Dodane supplied the necessary correction by developing a reverse chronograph with a very innovative design. This invention forever changed the future of the Company, which specialized thereafter in onboard chronographs for the combat aircraft produced by the Dassault plants. 

The third generation of the Dodane family settled in Besançon, where Raymond Dodane carried on the traditions of complex watch fabrication. He made the Company one of the longest-standing authorized suppliers to Nato and was awared with RAQ 2 certification by the Industrial Supervision Department of the French Armory. 


Laurent and Michel succeeded their father Raymond in directing the Company and produced up to 100,000 watches, distributed on all five continents. The House of Dodane was the only French company to have been certified for the fabrication of altimetric chronographs permitting parachutists to do night jumps with delayed openings. The Company also created the 1/100th second timer for the control of the ejection seats used by Aerospatiale. The House of Dodane was also a supplier to many civil airlines, both in France and aboard, as well as to the Aéropostale, the French national department of education, and post and telecommunications offices. The Company’s mastery of electronic technology led to its selection by the German Army, in 1983, to develop a totally new and revolutionary onboard chronographic instrument : the Type 211. This integrated chronograph is installed in the instrument paned of the Franco German Tiger helicopter, as well as in Mirage 2000 and Rafales aircraft.
 
Today, the fifth generation of the Dodanes continues to supply aeronautic fleets in many armed forces throughout the world. The very advanced technical developments in onboard chronographs have given Dodane Type 21 wristwatches and chronographs a unique quality and authenticity. Whether used by military or civilian pilots, they are acknowledged by professionals to be irreplaceable instruments, as a result of their extreme reliability.
 
 


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ABP Paris is a craft company with the French state label Company of Living Heritage.

On measure watchstraps, belts, leather goods, new and second-hand watches are the core part of our activity.