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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So here we go, I've received this unique timepiece back from service and am ready to present it.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Strap Fashion accessory

It's believed to be the prototype of what Eugene Meylan invented back in 1930. The movement, case and see through case back was examined and parts were confirmed to be coherent with its era from early 1930's. Detailed investigation and technical data can be seen in Dr. Ranfft's site where it has been re-surrected: bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Glycine Eugene Meylan

I've also realized that some other forums in different languages are referring to WUS for information, I am happy that for. If our Spanish friends post that beautiful Pretto here in WUS ( Vintage, Amigos & Cia. al 19/07/2013 - Automáticos Primitivos - Vintages ), I will be happy to explain and clear the relation between Pretto and Glycine,that sounds more convenient since I don't speak Spanish.

Back to the Eugene Meylan Automatic aka E.M.S.A ( Eugene Meylan Société Anonyme )

Eugene Meylan invented the module, which could turn most of the 8.75''' lignes movements to automatic mechanisms :

Metal Auto part Clutch part Metal Games Steel

For some reason there is confusion in his attempts to register this invention. First he secures his invention by applying for a patent on his own name ' Eugene Meylan, La Chaux de Fonds '. The invention is registered by two files: CH 149137 and CH 148138 in 15 Oct 1930



Then he decides to buy a company with the name ' Chronomuri SA ' and registers it as ' Automatic EMSA ' in the trade office.
He attempts to change or make addition on 9 June 1931 to his already existing patent with his new company which is announced in La Chaux de Fonds Chronicles:



The patents announced above, CH 77878 and CH 77588 are marked on early Automatic Modules. For some reasons they are not registered and they refer now to unrelated patents so as:

Clock Metal Pocket watch Wall clock Fashion accessory

jigsaw (CH81653),
a drive-belt protector (CH77588),
two chemical processes for colors (CH77878, CH81251),
a twine machine (DE114688),
and an oil can (DE114720).

Carrying the patent through 2 companies he owned, Eugene Meylan makes one more attempt and transfers the patents to Automatic EMSA and registers them with different pat numbers in 5 March 1931:




He struggles with financial challenges add tries to protect his patent. Meanwhile looking for distributors in all countries to internationally spread his invention:


He tries hard for marketing. Creates together with Doxa SA, Meyer & Stuedeli ( Roamer ) and Glycine a marketing network in Germany to boost sales in the Reich-in those times. The office was in Berlin and the company was called ' Medex '.

The automatic module containing watches were also cased by different brands. I saw so far Helbros and Pretto watches with these modules, who knows we might see more surfacing while more information is revealed.

The watches from 1930 to 1935 carry the mark EMSA on the module, in 1935, Eugene Meylan transfers the patents to Fabrique d'Horlogerie La Glycine ( La Glycine Watch Factory, Uhrenfabrik La Glycine ) in 27 Aug 1935 and the EMSA mark disappears from the module and carry relevant Swiss patent numbers:

Font Fashion accessory Metal Clock Circle

But again the US patents don't match :) Tough time those 1935 to 1942 era, big recession pre and during WW II, I am not blaming anybody. Another applied for but not registered patents.

And this is now how Glycine Eugene Meylan Automatic looks:



No hassle to protect patents, beautifully paying tribute to its ancestors while they still tick around.

Glycine is an interesting company :) The biggest mystery is still there though and I am still searching. Not sure why it wasn't credited enough even for barely modern patents in 1953 for the 24 hour bezel GMT function which is now widely used by most of the watch manufacturers.

Pritchard's Swiss Timepiece Makers - the bible for watch collectors says that Glycine manufactured self winding watches in 1910 !!!
Whether it was a pocket watch or wrist watch is not stated. The perpetuale (self winding ) by Perrelet was invented back in 18th Century. The known self winding wristwatches were first LeRoy in 1918 only 6 pieces and Harwood in 1923 for mass produced self winding wristwatches. If the information in Pritchard's book is correct, there is still more to discover.

Hope it wasn't a boring topic, thank you for reading,more information can be seen in my site: www.glycintennial.com


Emre
 

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Nice! I love the Eugene Meylan aesthetic . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sad stories belong also to the reality, unfortunately. Didn't want to add this information in the timeline of Glycine watches but it's good to announce my new finding:

The founder of Glycine Watches, Eugene Meylan was murdered in Neuchatel on the 23rd Sept 1955 at the age of 86.The article in the newspaper ' L'Impartial Suisse ' gives also some information what he was doing previously. He was still in watch business, repairing and sales first in Lausanne then in Geneve at the address rue Dancet 1.

He came to Neuchatel from Geneve, to meet kind of workers union. He was robbed and murdered...:(

I could use some French translation though Google translate sucks. Anybody willing to translate the article with appreciation?

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Wow, that is interesting and given how bizarre it is, I'm surprised that it isn't common knowledge. My French is rusty, but after giving it a quick glimpse I'd say you could the essentials of the story right. At first I thought it must have been a different person by the same name (there's a Eugene Meylan buried in New York for example), but the article spells out his horological past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
That's one of the reasons ' Glycine ' as a brand appealed to me: the room to discover, not only purchasing beautiful time-pieces. This might have been an essential information, but wasn't necessarily needed. But once shed light, it becomes a cruical part of its history.

The only disrepency with this article and my earlier family tree searches is, the birth year.

Text Line Font Number Screenshot

Here, Eugene Meylan is born in 1869. Some perpetual internet sources say also he was 45 years old when he took over Glycine in 1914 ( 1869-1914 ). However in this source his death year is not mentioned even though it's detailed to his baptism date.

The newspaper article mentions 1891, but I am uncertain if that is mentioned as birth-year or kind of registration to the watchmakers' union and meant to be like ' Horloger ' since 1891, or we knowthat he was an engineer, and it indicates a profession union entry ? Maybe I got it wrong from the article, if somebody can clear it what that date is 1891, I would highly appreciate.
 

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As I said, my French is very rusty, but my understanding of the paragraph that mentions the year 1891 is:

"In addition, the investigators had to shortly after learn the identity of the victim. He was former Chaux-de-Fonds resident M. Eugene Meylan, not from 1891, who was the manufacturer of watches and who some years ago went to Lausanne from Geneva where he first rebuilt and sold watches at 1 Dancet Street."
I don't think that the article was suggesting that he was born in 1891. The word preceding the year is "ne", which means "not", as opposed to "né" that would translate to "born". I could be completely wrong, but my take is that the article was avoiding confusion with someone else who had the same year that was born in 1891. In other words, the writer was saying the Eugene Meylan who was murdered was NOT the Eugene Meylan who was born in 1891.

I hope a native French speaker will either confirm or correct my translation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you Uwe.Very interesting to learn how a hat on letter can change the whole meaning.

This is getting excited but getting beyond watches. I might have found a photo of Eugene Meylan!

Having many names is confusing in searches as well as categorizing and filing - Charles Auguste Louis Eugene Meylan -

Here is a photo which is filed as A.Louis Meylan- where the costume also matches the era he has lived.

Portrait White-collar worker Suit
He looks like he can be our guy, doesn't he? The face expression is ' shot the photo quick, I better get back to that automatic module, have to fix one last thing I just remembered ' :)
 

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Some cracking research there Emre, very interesting find.

I think Brice will be your man for translation.
 

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The face expression is ' shot the photo quick, I better get back to that automatic module, have to fix one last thing I just remembered ' :)
Hmmm. He doesn't look that intelligent to me. If anything his facial expression looks what what you'd see on someone who is trying to remember if he left the bath water running.
 

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Here's below my translation of this article.
And clearly, the Eugène Meylan we're refering to is this person murdered in Neufchatel and born in 1891.

Cheers,
Brice

Monday September 26, 1955

An older Chaux-de-Fonds inhabitant murdered in Neufchatel

A corpse discovered in the Mall

A worker going at work on Saturday discovered just before 8 am the corpse of an unknown person, lying bloody on belly, face on soil, not far from the Mall shooting booth in Neufchatel. It was a corpulent man, about 60 years, and whose clothes were wrinkled and torn as if the body had been dragged over a long distance.
The Police, immediately alerted, transported the body to the morgue of Hôpital Cadolles, where Dr. Clerc, pathologist, proceeded to an autopsy. This revealed that the stranger had been killed by violent blows to the head and upper body.

Victim identity

In addition, shortly after investigators learned the identity of the victim. HE IS A FORMER CHAUX-DE-FONDS INHABITANT, MR. EUGENE MEYLAN, BORN IN 1891, WHO WAS WATCH MAKER and who went to Lausanne first a few years ago, then to Geneva, where he looked after rhabillages and watche sales, rue Dancet 1.
The judge, Mr. H.Bolle, who just chaired Saturday the French-speaking judges conference, abandoned his ceremonial duties to engage -- with the security police -- a thorough investigation. Because of the corpse position and some findings, one could think several assumptions: fight, accident caused by a driver who had concealed the victim, or a scoundrel's crime.

Murderer arrestation

However, with commendable speed, investigators reassembled yesterday facts as they occurred. And in fact Meylan, come from Geneva, had met in the Neufchatel Workers Club, a young "zoot" named Edward Glatz, born in 1937, apprentice mechanic, living at his parents.
The two men left the Club around 3:00 Sunday morning and headed toward the Mall. It is in this place that Glatz knocked his companion, stripped his money and hid the body.
THE YOUNG MURDERER WAS ARRESTED SUNDAY MORNING AND PUT IN JAIL. WE HAVE HERE A "VILLAINOUS" CRIME, COMMITTED AFTER A PARTICULARLY STIRRED TIME.
During this quarrel Glatz seizing a stone, gave violent blows on his companion's head.
 

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I don't get the use of "ne" then with regard to the year 1891. Since there isn't an accent mark over the letter 'e' how can it mean "born"?
 

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I don't get the use of "ne" then with regard to the year 1891. Since there isn't an accent mark over the letter 'e' how can it mean "born"?
Because accents are usually not required when writing with block letters.
And furthermore: there's any logical reason to emphazise a year (1891) which isn't related to someone !!
 

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Because accents are usually not required when writing with block letters.
Didn't realise that accents were dropped for uppercase letters. It's odd to me, but does explain the translation.

And furthermore: there's any logical reason to emphazise a year (1891) which isn't related to someone !!
Well, there would be if you wanted to avoid confusion with someone else.

Regardless, according to Emre's data on birth dates it would appear that the person mentioned in the article is not the Eugene Meylan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks gentlemen for the clarification. Since the dates are known to me it's easier to crosscheck with other sources. Another newspaper is mentioning the idendity as ' Eugene Arthur Meylan ' again watchmaker, but this time ' né en 1891 ' format. While all this supports that the crime won't be Glycine's Eugene Meylan, in the contrary there is also mentioned that he was running the Bulle Clock business, which he had exclusive representative in Switzerland, which is correct after 1936 in our Eugene Meylan.I am puzzled...
 
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