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Paul Buhre

Russian clock factory, one of the oldest in Europe

Pavel Buhre was one of the first watch companies in Europe. The company was founded by Karl Buhre, a Russian businessman of German descent. At first the Buhre watch company was located exclusively in St. Petersburg. In 1874, 34-year-old Pavel Buhre, Sr., son of Charles Buhre, decided to purchase a watch factory in Swiss Le Locle.

By order of the imperial court the Buhre factory produced gift watches, which the emperor presented to officials for distinguished public service, foreign diplomats and prominent figures of culture. Buhre watches were also given as bonuses to officers and non-commissioned officers in the Russian army.

Leading European watch makers
of the late XIX and early XX centuries
  • 1775
  • 1815
  • 1829
  • 1839
  • 1853

In 1899 Pavel Buhre was awarded the title of Official Supplier of the Imperial Court and granted the right to use the state coat of arms in its logo. The fact that the title of Official Supplier was bestowed to the company owner personally, not as a legal entity, is the reason the signature of Pavel Buhre is in the logo. Contenders for the title of Official Supplier of the Imperial Court were required to participate in all provincial exhibitions established by the Ministry of Finance for eight years, and to remain free of customer complaints therein.

Pavel Buhre’s share of government orders
  • 70%
  • 15%
  • 15%
  • Pavel Buhre
  • Tissot
  • Moser & Cie

Pavel Buhre watches were awarded top prizes at many national and international exhibitions, including silver and gold medals at World’s Fairs in Paris in 1889 and 1900, respectively. A silver medal in 1889, and a gold medal in 1900.
In 1916, Pavel Buhre company received the Swiss patent number 74144 for the in-house chronograph.

The Buhre produced upmarket products as well as watches for the public at large. Prices for a Pavel Buhre watch started at only two rubles and went as high as several thousand. This Russian company became one of the world’s leading producers of affordable watches for broadest social demographics.

XX 1st half
of the XX

20% of the Russian
watch market

At the beginning of the XX century Pavel Buhre held up to 20% of the Russian watch market.

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