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Founded in 1858 by Charles-Yvan Robert and Hyppolite Robert of Villeret, what would eventually become the Minerva Watch brand in 1887 was initially a "tablisseurs" of watches, an assembler of watches from parts manufactured elsewhere. It wasn't until 1902, under the leadership of C. Robert's sons, Charles-Auguste and Georges-Louis, that Minerva became a "manufacture" of watches a watchmaker that designed and manufactured the most critical parts, such as the movement blank, in their own engineering workshops.

The earliest Minerva wristwatch was manufactured in 1909, but the watch company's greatest success came in 1923 with the introduction the No. 20, a calibre that perfectly illustrates the classic and refined architecture of wrist chronographs of that era, with a column-wheel mechanism, a Breguet balance-spring and 17 jewels. With the launch of this watch, the company earned its reputation as a manufacturer of complicated movements of exceptional quality.

In 1936, Minerva was responsible for time-keeping in the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and in the years after WWII, developed a full range of mechanical movements, complemented by automatic movements made by Ebauches S.A. In 1983, the company celebrated its 125th anniversary with the introduction of an electronic master clock, the MCT 125, which sustained and commemorated the spirit and tradition of the master watchmakers of bygone eras.

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