Jean Francois Autran and Johann Viala are the name givers of our brand AUTRAN & VIALA. This is how the story began:

On a foggy morning in 1767, the adventurer Jean Francois Autran went to Karlsruhe to talk with Margrave Karl Friedrich about his idea building a watch factory in Lörrach.

First he was not enthusiastic about Autrans proposal but that changed rather quickly: Karl Friedrich submitted Autran to open a watch factory, but: This must be done in Pforzheim in the orphanage. This firstly would solve the financial deficits of Pforzheim and also open the way to economic independence.

As this was not possible for Autran to do this on his own he took Johann Viala on board. In April 1767 the contract was signed. In June that year the production of pocket watches already started.

The initiative and spirit of adventure of Autran combined with the very hardworking and conscientious attitude of Viala built the main pillars of the watch industry in Pforzheim. The orphanage was opened in 1718. Since 1752 it was also used as hospital and workhouse.

Origin, history and future at the same time. We want to continue what began in 1767.


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