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In 1986, EBEL acquired an iconic house with a rich history of watchmaking which was one of the most innovative architectural constructions of its time. Designed by Le Corbusier, one of the pioneers of modern architecture, the acquisition of the villa was a choice dictated by both passion and reason for EBEL. Emblematic of its core values and an important part of the international architectural heritage, it has been known as the “House of EBEL” for over 30 years. The Villa is indeed an inspiration for devotees of “haute horlogerie” (the art of watchmaking) and architectural connoisseurs the world over.

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La Chaux-de-Fonds, cradle of creativity

In 1911, at a time when Le Corbusier was already traveling around the globe, Eugène Blum and Alice Lévy created EBEL in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the heart of the Swiss Jura region.

On his return from a trip to the Middle East five years later, Charles Edouard Jeanneret, (Le Corbusier’s real name) undertook the building of this house just a few streets away. Neighbors called it "La Villa Turque" thanks to the overwhelming influence of Byzantine architecture in its design. The Villa was completed in 1917 and three years later Jeanneret took on the pseudonym with which he would become world famous.

The Villa had originally been a private commission by Anatole Schwob, a watchmaking industrialist from La Chaux-de-Fonds. By acquiring the Villa in 1986, EBEL was continuing the tradition of great names in watchmaking being situated in this residence in La Chaux-de-Fonds, while also celebrating the company’s 75th anniversary.

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La Villa Turque: daring aesthetic mastery and innovative functionality

On first discovering this one-of-a-kind building, it is easy to appreciate the aesthetic ties it has formed with EBEL. The purity of its structure and its relationship with light echo the spirit of the brand's iconic watches.

The Villa Turque represents Le Corbusier's first attempt at a concrete application of a revolutionary living concept: the Domino. This extremely avant-garde form is founded on a set of five construction principles developed by Le Corbusier: the use of reinforced concrete columns in place of load-bearing walls; the free design of the ground plan (unrestricted by the need for supporting walls); the free design of the façade (again unrestricted by supporting walls); the use of horizontal windows (to provide equal lighting); and the inclusion of a roof garden.

The simplicity of its appearance cleverly conceals the technical complexity of both the Villa’s conception and the choice of materials used in its construction. The aesthetic preferences and the ingenuity of Le Corbusier are fully expressed here. It is a place which reflects EBEL’s own core values, where beauty marries with functionality.

EBEL's commitment to respect authenticity

Upon acquiring the Villa in 1986, EBEL began a process of repairs and implemented a new interior design. Through the faithful restoration of original shapes and materials, the high-quality interior design highlighted the elegance of the structure and its playful relationship with natural light. With this restoration project, EBEL played an important role in upholding Le Corbusier’s place in the history of modern architecture.

EBEL’s renovation of La Villa Turque

EBEL commissioned a further renovation of the Villa in 2011 as part of a wider campaign to highlight its cultural importance. In contrast to the monochrome re-design of 1986, The Villa Turque returned to an emphasis on the constant, playful movement of light and shadows. The subtle and tasteful renovation work reflects EBEL’s brand values without ostentation, but emphasizing style and elegance with functionality.