The Ultra manufacture was founded in 1949 by Pierre Maillardet, heir to the House of Paul Maillardet & Fils in in Morteau, French Doubs. A heritage of the long tradition of French clockmaking, rooting back to the 18th Century.
Henri, first of the Maillardets, was the partner of the Jacquet-Droz family and built with his brothers numerous automatons made to order by the Kings and Emperors of the time.
ULTRA - A FRENCH MANUFACTURE
Following his ancestors steps, Pierre Maillardet’s ambition lead him to take over a factory known as the Geismar works in 1937, including it’s workshop in Besancon which was set up in the iconic building of the Taragnoz Mill. This acquisition aimed at providing the company with a full in-house movement production line thus granting it the status of Manufacture.
Among those assets and on top of the immense technical know-how of Geismar & Co, was a registered trademark synonymous with precise and reliable pocket watches since 1911: ULTRA.
This technical and esthetical heritage provided the manufacture with the means of an immediate success. Following the Cal. 41 pocket watches with in-house movements, ULTRA developed several wrist-watch movements as well as mechanical innovations:
In 1949, the creation of ULTRA Sarl provided the brand with an independent legal structure and durably established it in the French clockmaking scene.
FALL & REBIRTH
Family disagreements and an unfavorable economic climate caused financial turmoil to the company at the end of the decade, leading to bankruptcy in 1972. Forty years later, Ultra is born again thanks to the joint efforts of a Morteau-based clockmaker and a French entrepreneur, giving a new life to the iconic models of the brand in a workshop located just blocks away from the original Ultra headquarters.