1885 to 1950 - The origin
1885 Louis Aufranc opened a small precious metal smelter in Biel/Bienne.
1924 "Cendres & Métaux S.A." was founded as a stock corporation, resulting from the merger of Aufranc and Zanelli. The company was based in the Eisengasse, a street in the city centre of Bienne. Cendres+Métaux primarily focused on processing scrap containing precious metals from the watch casing industry as well as old pieces of jewellery, the aim was to recover the precious metals. "Cendres" is the French word for waste that has been burnt to ashes, while "Métaux" is the French word for the metals concerned.
The production of alloys for the dental and jewellery industry was progressively established and the company also started to produce wedding rings and dental attachments.
1960 to 2000 - The Internationalization
1961: A subsidiary, Cendres+Métaux Italia S.r.l., is founded in Milan.
1961: The company moves into a new production and administration building at 122 Bözingenstrasse, Biel/Bienne, (current location).
1970: A subsidiary, Cendres+Métaux France SAS, is founded in Paris / La Varenne St. Hilaire.
1974: The company moves into additional premises at 122 Bözingenstrasse, Biel/Bienne.
1986: The company inaugurates its new refining plant at 7 David Moningstrasse, Biel/Bienne. This plant makes it possible for waste containing precious metals to be processed in an environmentally friendly manner while at the same time minimising costs for the customer.
Since 1993, Cendres+Métaux has been developing and producing products in accordance with quality assurance standards ISO 9001 and thus complies with the EU Guidelines for medical products.
1996: Cendres+Métaux is certified in accordance with EN 46001 (now ISO 13485) for medical products. In the same year Cendres+Métaux obtains the MDD 93/42/EEC CE certification.
1997: Cendres+Métaux implements the SAP R/3 enterprise resource planning system.
In the same year, the Cendres+Métaux laboratory is awarded its analysis methods accreditation - EN 45001 (now ISO 17025).
2000: The company implemented EKAS guideline 6508 for safety at work.
2000 to 2014 - The expansion
2002: A new production facility is inaugurated, doubling the previous production area.
2002: Cendres+Métaux Holding SA is founded in Biel/Bienne.
Cendres+Métaux SA in Bienne, with all their affiliated firms, becomes a subsidiary of the holding.
2003: The company moves into its new five-storey administration annex. This provides Cendres+Métaux with a further 1000 m2 of gross floor space and 250m2 for logistics.
2004: Cendres+Métaux becomes a Customer Competence Centre (CCC) certified by SAP. The aim of this voluntary certification is to optimize the partnership between Cendres+Métaux and SAP in all areas.
2004: Inauguration of the new entrance hall and completion of the overall renovation and modernisation works at the 122 Bözingenstrasse head office in Biel/Bienne.
2005: Extension of the existing Management System with the certification of an Environment Management System according to ISO 14001:2004.
2008: Acquisition of Galétan SA and Oscillor SA by the Cendres+Métaux Group, Biel/Bienne.
2009: Acquisition of Metalor Dental AG by the Cendres+Métaux Group, Biel/Bienne.
2014: The company moves into additional production premises. This provides additional 4212m2 of gross floor space.
2015 to date – The divisionalisation
2015: Merger of Dental and Medical divisions to become Cendres+Métaux Medtech.
2016: The new Cendres+Métaux Luxe & Industry division is founded from the Jewellery, Watch and Refining divisions.
A majority holding in Momo Plus AG is acquired and rebranded Cendres+Métaux Microtech Ltd, therefore making the company a supplier of mechanical watch movements.
2017: As well as its Asian and European subsidiary companies, Cendres+Métaux Ltd opens a new branch in Shanghai, China.
The Luxury+Industry division of the Cendres+Métaux Group takes over the activities of the watch case manufacturer PRG Manufacture SA in Delémont. Thanks to this takeover and integration of activities, Cendres+Métaux has at its disposal the capability to cover the entire value-added chain in the manufacture of watch cases and components made of precious metals, stainless steel and titanium, which is a unique prerequisite in Switzerland.
2018: Legal structural adjustments with the division of Cendres+Métaux Ltd into a Medtech, Lux and Management company and the founding of Cendres+Métaux Management Ltd and Cendres+Métaux Lux Ltd.
Founding of subsidiary Diavantis SA by Cendres+Métaux Holding Ltd.
Takeover of the watch case manufacturer Queloz Ltd, based in Saignelégier.
2019: After a planning and construction phase of about two years, the new refining plant in Lyss was opened in September. This modern plant enables us to work more efficiently, reduce precious metal throughput times and decrease precious metal waste.
2020: Cendres+Métaux Medtech is reorganizing its international business:
The subsidiaries Great Britain and South Korea will operate independently in their markets as of 1 January 2020. As independent distributors, they will distribute Cendres+Métaux products exclusively in the future.
There were also changes in the Luxury+Industry Division:
The business activities of Guillod Gunther will be acquired by Queloz SA at the end of the year. Guillod Gunther, founded in 1866, specialized in the manufacture of watch cases. In September, the division acquires a majority stake in Cronal SA in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. The company was founded in 1989 and is specialized in engraving. In September also, the refining plant in Lyss is sold to our long-standing partner Metalor Technologies. In the future, Cendres+Métaux will continue to focus on precious metal recycling, customers will still be able to obtain all their services from a single source.
2022: On 9 November 2022, Cornu&Cie SA was acquired by Cendres+Métaux. Founded in 1877, the company specialises in polishing, assembling, soldering, machining and the development of new clasp systems and bracelets.