150 years dedicated to magnifying detail
The history of Lebeau-Courally is inextricably bound up with its founder’s unique passion for handcrafts. In 1865 Auguste Lebeau brought his dream to life. A dream of the best hunting guns to be found anywhere in the world. Bespoke hunting pieces, reflecting the unique personality of their owner. Still today, that same spirit inspires every watch created by Lebeau-Courally. Join us in our journey to the origins of that tradition.
Liège – Belgium, the epicentre of watchmaking and gunsmithing. Auguste Lebeau sets up his own workshop in Liège to produce luxury hunting guns. He surrounds himself with the very best craftsmen. Bespoke precision and strength, tailored to the individual hunter, are the DNA of each Lebeau-Courally.
Ferdinand Courally continues the activities under the name of Lebeau-Courally. The customers remain faithful as ever: the Russian Tsars, the Spanish royal house and aristocracy all over the world. In this period the house refines its know-how and craftsmanship to a level unrivalled in Europe. Each hunting gun takes 400 to 1300 man-hours to produce, with each component being finished and assembled by hand.
Ferdinand Courally retires from the business. The Englishman Philippe Reeve takes over the management. He introduces Lebeau-Courally on the other side of the Channel. With great success. Lebeau-Courally also wins numerous medals and distinctions at top-level exhibitions in other countries. The company numbers Tsar Nicholas II, European royal houses, the aristocracy and many other keen hunters among its customers.
Lebeau-Courally is taken over by the Belgian Joseph Verrees, a renowned gunsmith from Liège. He conserves the spirit of the great house and further enhances its reputation as a manufacturer. He also perfects the hunting gun mechanisms and components. Precision, reliability and exclusivity are the hallmarks of production. He also nurtures and protects the company’s métier d’arts, the most striking examples of which are the fine woodwork and the detailed, lifelike engravings.
The tradition is continued by the fourth generation. Anne-Marie Moermans-Ramakers, Verrees’ niece, further develops the creation of luxury hunting pieces. She goes in search of the very best craftsmen in the Liège area. She also extends the range of hunting guns, while maintaining the same degree of perfection. Craftsmanship, precision and robustness are united in each hunting gun.
Joris Ide, himself a keen shot, is so enthused by the unique values and traditions of the house that his family takes over the business. The takeover is a blast of oxygen for Lebeau-Courally, enabling it to preserve and develop the gunsmithing craft. The first plans are hatched to build on the Lebeau-Courally tradition. He goes back to the origins of the craft: gunsmiths were the original makers of watch parts. Here Lebeau-Courally finds the inspiration to extend the craftsmanship and métier d’arts to include exclusive watch collections.
Lebeau-Courally goes in search of experts from the Swiss world of haute horlogerie to turn this dream into reality. Antoine Tschumi of CT Design (Greubel & Forsey, Harry Winston) is entrusted with the task of creating a master design, true to the traditions of the brand.
Four characteristics are reflected in the Lebeau-Courally world. The name of each watch corresponds to the name of one of our hunting guns. The distinctive clef de fusil or locking lever at 9 o’clock forms an elegant decorative element. The dial shows the typical cadrillage frappé found on the butt of each Lebeau-Courally.
In that same year the special calibre that forms the heart and soul of "Le Prince," the beautiful Lebeau-Courally tourbillon, is distinguished with 3rd prize at the prestigious Concours International de la Chronometrie 2011 in the Swiss town of Le Locle.
Lebeau-Courally opens its first flagship store in Knokke, Belgium's upmarket seaside resort. A new masterpiece is unveiled: Le Comte, an officer’s watch in pink gold with three complications and personalised engraving.
In extension of his mission to bring outstanding craftsmanship and talent together, Lebeau-Courally sponsors the world-famous Queen Elisabeth competition in which young virtuosos interpret classical pieces of music.
Lebeau-Courally extends its product portfolio with a special selection of luxury accessories. Here also, the hallmarks are the combination of disciplines with the highest standard of craftsmanship and the unique engraving that have characterised Lebeau-Courally ever since 1865.
Celebrating its 150th anniversary, Lebeau-Courally has kicked off the year with a big bang. By acquiring IMH, one of the rare 100% integrated Swiss manufactures, the house has taken its watchmaking activities to the next level. IMH’s expertise and team of 40 of the world’s best watchmakers allow Lebeau-Courally to fabricate its watches entirely in-house, from the initial draft to the final assembly. It produces virtually all its watch components in its own manufacture. Moreover, the high-grade finishing and refined decorations realised by the master craftsmen of the manufacture in Le Locle guarantee that the owners of a Lebeau-Courally watch will recognise the same excellent handmade quality for which its bespoke hunting arms have been known for over 150 years. With its atelier in Liège for the production of bespoke hunting arms, and the newly acquired manufacture in Le Locle, Lebeau-Courally continues its mission to create timeless handcrafted pieces.