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Halda was founded in 1887 by Henning Hammarlund in Svängsta and was a Swedish manufacturer of pocketwatches. In 2009, Halda was given new life at the initiative of the watch entrepreneur and engineer Mikael Sandström
Halda, Sweden's first pocketwatch factory
Halda was founded in 1887 by the factory owner Henning Hammarlund (1857-1922) in order to primarily produce pocket watches. Its name is formed by a contraction of the founder's surname -Hammarlund( a).
Hammarlund had, after an education in particularly Switzerland, returned to Sweden determined to start a Swedish pocketwatch factory. The location of this purpose he found in the small community of Svängsta by Mörrumsån in Blekinge. The first pocketwatches, Haldauren was presented 1889. In 1893, they were rewarded two medals at the World Exhibition in Chicago. In 1890, Halda also began to produce typewriters and taximeters.
The company split
To cope with the ever-decreasing demand for pocket watches during World War I, Hammarlund developed new ideas for the manufacturing of typewriters and taxi meters. After financial problems however, the pocket watch production was put down in 1917 (about 8,000 pocket watches was manufactured from 1888 to 1917) and in 1920 the company was liquidated. Instead, a new company, AB Halda Fabriker, took over the manufacturing of typewriters. The successful production of taximeters, took the Fabriks AB Halda taximeter (which is the origin of today's Haldex AB (gearboxes, four-wheel drive, etc.) and Halda Trancometer AB (taximeters)) and production was moved to Halmstad.
ABU takes over the pocket watch manufacturing
Even the production of pocket watches lived on under the watchmaker Carl Borgström's housing, an employee of the Halda Fickursfabrik since 1904. Borgström bought up the remaining stock of watch parts and some machinery and again, along with some watchmakers from Fickursfabriken, started produce watches. The company, AB Urfabriken (ABU), came to produce pocketwatches until 1926 and then included fishing equipment. ABU, now ABU-Garcia AB, is still located in Svängsta.
AB Åtvidaberg Industries take over typewriter manufacturing
AB Halda Fabriker went bankrupt in 1927 each after the company name was changed again, this time to Halda AB. The business grew throughout the 1930s. In 1938 Halda was taken over by AB Åtvidabergs Industrier and converted to a subsidiary under the name Facit-Halda AB. Halda, however, had remained as a typewriter brand in the Åtvidaberg Group to the year 1957 when it switched to Facit AB. During the early 1970s, over 1,000 employees worked at the factory in Svängsta. During the late 1970s and 1980s, business was worse, and in 1987 (the same year as Halda turned 100 years old) the former owner, Ericsson announced that they sold Facit to the Norwegian Design Data. Facit Holding AB was formed in connection with this. Despite the production of electronic typewriters and focus on manufacturing personal computers and printed circuit boards the company's position deteriorated further. At the end of 1992-1993, the company went bankrupt, and the typewriter production in Svängsta was put down.
The brand resumes
In 2009, Halda was given new life and at the initiative of the watch entrepreneur and engineer Mikael Sandström who has developed a new watch with an innovative concept of a time-platform and two interchangeable time-modules. The 21st century Halda-watches is based on the same drive that Henning Hammarlund established: there is never room for compromise in quality or function. Therefore, in developing the first modern Halda-watch, the company worked with the Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang who tested the watch in the most extreme environment—on his latest space mission, STS-128.
Using their knowledge of taximeters the company created a series of trip computers for use in rallying. The The Halda Speedpilot was called "a considerable advance upon anything of the kind previously marketed, as regards usefulness, compactness, mechanical simplicity (and hence reliability), simplicity of operation and price" by Autosport.
- Sven Sandström; Sture Carlsson; Staffan Sjunnesson (1987). Stefan Sahlén, ed. Halda: en svensk fickurfabrik (in Swedish). Stockholm: Sveriges urmakareförb. LIBRIS-ID:730257.
- Mike Disher (August 27, 2009). "Reborn Halda Watch Co. to Send Timepiece Into Space". watchtime.com. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- Motor Rally: The Magic Box, March 1956
- Autosport: A Most Accurate Average Speed Computer , March 9, 1956