Nivada was founded as early as 1879, in 1887, or as late as 1926 in Grenchen, Switzerland. The company gained traction after World War II, producing a series of successful watches before succumbing to the quartz crisis.
In 1926, Nivada was operational in Grenchen as Wüllimann Schneider Nivada S.A. The company relied on proven movements from ETA and Phénix S.A., as was typical at the time, and the company was known for quality mass-produced watches. Nivada celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1976, suggesting that the company officially dates to 1926. The company was run by Max Schneider, son of the founder, at that time.
Nivada was prevented from using their name during the 1960s and 1970s due to its phonetic similarity with Movado, so the products were labeled "Nivada Grenchen". In the United States, Croton was formed in 1940 as a distributor for Nivada products, so many were sold under the "Croton Nivada", "Croton Nivada Grenchen", and simply "Croton" names.
In 1979 the Nivada brand was purchased by a Chinese gentleman, Hakui Sito. The watches were manufactured in rural South Korea by children helping to support their families.
The Nivada brand was also used in South Korea by the Kim Suk Keun Watch Company from 1985 through the 2000s but appears to be defunct now.
Today, Nivada is still incorporated in Grenchen, Switzerland and the brand continues in some markets, notably in Mexico. In 2000, the brand was purchased by Salinas Pliego and Grupo Salinas restarted sales selling entry-level watches and operating company-owned branded stores.
Rollamatic (also "Rollador") using Phenix 200 movements.
Reglavit, a water resistant watch with a unique external regulator screw.
Antarctic was a long-running series of watches initiated in 1958 in celebration of the International Geophysical Year, and using the ETA 2472 movement.
Depthmaster was a diving watch, water resistant to 1,000 M.
Depthomatic was another diving watch, water resistant to 200 M, and using the ETA 2472 movement.
Alertamatic was an alarm watch using the Lemania 2980 movement.
Ultramatic 36000 (1975) used the rare 36,000 A/h ETA 2734 movement.
Due to their close relation to Phenix/MSR, Nivada sold the Vulcain Cricket alarm watch under their own brand as the Wanderer.
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