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The brand name, Leonidas, is taken from ancient Greek history – Leonidas I was king and military leader of Sparta 489-480BC and was killed, aged 60, at the Battle of Thermopylae, in the latter year.

The Leonidas Watch Company (originally with an acute accent on the 'e') was formed by Julien Bourquin at Saint-Imier, Switzerland, in 1841 – Saint-Imier being located in the French-speaking Bernese Jura. Watches of affordable quality formed the mainstay of production, but Borquin himself, developed an intense interest in the technology of measuring short intervals of time and he introduced this aspect of watchmaking to the company.

They were famous for their ATP contribution- one of 16 manufacturers specifically picked by the British Ministry of Defence to produce a run of wartime watches for the British Armed Forces. 

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