TSM is proud of its insurance heritage

TSM has a rich history that is inextricably tied to Swiss precision watchmaking. The Company was founded in 1921, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the watchmaking capital of Switzerland. Throughout the years, we have forged deep and lasting bonds with our customers, underpinned by our solid values such as independence, reliability, and the need for a strong local presence.

Our pursuit of excellence is reflected in every aspect of our business, drawing on our deep understanding of business and commercial risks. We leverage this heritage and know-how to drive outcomes for our customers.

Our mission and values

With a corporate culture true to our Swiss heritage, we offer our customers unique insurance solutions underpinned by our specialist knowledge and experience.

Corporate focus
Our independence and local presence enable us to develop appropriate, highly technical solutions for our customers, partners and stakeholders.

We are an environmentally responsible company and we put people at the centre of our concerns. This is reflected in our commitment to sustainable investment and our ambition to be a genuine driver of change.

We are rigorous in the way we do business, guided by a respect for our history, our values, and the reputation we have earned as a solid and ethical company.

We are passionate about what we do. Our agility and specialist expertise enables us to pursue more effective solutions tailored to the needs of our customers, partners and stakeholders.

We aspire to be a trusted partner that our customers can depend on. We believe that we can only achieve this by staying true to our mission and our values and by delivering on our commitments.

A company’s
success is the result
of a subtle alchemy.

The origins of TSM

TSM is a cooperative, founded in 1921 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Neuchâtel Jura region of Switzerland, the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry. Its founders were members of the Syndicat patronal des fabricants de montres de la métropole horlogère, a watchmaking syndicate seeking to secure the best possible insurance for their high added-value products, which were exported all over the world. The company gradually expanded its customer base to the entire watchmaking industry and related sectors.

Our history
The story of TSM began in Switzerland on 21 September 1921, the date it was founded. At the time, the conditions offered by insurance companies were far too general and were not geared to the specific characteristics of watchmaking products and markets. This was particularly the case after the first World War, when Swiss watchmaking exports grew exponentially. In 1921, the Syndicat Patronal des Producteurs de la Montre (SPPM) in La Chaux-de-Fonds created its own "marine insurance" department, designed to offer its members "all risks" insurance cover for the most competitive premium possible. Thus, on 21 September 1921, seventeen local watch manufacturers founded a cooperative under the name of "TRANSPORTS" Société Mutuelle. That was the start of coverage which is known today as "all-risks".

In 1934, TSM changed its articles of association to extend its business focus, but only within the Canton of Neuchâtel. The domicile clause for policyholders was applied so strictly that if a policyholder moved its registered office outside the canton, it automatically forfeited its membership and had to find another marine insurance company. In the 1930s, the shares were split and the par value was reduced to CHF 25 a share. At the same time, the obligation to subscribe for shares, based on the insurance value, was abolished. It was not until 1950 that the Company obtained a licence to provide marine insurance throughout Switzerland.

An amendment to the articles of association on 10 May 1955 was significant not only because it signalled a change in the Company's name from "Transports Société Mutuelle" to "TSM Société Mutuelle d'Assurances Transports", but particularly because it opened the door to a broader range of customers. The Company could now provide insurance to non-member companies, meaning it could extend its insurance solutions to include non-watchmaking customers. All shares subscribed up to that point were bought back by the Company, and members were no longer personally liable for its liabilities.

Trust built
on a shared passion.

Legal form

TSM is a cooperative. Its governing body is the General Meeting of Members. Each member has one vote. It is an independent company providing specialised insurance solutions for the international transport of goods.

Sphere of operations
and organisation

Initially, TSM did not provide a broad range of insurance cover - for over 100 years we specialised in marine insurance. Now, our diverse clientele is primarily made up of business enterprises and industrial companies engaged in international operations involving import and export. They are located throughout Switzerland (50% in the German-speaking region, 45% in the French-speaking region, and 5% in Ticino – the Italian-speaking region).

Over the last few decades, we have focused on growing and diversifying our customer base in other insurance areas, so as to be less dependent on cyclical influences in a single sector. However, marine insurance for the watchmaking sector still accounts for a significant proportion of our business, with close to 30% of total premium income.

Espace TSM is located in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Espace TSM

«A modern space, ready to host your creative ideas»
The Espace TSM is the region's hub for conferences, seminars, galas, general meetings and exhibitions.

More information

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