1857 / 1858
The State of Neuchâtel confirms the construction and the plans of an observatory.
The german Adolphe Hirsch is the founder and the first director at the age of 28. He was born in Halberstadt in Germany.
1859 / 1860
Construction of the first buildings.
Hourly signal sent every day by telegraphic line, to Neuchâtel, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Locle and Bern.
The time is precise to two hundredth of a second.
Construction of the Chaumont sight (Mountain above Neuchâtel). Agreement with P & T for the distribution of the time signal.
Introduction of universal time. The Observatory continues to send its local time, specifying that the time difference is 1 h. 32 min. 10 s. 4.
1901 April 16th
Death of Dr Hirsch. He gives his fortune to the State of Neuchâtel to build the Hirsch Pavilion.
Mr. Louis Arndt is the second director.
First project for the transmission of the hour by radio waves.
Opening of the Hirsch Pavilion.
First mention of the photographic study of variable stars (Delta Cephei).
Retirement of Mr. Louis Arndt. Mr. Edmond Guyot is the third director.
The Observatory is on the list of the 10 best observatories in the world.
First quartz clock of the Observatory.
Retirement of Mr. Edmond Guyot. He is replaced by Mr. Jean-Pierre Blaser.
Beginning of the Neuchâtel HBN transmitter on 2,5 and 5 MHz, as well as the Münchenbuchsee HBB transmitter on 96 kHz. Beginning of the speaking clock and distribution of time.
Retirement of Mr. Jean-Pierre Blaser. He is replaced by Mr. Jacques Bonanomi.
The time of the Observatory becomes the standard time in Switzerland.
12th General Conference of Weights and Measurements. It replaces the astronomical unit of the second by that of the cesium clock.
The first quartz clocks beat all the records in the chronometry contest.
The measurements made at the PZT zenith telescope, still collected by the International Bureau of the Hour, are still considered the best in the world. Final adoption on the paper of the atomic second as a unit of time.
The seismology service is only summarily maintained
Donation of the meridian telescope to the Musée international d’horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
It is the end of the definition of the international time by the Observatory. The United States, Canada and Germany are the references.
End of the measures with PZT Telescop.
Retirement of Mr. Giovanni Busca. He is replaced by Mr. Alain Maurissen.
End of the activities of the Observatory. The institution was dissolved and integrated into the University of Neuchâtel (Time and Frenquency Laboratory) and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM)