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You can't fake having history. Actual time had to be put in. And has Thorens ever put it on the clock. Their roots trace back to 1883 in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland where one of the Cima Museum's rooms today maintains an exhibit which contains working examples of early Thorens turntables. Older St. Croix residents well remember the company's halcyon days of operating out of a local six-building complex there. Even the original single building still stands. A Serbian expat now machines select watch parts out of its back. These locals pronounce the company name To-rá by the way, emphasis on the second syllable. Confessed Richard Kohlruss, the Canadian importer who unearthed this bit: "I'd never heard it spoken that way before but these people ought to know." Today of course, Thorens manufactures in Germany but the Swiss connection remains. CEO and General Manager Heinz Rohrer is a Swiss living in Basel where he maintains his office of operations.

Heinz Rohrer to right, with his marketing consultant behind him followed by Rohrer's right-hand lady - to left, Thorens' Swiss distributor in whose show room took place an audition of the Thorens electronics

Coincident with his company's 125th anniversary, Rohrer recently summoned his European distributors for a strategy meeting in St.-Croix (he held a similar meeting in Asia earlier in the year to see his Pacific Rim partners - Thorens has about 50 importers around the globe). To be unveiled at the upcoming Heathrow show is the €45,000 or less 54kg Jubilee statement turntable to celebrate Thorens' unbroken tradition as the oldest lineage holder of not just turntables but audio products in the world.

The Swiss meeting concluded with a visit to the Cima museum whose immaculate collection of music boxes, automated figurines, early gramophones and juke boxes, player pianos and more is testament to Swiss workmanship and -- of interest to our readers -- the progression of sound playback in the home.

Opening the exhibit is a mechanically animated likeness of the museum's founder. The puppet renders his signature to perfection to this day.

In the pre-television, pre-radio days, entertainment included many such animated dolls, here the popular Pierrot, a young man penning fiery love letters by candle light to the object of his affections who, like the earlier example, furnishes two exacting hand-drawn words on her paper including, at the very end, the necessary accent on the à: To Pierrot...