175 years Fischer Reinach AG

Company history

When the young cabinet maker from Menziken, Johannes Wirz, constructed one of the first clasp machines in the world in 1842, he ruined a whole industry in Switzerland. The mechanical production of so-called "Häftli" spelled the end for an array of micro-businesses that tirelessly produced hooks and eyelets by hand. That of course wasn’t the intention, but merely the consequence of his industrial thought and actions. This is because Wirz was an exceptional mechanical engineer, a born entrepreneur and an innovation-driven maker.

When he died in 1889, his son Emil and his grandson Carl Fischer ensured an appropriate growth spurt – not always successfully. His sons Karl and Willy saved Drahtwerke Fischer from economic crises and the second world war. Their successors, Hans-Erich und Thomas Fischer, turned the company around well and truly. And now Peter Fischer marks the sixth generation at the rudder, whereby the "Häftli" have long made room for the latest metalworking.

The FIR Group has 190 employees in Reinach with a further 160 in the subsidiary in Germany. The "Häftlimacher" from Oberwynental have become an industrial supplier that produces goods at the top end of the precision scale and still chooses to retain its trading base in Switzerland to this today.

The 175-year moving history is told by historian and journalist Christoph Zurfluh in the equally exciting and entertaining book "Die Häftlimacher".
The book is available for 28 franks (incl. delivery) directly from
Fischer Reinach AG.

Mile stones

  • 1842
  • Johannes Wirz founds a clasp factory in Menziken. Production of hairpins, military and trouser clasps, cloak hooks, safety pins, clasps for blinds, etc.
  • 1889
  • Death of Johannes Wirz. His son Emil and nephew Carl Fischer take up his mantle. The company is now called Wirz & Fischer.
  • 1899
  • Carl Fischer assumes sole management of the company following the death of Emil Wirz.
  • 1918
  • Wirz & Fischer becomes Fischer & Co., Drahtwerke. Annexation of a proprietary wire drawing factory.
  • 1927
  • Death of Carl Fischer. The company passes to his two sons Karl and Willy.
  • 1942
  • Drahtwerke Fischer celebrates its 100-year anniversary.
  • 1950
  •    Purchase of a cold-rolling plant for the production of band steel.
  • 1961
  • The company begins production of reinforcements for the construction industry.
  • 1966
  • Karl Fischer's son Hans-Erich joins the company upon his father's death.
  • 1967
  • Willy Fischer's son Thomas joins the company.
  • 1969
  • Big company party to christen the new Rista hall.
  • 1972
  • Foundation of a family AG, name change to "Drahtwerke Fischer AG" and merge with the Austrian company Mager in the field of bra clasps to "Mager & Fischer".
  • 1976
  • Focus on challenging moulded part.
  • 1977
  • Introduction of IT as a new Management and organisational instrument.
  • 1979
  • Founding of Ferronorm together with the Lucerne-based Moos Stahl AG.
  • 1981
  • Death of Willy Fischer. Introduction and patenting of the FIRIPA access basket by Rista.
  • 1986
  • Company restructure into three Profit centres: Rista, band steel and moulded parts.
  • 1988
  • The company's name is changed to "Fischer Reinach AG". New offices are built and the cold-rolling plant is expanded.
  • 1993
  • Fischer celebrates "150 + 1 years".
  • 1994
  • Sales of Ferronorm shares to von Moos Stahl AG.
  • 1997
  • "Mager & Fischer GmbH" becomes "Mitex Miederband GmbH". The new production site is Hörbranz (A).
  • 1998
  • Spin-off of the reinforcements business area as a 100% subsidiary
    "Fischer Rista AG".
  • 2008
  • Expansion and new construction for cold forming production.
  • 2010
  • As a delegate of the Administrative Board, Peter Fischer assumes the management of the Fischer Group from his father Thomas.
  • 2014
  • Fischer enters into a strategic partnership with the German "ZETKA Stanz- und Biegetechnik GmbH & Co. KG" and in 2016 increases its share quota to 91 percent.
  • 2017
  • Fischer Reinach turns 175 years old. The company employs 350 people in Germany and in Switzerland and is managed in its 6th generation as a family company by Peter Fischer.