Company History

Values, quality, and innovation

Walter Büchi grew up in rural eastern Switzerland as the second oldest of seven children. His father, a cheesemaker and farm laborer, died young as a result of pneumonia. The family lived on the poverty line, but Walter Büchi took every opportunity to learn as much as he could. He gained knowledge in electrical engineering, and became interested in glassblowing. He practiced this demanding craft in secret. Shortly before the Second World War, he went into business for himself.


The road to success

In 1939, Walter Büchi founded a glassblowing workshop. Although he had neither money nor customers, he had the firm will to "persevere at all costs." With hard work, diligence, and a strong business acumen, Walter Büchi managed to make the best of the situation surrounding the war and build up his company.


Precise manufacturing

The secret of Walter Büchi's success was his passion for glass, which melts under intense heat, can be shaped with millimeter precision, and reliably withstands high strain. His precision-engineered glass products were used in laboratories, as well as in the textile and precision engineering industries. His small company experienced its first boom with the production of circular levels. To this day, the glass level is the distinguishing feature of the BUCHI logo.


Economic upswing

With the beginning of the economic upswing in the 1950s, Walter Büchi focused on expansion. Customers came from the fast-growing chemical-pharmaceutical industry. In addition to pure glass components, the company now also produced sophisticated instruments. Together with other experts, Walter Büchi developed a distillation apparatus and a device for determining melting points.


A world first

In 1957, BUCHI developed a world first: the rotary evaporator, which separates substances with different boiling points, and greatly simplifies work in research laboratories. The Rotavapor® soon impressed chemists with its easy handling, versatility, and high quality. The "Roti" supported chemists all over the world, and became a best-seller. It represented a fundamental innovation for BUCHI, and evaporation solutions are still an important market segment today. The Rotavapor® is still a best-seller, and has become indispensable in laboratories all over the world.



By the 1960s, BUCHI exported most of its products within Europe, and overseas would soon follow. The foundations of Walter Büchi's success were his focus on customers and high quality. To this day, BUCHI's goal is to make a valuable contribution to the health and safety of people and the environment with innovative, high-quality products that provide significant added value.


Ethical principles

Walter Büchi died in 1973, shortly before his 60th birthday. With his clear ethical principles and leadership, he created an entrepreneurial legacy that holds true to this day.


An eye on the world

Walter Büchi's eldest sons, Eugen and Reinhardt Büchi, became his successors. Eugen Büchi was CEO for almost two decades, while his brother Reinhardt Büchi served on the Board of Directors. In the era of Eugen Büchi, the company developed a new dynamic. He implemented various innovations, and increasingly expanded into Asia.


Global repositioning

In 1991, Reinhardt Büchi took over management of the company and soon became the sole owner. He focused on renewing the corporate culture, developed contemporary corporate values, and anchored them internationally in the company values handbook. BUCHI’s guiding principle "Quality in your hands" became the basis for his ambitious global growth and sales strategy. Subsidiaries were established in the most important sales markets.


Production in Switzerland and India

In 2013, the new glass production site was opened in India. The country lives up to BUCHI's fame for precision in manufacturing thanks to its centuries-old glassblowing tradition and craftsmanship. At the headquarters in Switzerland, BUCHI laboratory instruments are assembled with high-quality standards and lean processes.


Independent and innovative

Today, BUCHI is an independent, internationally established technology company with around 750 employees. With its value-based corporate culture, BUCHI stands for quality, competence, and innovation worldwide.


The story of BUCHI

This is the story of a global Swiss company whose founder created something great from nothing. To this day, BUCHI facilitates the work of chemists all over the world—thanks to a value-based spirit of innovation.

Author: Bernhard Ruetz
Publisher: Verlag Ars Biographica
Year: 2019/2020
German: ISBN 978-3-9525289-0-7, 128 pages
English: ISBN: 978-3-9524652-8-8, 48 pages

Compact history: Film about the development of BÜCHI Labortechnik.5:42