Melchior Siegfried Arnold Ostertag (1883-1940) was born in Lucerne Switzerland in 1883. He studied in the United States before traveling both in the US as well as Europe, and India. He finally settled in Paris at the beginning of the 1920s. This is when he started buying and selling pearls. He opened his boutique at 16 Place Vendôme in 1922 and registered his mark in 1923. Alongside jewelry he also sold accessories such as vanity cases, cigarette cases, compacts, as well as boxes and other objet d’art. His designs, and craftsmanship were synonymous with quality and rivaled the likes of houses like Cartier. He looked further to develop his name moving into watches which were made in gold and set with a variety of gems with movements supplied by Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Baume et Mercier. These were a natural fit as his other objects and clocks were supplied by Verger-Frères something that Cartier also sold. Verger was the behind the scenes discreet workshop that supplied Ostertag during this time period. Ostertag married his wife Verna (an American) in Paris in August 1939 he was 56 and she was only 25. They met in Cannes two years prior as Ostertag had a second location. After their wedding, war was declared and Verna returned to the states. Arnold followed her in November leaving the management of the company to Mr Foa. In April 1940 he passed away leaving his entire estate to his wife. In Paris the firm finally and formally closed its doors in 1941.