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April 15, 2013

Enchanting Time

Celebrating its 275th anniversary this year, Jaquet Droz steadfastly upholds its ideals of perfection and technological finesse

The iconic watchmaking giant, Jaquet Droz traces its beginnings to a corner of history in 1738. Pierre Jaquet-Droz set up his first workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He produced a whole series of long-case clocks with increasingly sophisticated movements that surpassed anything seen before.

With growing popularity in the royal courts of Europe, Pierre Jaquet-Droz decided to set up a workshop in London, a hub for industry and trade. The Jaquet-Droz family opened the first watchmaking manufacture in Geneva in 1784. The brand specialised in making and exporting fine luxury watches with automatons, music and other complications, while developing the production of singing birds. They also contributed to founding a factory-school in the city, producing dials for repeater watches and went on to develop a host of projects related to watchmaking technology and the support of crafts connected with watchmaking. Their efforts helped a whole generation of craftsmen to earn their living. Cases enamelled with spangles, painting on enamel, embellished by the skills of carving and engraving contributed significantly to the success and reputation of Jaquet-Droz creations like pocket watches, urns, snuff boxes and bird cages.

At the turn of the century, in 2000, Montres Jaquet Droz was acquired by the Swatch Group and joined its prestige and luxury range. The Swatch Group enabled the brand to recapture the success it enjoyed prior to the turbulence caused by the French Revolution, and to preserve the exceptional heritage of its founder.

As time passed, the brand came up with trendsetting innovations. The year 2002 saw the launch of the Grande Seconde, while in 2008, the legendary Pocket Watch made its way into the market. In 2010, the Eclipse was launched – an exceptional timepiece displaying eight stars (a lucky number for Jaquet Droz) and an engraved moon that continuously evolves, changing with each new dawn. In 2011 Jaquet Droz moved its Ateliers d’Art workshop into its Fine Watchmaking workshop to integrate and preserve the centuries of special expertise that have created the brand’s identity.

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