Watchmaking*


*The candidature for inclusion in the representative list of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO was submitted to UNESCO in March 2019.


It is a well-known fact that watchmaking played a major role in shaping artisanship, industry and society throughout the Jura region. In the 18th century, the industry began to move away from Geneva, widely held to be the birthplace of watchmaking, towards sparsely populated regions like the Vallée de Joux and the Neuchâtel Jura. Following pressure from American makers, the traditional etablissage system deployed in Switzerland was progressively supplanted by standardised workshops. It was during this time that the first watchmaking colleges were founded. Two successive crises in the 20th century would transform the Swiss watchmaking industry. The first was the forcible introduction of a watchmaking cartel supported by banks and bolstered by the law (the “Statut Horloger”); the second was the formation of major watchmaking concerns. The development of the watchmaking industry in the Jura valleys, however, followed its own path, since that region continues producing watches in a fragmented way, and even in small workshops, besides the widespread development of the American model in most manufacturing areas of Switzerland. These numerous manual crafts and skills with high added value are still essential to the making of luxury watches on which Switzerland built its worldwide reputation. It is undoubtly this precision, attention to detail and outstanding know-how that nowadays offer marketing executives a golden opportunity to promote Swiss watches as the embodiment of luxury, excellence and quality.


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Canton


Detailed description


Video

Publications

Catherine Cardinal (Ed.) : L’homme et le temps en Suisse, 1291-1991. La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1991

Pierre-Yves Donzé : Histoire de l’industrie horlogère suisse, de Jacques David à Nicolas Hayek (1850-2000). Neuchâtel, 2009

Estelle Fallet, Alain Cortat : Apprendre l’horlogerie dans les montagnes neuchâteloises, 1740-1810. La Chaux-de-Fonds, 2001

Estelle Fallet, Antoine Simonin (Ed.) : Dix écoles d’horlogerie suisses. Chefs-d’œuvre de savoir-faire. Neuchâtel, 2010

Patrick Linder : Au cœur d’une vocation industrielle. Les mouvements de montre de la maison Longines (1832-2007). Tradition, savoir-faire, innovation. Saint-Imier, 2007

Laurence Marti : La Grande Famille, pratiques, représentations et identités horlogères dans le Jura suisse. Thèse de doctorat en anthropologie et sociologie, Université Lumière Lyon, 1996

Laurence Marti : Invention de l’horloger. De l’histoire au mythe de Daniel JeanRichard. Lausanne, 2003

Michel Vermont (Ed.) : Théorie de la construction horlogère pour ingénieurs. Le Locle, 2006

Michael Leuenberger : « L'industrie horlogère suisse - mythes et réalités ». In : Art et Architecture en Suisse, No. 2, 2010, p 38-42

Laurence Marti : Le renouveau horloger - contribution à une histoire récente de l'horlogerie suisse (1980-2015). Neuchâtel, 2017

Hervé Munz : La transmission en jeu - Apprendre, pratiquer, patrimonialiser l'horlogerie en Suisse. Neuchâtel, 2016

Peter Scheck: Die Uhrmacher Habrecht von Schaffhausen. In: Schaffhauser Magazin, 4/1989, p. 27-31

Georg von Holtey und Peter Widmer: Uhren Deutschschweizer Meister. Katalog zur Sonderausstellung im Museum für Musikautomaten Seewen SO. Seewen, 2007

Keywords

Contact

Kanton Basel-Landschaft
Amt für Kultur
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Amt für Kultur des Kantons Bern
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République et canton de Genève
Service cantonal de la culture
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République et canton du Jura
Office de la culture
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Kanton Schaffhausen
Fachstelle für Kulturfragen
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Kanton Solothurn
Amt für Kultur und Sport
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Service des affaires culturelles de l'Etat de Vaud
E-Mail

Print contact

https://www.lebendige-traditionen.ch/content/tradition/en/home/traditions/watchmaking.html