Magazine

The city of the masters of watchmaking

 

 In a charming Swiss town located over 1,000 meters above sea level, that passion for horology becomes a true art of its own, able to fascinate and amaze anyone who masters the art of jewelery from around the world.
Established in 1656 in a valley located in the heart of the mountains in the area of Neuchatel and rebuilt after the devastating fire of 1794 by architect Charles-Henri Junod cantonal, Caux-de-Fonds has been included in the World Humanity Heritage list of UNESCO in 2009 for its outstanding universal value but. above all, it is considered today the City of Masters of watchmaking excellence, a title that is found to be related to a multitude of fascinating stories.
Legend says that it is been the same sunlight for over 200 years that donated to this beautiful Swiss town the art of fine mechanics of the best quality. In fact, the birth of the watches factory Girard-Perregaux dates back to 1791 and stands for painstaking workmanship that characterize its products at the highest level; not surprisingly still, the brand produces in its studio some of the most complicated watches in the world, enough to allow them to found a company museum, directed by Willy Schweizer. To understand better the source of this reputaiot that earn for the city the title of “the only Swiss city considered a center of modern art”, we can think about the fact that around '900 is was one of the wealthiest cities in the world, as half of the clocks were produced here. No coincidence that in 1880 the same watch factory introduced the world's first wristwatch series.
It is important to emphasize that its now undisputed success result of a collaboration of the company with one of the best suppliers of materials for producing of watches and accessories and the market leader for services in the field of jewelery, optical, dental, medical and automotive industries: the group PX starring another beautiful Swiss city with the name of Le Locle, also called the "mother of the mountain communities of Neuchâtel."
The patron of this company, Pierre-Olivier Chave, engineer in his 70's who founded the company in 1976 when no one believed in Swiss watches, explains how the prestige of the good quality of its products results from simple profiles of stainless steel and different alloys from which, once processed, develop components of the watches: housing, screws, threads and straps.
Today are produced 15.000 watches per year in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Girard-Perregaux brand and JeanRichard that cost between 2500 and 60 000 Swiss francs. More expensive are the clocks of the Girard-Perregaux Haute Horlogerie industry, out of which are produced only 200 pieces per year. The value of a specimen reaches at least 150,000 francs and the waiting period is two to three years.
This helps us to understand how one of the favorite sayings of the founder of the group PX is "Crises are also chances" thins being for Chave the secret of success.