Born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, in 1721, Pierre Jaquet Droz was a mechanical genius, a true living legend. In 1738 he founded the Manufacture of Haute Horlogerie Jaquet Droz, specializing straight away in the creation of prestigious models and unique timepieces. When Pierre Jaquet Droz opened his second watchmaking workshop in London, in 1774, he provided a striking demonstration of his strategic audacity and his far-reaching vision. He was the first to fell the potential of London, city which offers a direct access to the Forbidden City and the Chinese market at that period. In 1784 he decided to move to Geneva, attracted by the town’s artistic and literary life he appreciated. He was soon joined by Jean-Frédéric Leschot, his adoptive son, and together they decided to set up Geneva’s first real horological workshop. This establishment, 3rd one created by the brand, was dedicated to small-volume production and the exportation of luxury watches integrating musical elements, automata and great complications.
More than 225 years after the opening of this horological workshop, Montres Jaquet Droz unveils in Geneva three centuries of history, within the fabulous location of the Cité du Temps. You will have the opportunity to wander through the historical pieces including urns, snuffboxes, table clocks, and pocket watches, in particular the famous one from 1785, from which the brand will draw inspiration for creating the iconic Grande Seconde. You will also have the pleasure discovering or re-discovering the current collection as well as some novelties that few persons have till today the chance to look at: the Grande Seconde SW Red Gold, the SW Chrono, and the Twelve Cities Ivory Enamel. Finally, the highpoint of the exhibition will be the Time Writing Machine, which is a contemporary interpretation of the famous Jaquet Droz automaton from the 18th century. More than two centuries after impressing the crowned heads of Europe, Jaquet Droz offers the early 21st century a masterpiece that, thanks to its ingenious craftsmen, brings man’s ultimate dream to life: to literally record the march of Time.