Watchmaking Tourism Saga – The Vallée De Joux
The Vallée de Joux is known in watchmaking for its remoteness as well as for the ability of its inhabitants to conceive and manufacture the most complex movements. Located in the Jura range at 1,000 meters above sea level, the valley is characterized by a long lake surrounded by vast lands and forests. Here, time looks and feels suspended; these conditions are certainly the reasons why complex watchmaking developed so well here.
Philippe Dufour, renowned master watchmaker, explains that long winters were at the origin of the watch industry as many local farmers had a lot of free time during the winter and that manufacturing parts was a good opportunity for extra income. This was the case for all the high areas of the Jura range, as well as the fact that watchmaking chiefly began due to the arrival of Huguenots, Protestant refugees that were running away from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The valley today is more active than ever with more people working than living there. And it is easy to understand why as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Blancpain, Romain Gauthier, and many important suppliers are located there.