Jaquet Droz Watches

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Pierre Jaquet-Droz was born in 1721 in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He began to take interest in clockmaking and precision mechanics under the teaching of relatives. It proved to be a true vocation for him.

From 1738 to 1747, Jaquet-Droz dedicated himself to clockmaking. He produced a series of grandfather clocks whose sophisticated movements outclassed anything previously made.

With his exceptional manual dexterity, meticulous nature, and serious approach, he applied mechanical principles to improve his watchmaking movements with music and automata. His visionary creations quickly caught the attention of a wealthy and demanding clientele.

In 1750 he married Marianne Sandoz. By then, he was firmly established in his career. After his wife’s death a few years after the marriage, and the loss of his daughter, Pierre Jaquet-Droz devoted himself entirely to clockmaking. He fathered two more children but never remarried.

In 1758, Pierre Jaquet-Droz set off for Spain and was met in Madrid by Don Jacinto Jovert, a Spanish nobleman. After several months, Pierre Jaquet-Droz presented his clocks to Spanish King Ferdinand VI.

The presentation was a remarkable success. The monarch and his court were amazed to see a clock that could strike on request without any manual intervention. A few days later, the clockmaker received a payment of 2,000 gold pistoles for the timepieces he had brought to Spain. All the Jaquet Droz watches and clocks were purchased for the royal palaces of Madrid and Villaviciosa.

Upon his return to La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1759, the large sum of money he had brought back from Spain enabled Pierre Jaquet-Droz to concentrate exclusively on making watches and clocks that would make his name synonymous with luxury timepieces.