La Chaux-de-fonds

MVMT - - Technique -

La Chaux-de-fonds, sit­u­ated at 1,000 me­tres above sea level in the Jura moun­tains, is one of the key cen­tres for watch­mak­ing. It was de­stroyed by fire at the end of the 18th cen­tury. The event was a most dev­ast­ing one but it also pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity to thor­oughly re-de­sign the city as a man­u­fac­tur­ing­fo­cused town. It now has wide boule­vards to al­low big com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles to pass through and its al­ti­tude offers the ben­e­fit of max­imis­ing sun­light in winter and sum­mer. Build­ings are kept low, so they don’t ever over­shadow neigh­bour­ing ones. This re­gion of Neuchâ­tel can truly be called the heart of Swiss watch­mak­ing. All the ma­jor brands – Patek Philippe, Cartier, Bre­itling, TAG Heuer, Ja­quet Droz, Gi­rardPer­re­gaux – are here and the list goes on. Some have ar­eas that are ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic, but even if you can’t get in, an en­tire city that was de­signed to sus­tain an in­dus­try is some­thing to marvel at.

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