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It’s called the Valle de Joux, which is the valley of joy, loosely translated, which is north and east of Geneva. The English, French, and Swiss didn’t build factories, so there were lots more of them because the individual makers might be producing maybe a hundred watches a year, at the very most maybe 300 or 400 watches a year, and out of a very small shop with maybe three people working at benches.
The American factories had hundreds and hundreds of employees in very large factories.
They had an edge in terms of assembling the watches and adjusting them and that sort of thing.
Once they got to using the machinery, they could produce some very wonderful things.
Tom Mc Intyre talks about antique pocket watches, discussing key manufacturers, the mechanics behind the watches, the varying types, and the collecting hobby in general.
Based in Massachusetts, Tom can be reached via his website, American Watch Company Web, which is a member of our Hall of Fame.
I got interested in clocks in 1967, and I started collecting watches fairly seriously in the early ‘80s. Pocket watches are a little bit more manageable, and in some ways more interesting, too.
I collect precision clocks, clocks that are very accurate timekeepers, and marine chronometers; things like that.
But having an assembly line with lots of people working on it and putting things together in large volumes had never been done before.It took quite a few years to persuade them, but a couple of Americans went over there and set up factories, and then the Swiss reports said that the machinery was the way to go.