Droz, Jaquet


Jaquet Droz is the world famous watchmaker and a genius of mechanical engineering. For those who admire musical mechanics Droz primarily is the creator of the first dolls automata, mechanical birds and singing bird boxes. Droz was born in the Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1721. In 1738, at the age of 17, Droz started to make his first clocks and pendulumsin in his small studio at the farm "A Sur le Pon" . He installed music movements and moving automata dolls in his clocks. It was the time when Droz opened the first worshop in his native town.

Later on Droz opened factories in other European towns. He delegated control over production in London, important commercial center of Europe, to his son Henri-Louis. London workshop negotiated with China, India and Japan with the intermediacy of James Cox - the main exporter of clocks and watches to the East. Other manufacture, in Geneva, in 1784 concentrated on production of limited series of the luxury clocks equipped with musical striking, automata or complicated clock functions.

Jacques Droz was admitted to newly established Academy of Arts where he taught students the engineering sciences. He also promoted the creation of the practical training factory for production of repeaters’ mechanisms. In 1775, Droz Senior created the Scribe's (Writer’s) doll. The doll was recognized unique for the time. It consisted of 6000 details and wrote the text on the paper up to 40 letters or symbols long. Jacques Droz sons created two other well-known automata -The Musician and The Draughtsman (Draftsman). In 1989 the Investcomp company, that owned the Breguet brand at that time, revived the Jaquet Droz brand and in 2000, the Swatch Group company purchased «Jaquet Droz» enterprize.

Exhibits in the Museum Collection