3 museums, 3 cities

Emplacement actuel du planétaire de François Ducommun dans le musée
La cage à oiseau qui surmonte la pendule Jaquet-Droz (coll. MHL)
La pendule astronomique d'Albert Billeter, détail: les cadrans (coll. MAHN)
Détail d'une chaîne Jaquet-Droz à 5 maillons

3 museums, 3 cities, 3 prestigious pieces for a new project of the ASSOCIATION AUTOMATES & MERVEILLES

The Musée international d'horlogerie de La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Musée d'art et d'histoire de Neuchâtel and the Musée d'horlogerie du Locle – Château des Monts continued their collaboration and are pooling their respective know-how for the safeguarding of a watchmaking heritage.

The three works selected by the museums have parallels which, when combined, increase the pertinence of the restoration projects: 

  • the planetary clock by François Ducommun from the Musée international d'horlogerie;(MIH)  
  • the singing gbird pendulum clock by Pierre Jaquet-Droz from the Musée d’horlogerie du Locle, Château des Monts (MHL)
  • the astronomical clock by Albert Billeter from the Musée d’art et d’histoire de Neuchâtel (MAHN) 

This new project by the "Automates et Merveilles" Association can only be conceived of as a whole. 

  • Works by Neuchâtel clockmakers (Ducommun, Jaquet-Droz et Billeter)
  • Unique pieces with considerable value in terms of heritage, all three dating from the first half of the 19th century ème siècle
  • Each is part of the permanent collection on show to the general public in its respective museum
  • They are all referenced and described in Alfred Chapuis "Histoire de la Pendulerie neuchâteloise" (History of Neuchâtel clockmaking). 
  • They are in a good state of preservation, requiring targeted interventions.
  • The 4-link chains, key components of the Pierre Jaquet-Droz musical pendulum clock from MHL, are typical of this clockmaker's work in that they feature a large barrel to provide the force required for their operation (music and automata). The study and manufacture of these chains is a shared goal, as all three institutions own works by Jaquet-Droz.