16th-20th November, 2017

Where the world unites for a moment in time

Philippe Dufour

Philippe Dufour was born in 1948 in Le Sentier, Vallée de Joux,where he lives today. He went to school locally and, in a town of watchmakers, went into watch making himself at the technical college. He obtained, with distinction, his “Certificat d’horloger-rhabilleur”. He was employed locally but, very soon, his desire for broader experience saw him working with watchmakers in London, Frankfurt and the Virgin Islands.

Back home, he worked with several of the world famous manufacturers in the Vallée  de Joux. Then in 1978, he set up on his own. He specialised in repairing old and valuable watches. This is one of the most exacting watch making disciplines and also one of the most stimulating.

In 1983 he completed the first of his own major creations, the “Grande and Petite Sonnerie minute repeater” pocket watch, of which he produced five further examples. This was followed by the wristwatch version, which won the gold medal for technical innovation at the Worldwide watch making and Jewellery fair in Basel in 1992.

In 1996, also at the Basel fair, he announced the first wristwatch with double escapement : “Duality”. Then, in 2000 the master craftsman of the Vallée de Joux presented a new model which he has called “Simplicity”. As the name implies and in keeping with Dufour’s philosophy, this is a simple and straightforward timepiece : it has no complications.

Independent and perfectionist, Philippe Dufour perpetuates the creative spirit of the Vallée de Joux, centre of fine watch making in Switzerland. He combines his love of invention, with an unswerving loyalty to the most demanding traditional watch making methods.

Modest about his own work, he nevertheless has strong views. In discussing his relationship with potential clients, his favourite word is “transparent”. “I want a transparent relationship with those who acquire my watches. I want to be able to say that this is a movement that they won’t find anywhere else. I am proud to put my name on a watch, but I will do so only when it is my work inside”.