The Know-how

Boîte à musique © Michel Bourgoz in his studio in L'Auberson, photo: A. Margot.

These skills are to be found in the art of mechanical engineering and watchmaking, where some fifty skills can be identified, corresponding to three categories of professions: watchmaking practitioners, designers and decorators. In addition, there are numerous specialisations unique to the professions of automation-maker and music box maker.

Watchmaking schools and training establishments, museums and archives, libraries and documentation centres also play a major role in preserving and passing on knowledge and skills.

Exhibition "Transmissions"


As part of the Franco-Swiss application for watchmaking and art mechanics skills to be included on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Musée du Temps in Besançon and the Musée international d'horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds have joined forces to produce a cross-border exhibition. The result was an exploration of the theme of intangible cultural heritage through photography, from new and sensitive angles of the know-how in watchmaking and art mechanics.

Six photographers explored workshops, companies, museums and schools in the Franco-Swiss watchmaking region, creating the material support for the exhibition. Presented in 2020-2021, the exhibition highlighted the fact that tangible and intangible heritage are often inseparable.

A book to accompany the exhibition can be purchased here.

© N. Waltefaugle