The International Watch making Museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, is a world center for the tradition of timekeeping, in particular Swiss clocks and watches. The designs of the new special stamps in the "Traditional Swiss products" series, which are being issued in denominations of CHF 1.00 and 1.30, are based on items from the museum's collection.
A Swiss watch is a compact machine
A clock is a compact machine that records the earth's rotation in real time. On the high seas, for example, these instruments were critical to survival: from the 19th century onwards, Swiss marine chronometers led the market and contributed greatly to the reputation for quality that Swiss clocks and watches continue to enjoy.
In addition, Swiss clock makers in the Jura region excelled at making the world's most sophisticated pocket watches. Basic parts from this region are integrated into most pocket watches with sophisticated functions such as the rack striking system, perpetual calendars, stopwatch hands or even self-striking mechanisms.
Sophisticated mechanical watches
True to the tradition of high-quality and sophisticated mechanical watches, today a host of different companies are vying to do outdo each other in the fiercely contested wristwatch market. They show their wares each spring at the "Basel World" watch and jewelry fair.
Several companies participating The Swiss watch making industry does not have any true point of origin, just as no single location can be said to be the center of the industry. A timepiece is the product of cooperation between various companies specializing in specific parts. The end product is thus the result of a process similar to that in the automotive sector. Even though the final product is associated with a brand name, this name usually just stands for an organization that ties the suppliers together. No single watch or clock is produced in its entirety by one company alone. All of the manufacturers brought together in a structure under a single roof are dependent on one another, from the craftsman all the way to the case designer. This is the way it is now and the way it always has been.
When it comes to Swiss products, great attention has always been paid to the external design of the clock. As early as the 18th and 19th century, Geneva was well known for its enamel work on pocket watchcases. The significance of this aspect today can hardly be underestimated.
Issue: Switzerland, 6 September 2005
Design: Armin Furrer, Lucerne
Print: Offset, Cator France
More information Postage Stamps
Postage stamps 2005
Friends of Nature
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