Exhibition "DOXA, the history of a watch brand from Le Locle, Switzerland"
From April 4 to October 21, 2012, the longstanding Swiss watch company DOXA, together with the watch museum „Château des Monts” in Le Locle, is presenting an overview of its rich history. Among the exhibits are not only showpieces from the beginning of the watch factory but also special thematic pocket watches, DOXA 8-Day caliber watches, gentlemen and ladies watches from the 20th century, chronographs, and many more. Vintage advertising billboards and sales catalogues illustrate DOXA’s market presence in the 1920s and 1930s. Further highlights are the Grafic and SUB series of the fifties and sixties. As a centerpiece, 4 towers show the current highlights presented by DOXA at Baselword the international watch and jewelry fair held in Basel in March.
It is worth noting that the exhibition will take place in the rooms of the manor purchased by Georges Ducommun, founder of the DOXA company, in 1912. The brochure (in French and English) accompanying the exhibition explains the history of each piece shown.
The tour through the exhibition begins with Georges Ducommun. As you walk clockwise around the former dining room, you will be impressed by how farsighted this great businessman was and how well he took advantage of the opportunities presented to him by an environment in constant change. For example, DOXA’s pocket watches with pictures of locomotive or trains engraved on the back of the watch case were extremely successful and in high demand, not only because of their beauty, but also because of their precision. As the first automobiles started replacing horse drawn wagons, Georges Ducommun developed the DOXA 8-Day caliber. This movement was used by Bugatti, Mercedes, Peugeot and many other car manufacturers and was later also installed in ships and airplanes.
During the nineteen-twenties and thirties, DOXA not only developed individual watches for almost every customer, but also directly influenced market behavior by creating broad advertising campaigns. A few vintage advertising billboards underline the pioneering role of DOXA in the marketing of its products. In 1930 the technological progress became more and more evident. For example, DOXA started to produce chronographs. Watches also became antimagnetic, dust tight and waterproof. 1957 marks the beginning of the Grafic series. Emile Jauslin, director and Paul Henry, head of communication, developed a watch with simple, straightforward lines. Abstract design is the absolute trend, and the Grafic watches still belong to DOXAs most successful products.
In the 1960s, the company's director Urs Eschle, created the DOXA SUB. It is an extraordinary diving watch with two sensational new improvements: A unidirectional revolving bezel with integrated zero hour diving chart and a fluorescent orange dial that provides optimal readability even under extreme lighting conditions. This new model for professional divers was realized in cooperation with the renowned sport diving organization in the USA, headed at the time by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The legendary orange dial and the many indispensable functions for divers have made this watch a best-seller since 1967. In the 1970s, DOXA became the exclusive supplier of diving watches for the divers of the Swiss Army.
After the tour around the dining room of the Ducommun family, you will find 4 towers in the middle of the room showing DOXA’s latest creations. They underline the success story of DOXA and its strategy for producing precise, reliable and stylish watches for many uses.
Romeo F. Jenny, CEO of DOXA, is very excited about this exhibition in the founder’s former stately home: “It is very dear to my heart to show the history of our brand and its bond with the Château des Monts right here, in Le Locle, where our story began more than 120 years ago. And we look forward to a prosperous future.”
For more information, the museum's website can be found here.