Donations and legacies

Donations, legacies, and endowments are essential contributions to museum collections. If you wish to donate or bequeath to the museum, it couldn’t be easier !

This reference document is essential in any museum; the acquisition policy, when known, disseminated, and respected, promotes the development of collections in a transparent manner. It also facilitates the establishment of objective and clear relationships between donors, staff, museum administrators, and other museum institutions.

Acquisition policy


Art. 1
The Espace Horloger de la Vallée de Joux (EHVJ) is committed to adhering to the code of ethics of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the law on the transfer of cultural property (LTBC) of 2003. Consequently, the EHVJ is dedicated to acquiring, preserving, exhibiting, bringing together, and transmitting the tangible and intangible horological heritage of the Vallée de Joux.


Art. 2 (Generalities)
Objects and groups of objects can be acquired by donation, purchase, bequest, deposit or any other form of transfer of ownership.

Art. 3 (Principe)
The museum only acquires an object if the conditions are right for its proper conservation and management.

Art. 4 (Conditions)
1. The museum will only acquire an object if it falls within the scope of the institution’s mission and objectives, and meets the criteria established for new acquisitions (see above).
2. Objects that do not comply with the points set out in art. 4 para. 1 may only be acquired in exceptional circumstances, if their importance or rarity is proven.

Art. 5 (Rejection)
1. No object is acquired if it is accompanied by conditions or restrictions on display or accessibility.
2. The museum explains its refusal to acquire an object on the basis of established guidelines and, where possible, directs the donor to an institution potentially interested in the proposed object.

Art. 6 (Didactic material)
The EHVJ may accept items for educational use that are not included in the museum’s basic inventory. These will form part of the didactic material of the cultural mediation sector and will be recorded in the acquisition list. They could be duplicates, tools or watch components, for example.

Transfer / disposal

Art. 7 (Principe)
The museum’s collections are inalienable, with certain exceptions (cf. art. 7).

Art. 8 (Conditions)
1. In rare cases, an object may be permanently withdrawn from the collections. Withdrawal should only be carried out with full knowledge of the object’s importance, its nature – renewable or non-renewable – and its legal status. Disposal is possible in the following cases:
a. The object has deteriorated beyond repair
b. When an identical object of equal or greater value exists in the collections.
c. It is a copy – a counterfeit – that does not fit in with the acquisition policy.
d. In the event of donation, exchange, transfer or sale with the prior agreement of the previous donor(s).
2. Amounts and other benefits obtained from the transfer will be used solely for the benefit of the EHVJ collections.
3. The decision to dispose of an item in the collection will be taken jointly by the management of the EHVJ, its Watchmaking Commission and its Foundation Board.
4. Any inventoried object proposed for removal will be the subject of a report which will be kept and will bear the inventory number of the said object.

Acquisition procedure

Art. 9
1. Before making an acquisition, the curator evaluates the object according to the acquisition form, in compliance with the acquisition policy and the object selection criteria.
2. Wherever possible, the owner of the object provides the history and context of the piece in question.
3. The object is then submitted to the watchmaking commission, which will decide whether it should be donated or purchased.
4. In the event of refusal, the curator gives the reasons for his/her decision, based on the selection criteria. He/she returns the object to its owner or directs it to a potentially interested institution.
5. If the acquisition proposal is accepted, the object is numbered, entered on the list of new acquisitions, documented and inventoried. This renders the object inalienable.
6. The acquisition is formalized by a letter of thanks to the donor.

Le Sentier, October 4, 2021