Our history

Located in Le Sentier, in the former Zénith manufacture created in 1917, later known as LeCoultre from 1927, the Espace Horloger was founded in 1994 and opened its doors in 1996 with the aim of becoming the first public watchmaking museum in the canton of Vaud. As a member of the AMS (Association of Swiss Museums), its cultural mission consists, on the one hand, in the conservation and presentation to the public of a material heritage through its temporary exhibitions and permanent collections (Gideon and Vallée de Joux), showcasing timepieces from the 15th to the 20th century. This collection is complemented by loans from the École Technique de la Vallée de Joux (ETVJ) and prestigious loans from renowned watchmaking brands (Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, etc.), offering our visitors an overview of watchmaking production in the Vallée de Joux.

On the other hand, the role of the Espace Horloger is to highlight technical innovations and intangible watchmaking heritage, from the achievements of the first farmer-watchmakers whose skills has been passed down from generation to generation, to the rise of the largest Swiss companies and manufactures that have become leaders in the global watchmaking industry. Lastly, since its foundation, the Espace Horloger has been closely linked to the École Technique de la Vallée de Joux, the key training center for future watchmaking professionals. It also has an educational and didactic purpose by participating in the perpetuation and transmission of this regional heritage through the promotion of watchmaking professions among school audiences and young professionals. Its aim is to shed light on potential career paths, inspire vocations, and encourage the next generation to embrace watchmaking.