Geneva, Switzerland, known as the “cradle of watchmaking”, has an extensive connection and history with watchmaking and timekeeping that dates back to the sixteenth century when artisans from France facing persecution came in and started new careers as watchmakers. The industry boomed from there, at one point there were 600 watchmakers out of a population of 20,000, and started spreading around the region. Geneva has remained the center of it all for horology; just about every major watch brand is represented in the city.
The city has an intensely rich watch culture and you can see it when walking around the city. See the Flower Clock that features the longest seconds hand on record and over 6,000 flowers. At the Pont du Mont-Blanc, you can spot the large sundial where you can not only tell the time but the date as well. Shop for high end luxury watches on the Rue du Rhone or go to the Piaget Time Gallery; you can even watch watchmakers hard at work at the Breguet boutique. You can see the Quai de I’lle tower clock with three faces, interestling where Vacheron Constantin started his first workshop and maintains it’s headquarters. Another notable place the see while in Geneva is the Patek Philippe Museum that highlights the company’s history as well as watchmaking history and a collection of antique watches. There are many and more sights to see in Geneva, so next time you’re there stop for a moment to explore and learn a little more about watchmaking and it’s Swiss history.
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