Villa Jolimont, the birthplace of the Alchemists, is a temple dedicated to precision, perfection and horological traditions. Looming on the heights of Saignelégier, in the Swiss Jura, it is the home of two eras, living in harmony under the same roof.
Villa Jolimont, once called the “Castle Jolimont”, is a 2400sqm residence imagined by Mr. Ephrem Jobin, prefect of the Franches-Montagnes, and in which he once lived with his family. Villa Jolimont’s construction started in 1906 and ended in 1909. No less than three years were necessary to achieve the construction of this ambitious edifice, composed of 4 floors and 25 rooms in its original distribution. Original plans were conceived by Mr. Jobin himself. The residence was inhabited by Mr. Jobin’s family until 1999.
Vacant during 1999 and 2008, the Castle has stood the test of time and its condition has naturally deteriorated. The ‘Grand Lady’ was left abandoned on Saignelégier’s heights, while her outward nobility continued to amaze. The restoration of the building represented a colossal endeavor, which put off many buyers. It was finally in 2008 that Fabrice Thüler acquired the building.
2008 to nowadays
Invested with a vision for Villa Jolimont, Fabrice Thüler undertakes major construction works to restore its letters of nobility to the building. The goal is to create a showcase for Swiss watchmaking. The work is done on several fronts. On the one hand, the interior of the Villa had to be rehabilitated while retaining its DNA. Its parquet floors, staircases, stained glass windows and fireplaces have been restored to keep the character of the building and the rooms have been redistributed to accommodate offices, a watchmaking workshop and presentation rooms for future customers. On the other hand, Mr. Thüler’s ambition was also to create an underground manufacture that could ensure the production of all the components of a watch, thus allowing greater independence in the future. The manufacture can be distinguished by its windowed periphery.
Villa Jolimont, horological display at the heart of time and the Alchemists’ birthplace, allies Traditions and Modernity, illustrated by the Old Workshop and the New Workshop.
The “Old Workshop” is dedicated to traditional horological art know-how. The place where the Alchemists’ watchmakers perform their craft and give birth to exceptional timepieces, according to Haute Horlogerie‘s strictest methods, perfecting almost forgotten horological techniques. In Villa Jolimont, it is not only about creating exquisite timepieces, but also to preserve horological traditions, part of Haute Horlogerie‘s heritage. A humble attempt at protecting a centenary of horological legacy.
If you ever have the opportunity to wander on the “Old Workshop’s” floor, you will dive in an out-of-time universe where only the perfect mastery of centenary skills matters. You will witness a commitment to horological traditions without common measure, frequently sublimed by classical music notes, resonating on the “Old Workshop’s” walls. The sign that the watchmakers are focused on their craft and their own quest of the essential.
The “New Workshop” is located in the most recent part of Villa Jolimont.
This technical environment, with clinical cleanliness, equipped with state-of-the-art machines, allows the production of precision parts to minute tolerances, with rare and precious materials. Among which is the Cuprum 479, a horological alloy patented by the Alchemists. Worthy of the best manufactures, it houses dozens of years of combined experience making it possible to find technical solutions to the most tedious problems.
“New Workshop” and “Old Workshop” evolve hand in hand with rigor and a thorough attention to details to create and fine tune the Alchemists’ calibres.
The Alchemists work every day so that the emotion and passion transcending their universe are transmitted to their customers through their timepieces.