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Jacques-Frédéric Houriet – Portrait of the Father of Swiss Chronometry

Beautifully framed engraving of a portrait of Jacques-Frédéric Houriet (1743-1830), known as the father of Swiss Chronometry.

Jacques-Frédéric Houriet was was born in the Principality of Neuchâtel in 1743 and traveled to Paris at the age of 16 where he trained with the best watchmakers of his time including Julien le Roy, Pierre le Roy, and Ferdinand Berthoud. During his Paris years, he also apprenticed with his uncle, Abraham Gagnebin a renowned Swiss physician and naturalist. Although it was clear Houriet was destined for fame and fortune in Paris, he decided at age twenty-five to return to his native fown of Le Locle.  He He became business partners with David Courvoisier and directed the firm created by Courvoisier for 40 years.  He is know as the inventor of the spherical balance spring (spiral sphérique).  Le Locle remained Houriet’s home for the the rest of his life, and he continued working, creating and perfect timepieces into his 80s.

The print was reproduced during the first half of the 20th Century from an antique copperplate in the collection of the Musee de Peinture of Neuchatel as a gift for supporters of the Museum. It has been beautifully framed and french matted, and a note from the Museum is affixed to the back. (See below)