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Presentation of Humbert-Droz

Humbert-Droz watches are the legacy of know-how accumulated and transmitted over several generations by the Humbert-Droz family in the watchmaking capital of Besançon, France. Humbert-Droz, watches that cross generations.

History of Humbert-Droz

Founded in 2016

The Humbert-Droz story begins with Marcel, a Swiss watchmaker who worked closely with Fred Lip at the time. After the Second World War, Marcel Humbert-Droz developed watchmaking techniques and patents in the ultra-modern workshops of Lip in Besançon, France's leading watchmaker at the time. During these years, he acquired unique know-how in the design, development and production of mechanical and electric watches. Marcel Humbert-Droz became a benchmark watchmaker with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. In 1956, he set up his own factory in Besançon's watchmaking capital, Rue Laurent Mégevand, an emblematic street steeped in 200 years of Swiss-French watchmaking history. The watchmaking workshop, dedicated from the outset to watch assembly and repair, rapidly expanded. Faithful watchmakers surrounded Marcel Humbert-Droz, who was joined a few months later by his son Jean Humbert-Droz, a young graduate of the Besançon watchmaking school. From the company's creation until his death, Marcel was present in the workshops to pass on his knowledge to his son and his watchmakers. In 1968, Jean Humbert-Droz took over from his father and became the head of a workshop that had undergone rapid development. Wishing to continue his father's project, he maintained growth to reach the heyday of Comtois watchmaking with a workshop of 80 watchmakers, producing over 1000 watches a day for various French brands such as France Ebauches. In the 1970s, a revolution took place in the hitherto traditional world of watchmaking: quartz watches appeared and began to supplant mechanical watches. By 1978, quartz watches had overtaken mechanical watches in popularity, plunging the watch industry into crisis while strengthening the emerging watch industries in Japan and the USA. Jean, who owned a factory with strong watchmaking expertise, wanted to retain the men and women who were the pride of this workshop, and decided not to make the switch to quartz watches. So he developed a business servicing and repairing top-of-the-range mechanical watches, obtaining one by one the approvals to carry out after-sales service for the biggest watch brands. Frédéric, Jean Humbert-Droz's son, joins the company and helps his father, during his first years with the company, by taking charge of commercial relations with the dealer networks in France. In 1995, Frédéric became head of the company, while Jean Humbert-Droz continued to exercise his passion in the workshop, passing on his know-how as an expert, assisting watchmakers in their work on the watches of the great watchmakers of Place Vendôme. Acting as an entrepreneur, Frédéric Humbert-Droz takes on functions that complement those of his father, dedicating himself to developing relationships with the great French watchmaking houses and jewelers, while ensuring exemplary quality of service. In the 2000s, great-grandson Julien Humbert-Droz began his watchmaking training at the École de Morteau. While learning modern techniques, Julien works alongside Jean, his grandfather, who passes on to him an empirical knowledge of the great watchmakers' models. In 2012, Julien graduated from the "brevet des métiers d'art de l'horlogerie" with the intention of designing and creating iconic models in the coming years. In 2013, Julien took over the management of the workshop. For the first three years, with the help of his father and grandfather, Julien secretly designs and elaborates the models of the future Humbert-Droz brand. In 2016, for the company's 60th anniversary and as a tribute to the 4 generations of the family, Julien - along with his father Frédéric and grandfather Jean - created the Humbert-Droz brand. Three initial collections are unveiled: HD1, HD2 and HD3. These first limited-edition watches are noticed by enthusiasts and collectors, who rediscover movements that have now disappeared, carefully guarded by the family for several decades. The design of these watches quickly established an iconic signature for the Humbert-Droz brand.

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Humbert-Droz official website https://www.humbert-droz.fr/fr/
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