Local History

Val-de Travers, Bovet SA, Château de Vauxtravers/Môtiers. Photo/Foto: www.fleurier.ch

Swiss Rhythm in Fleurier

The roads in the Val-de-Travers in the Jura Mountains of the canton of Neuchâtel form an east-west connection.

The valley has always been an essential trade route from the Franche-Comté to the Swiss Plateau.

The valley became an industrial hotspot for the production of textiles, asphalt, absinthe, and watches in the eighteenth century

The heart of the Valley still beats to the rhythm of the watchmakers, also in Fleurier, a medieval village.

The first mention of Fleurier was in 1284. The town was first administered by the Lords of Vautravers and then by the Counts of Neuchâtel in the 14th century.

David Vaucher (1712-1786) introduced the first watch industry in Fleurier in 1730.  There were 200 watchmakers in 1830.

Edouard Bovet (1797-1849), a young watchmaker from Fleurier, went to China in 1818. He paved the way for the watchmakers of Fleurier.

The Chinese market was a huge boost, and many manufacturers were active to supply the Chinese market.

More than 2 000 people were employed in this sector in 1900 in Fleurier, and the population increased to  3 300 in 1900.