Now major, David Candaux continues his curriculum by training himself in the restoration of old watches and clocks. To understand an old watch and repair it, one must know the context in which the watch is created, the time when is produced and to master the tools, methods and materials from which an old watch is built. The genius of these ancestors’ forces is an inspiration that David weaves into his own creation – to respect and develop a deep and strong sense of the value of the Past. Reviving life and pace to these past timepieces teaches him the value of history and tradition.
In 1740, Samuel Oliver Meylan learn the production of the watch with the collaboration of a “master watchmaker” (an artist) based in Rolle. Despite initial difficulties, others people follow his example and this new industry settled permanently in “La Vallée de Joux”. So, in 1740 the art of watchmaking was introduced to “La Vallée”. This is the starting point of this new activity (business) and with the success that we know today.
Just like the earliest years of La Vallée de Joux watchmaking, David Candaux’s workplace is also his home. “La Grand Pièce” is the name that was given to the farmhouse in 1850. The Capt family was one of the great watchmaking families of the Vallée, responsible for creating the “Merveilleuse”, one of the most complicated historical pocket watches. The descendant of a long line of watchmakers from La Vallée de Joux, David Candaux felt a responsibility to preserve and perpetuate perpetuate this history. When restoring the farmhouse, much of its original layout and materials were kept, including the watchmakers workbench!
The year 1907 is the year when the world’s thinnest movement was made at the Vallée de Joux. At this date, Caliber 145 LeCoultre, with its 1.38 mm in thickness, still holds the world’s record of the thinnest movement. It is integrated into the pocket watches and still remains to this day the finest in their class10. From 1907 until the 1960s, 400 copies of the movement were produced.
Reflections of the Past through technologies of the Future
The 1740 encapsulates David’s talent, ideas and sensitivity. It combines 3 patents and 8 design registrations. Named after the year when the presence of a watchmaker was notified for the first time ever in the Vallée de Joux, this timepiece identity is coupled with the maxim “The Heart and Spirit” which, according to David Candaux, is the key to creating freely. If a timepiece is indeed meant to convey pleasure, it must have the power to bring us emotion. In this vein, research, reflection and hard work are essential. In essence, if the heart and spirit work in harmony, they can trigger a unique emotion and a little bit of magic.
The birth of dreams and the conceptualization of the watch. No physical limit, everything is that imaginary and sketch on paper. At this stage everything is possible and achievable.
The spirit, or the mind, must make viable what the heart has to imagine. The more the heart is sincere about the authenticity of this desire the more the mind will have to facilitate to realize them. In David’s opinion, once we have succeeded in bringing together the heart and the mind we get a timepiece that releases emotions and a higher value than what man can claim.
Strong identity inspired by legacy and the environment of Vallée de Joux
David Candaux was born and raised in the Vallée de Joux, a region renowned for its excellence in the traditional Swiss luxury and high-end watchmaking industry.
When creating his own brand, David Candaux incorporated two symbols to form his logo: the bear and the beehive. The bear has long been a part of Le Solliat coat of arms. The beehive represents both solitary work as well as teamwork, all for a common goal, much like a watchmaker. This is represented by the single honeycomb hexagonal cell.
Being the son and the grandson of master watchmakers, David naturally soaks up the timeless atmosphere of the timekeeping craft. He was as much shaped by the nearby lake and forests as by the workbenches at which he started to stand at the age of 14 years old. Over 20 years later, and after a brilliant career with several worldwide renowned fine watchmakers who allowed him to consolidate his expertise and knowhow, he has chosen to share his vision of 21st century Fine Watchmaking.
The people of “La Vallée de Joux” are called the “Combiers” . It is the skill learned by the “Combiers” in precise and repeated movements required by the faceting of precious stones (gems) and colored glass which promoting the emergence of the talented watchmakers. Today, “La Vallée de Joux” has remained a reference in the watch field. It’s the flagship of the complicated watches. “La Vallée” host the prestigious watchmakers, such as, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin & Breguet.