La Vallée de Joux is a valley in the southwest of the Jura mountain in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It is composed of three main villages: Le Chenit, Le Lieu and L’Abbaye with a multiple small hamlets. The people of “La Vallée de Joux” are called the “Combiers”. When they talk about their region, they simply say: “La Vallée“ (and not “La Vallée de Joux”). The art of watchmaking in “La Vallée de Joux” back more than two centuries. It is the continuation of the iron industries represented by nailers, locksmiths, cutlers and even gunsmiths (armorers). These blacksmiths beat the iron, parallel activity essential to make up the lean products of an ungrateful and poor agriculture. It is also 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.
As at the time of the first watchmakers installed in the Vallée de Joux, the farm-workshop of David Candaux serves as both place of life and work. “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.
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.
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. Being the son and the grandson of master watchmakers, he 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.
One could say that watchmaking is a part of David Candaux's DNA. A third-generation watchmaker hailing from La Vallée de Joux, David Candaux's passion for watchmaking started at a young age, observing and admiring his father working away on the watchmaker's bench everyday after school. Daniel was a watchmaker in Patek Philippe's Vallée de Joux complication workshop, while today works with David to make his vision of artisanal watchmaking a reality.