In the watch world talk is generally about tourbillons, perpetual calendars and various other mechanical complications, yet one of the most basic and visually striking elements that go to make up a wristwatch tends to get forgotten … the watch strap.
Founded in 1954 in Besançon, close to the Swiss border, The Manufacture Jean Rousseau (MJR), like just a handful of counterparts within the mechanical watch industry, is a genuine manufacture. The company doesn’t simply buy-in pre-prepared skins and produce straps, it handles the entire production process from the untreated skins and tanning to the realization of the concept, from the prototype to the finished leather strap. The company also stays abreast of fashions and trends by maintaining a finger on the pulse of consumer demand through its own boutique and workshops in the heart of Paris in the Rue Saint-Honoré district.
In short, the Manufacture Jean Rousseau is a unique organization in that it is the most comprehensive and vertically integrated service provider in the leather strap industry.
MJR clients, which includes many of the leading brand names in the watch industry, initiate the project by submitting either a rough design for a watchstrap, or a computer file of their watchcase. From there, using state-of-the-art design and concept computer programs (DAO/CAO), MJR’s designers produce a 3-dimensional presentation of the strap that is perfectly adapted to the client’s watch. Upon approval of the project, prototypes are rapidly prepared and, if necessary, modifications made prior to the production process.
The next step is the in-house production of the machine tools required for the cutting of the leather – calf skin, sharkskin, alligator etc. - in either standard or exclusively prepared colours created by the MJR laboratory.
Tests for tensile strength, ageing, wear and tear, staining, ultra-violet, rubbing and perspiration resistance, are then carried out on the selected leathers to ensure an optimal quality of the finished straps and, in close collaboration with the dermatology and allergy services, MJR controls the hypoallergenic qualities of its products.
Once the leather is cut, specialist craftsmen, using age-old traditional sewing methods of single or double-waxed thread and straight or diagonal stitching, complete the strap’s fabrication.
The major activity of Manufacture Jean Rousseau is the production of top quality, de luxe leather straps and its technicians and master craftsmen are confronted on a daily basis with the problems, demands and constraints imposed by haut de gamme watch manufacturers. Additionally, to better serve the requirements of our prestigious watch manufacturing clients in one of their key markets, the company has now opened a wholly-owned subsidiary in Tokyo - Jean Rousseau KK.
By being a genuine manufacture, MJR has the capacity to produce any made-to-measure strap within the shortest period – a non-negligible factor in today’s demanding market.
The company’s production facilities, the savoir-faire of its master craftsmen combined with its exclusive service, thus ensures that a Manufacture Jean Rousseau client is guaranteed a unique product of the highest quality designed to meet prestigious clients’ needs, combined with an exceptionally professional and rapid service.
Manufacture Jean Rousseau - ZI des Champs Pusy - 25170 Pelousey (France) - P. Cola (OEM Director) - [email protected]
Source: Europa Star August-September 2006 Magazine Issue