Watchmaking in China

How China fell in love with watchmaking


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October 2019

How China fell in love with watchmaking

How did the watch achieve such an exalted status in China? The answer also raises some questions about the future of what has become a highly symbolic object in Chinese culture. On this fascinating journey, we meet everyone from Jesuit missionaries to Val-de-Travers artisans.


esterners are always very curious about the reasons for the watch’s high popularity in China,” exclaims David Chang, a Beijing-based watch expert and member of the GPHG jury, when asked this question. “China is a multi-millennial civilisation, which had exchanges with the West very early on,” he continues. “Astronomical calculation was an art mastered by the scientists of the Imperial Palace long ago.”

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