The Next Hour Neuchâtel
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18 May, 2022
Philippe Dufour was born in 1948 in Le Sentier and went to school at the Ecole d’Horlogerie of the Vallée de Joux. He is arguably the greatest watchmaker alive today and is particularly appreciated for his mastery of watchmaking techniques and the excellence of his finishing. He makes his components by hand using the same techniques as the master watchmakers did centuries before him. He set up as an independent watchmaker in 1978 and launched the Philippe Dufour brand in 1992.
His production is extremely limited and watch connoisseurs often wait years to receive their timepieces, increasing the aura around this living legend and his work.
Five interesting facts about Philippe Dufour
Philippe Dufour never intended to become a watchmaker. He actually wanted to be a mechanic, but his brother was already studying away from home in Lucerne so money was tight. His teacher suggested watchmaking instead so he signed up for the Ecole Technique in Le Sentier.
Before establishing his own brand, he worked for Jaeger-LeCoultre, Gerald Genta, and Audemars Piguet.
In 2007, Dufour teamed up with Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey for a project called La Naissance d’une Montre (The Birth of a Watch), where they shared and documented their combined knowledge to safeguard it for the future.
He only produces 25 watches per year.
Dufour uses polishing tools made from different types of wood and will go out into the forest every year before the first snowfall to collect his stock for the year.