Jeanrichard is named after Daniel Jeanrichard (1665-1741), one of the first watchmakers in the canton of Neuchâtel, who built his first watch in 1681, and went on to set up his own workshop. Some of his watches can still be seen in the Jeanrichard Museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He also helped develop the apprenticeship system that became important for the watch-making industry.
The brand went dormant from about 1900. Nouvelle Lemania bought the rights to the name in the early 1980s but it remained virtually inactive. The Sowind Group headed by Luigi Macaluso purchased it in 1986, but it wasn’t a totally successful relaunch, and the brand was rather overshadowed by the other major Sowind watch brand, Girard-Perregaux. In 2011, Kering acquired Sowind, and a new course was planned for Jeanrichard, making it more recognizably different from Girard-Perregaux. CEO Michele Sofisti and COO Bruno Grande decided to give Jeanrichard a new, young style, with watches based on an immediately-recognizable cushion-shaped case that became the primary building block in a modular range. The case remains the same, movements are not made in-house but purchased from suppliers such as Sellita and Dubois-Depraz, and a family is created with different finishes, different colours, and different straps. They developed a whole new brand image by forming three families, Terrascope, Aquascope and Aeroscope, with testimonials for each, entry-level price around 2,500 Swiss francs, and a striking, fresh communications campaign and website. A fourth range, 1681 (named after the year in which Daniel Jeanrichard completed his first watch), is reserved for the brand”s highest-price watches, and it includes their only in-house movement, tne JR1000 introduced in 2004. With this new approach, Jeanrichard was relaunched in 2012.
In 2014, Jeanrichard announced a partnership with the Arsenal F.C. football team, in an agreement due to run to at least 2017. Planned to increase brand awareness, the operation was to a degree a natural choice, because the Kering Group had already invested into Arsenal with another of their brands, Puma. In the end, everything ground to a halt and the company seems to have entered another phase of dormancy from about February 2016.
Jeanrichard, a division of Sowind SA
Place Girardet 1
CH 2301 La Chaux-de-Fonds
Tel. +41 32 (0)911 35 00
The Villa JeanRichard museum, opened in 2004, presents watchmaking machinery and tools dating back to about 1700. Today it includes training workshops used by Jeanrichard and Girard-Perregaux watchmakers. It can be visited by appointment only.
Rue du Progès 129
CH 2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds
Tel. +41 (0)32 911 36 36