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Saint Honore
Saint Honore

Saint Honore

Founder of a dynasty of master watchmakers, Victorin Frésard was born in the late 19th century to a family of farmers in Charquemont, in the Jura department of France. At the time, a number of the region’s inhabitants maintained a secondary activity, especially during the long winter months. Thus a specific form of craftsmanship developed over time: watchmaking. The father of Victorin Frésard himself made a trip to Switzerland to perfect his knowledge in the field. Upon his return to Charquemont, he founded a company specialising in cylinder escapements while continuing his profession as a herdsman.

 

When he retired in 1911, the following generation took over the company, and his son Victorin became head of the “Frésard Frères et Paul Bessot” company, where his brothers and sisters also worked. At the time, the new organisation employed 60 people in the workshop as well as 40 people working from home, since this method made it possible to combine flexibility and competitiveness.
To fulfil his passion for art, Victorin Frésard regularly travelled to Paris, a hub for French artistic creation. He took inspiration from the craftsmen, writers, sculptors and painters in the neighbourhood of his pied-à-terre on rue Saint-Honoré.

 

In 1932, he decided to leave the company to found a new one, “Victorin Frésard & Enfants”, specialising in watchmaking components. This was a substantial factory that included up to 150 employees and called on the services of subcontractors; but gone were the herdsmen/craftsman producing on an exceedingly small scale a few hours per day. These were true workshops equipped with modern mechanical machinery.

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