Sunday, December 20, 2015

Girard-Perregaux inaugurates in Yokohama, its exhibition tribute to the pioneer of Swiss watchmaking in Japan

The Swiss high-end watch Manufacture Girard-Perregaux, has inaugurated the special exhibition François Perregaux, pioneer of Swiss watchmaking in Japan. The opening ceremony was hosted by Mr Antonio Calce, Chief Executive Officer of Sowind, with the presence of VIP guests.

From December 19th to December 24th in Yokohama Creative City Center, this exhibition is a tribute to the protagonist of the first steps of Swiss watchmaking in the Land of the Rising Sun. On the eve of its 225th anniversary, the Manufacture highlights its heritage and its secular tradition through the dedicated exhibition, the first fruits of the future Girard-Perregaux museum which will open its doors current 2016 in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
In collaboration with the International Watchmaking Museum, La Chaux-de-Fonds, and the Neuchâtel Museum of Ethnography, the Manufacture Girard-Perregaux unveils through the exhibition, historical artefacts of the nineteenth century part of the remarkable story of François Perregaux, first Swiss watchmaker established in Japan: A marine chronometer produced by the Perregaux family pocket watches made specially by Girard-Perregaux for Japan, Japanese clocks and various Japanese  handcrafted items from the family. Including a copy of Japan Illustrated first referenced book on the Land of the Rising Sun as published in the West (1870), to which François Perregaux was involved. Valuable testimonials of the deep ties between Girard-Perregaux and Japan for over a century and a half, many of the items showcased for the first time in Yokohama, adoption town of François Perregaux, for which he felt a real fascination.
Yokohama Creativecity Center
In February 1864, Swiss emissaries and representatives of the Imperial Japanese Government signed a Friendship and Trade Treaty. This bilateral agreement would be the basis for the special relationship between Japan and Switzerland, and would permit the first Swiss watch exports to the Land of the Rising Sun. At the time of the long-awaited signature, a watch merchant from Switzerland had already been in business for several years on the Japanese archipelago: François Perregaux

Francois-Perregaux the first Swiss watchmaker established in Japan  Le Locle 1834 - 1877 Yokohama) Born into a family of big watchmaking businessmen in Le Locle, François Perregaux set off in 1853 for New York, where he spent six years representing the family business H. Perregaux & Co. Back in his home town in 1859, he set off the same year for Asia as the agent of the Watchmaking Union to set up an export office. From 1860 he was based in Yokohama, becoming the first Swiss watchmaking businessman to set up in the Land of the Rising Sun, before the signature of the friendship and trade treaty between Switzerland and Japan (1864). In 1865, he founded the company F. Perregaux & Co in Yokohama, and would be the official agent of Girard-Perregaux until the year 1877, when he passed away.

Exhibition details
Date:    December 19th~24th, 2015
Open to the public
Site:    Yokohama Creativecity Center
6-50-1, Honcho Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-8315
Opening hours: 11:00 ~ 19:00
Admission fee: Free

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