History


The Rousseau watch brand was created in 2003 with the express purpose to bring forth high-quality timepieces that invoke inspiration to all that adorn one. With the focus of the business being decided upon, it was now time to decipher what name would be touted as the company’s own symbol of inspiration for these horological creations. In order to discover that name, you have to look back into the prestigious history of watch-making itself and take a trip across the grand Atlantic Ocean.

One of the oldest watches bearing a signature from a Geneva Master Watchmaker lies in the Cluny Museum, Paris, France. The signature is that of Jean Rousseau engraved upon the case of a watch taking the form of Death's Head. In engraving his signature upon such a startling creation, perhaps Rousseau cheated mortality somewhat. Less romantic is the notion that years of making timepieces must have agreed with him, for he lived to be an old man of nearly 80, from 1606 to 1684.

Whether or not one cares to read a mystery into Jean Rousseau's legacy, the truth of the matter is he is quite immortal. Mortality, however, was not cheated. Immortality was earned.

Jean Rousseau labored more as a craftsman than an artist. Early in his career were the days, scholars believe, when watchmakers performed every facet of their creation, rather than handing off certain tasks to specialists, as would be the case throughout the industry within fifty years. This would explain the relatively simple designs of Rousseau and his contemporaries compared to their apprenticed workers a mere two generations later.

Rousseau had no trouble changing with the times, was ahead of the game for his overall knowledge of the industry. Not only had his productivity increased in watch manufacturing, he'd been responsible for many more mouths to feed in his family. Having produced twelve children, seven were sons whom he designated toward specialized fields of study in the family business. The Patriarch and master teacher he was, the elder Rousseau took care to assign his sons into fields he saw coming most naturally to each. Five of the sons took to their trade sufficiently that their names brightened the Rousseau legacy.

David inherited his father's gifts. Soon he became a master watchmaker of renown creating stunning watches with alarm movements. He also inherited his father's gift for longevity and outstripped it, nearly seeing 100 years from 1641-1738.

Jacques (Jacob) also was a master watchmaker but had apprenticed in lapidary. So versatile were his skills in working in business and with people that his father sent him to London to represent the Rousseau family business in that huge marketplace.

The combined forces of experiences, craftsmanship and artistry had all come into place. Andre's goldsmith apprenticeship in Hamburg well completed and added upon, Louys' lapidary expertise soon to come, and brother Noel's designation as yet another master watchmaker in the family, the Rousseau name would surely be immortal among watchmakers and among watches.

And so, today the Rousseau family of watches carries on as immortal as time itself, as memorable as the genius-family of watchmakers. These timepieces carry the spirit of their namesake with movements as smooth as the heavens with a polished glacial finish, and as sturdy and firm as the mountains surrounding a Swiss village.