La Chaux-de-Fonds is located in the Swiss Jura region at an altitude of 1,000 meters. The local people lived widely scattered across the area and a harsh climate forced them to make most of their everyday tools by themselves. That’s how they became particularly skilled craftsman.
The upswing of the watchmaking industry at the end of the 18th century gave birth to a new building type. Three quarters of the town had been destroyed by a devasting fire in 1794. It was decided to rebuild the town following a modern grid street plan. The city was designed by and for watchmakers. Karl Marx called it a “huge factory-town” in Das Kapital (1867) to describe the unique link between the horological industry and the urban layout. La Chaux-de-Fonds was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.