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Meet The Watch Library Foundation, Watchmaking Heritage in Free Access

A joint initiative to preserve and promote watchmaking heritage, with thousands of carefully selected archives.

| By Xavier Markl | 2 min read |

If a lot of data is easily available online regarding modern watchmaking, finding resources about watchmaking history is far more difficult. Well, it was… The Watch Library is a not-for-profit organization that is built around the desire to make watchmaking heritage accessible to the widest possible audience. Launched on the initiative of the Maillard family (from our colleagues of Europastar) and Martine Depresle, this free access online platform is backed by prominent horological institutions including the Musée International d’Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Horological Society of New York, or brands including Audemars-Piguet, Richard Mille and TAG Heuer.

The Watch Library was conceived as a non-profit foundation to facilitate access to the documents and enable the implementation of open data policies wherever possible. The online platform covers a variety of watch-related content including magazines, almanacs, books, drawings and videos. If the number of digitized assets will expand over time, the platform’s first version already hosts over 320,000 documents and archive pages from a dozen different sources. For now, the digitized assets are in French and English, but Spanish and German will be added as well as watch-related archives from cultural institutions in Asia. A scientific committee is tasked with identifying and validating the relevance of the archives to be incorporated into the platform

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Martine Depresle, Managing Director of the Watch Library points out: “The model we’ve adopted serves a new form of relationship with users, directly involving the watchmaking community in our goal of preserving horological archives, thanks to the support of our patrons. It’s not just about building Big Data from horological archives; it’s about ensuring that each piece of content resonates with users. It’s a direct-to-passionate-users model.

The platform is now live and accessible to all. This invaluable source of information for watch aficionados and professionals is available online at

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