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Japy Watches

The Japy watch company was founded in 1771. This brand can be considered as synonym for industrial development. Unlike many other companies that disappeared and then reappeared on the world watch market, Japy was continuously working for many years from 1771.
The company had to go through great difficulties to remain in the global watch market and to please its customers with only high-class products today. Despite all the difficulties, if I may say so, Japy's DNA has not disappeared. Watchmakers of the 21st century have coped with the task well to clone the brand that is now under the brand name «Japy». The brand's long and confusing history has led to the company's revival which nowadays is a producer of unique watch movements.

History of Japy wrist watches

Like for many other European brands, the 20th century was a rather difficult challenge to Japy. Most of the discoveries associated with watch movements occurred in the period from 1800 to 1900. Then a period of calm came, which lasted until the Quartz boom was. So it was for Japy too.
Frédéric JapyThe company's founder, Frédéric Japy, was a protestant and born in Beaucourt, in France, in 1749. A son of a blacksmith, Frédéric began to grasp the craft of watchmaking in Le Locle which at that time was not a part of Switzerland yet, but was still a part of Prussia. Having returned home after training, Frédéric Japy began to create his own business, and his business began to grow rapidly.
The first three generations of the Japies, the founder Frédéric, his son Louis Frédéric and grandson Inje were great inventors. Thanks to their work Japy watches dominated in the watch industry of the 19th century. On the basis of watch movements Japy manufactured wrist watches for the best houses of Switzerland. Just Japy created the first complicated watch constructions and holographic design.
Until 1954, Japy spent huge resources to develop its movements, and almost did not invest wristwatch innovations.
Further, for greater success, the Japy company was sold to the French Jaz company which in its turn reduced the production of watches in order to concentrate on watch movements.
Until the end of the 70s, Japan supplied the western world with watch movements. While «Omega» just started out, Nicholas Hake worked as a consultant. The Jaz company decided to cooperate with other French manufacturers, thus becoming a counterweight to the Japanese producers at the watch market.
These producers were the Herma, the Anguenot, the Yema, the Cupillard Rieme, the Uti and the Hour Lavigne companies. In order for the alliance would become more significant, all the above-listed companies had entered into the Matra concern. This group was engaged in the manufacture of electronics, vehicles, weapons, missiles and information technologies, in fact it was the peak production of the high technologies in France.
Jean-Paul Sushe, the current president of the Japy Watches company, started working in the watch industry in 1983. Well owning international marketing, he was involved in the design of a Japy product and development: «I have been involved in the development of marketing strategy of technical development, export sales, distribution of new models and design».
Inside the Matra Horlogerie company, since 1983, I am responsible for export marketing of Jaz, Japy and Tema, as well as for developing new products. Then Matra suddenly decided to sell the holographic unit to the Japanese Seiko company. However, Seiko was not interested in the brand marks of Matra and therefore decided to refocus the group to re-distribute its brands (Seiko, Pulsar, Lorus, Lasalle), in order to use plants in France, at its discretion.
He saw that for Japy there was no future so he bought it in 1996, hoping it would survive. Because he was with Japy from 1983.
As the president says, he has not got enough time to collect watches so he owns some ones only. They are diving watches, pocket watches, chronographs with an alarm and watches for business suits.
Scuba diving is one of the president's favourite activities. And this hobby is the reason for the creation of the Aquatique 08 model. He tries to practice diving as often as possible. He has dived in many places: in the mines, lakes, caves, in the Seine, in the caves under the Opera House in Paris and the reefs of Saudi Arabia's offshore territory.
He clearly remembers diving in the tanker terminal in the Persian Gulf a day after when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. To his mind all of this seemed like a rather dull start from scratch.

Aquatique 08 Wristwatch

JapyThe design of this watch is based on personal experience of the company's president as a diver. He used different watches during his dives, saw a lot of watches on other divers and  shared experience with divers-friends, professional military divers and underwater photographers.
To design the Aquatique 08 watch the Japy company collaborated with the three members of the diver team of the French Army Brigade from the Fire and the Rescue Brigades. Because, today it is accepted to dive with computers so a watch is no longer just a diver's wrist watch but a safety instrument. Therefore, while designing Aquatique 08, development engineers have focused on several features: reliability, water resistance, functionality and corrosion resistance.

Reliability:
Wrist watches, designed for underwater use, must withstand rough use in aggressive environments. The case is made of two protective coats which keep the movement itself and its functional part from the pressure fluctuations and scratching. A special mount of bridges separates the functional part from the outer coat.
The producers say that during creation of the watch they did not want to burden the model with any additional components such as, for example, screws, because ultimately, such a design can bend or break under high pressure.
Sapphire crystal with thickness of 2.4 mm "sits" into the thickened case panel, protecting the dial. The bracelet of Aquatique 08 is thick, designed for large diameter axles. The spring is of a larger size than usually and made of stainless steel, what makes the movement more powerful and resistant to underwater pressure.  
The movement is installed into the metal ring of the case for greater rigidity and the rubber ring to compensate vibrations and shocks.

Functionality:
The form of the case and the bezel areJapy designed without sharp edges not to cling to the equipment and diving outfit. On the bezel every minute is deeply engraved (especially for those who like to stay underwater for long!). Hour marks on the dial are made of super-luminescent substance, and they are plotted slightly above axes of the hands, making the  time easier to be read even at an angle. The glass is treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides.
Despite simplicity of the movement, it is equipped with some chronograph functions: the balance wheel Glucydur, the hairspring Nivarox 1 and the polished steel Incabloc.
The modular design makes Japy wrist watches more reliable (the modular design is a result of the special design of a double case). It was not the main goal while designing the Aquatique 08 watch, but added an additional interest to the concept.
T08 Side Command Chronograph from Japy
The T08 Side Command Chronograph model from the Japy company was created due to the collaboration with professional racers, Jean-Philippe Belloc and Jean-Christophe Boullion. This wrist watch is devoted to motor racing.
The creation of T08 Side Command Chronograph was begun with studying conditions and state of pilots racers during the race. Belloc and Bouillon described in detail the conditions under which they are during the racing.
Jean-Philippe BellocJean-Christophe BouillonBoth racers have to withstand strong acceleration, hard braking, strong lateral tension during turning as well as collision and vibration. Jean-Philippe withstands temperatures up to 60 degrees Celsius inside his Dodge Viper, and Jean-Christophe fully gets wet from  raining at the wheel of an open prototype of Courage-Pescarolo.
After the conducted research the racers' requirements for a new wrist watch were the following: a high-contrast display, a clear dial and hands, sharp images even in dim light, water resistance, durability, an ability to use buttons while wearing gloves, freedom of movement on the wrist and a calculation of time for long and short periods.
The second stage of development was the testing itself for the full chronograph sample approval and component finalization. Both racers have been wearing are T08 Side Command Chronograph already long enough: races of Le Mans, Magny-Cours, Monza, Sebring and Road Atlanta. After every race T08 Side Command Chronograph from the racers' wrists moved into a workshop of the Japy company to examine the current state  and resistance to testing. This kind of collaboration for the company still does not have analogues.

***
Today, in Beaucourt, in the territory of Belfort, the Swiss region of Jura, there is the museum where you can learn about the history of the Japy company.
Japy wrist watches are ones of those watches that are intented for the most unusual situations. Cases of some models are made of stainless steel 316L used in surgery. Luminescent hands and markers are coated with sapphire crystal, and a special case edging is for heavy loads.
 



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