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    11. JAPY FRERES: HISTORY + MARK, YEAR, DESIGN INDEX

                                                                                           

                                                                                                              Édouard Louis Frédéric Japy           


Édouard Louis Frédéric Japy

There are so many JAPY clocks still around because Frédéric Japy (1749-1812) was a pioneer in the industrialization of not only clocks, but of manufacturing in general.   An imaginative inventor of all sorts of machines, he began his career as a watchmaker.  The son of Jacques Japy (1699-1781) and Marie Marguerite Fainot (1745-1797), Frédéric Japy was born on May 22, 1749 at Beaucourt , a small village at the end of the principality of Montbéliard.  He was the second born of a large family of twelve children.  One of the wealthiest families in Beaucourt ,the father of Frédéric Japy, Jacques, was a major player in the village and, in 1760,he became the Protestant mayor Beaucourt.  Frédéric Japy began school in Beaucourt.  From childhood, he was introduced to craft activitiesand learned to live in a structured and supportive business environment.  His schoolmaster quickly noticed his great intelligence and encouraged his father to send him to Montbéliard to continue his education.  Jacques Japy thus placed his son in French school or "gymnasium" where he received an excellent education.  Frédéric Japy was apprenticed by Jacques Georges Frédéric Japy, his grandfather, in the profession of watchmaker in Montbeliard.  At age 17, he returned to Beaucourt to spend two years working in the workshop of his father.



Village of Beaucourt

At that time, watch and clock parts were manufactured usually by hand by specialized workers in  heir homes in small communities.  The parts were then collected and mounted into a piece by an 'assembler'.  Once the movement was assembled, it was then sent to a 'dresser' who would in turn mount it into case - be it a small one or an elaborate brass plated mantle clock complete with mythological figures.  Frederic Japy purchased some of few clock making machines in existence, brought them back to his native town of Beaucourt and proceeded to invent new ones in order to standardize the pieces and the quality of the production.

Japy Factory in Beaucourt

The workers were then regrouped into one location instead of being scattered throughout the countryside and each one was assigned to a specific work post with its own specific machine.  Frederic Japy radically changed the way clocks were produced.  The sequential production of parts in one location  - a manufacturing plant - aided by machines meant hat clock parts were made and assembled in about half the time that it had taken previously.

Japy Trademark

Japy's plant revolutionized manufacturing. Production schedules were now established by the plant owner and not by the local artisan.  The number of steps and operations were reduced by half.  All parts could be assembled into a finished product on-site instead of the previous sub-assemblies and the machines could be operated by a less-skilled worker. Japy then imagined other applications (and invented the machines required to produce them) such as the mass production of hardware parts (screws, nails, bolts) and other products - rotating pumps (a model still in use today), locks, and he perfected the creation and baking of enamelware.

In clockmaking - Japy's enamel dials became the standard for the great majority of clock manufacturers for 150 years both in France and abroad.  There are few French carriage clocks in existence that do not have Japy enamel dials on them.

Classic Japy Frères alarm clocks from the late 1890s 
with the well-known logo and the announcement of having won 
the 1878 Grand Prize for clockmaking.

Japy's plants continued to produce clocks in many styles and at the higher priced levels.  In 1806, he handed the direction of his businesses to his three sons - and it became Japy Frères (Japy Brothers) who, in turn, diversified the manufacturing to produce coffee grinders, typewriters, enamelware, kitchen utensils, office machines such as the first typewriters, refrigerator pumps, advertising signs and they invented more machines to transform copper and steel wires into elaborate hardware parts.  However, his sons' sons did not inherit the creative and inventive spirit of their fathers and grandfather and by the early 1900's, many of the the businesses were sold off and the manufacturing was dismantled.  In the 1930's, Japy Frères decided to 'reinvent' themselves to appeal to a wider market and they produced several models with tin casings and in various geometrical styles.  Unfortunately they were competing with names such as Jaz and Blangy in that segment of the market and sales were rather limited.  As with most French clockmakers, WWII basically decimated them.




PRODUCTION MARKS / INDEX / YEARS

 

v

 Word mark 

 Trademark 

 Manufacturer 

 Headquarters and Details 

Alouette(L'Alouette, with swallow)

Japy Freres

Besançon, France; registered on 3.22.1902

Ancre française (with banner, horseshoes, ornamental)

Japy Freres

Pocket watches; Beaucourt / Besançon, France; registered on 08.02.1892

Automedon(with JFC and stars in oval)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Brand for time adjustment feature; Beaucourt, France; registered on 2.28.1899

Automobile reguator (with JFC and stars in oval)

Japy Freres

Besançon, France; registered on 1.28.1899

Baby Japy

 

Japy FreresSA

Paris, Beaucourt and Besancon, France

Beaucourt JFC(in horseshoe)

Japy Freres

Beaucourt, France, 1850; registered on 02.08.1892

Beaucourt JFC(in horseshoe with star)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Klein Watches, watch parts, movements, Gehäse, dials, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, registered on 07/03/1890

Beaucourt Watch Company / JFC (trailer)

Japy Freres

Klein Watches, watch parts, movements, Gehäse, dials, pocket watches, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; registered on 3.12.1888

Bocor (the cross)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Clocks; Beaucourt, France; registered on 3.16.1903

Bocor

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Movements; Beaucourt, France; registered on 1.25.1935

Brevete (with tap)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Beaucourt and Besancon, France

CJF (JF in C)

Japy Freres & Cie

Klein Watches, watch movements; Beaucourt, France, registered on 30/12/1913

Crescendo Japy

 

Japy FreresSA

Paris, Beaucourt and Besancon, France

CX

Japy Freres

Beaucourt, France

Cyrano

Japy Freres

Besançon and Beaucourt, France, registered on 08/09/1898

Democrate

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Pocket watches; Beaucourt, France; registered on 1.28.1896

Double Succès

 

Japy FreresSA

Watches, watch movements; Beaucourt, France; registered on 5.31.1935 and on 06.07.1905

DS

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Pocket watches; Beaucourt, France; registered on 1.28.1896

DS (in frame with ornamental)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Pocket watches, watch movements, watch parts; Beaucourt, France, registered on 06/02/1900

E (actually SE on clock)

Henri Scherer

Watches; Rue Fredric Japy, Beaucourt, France, registered on 02/04/1936

R & Co.

Gaston Japy

Beaucourt, France

Fleuron

 

Japy Freres & Cie

Actually, "Le fleuron"; pocket watches; Beaucourt, France; registered on 1.28.1896

Gauloise (La Gauloise)

 

Japy Freres

Pocket watches, Besançon, France; registered on 2.28.1892

Gauloise (on banner with cock and pocket)

Japy Freres

Klein Watches, watch parts, pocket watches, movements, cases, dials, (actually in Besancon, France, here :) La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; registered on 6.12.1888

Japy

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Klein Watches, watch movements, Paris, Besançon and Beaucourt, France

Japy Freres & Cie. / Goe Med D'Honneur(with cross and crown)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Klein Watches, watch movements; Beaucourt, France

JF

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Klein Watches, watch movements; Beaucourt, France, registered on 12/20/1910

JF (in a semicircle / C)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Klein Watches, watch movements; Beaucourt, France, registered on 30/12/1913

JFC(Interlocking)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Beaucourt, France

JFC(Interlocking with stars)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Beaucourt, France, 1887

JFC(Interlocking with stars)

Japy Freres &Cie.

La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, in 1887; branch of the work of Besançon

JFC (each other, with stars)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Klein Watches, watch parts, movements, housing; (actually Beaucourt, France, but here :) La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; registered on 4.15.1887

JFC Beaucourt(in horseshoe)

 

Japy Freres

Klein Watches, watch parts, movements, Gehäse, dials, pocket watches, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Besançon, France; registered in 1890

JFC Gauloise(with tap)

 

Japy Freres

La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, registered on 1888, from 1889 no longer used

JFC Paris

Japy Freres &Cie.

Beaucourt, France, 1901

JFG(Interlocking with 4 stars)

Japy Freres &Cie.

Biel, Switzerland; actually: Beaucourt, France

LEP Japy & Cie

LEP Japy &Cie.

La Chapotte-Herimoncourt, France

LM (with bee in the circle)

Japy Freres

Movements; Beaucourt and Besançon, France; LM = La Melissa; registered on 9.22.1904

La Démocrate

Japy Freres

Besançon, France; registered on 2.28.1896

La Favorite

 

Japy Freres

Pocket watch with engraved 3/4tel-Platine; Besançon, France; registered on 9.27.1894

La Gauloise

Japy Freres

Besançon, France; registered on 2.28.1892

La Melissa(with bee in the circle)

Japy Freres

Movements; Beaucourt and Besançon, France; registered on 9.22.1904

La Metropole / Déposé (in horseshoe / circular segment with stars)

Japy Freres & Co.

Klein Watches, watch parts, housing, pocket watches, dials, movements, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; registered on 7.26.1893

La Parisienne

 

Japy Freres

Pocket watch with engraved 3/4tel-Platine; Besançon, France; registered on 9.27.1894

La Vigilante

Louis Japy /Japy Freres

Berne-Seloncourt, France in 1850; registered on 9.27.1894

L'Alouette

Japy Freres

Besançon, France; registered on 3.22.1902

Le fleuron

Louis Japy /Japy Freres

Berne-Seloncourt, France in 1850; registered on 2.28.1896

Le fleuron

Louis Japy /Japy Freres

Berne-Seloncourt, France in 1850; registered on 2.28.1896

Melissa

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Movements and watch parts; Beaucourt, France; registered on 9.22.1904

Minut

 

Japy Freres

Paris, Beaucourt and Besancon, France

Minut-Japy

 

Japy Freres

Paris, Beaucourt and Besancon, France

Monnin

 

Monnin

Sale of products by Japy Freres, Paris, France; 1851-1861

Montre Universal / Populaire (in circle with 3 coins: JFC / Grand Prix / ...)

Japy Freres

Klein Watches, watch parts, movements, Gehäse, dials, pocket watches, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; regsitriert on 24/11/1888

Moteur Japy

 

Japy Freres

Beaucourt undBesançon, France; registered on 9.17.1898

Murmure

 

Japy FreresSA

Paris and Besançon, France

Murmure Japy

 

Japy FreresSA

Paris and Besançon, France

Opex

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Watches, small watches, watch parts; Beaucourt, France; registered on 4.25.1906

Opteur

 

Japy Freres &Cie.

Movements, watch parts; Beaucourt, France; registered on 2.18.1908

Paris JFC      

Japy Freres & Cie

Beaucourt, France