For some ten years, the company continued to expand. It sold clocks, automata, watches and singing birds all over the world, especially in China. But the harsh climate of La Chaux-de-Fonds and the insidious London fog was detrimental to Henri-Louis’ precarious state of health. In 1784, he decided to move to Geneva, finding its artistic and literary life to his taste. Jean-Frédéric Leschot soon joined him and they decided to open the city’s first clockmaking manufacture, simultaneously introducing the production of timepieces featuring grand complications. The talent and interest shown by Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz and Jean-Frédéric Leschot in the civic life of Geneva was quickly noted and approved of. The City of Geneva presented both of them with the coveted Bourgeois d’Honneur Award, and welcomed their involvement in municipal activities. Jaquet-Droz was admitted to the newly reinstated Société des Arts, and was very active in the advancement of technical training. He helped set up a factory-school in Geneva to make cadratures for repeater watches and developed many projects bearing on watchmaking technique and advocating the professions associated with watchmaking. Pierre Jaquet-Droz moved into the house of a clockmaker named Dental, at the corner of Rue Molard and Rue du Rhône, which housed the workshops and his son’s apartment.
Montres Jaquet Droz SA moves into its Fine Watchmaking workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This 2,500 m2 site gives the brand a new energy and the intention of becoming, like its watches: a synthesis of horological expertise and craftsmanship with a distinctive personality that enables it to meet the strong demand from the market and its customers.
Jaquet Droz goes a step further with “The Signing Machine” an amazing automaton that is profoundly of its time. By means of highly complex movements, driven by a set of cams that are handmade in order to produce a fluid, natural script, The Signing Machine duplicates its owner’s signature. That same year, Jaquet Droz writes a new chapter in the history of the Grande Seconde by adding a silicon spiral in the escapement of its movement and revisiting its aesthetics. The Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel makes its first appearance.