This magnificent timepiece is a pocket watch known as a “Savonnette,” which is particularly distinguished by the fact that the crown and the winding stem are located at 3 o’clock rather than 12 o’clock. Based on this model, the famous jeweller Cartier first invented a watch for one of his friends who was an airplane pilot. The latter wore it on his wrist thanks to a strap.

This Savonnette watch also has one of the features of pocket watches typical of French watchmaker Jean-Antoine Lépine, né Depigny (1720-1814)—that is, having the second hand in a counter at the 6 o’clock position, just below the central axis. It is also equipped with a cover to protect the glass, the dial, and the hands. This type of pocket watch likely takes its name from its shape, which is reminiscent of a small, round bar of soap for the bathroom, called a “savonnette” in French.

As for Émile Jacot, he was a clockmaker/jeweller and Swiss watch manufacturer. He was born around 1840, since he was 31 years of age in the 1871 Canadian census. However, it is unknown when he arrived in Canada. He was married to Marie-Louise Allard, who was six years younger than her husband. The couple lived in Québec-Est, in the Jacques-Cartier neighbourhood. The shop that he founded in January 1865 was located on rue St-Joseph. He was also a watch and jewellery importer. In addition, he was said to be an engraver, optician, and jeweller. In 1891, his jewellery shop had three employees. Émile Jacot died in January 1900.

It was Jules Ophir Jacot, a jeweller, who settled the estate and took over for about ten years. He established the slogan “Right On Time” aimed at his English-speaking customers in The Quebec Chronicle. Following his death on September 11, 1910, at Hôpital Jeffery Hale in Quebec City, the notaries Gauvreau & Montreuil took care of his estate. He died at the age of 69.

In the fall of 1910, the shop therefore changed hands again, but not its name. Customers still went to Émile Jacot. The business was purchased by Alphonse Casault, who had been an employee there for a few years. He joined forces with Herman Haefliger, an experienced goldsmith. In 1918-1919, the corporate name was recorded as: Émile Jacot enr. In 1932, Arthur Landry became the owner, and in 1933, he changed the name of the business to Landry Jacot Ltée. Arthur Landry died in 1951.

After having changed owners and names, the jewellery shop officially closed its doors in 1996.

Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
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