At the tender age of 27, the American engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones had been the deputy director and manager of the E. Howard Watch and Clock Co. in Boston, then a leading American watchmaker. At a time when most people were trying their luck in the west, Jones went in the opposite direction. His plan was to combine the outstanding craftsmanship of the Swiss with modern engineering technology from overseas and his own pioneering spirit. However, the skilled workers in the Geneva region and the remote valleys of western Switzerland met his plans with skepticism.

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