In the 19th century, many industries and specialised craftsmen established themselves in Sainte-Croix, the capital of music box. Since December 2020, “know-how in watchmaking and art mechanics” have been listed as intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO. Visiting the CIMA museum, we feel like a child again in front of the prestigious collections.
The Centre International de Mécanique d’Art (CIMA), international museum of mechanical art, has a historic collection of music boxes and humanoid automatons. Some of the pieces are world renowned and have an exceptional mechanical complexity, such as “Le Prince Eugène” created by François Junod who is able to draw and “Le Pierrot” created by Michel Bertrand who is writing a love letter to his beloved Colombine.
The CIMA museum also includes a reconstruction of a mechanical workshop as it used to be in the early 20th century with several authentic machines.
The REUGE SA factory in Sainte-Croix continues the tradition of the manufacture of precision mechanical movements with its exceptional modern creations, highly sought after by heads of state and royal families all over the world.
The registration on the UNESCO list since the 16th of December 2020 highlights an iconic living tradition of the French-Swiss Jura Arc. This registration finds particular resonance in the region of Sainte-Croix/L'Auberson, the only place that brings together music boxes as well as automatons and watchmaking. The application submitted by Switzerland in collaboration with France was considered exemplary by UNESCO for its demonstration of the importance of intangible cultural heritage in a cross-border space.