Henri Jeanmaire, whose family originated in Les Brenets, was born in Bienne in 1914, where he completed his secondary studies. He later pursued an apprenticeship in optics in Basel before attending the Fachhochschule of Iena, a well-known center for this science.
An optics enthusiast, Henri Jeanmaire is the author of several publications on the subject. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he returned to Switzerland where he built a telescope that allowed him to realize astonishing infrared views of the Swiss plateau and the Alps. From 1937 on, he continued his projects in England where, during the Second World War, he developed sighting devices for the RAF. After the Armistice, he specialized in the creation of optical and projection apparatus for industry and research.
A very busy man, he relaxed by indulging in his hobbies : apiculture, the restoration of Boulle marquetry and curling.
Henri Jeanmaire returned to Les Brenets in 1988, where he passed away in November 1992.
The Jeanmaire room contains all the clocks inlaid with Boulle marquetry willed to the Le Locle Watch Museum, as well as a number of pieces of furniture. The « Boulle » decorative technique, which became all the rage during the reign of Louis XIV, was developed by Charles André Boulle. It is a complex form of marquetry which admirably combines brass, and sometimes tin, with sea tortoiseshell.
Other clocks in this collection are exhibited in the drawing and dining rooms of the Château des Monts.