The son of Edouard-Constant Sandoz, who, in 1866, founded an important pharmaceutical company in Basel, Maurice Sandoz, artist, musician, poet and collector, lived part of the year in his castle of Burier on the banks of the Lac Léman. Sensitive and generous, when he learned that the city of Le Locle wanted to create a museum to house its watch and clock collections at the Château des Monts, he donated an important part of his personal collection of automatons to his commune of origin. Along with his friends, the teacher Alfred Chapuis and Fred Cornaz, poet and amateur decorator, he designed the layout of the room that since that time bears his name. Not only did Maurice Sandoz possess admirable collections of watches, jewelry and automatons, he also wrote literary works in French, English, German, Italian and Portuguese. Remarkably multi-lingual, he was a man of many talents who held doctorates in both Literature and Science.
Over and above some forty written works, novels and travel accounts, he also excelled at composing music, amongst which he counted numerous successes.
In 1974, The Sandoz Foundation financed the film “An Invitation to Dream” devoted to this collection, as well as offering various sculptures by Maurice’s brother, Edouard-Marcel Sandoz, to decorate the Museum park.