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The Main Watch Town in France

Besançon is the most important watch city of France. Here the majority of the entire watch production in France was processed, in particular in the 19th century.

In 1881 from the 47,332 inhabitants, 13,000 were employed in the watch manufacturing and annually produced 335,000 watches, including approximately 114,000 in gold.

Besançon attracted international attention in 1973 as the scene of an experiment of "solidary economy": Because the workers of the watch factory Lip were afraid for their jobs, they occupied the plant and took over the production. In 1975 the project was closed by the authorities.

The Astronomical Clock of Besançon

A well known attraction, built between 1858 and 1860 by Auguste-Lucien Vérité, is the astronomical clock in the tower of Saint-Jean Cathedral. It is unusual that this clock works both as a clock tower as well as astronomical clock.