70 Years of History: The Journey of Maison Jean Rousseau

70 Years of History: The Journey of Maison Jean Rousseau

A Tale of Craftsmanship and Passion, from Besançon to Troyes

Once upon a time, in 1954, in the charming town of Besançon, in France, there was a visionary man named Jean Rousseau. Craftsman and long-time manager of a leather goods workshop, he decided to create his own company, Sobralux, with the vision of producing exceptional leather watch straps. His ambition and dedication to craftsmanship paved the way for an enduring adventure that would transcend generations. This company, which later became La Compagnie du Bracelet (COBRA) in 1973, marked the beginning of a beautiful story in the world of luxury craftsmanship.

The Beginnings of Maison Jean Rousseau

In 1999, Maison Jean Rousseau saw a new chapter unfold when Jacques Bordier took over the company. With just 45 employees, he revived production, laying the foundation for what would become a hallmark of excellence and craftsmanship. Two years later, in 2001, the first Jean Rousseau Atelier-Boutique opened its doors in Paris, marking the beginning of the company’s expansion. By 2002, the workshops in Besançon relocated to the nearby commune of Pelousey. In homage to its founder, the company was renamed Manufacture Jean Rousseau, refocusing its activity on the luxury segment. In 2007, Jean Rousseau is first awarded the Living Heritage Company label (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant) in recognition of its exceptional artisanal skill. The label has since been renewed four more times.

In pursuit of the world

Jean Rousseau’s success knows no boundaries. In 2005, Jean Rousseau expands to Tokyo, later opening a workshop in Ginza, one of the city’s most upscale districts, where it introduces its refined creations to a new clientele. In the following years, Jean Rousseau opened Ateliers-Boutiques in London and New York, each location becoming a symbol of French elegance and craftsmanship. These Ateliers-Boutiques are more than just stores—our artisans are present to craft or customize bespoke accessories, thus providing an authentic and personalized experience to each customer. Today, the Maison boasts 85 retailers worldwide, including Harrods, Bucherer, and many others.

A New Chapter in Troyes

In 2023, Maison Jean Rousseau embarks on a new chapter of its history by selecting Troyes, located in northeastern France, as the location for its third manufacture. This site becomes a true melting pot of talent, shaping a new generation of artisans ready to carry on the house’s legacy of quality and precision. The same year, a mini workshop is set up on the second floor of La Samaritaine in Paris, allowing customers to discover and customize their pieces.

As the heir to a 70-year-old tradition, Maison Jean Rousseau continues to perpetuate its artisanal craftsmanship with passion. Whether in Besançon, Tokyo, London, New York, or Troyes, each creation tells its own story, reflecting the very essence of the Maison. In addition to its commitment to artisanal excellence, Jean Rousseau actively supports independent watchmakers, thereby contributing to the preservation and promotion of innovation and creativity in this prestigious field.

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