The world of JMC Lutherie SA and the Resonance Division

Resonance spruce and the tree gatherer

350 years old, standing straight as an arrow, still green for its age. Throughout its life, its iron health has spared it from insects and mould. It has grown steadily, without too much water nor heat, at 1,200 metres above sea level. Its nearby companions have protected it from the wind and the sun. It is neither gnarled nor knotted. For all these years, it has stored up the energy of the earth and sky. The tree gatherer has spotted this strong and harmonious spruce from among 10,000 other trees. His experienced eye has appraised its shape and its appearance. He has sensed the personality of the plant and his heart has begun to beat faster. He has measured and examined it, touched and stroked it - and perhaps even embraced it. In any case, he has talked with the tree and thanked it. Resonance wood is the heart of a tree speaking to the heart of a man.

Lutherie techniques

The Risoud Forest, the largest single wooded stretch in Europe, is world-renowned for its resonance spruce. Even Stradivarius is said to have used wood from this region. Once felled, the trunk is sawn into quarters, so as to slow down hygrometric exchanges and thereby improve the long-term stability of the material. After being stocked vertically, the quarters are left to dry and then cut for several years of storage before use. This process, along with a rigorous selection procedure, guarantees resistance to the climate prevailing on any continent. The luthier can then begin his work. He curves the soundboards, positions the bracings, sculpts the frets, glues, shapes, listens, scallops, senses and works with its living membranes, bringing them to a state of extreme perfection. He makes them as light as possible to ensure ideal vibration and thus reveal even the most tenuous sounds, while ensuring they are sturdy enough to withstand all manner of trials. The secret lies in the transmission of the vibration between the vibrating element (a string, a watch, or a music box mechanism) and the soundboard. JMC Lutherie SA brilliantly combines the exceptional resonance spruce and traditional lutherie techniques with cutting-edge technologies and composite materials, thereby rooting its approach to lutherie firmly in the 21st century.

Sound and music

Sound is measured by two units: decibels (volume) and Hertz (frequency). Our craft lies in focusing on all the other values that endow a sound with quality: its warmth, its roundness, its presence, its incisiveness, its precision and its sustain (the duration of the sound). These values make the sound truly musical and capable of generating pleasure and emotion. It is in fact the organisation or the mastery of the sound that creates the music which inspires artists, music-lovers and listeners.

Resonance holders for striking watches

These holders for striking watches have been specially developed to reveal the beauty and all the musical dimensions of minute repeater watches thanks to the exceptional Risoud resonance spruce. Simply installing the watch on the resonance holder and activating it enables listeners to benefit from amplified sound which becomes truly musical. The sound is not only significantly more powerful, but also filled with emotion. The resonance holder enables one to hear each detail of the vibrations: technically accomplished watches thereby reveal their perfection, whether in terms of the cadence of the chime, the melodious nature of the tune, or the duration of the sound. These holders may be fitted with mini-sensors that can be connected to the resonance wood Soundboard loudspeaker, and thus enable clients to feel the vibrations from inside. The musicality thus experienced is truly unforgettable. These musical instruments create a poetic and intensely moving effect. These resonance holders are authentic musical works of art.

The inventor Jeanmichel Capt and JMC Lutherie SA

JMC Lutherie SA is a lutherie maker based in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. In addition to resonance holders for striking watches, it also makes guitars and loudspeakers in resonance wood and offers its services in making sound truly musical. Its technical feats are masterminded by the talented and famous luthier Jeanmichel Capt, a worthy heir to the creative inventors of the Vallée de Joux. Building on 35 years of experience in creating exceptional guitars, he reinvents and applies the art of lutherie to many different fields.

Origin of the wood used for the resonance holders

The types of wood used to create the resonance holders are those traditionally used by the luthier: resonance spruce from the Risoud Forest, as well as Swiss curly maple and walnut wood. The Risoud Forest is certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and COBS (Swiss Wood Certificate of Origin).