For three centuries after the first "pocket clock," watchmaking remained a one-man industry. The made the cost prohibitive, except for the wealthy few.
But up in the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland a modern manufacturing idea was stirring - the principle of specialized labor. By 1840 this idea had assumed factory proportions. The first factory building was a mere assembly plant - the real factory was the mountaineer's home. Here all hands specialized in shaping or finishing some one watch part, under the guidance of the manufacturer.
As everything was hand work, aided only by the fiddle-bow lathe, no two parts were precisely alike. A broken watch went back to the maker of the broken part for repair.
Not an ideal manufacturing situation - yet a long upward step toward organized production of our day which has made possible those marvels of standardized, interchangeable construction -