Today's goal was to explore the area around Neuchatel, birthplace of some of the greatest horologists ever, like Abraham-Louis Breguet, and at one time source of over 60% of the world's watches. Neuchatel itself is a beautiful town perched on the edge of its own lake, and we had time for a wander before the museum opened. We found a market and tasted some 'truffle caviar' and had  coffee and patisserie to keep us going. Inside the museum we split into two groups and took turns to explore the collection and to enjoy an hour long demonstration of the famous Jaquet-Droz automata. They were built in the 1770s by Pierre J-D, his son Henri Louis and an assistant, Jean-Frederic Leschot, and were shown all around Europe. They all look like child prodigies, perhaps like Mozart and his sister.

L'Ecrivain can write a message of up to 40 characters using a quill pen that he dips periodically into a little inkwell. The motions are controlled by a series of cams but the order is programmable by fitting tokens into a program wheel at the back. It is fiddly to adjust and takes all day to get right, according to the curator. At the moment he writes ' Jaquet Droz et Leschot'.

La Musicienne plays an organ that has 48 pipes. She really does play the organ with her fingers, which is demonstrated by the way the music stops if her hands are lifted. She knows 5 melodies, all written by Henri Louis. She breathes gently and makes an elegant (or haughty) bow at the end.

Le Dessinateur can use a pencil to draw 4 different pictures. Although he is much simpler internally, and not programmable (without rebuilding), he is the most charming.

Kerry was lucky enough to secure his drawing of a dog, labelled 'mon chien' to bring home.

We found some crepes for lunch and then headed into the hills to La Chaux de Fonds, a city built around clock and watchmaking, and home to the Musee Internationale d'Horlogerie. This is a really big one, with thousands of clocks, watches and tools on display. Unfortunately, the guides available were not very technically oriented so we did not get the most out of seeing the reproduction they had made of de Dondi's Astrarium, a late medieval astronomical clock of amazing complexity, and bypassed the reproduction Antikythera Mechanism entirely. But the time was still filled with interesting and beautiful objects, and I secured a bundle of cheap catalogues to practice my French on.

In the next valley lies Le Locle and our bus driver and his crazy-brave GPS took us on the shortest route over the ridge on a tiny windy road. When we reached our destination, the Musee d'Horlogerie du Locle in the Chateau des Monts above the town, we realised that we had a string of over 50 cars built up behind us. The chateau was built by a successful watch entrepeneur and housed several collections of clocks and watches from the vicinity, as well as a more general historical collection. Kerry especially liked the mechanical silkworm among the automata and the collection showing the evolution of Neuchatel-style clocks was interesting too. They had a 3D video presentation too.

By this stage we were all exhausted, and boarded the bus in anticipation of dinner. The bus driver outdid himself by taking us up a track forbidden to most vehicles to within about 500m of our goal, the Auberge de Mont-Cornu, but could go no further. So we walked the last bit while he went back to the main road and came in the front entrance to the car park. Meanwhile we enjoyed aperitifs outside as the sun set and then went inside for fondue and local wine until we could take no more. The bus trip back to Bern was uneventful.