Jaquemarts have a long tradition and figure already in the first edition of the French National Academy's dictionary, which appeared in 1694, with the following definition:
"JAQUEMART. Figure de fer ou de fonte, representant un homme arm, laquelle on met d'ordinaire sur le haut d'une tour pour frapper les heures avec un marteau sur la cloche de l'horloge."
Figure made of solid or cast iron representing a man in arms, which is usually put up on top of a (clock) tower to strike the hours with a hammer onto the bell of the clock."
Watches decorated with the miniature versions of these clock tower "men in arms" are as popular today as they were in the 19th century.