Franck Muller Expands Again

The Franck Muller Group has expanded its Watchland headquarters and watchmaking site in Genthod (outside Geneva), Switzerland, by acquiring an adjacent 250-year-old estate of 30.6 acres, for $14.4 million. The two sites comprise 72 acres.

Didier Decker, chief operating officer, called the acquisition of the Grand Malagny estate a natural extension. “With five brands, we need more space for reception of customers, sales rooms, and so on,” Decker told JCK. The group owns the luxury watch brands Alexis Barthelay, European Company Watch, Franck Muller Geneve, Pierre Kunz, and Rodolphe.

The Franck Muller Group now has 840 employees in Switzerland, including 702 in Geneva. The added land will enable it to erect up to four additional buildings, though there are no immediate plans to do so. Decker says the company will probably double its size within five years.

This is the Group’s second major expansion in less than a year. It’s currently investing $30 million to develop a complex of facilities for making parts and movements for its brands in Les Bois, in northwest Switzerland, scheduled to open in 2007.