Watchmaker Roger Dubuis Cuts 16% of Workforce

Swiss luxury watchmaker Roger Dubuis SA is reducing its workforce by 70 people, or about 16 percent, owner and luxury goods conglomerate Richemont SA told JCK in a statement.

The statement says the job cuts, began Feb. 24, would take a month. “A social plan will be put in place for the affected staff,” said the statement.

The cuts had less to do with current economic pressures, according to business press reports, than to allegedly too much hiring by Roger Dubuis SA before its acquisition by Richemont.

Roger Dubuis SA is known for its innovative luxury mechanical watches in limited productions of 28 to 288 watches. It has also opened several boutiques worldwide in recent years.

In early February, says Richemont, it had more than 400 employees at its manufacturing site in Meyrin, Geneva.

Richemont SA bought the Meyrin watch component manufacturing operations in 2007, and in August 2008, it acquired majority control of Roger Dubuis SA itself. Richemont has said it wants to make the brand a global one, and will also open more Roger Dubuis shops.

Geneva-based Richemont owns a number of other prestigious watch brands, including Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Piaget. It employs some 6,600 people in Switzerland, 4,700 of them in watchmaking.