Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin Upgrade Production Facilities

Two important luxury brands—Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin—are making important upgrades in their production facilities and operations.

Patek Philippe recently moved its case and bracelet workshops to Perly, near Geneva, Switzerland, the company’s home. The building, which was acquired in 2001 and completely renovated in 2002, offers 5,000 square meters of office space and workshops on three levels, plus 12,000 square meters underground for parking, storage, and technical facilities.

Special features include “light wells” to bring in natural light; workshops with no partitions, “to enhance performance, communication, and cooperation between production units”; state-of-the-art numerically controlled machines that control production flow; and “production islands,” or self-contained production units of people with specific skills, such as jewelers, chainsmiths, gem setters, case makers, and those who make hinged cases.

By moving and upgrading its case and bracelet workshops, Patek Philippe—the last independent and family-owned watch manufacturer in Geneva—”continues to invest in the future, in order to best respond to world market demand” for high-quality luxury timepieces, says the company. Some 180 employees work at the site.

Meanwhile, Vacheron Constantin has started construction of its new international headquarters and workshops just outside Geneva, at Plan-les-Ouates. The new facility, on a 30,000-square-meter site, will house some 250 craftsmen and feature state-of-the art production facilities.

The building has been planned “with great care,” says a company statement, “both in terms of cutting-edge technologies and the choice of material and finishing details, in tune with the excellence of Vacheron Constantin products.”

The new premises should be ready for use by spring 2004, coinciding with the 250th anniversary celebration commemorating the founding of the firm.

The company also has two other sites—research and development workshops and a movement production facility in the Vallee de Joux, and the historical site, “En L’lle,” which houses the company’s museum and boutique.