Forty professions grouped together over 9,000m2, 200 people today, eventually increasing to 350, 35 million Swiss francs’ worth of investment, gives you an idea of the size of the new factory that Vacheron Constantin recently opened in Le Brassus, in the Vallée de Joux.
It brings together under the same roof all the skills required for prototyping, research and development, component machining and decoration that were previously scattered across several sites. According to Juan-Carlos Torres, “this is the start of a new era for Vacheron Constantin”. The implementation of a new planning system and the importance attached to new production technologies should not lead to a brand such as Vacheron Constantin losing sight of the essential: “human competence remains at the centre”.
Proof of this is the impressive finishing workshop, where drawing, bevelling, rounding off, jewel setting, circular graining and côtes de Genève are applied by hand, organised in independent lines that group the professions around a common product. Each of these lines is responsible for its own quality controls.
The same organisation by lines – flexible and adaptable – is found in the movement-blank department (four lines: main plates, bridges, steels, specialities) where machining, trimming, electro-erosion, chemical and thermal treatments are carried out. Bringing skills closer together, cutting distances, optimising logistics, streamlining productivity are the major goals of this new organisation, which mixes the industrial approach harmoniously with artisanal care. The aim is to increase production from 24,000 mechanical timepieces in 2012 to 35,000 per year and stamp the Poinçon de Genève (Geneva Hallmark) on the entire production.
Source: Europa Star December - January 2013/14 Magazine Issue