he expansion of Greubel Forsey’s Atelier Manufacture – from 2,000 to 5,460 m2 – will enable the brand to develop new in-house skills and expertise, strengthen its research and development units and gradually increase production capacity.
“With this expansion, the idea is not to deviate from our path, but rather to go even further in our quest for excellence, towards ever greater creativity and excellence in hand finishing,” explains Antonio Calce, CEO, Executive Board Member & Shareholder of Greubel Forsey.
The new building will encompass the existing structure, dating from 2009, while retaining the architectural features specific to this site. Work is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2024, marking the brand’s 20th anniversary. The new Atelier Manufacture will be fully operational by 2026. “This new facility will enable us to integrate new skill sets, create new workshops – especially in R&D Innovation – and push the boundaries of hand finishing excellence with a team dedicated solely to Hand Finishing R&D,” explains Calce.
Since it was founded in 2004, Greubel Forsey has distinguished itself in the world of Fine Watchmaking thanks to its pioneering spirit and exceptional creativity. With this major investment of around 20 million Swiss francs, the brand is clearly affirming its continued commitment to the pursuit of excellence.
The expansion of Greubel Forsey’s Atelier Manufacture not only creates a larger production space, but also represents a step towards greater independence and reflects the brand’s environmentally conscious approach. This investment demonstrates Greubel Forsey’s financial confidence and stability, as well as its determination to become even more autonomous. By relying on its own resources, the brand is also reaffirming its determination to maintain its independence and preserve its distinctive identity. Moreover, by choosing an intelligent, eco-friendly building, Greubel Forsey is demonstrating its desire to work actively for a more sustainable future.
The interior layout of the Atelier Manufacture has been designed to optimise the use of space and facilitate the coordination of different crafts. Most importantly, it will enable the creation of new workshops specifically dedicated to R&D Innovation and Hand Finishing. A number of workshops will be set up, including one dedicated solely to mastering the regulating organ (balance spring and balance wheel) and another to complex casemaking. Meanwhile, the Hand-Made workshop will triple in size in order to continue to preserve, safeguard and perpetuate traditional watchmaking knowledge and skills.
The underground level will include storage areas and an employee wellness room.
The ground floor will house production, logistics, quality control and R&D areas. The 17th-century farmhouse, a symbol of Greubel Forsey’s traditional roots, will be transformed into a VIP area, a lounge, a museum and a restoration workshop designed to pass on the brand’s skills and legacy. The upper floors will be dedicated to assembly, hand finishing, clean rooms, laboratories, product development with research and design offices, as well as after-sales service, administration and other related areas.
With 260 timepieces (+100%) made in 2022 and all delivered to collectors and enthusiasts of fine watchmaking, it was an exceptional year for Greubel Forsey. More than just a year of transition, it was also a year of acceleration and transformation at every level. And 2023 will continue to reinforce this trend.
The expansion of the Atelier Manufacture is a response to this strong dynamic and the fundamental transformation that Greubel Forsey has embarked upon, from an inventive workshop run by two genius inventor watchmakers to a truly enduring watch brand. With this in mind, the independent brand is preparing to launch new timepieces and an 8th Fundamental Invention this year that will push the boundaries of innovation and craftsmanship even further. As such, Greubel Forsey is positioning itself as a disruptive leader, rewriting the codes of traditional Fine Watchmaking. And the expanded surface area of its new Atelier Manufacture will reinforce this ambition even further.