Carl F. Bucherer The new Manufacture in Lengnau is operational
The Lucerne-based brand is now equipped with modern new facilities that will enable it to optimise and increase its production.
On Wednesday June 29th 2016, Carl F. Bucherer inaugurated its new Manufacture in Lengnau, a few kilometres from Biel/Bienne, in a region where watch activities play a key role, with a number of brands including Rolex, Rado and Tissot already strongly established there. These are not all-new purpose-built premises, but in fact a building that belonged to Gucci just two years ago and in which the brand from Lucerne had for several years been renting a floor for its production activities. Founded by Carl F. Bucherer and still in the hands of the family – which is continuing to invest in its development – the eponymous watch company now owns the entire building. After complete renovation and refurbishing of the facilities, this new acquisition provides it with a 3,000 sq.m. surface area spread over three floors.
“With this new competence centre, we are proud to have taken a major new step for Carl F. Bucherer”, said CEO Sascha Moeri in his inaugural speech. “The Manufacture reinforces our identity as a traditional Swiss brand. It represents a key stage in our development and stems from a sustainable growth strategy.”
The newly opened Manufacture will enable the brand to increase its productivity and to meet the goal of 30,000 watches per year that was announced by Sascha Moeri and which reflects its continuous growth. “We had reached a stage where we felt limited by our production capacity. Thanks to the new Manufacture, we will be able to achieve our objectives”, he pointed out.
In 2009, Carl F. Bucherer produced 6,400 watches, a figure that rose to 15,000 by 2011, and of the 25,000 timepieces that left the Carl F. Bucherer workshops in 2015, 60% were men’s models and 40% were for women. The latter percentage is steadily rising, and the ladies’ collection will doubtless be further strengthened by the much-heralded partnership with the new brand ambassador, actress Li Bing Bing. The Pathos model is already enjoying considerable success in China, according to the CEO, who cannot help wondering why the brand’s founding year 1888 – now integrated within the logo – had not been exploited earlier, given the importance of the figure 8 in Chinese culture.
Seventy or so employees are now working in the new Manufacture, including 40 in the field of production, a figure that has more than doubled since the refurbishment of the facilities. It is also worth noting that the Lucerne site has a 400-strong staff and the brand also runs a laboratory in Sainte-Croix. Nonetheless, the number of people involved in production remains relatively low and the brand focuses on concentrating skills, optimising production processes and achieving a high degree of vertical integration. While firm control of the production chain is essential, Carl F. Bucherer also continues working with external suppliers.
The three floors of the Manufacture are criss-crossed by parquet-floored corridors flanked by white walls dotted with the gilded letters of the brand motto “Time can be captured and stored here”.
The basement houses offices dedicated to movement prototype development, testing, assembly, as well as the equipment required for movement blanks production and machining processes. The ground floor is home to areas for after-sales service, training, component quality control and logistics. The latter department has a modern room occupied by large secure and computerized storage vaults, which are a welcome substitute for the former shelves that could be reached only by ladders and were in use until recently. The centre of the first floor accommodates the bright and spacious assembly area comprising around 20 workstations and machines, and complemented by an area reserved for testing and measurements. During our visit to the strap/bracelet-fitting workshop, four people are hard at work in complete silence.
With this new Manufacture, Carl F. Bucherer has acquired the modern infrastructure required to continue its development and the production of in-house movements. In terms of the latter, the brand already has the GMT CF 1901 chronograph movement equipping the Patravi Travel Tec; Calibre CFB T1001 for the Manero Tourbillon; as well as the CFB A1000, which Sascha Moeri refers to as the ‘Ferrari’ among watch movements. The latter’s peripheral rotor concept was series-made for the first time by Carl F. Bucherer and reliably drives the Manero PowerReserve for more than 55 hours. Last but not least (for the time being), comes the new CFB A2000 line, entirely developed and produced in-house, the ‘Mercedes’ watch movement.
Watches of technical perfection and beauty, through tradition and the force of innovation. Carl F. Bucherer is an independent Swiss watchmaker with expertise in the production of precious contemporary watches in the premium market.Find out more >
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