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Ulysse Nardin and Girard Perregaux - Manufacture reopening

Ulysse Nardin and Girard Perregaux Manufacture reopening

Six weeks of suspended time have allowed us to redefine the future.

With the unprecedented spread of the virus throughout the world, all sectors of activity have had to adapt, and watchmaking is no exception. The epidemic seems to have begun to wane and we have built a new way of working adapted to the new environment. The workshops of both companies will whirr to life once again and the artisans, artists and co-workers will be joyfully reunited as of April 27, 2020. 

KWM (Kering Watches Manufacture) was one of the first to take part in the fight against COVID-19, making the decision to close all production sites in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds on March 17, 2020. The transition to home office work was made wherever possible, notably for the marketing, human resources and commercial departments in order to reduce risks and to ensure the security of our employees, suppliers, partners and clients. The unprecedented decision to close our workshops was made and welcomed by our employees and partners.

Today we are proud to announce a progressive return to activity and the reopening of the workshops of both brands as of April 27, 2020 after six weeks of suspended production and shipping. 

Manufacture reopening

© Kerry Watches Manufacture

From the very beginning, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux have been closely monitoring the evolution of the situation in order to be able to react and adopt new measures whenever necessary and abide by government’s recommendations. In so doing, the decision was made on Monday to reopen the production while permitting all departments not essential for production to continue to work from home (for instance, marketing team, human resources, commercial department and watch designers). All watchmakers and operators returning to work will be organized into small teams of roughly thirty-five people with staggered hours. The return plan comprises strict hygiene rules for all employees and visitors to our sites, including disinfectant gel, masks, floor-markings, transparent plexiglass protection at all reception areas, social distancing of two meters between employees, only two people at a time in the dressing rooms, hand-washing once an hour, no hand-shaking or embracing, no exchanging of papers, etc. 

“Since 1846 for Ulysse Nardin and 1791 for Girard-Perregaux – in over 200 years of existence and through two world wars – neither of the two have ever had to close their doors," says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin and Girard Perregaux. "We have been able to successfully face this situation, which is unprecedented in the world and in our industry. The emergency organization was a challenge, but I am delighted to note the agility and passion present within the teams of both brands at such a destabilizing time. Think quickly, act fast. Plan for the future. The level of engagement shown by the employees was extremely high during the confinement period and I know that we are all eager to return to work.”

“This has been a precious time to redefine a very different, better future," he says. "We are exceedingly positive and are ready to roll out our plan of action. We simply need to remain calm and patient until all has returned to normal. We are all “Ulysses” and we have had an Odyssey!”, he concludes. 

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