Look inside the New Rolex Manufacture in Bienne

Even on my birthday I report about Rolex! But then, it’s unique to have a look inside Rolex, see yourself!

With the official inauguration, on 16 October 2012, of its new production building in Bienne dedicated to the movement, Rolex has completed the vertical integration process it began over 10 years ago. This gives the brand complete control over the manufacturing of the essential components of its watches, from the case to the movement, from the dial to the bracelet. Read the whole article in french here & in english here.

A friendly journalist Nicolas Rossé from RTS – Swiss Television in Geneva just send me the link, It’s the 1st time EVER that camera’s are allowed into the “Oyster” ! to their film they made inside the new Rolex manufacture in Bienne. 

Check it out, it’s so cool! 😉 Follow next link and get amazed by the enormous operation Rolex does! –> Exclusif: La RTS set devenue la 1è TV au monde à pénétrer chez Rolex en 107 and d’existence.

The completion of the major strategic construction project in Bienne rationalizes and brings together under one roof the entire production of the mechanical movement, the true heart of the watch. This ultra-modern site allows Rolex to pursue its objectives of excellence and innovation, thus setting a new standard in watch manufacturing.

Production entirely mastered in-house

The construction of the new building in Bienne is part of the bold, visionary and strategic decision taken by Rolex to proceed with the vertical integration of the entire production of its watches at four sites in Geneva and Bienne. As a result, Rolex has acquired unequalled means of production, combining high-value-added manual know-how with highly advanced technology. Thanks to this autonomy, the brand can freely express its creativity and sense of innovation with a degree of excellence compatible with its status as a world leader in watchmaking.

The key role of Bienne:

 

The Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. in Bienne plays a key role in this unique production system. The movements of Rolex watches have been manufactured on this site since the brand was founded. Making a quality product, with quality people in a quality environment: this ambition is deeply anchored in the Rolex tradition. Like the sites in Geneva, the new building in Bienne was conceived and designed around this concept. It allows for optimization in four fundamental areas:

• The product: to perpetuate its excellence while respecting tradition and endowing it with the most innovative state-of-the-art technologies;

• Production: to rationalize it by automating certain processes while honouring high-value-added manual watchmaking know-how; to facilitate the workflow within the production sites and between the Rolex sites in Bienne and Geneva; and to continually adapt to technical developments;

• Working conditions: to offer employees a pleasant, ergonomic and safe workplace, which is homogeneous from one site to another, a consistent feature of a strong corporate culture;

• Image: to give the new building a representative dimension that is consistent with the Rolex sites in Geneva, in order to magnify the brand’s qualities of excellence and its prestige throughout the world.

A strategic move

Work on expanding the Rolex site in Bienne, one of the largest industrial construction projects in recent years in Switzerland, began in summer 2009 and was completed three years later, in summer 2012. The decision to launch it in the midst of an economic crisis was a strong sign of confidence in the development of the brand.

The new Rolex management is VERY successful with their current strategy, bringing output back to 2002 level!

Until the inauguration of the new facility in 2012, the Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. occupied seven buildings in the Champs-de-Boujean area on the outskirts of Bienne, most of them separate from each other. We see Rolex CEO Mr. Marini smiling 😉

The acquisition of land from the city of Bienne in 2006 opened up new prospects, allowing Rolex to start grouping its operations with the aim of optimizing and further developing its production strength.

Entiere Production of the movement in one complex
This purchase made it possible to launch a project that would concentrate the entire production of the mechanical movement in a single complex, grouping two existing units with a volume of 170,000 m3 together with a new building of 230,000 m3.

This created a production facility of 400,000 m3 in total, extending over a surface area of 92,000 m2 – the equivalent of more than 13 football fields. It brings together all the machining, stamping, thermal and surface treatments, maintenance and laboratory activities, as well as the assembly operations required to manufacture the movement.

The new building, an innovative four-storey industrial structure with another three floors below ground, also houses an impressive, entirely automated stocking and retrieval system at the heart of the production facility. This ensures the delivery of components and finished products to the production workshops.

The orientation of the building offers possibilities for future extensions towards the south on land already owned by Rolex.The new complex has a car park, a waste water treatment plant, supply areas, a large restaurant and several relaxation areas for the employees.

Two other buildings were kept and upgraded. One is dedicated to technical activities, such as the design and making of tools, or researchand development. The other, once upgraded, will house management and administrative activities. Serving as the main entrance to the site, it is linked to the production building by an underground passage.

 

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