By Michelle Graff
A shot of the interior of Patek Philippe’s recently completed production facility in Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland
Geneva—Patek Philippe has finished construction on its new production facility in the Geneva suburbs and released a limited-edition Calatrava to commemorate the occasion.

An expansion of the facility constructed in Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland in 1996 under then-President Philippe Stern, the 10-floor, 1.4-million-square-foot addition took five years to build and cost the company about $600 million.

When the watchmaker moved to Plan-les-Ouates, the idea was to consolidate all of Patek Philippe’s functions under one roof but the facility was not big enough to keep pace with the company’s growth.

In 2003, Patek Philippe had to move its gem-setting and watch case and bracelet production functions to Perly, another Geneva suburb.

Six years later, under Thierry Stern, Philippe’s son and successor, the company converted an existing office building into an atelier complex where it produces all its movements.

It also bought land to expand its facility in Plan-les-Ouates, with two goals: bring the employees working in Perly to the Plan-les-Ouates facility and leave room to grow.

Patek Philippe said it isn’t looking to produce more watches—current production stands at 62,000 models per year—but noted it’s producing a higher volume of its more complicated watches, which necessitates a need for more components per watch.

20200623 Patek staircasesThe façade of Patek Philippe’s new manufacturing facility has what the watch brand described as “New York-style” bronze-colored fire escapes.
The new facility sits on what was once an employee parking lot, with Patek moving parking to a 635-space lot underneath the building.

The ground and first floors house production and manual finishing of movement parts, while machining, manual polishing, gem-setting and the assembly of cases and bracelets take place on the second floor, as does antique timepiece restoration. These ateliers also make spare parts for customer service.

Research and development and a new unit for prototyping operations are on the third floor.

The fourth floor has space for those who specialize in manual engraving, enameling, guilloche, wood micro-marquetry, etc., a 299-seat auditorium and training rooms for watchmakers and salespeople.

20200623 Patek restaurantPatek Philippe’s new production facility is 10 stories, six above ground and four below. The top floor of the building houses a large restaurant and VIP lounges. Pictured here is the reception area.
A restaurant for 880 guests and four VIP lounges crown the building, all with a panoramic view of the landscape and nearby Swiss mountains.

There is also a “generous” amount of extra space for growth.

Patek said it added a couple touches meant to echo its watches—slightly curved hallways that mimic the soft octagon case of the Nautilus, for example, and balustrades with silhouettes that resemble the leaf-shaped hands on some of its models.

The company moved the production of caliber components, which was taking place in an adjacent office building that is now going to be razed, into the building in July 2019.

The Perly operations moved into the new facility in February.

TAGS:   Watches
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