ROLEX IN BIENNE A MOVEMENT AHEAD
ROLEX IN BIENNE A MOVEMENT AHEAD
CHAPTer 1 Rolex completes its 21st centuRy facility in Bienne 6 CHAPTer 2 a stRategic move 12 CHAPTer 3 sleek and RigoRous aRchitectuRe 18 CHAPTer 4 a site dedicated to the movement, the heaRt of the watch 24 CHAPTer 5 automated stocking and RetRieval, a pRoduction aid 30 CHAPTer 6 Respect foR the enviRonment 34 CHAPTer 7 Rolex in Bienne, moRe than a centuRy of histoRy 40
in Bienne, as everywhere at Rolex, attention to aesthetics and a passion for detail motivate each workshop, forging a strong bond between high-value-added manual know-how and highly advanced technology.
With its three sites in Geneva and the site in Bienne, Rolex has achieved unparalleled scope in manufacturing, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining and assembly of the components of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. The brand designs and manufactures in-house all the essential components of its watches. It is fully autonomous. As a figurehead of the Swiss watchmaking industry, with a strong corporate culture, Rolex is renowned throughout the world for its quality and know-how. Its OYSTER watches are symbols of excellence and elegance, performance and prestige. The vertical integration process begun by Rolex in the mid-1990s and its unrivalled production facilities allow the brand to ensure its independence and the quality of its products, and to look forward to the coming decades with confidence.
chapter 1 Rolex completes its 21st century facility in Bienne 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. 6
The completion of the major strategic construction project in Bienne rationalizes and brings together under one roof the entire production of the mechanical movement,thetrueheartofthewatch.This ultra-modernsiteallowsRolextopursueits 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. • Bienne: manufacture of the movement.
• Geneva, Acacias: Rolex world head- quarters is home to management, research and development, design, communication activities, sales and after-sales service. It is also where the final assembly of the watches from components delivered by the other sites and final quality control take place. • Geneva, Plan-les-Ouates: this site hosts the development and manufacture of the case and bracelet, the gold foundry and quality assurance for materials. • Geneva, Chêne-Bourg: this site houses the development and manufacture of the dials, as well as jewellery and gem-setting activities. the ultRa-modeRn site in Bienne sets a new standaRd in watch manufactuRing.
Bienne Geneva, Chêne-Bourg Geneva, Acacias, world headquarters Geneva, Plan-les-Ouates 8 Rolex completes its 21st centuRy facilit y in Bienne
Quality is deeply anchoRed in the Rolex tRadition.
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.
11 Rolex completes its 21st centuRy facilit y in Bienne
chapter 2 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. 12
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.
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. enTire 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 170,000m3 together with a new building of 230,000m3 .
This created a production facility of 400,000m3 in total, extending over a surface area of 92,000m2 – 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 possibil- ities 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 asthedesignandmakingoftools,orresearch and 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.
14 a stRategic move
cOnSTRucTIOn SITE start of construction: summer 2009 Completion and delivery of the building: summer 2012 Professions involved: approximately 40 depth of excavation: 11 metres. the groundwater was diverted by pumping and the use of sheet pile walls materials excavated: 100,000m3 , for the most part stored on site and then reused in the landscaping structural work: • total concrete: 21,000m3 • total steel reinforcements: 2,700 tonnes Contracts: 213 main contracts and 587 other contracts and supplementary agreements, the majority concluded with local businesses
THE BuILDInGS Production facility: the 400,000m3 facility groups the machining, stamping, thermal and surface treatments, maintenance and laboratory activities as well as the assembly of the movements. it also includes a waste water treatment plant, supply areas, a large restaurant and several cafeterias. Advantages of the new complex: optimization of the workflow and the circulation of people, rationalization of various operations, security, efficiency and employee comfort. Two other buildings: • One, an 80,000m3 building, houses management and administrative activities. it forms the main entrance to the site and is linked to the production building by an underground passage; • The other, a 36,000m3 building, renovated in 2008, is dedicated to technical activities, such as engineering and research and development.
BI BH BA BB BC BD BE
oPTimized quAliTy The decision to group all of the movement production was inspired by clear goals: ensuring optimal quality in processes and in finished products, increasing efficiency and productivity, rationalizing the various manufacturing operations, improving the flow of people and products. It also offers better working conditions in the workshops and increased comfort in the relaxation areas. This new facility represents an exceptionally high-performance environment for the production of Rolex movements. loyAlTy To Bienne Through its commitment to Bienne, the brand is demonstrating its loyalty to a canton and a city, which, for more than a century, has been one of the major watchmaking centres in Switzerland, and where the manufacture of Rolex movements has been taking place from the brand’s earliest days.
An extremely qualified workforce, an ideal location in the foothills of the Jura mountains in the heart of Switzerland, a tradition of high-precision industry, the presence of the Swiss Official chronometer Testing Institute (cOSc) and dynamic local authorities: these are some of the assets that explain the prominent role that the region plays in the success of Swiss watchmaking.
17 a stRategic move
chapter 3 Sleek and rigorous architecture The architectural concept of the new Rolex production building in Bienne is inspired by a resolutely industrial style: a simple, rigorous and efficient rectangular design consisting of vast, sleek geometric spaces. In terms of image, the buildings are also in harmony with the sites in Geneva with regard to the shapes, materials and colours used. 18
the Quality of the common aReas echoes that of the pRoduction aReas.
The building's layout is complemented by asystemofinteriorandexteriorcourtyards that provide pleasant natural daylight, which contributes to the working comfort of the staff.
The workshops are designed according to sustainable development criteria that take into account the experience acquired at the Rolex sites in Geneva. They are complemented by office areas and an automated stocking system, guaranteeing a rational work organization. ligHT wells, in TriBuTe To THe movemenT The quality of the common areas echoes that of the production areas. Their dimen- sions and design ensure the well-being of the employees.
A 450-seat restaurant on the fourth floor opens onto a large roof terrace. It is spatially linked to a coffee bar several floors down by large light wells, each measuring seven metres in diameter. Like lamps, these overlapping wells bring natural daylight to the centre of the common areas. Their layout is reminiscent of the gear trains of a watch, a spectacular visual reference to the movement. The materials used – glass, stainless steel, light and dark wood – give a very contemporary feel to the whole. The roof terrace enjoys a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside: the forests of the Jura hills to the north, the vast farmlands of the Swiss plateau, and the majestic Alps to the south.
AnTHrACiTe fACAdes As the visitor approaches Bienne from the east, the dual-height building marks the entrance to the city. The first section is lower and set slightly back from the road, allowing the creation of a large green space featuring a tree-lined path. The facades are uniform and respect the common denominator of the brand’s other production facilities: double glass skins in anthracite tones with a metallic structure. Their horizontal or vertical composition distinguishes the workshop areas from the administrative areas.
These facades unite, in one building, all the production areas for the movement.
A landscaped outdoor car park on a lot adjacent to the new building supplements the underground car park. The move into the new premises is taking place step by step, sector by sector, in order to avoid any interruption of the production flow. It began in March 2012 and will be completed in 2013. 21 sleek and RigoRous aRchitectuRe
cHOIcE Of ARcHITEcTS in 2007, Rolex appointed the swiss architectural firms of gebert architekten and strässler+storck in Bienne, as well as caretta+weidmann in Zurich to design and complete this construction project with the support of the Bg consulting engineers group to assist with contracting and project management. some key elements of the project were developed in collaboration with the department of urban planning of the city of Bienne, for example, the improvements to the surrounding areas and access roads. the preparatory work was completed in early 2009. the construction project itself began in the summer of the same year.
three years later, in summer 2012, the entire project was completed and ready for the official inauguration on 16 october 2012.
chapter 4 a site dedicated to the movement, the heart of the watch The Bienne site is one of the mainstays of Rolex quality. It is the production facility for the movements of Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches, which are all certified as chronometers by the Swiss Official chronometer Testing Institute (cOSc). The manufacture of these movements, all designed on the basis of a single architecture and common characteristics that ensure high performance and ease of maintenance, is entirely mastered here by the brand.
From the blank to strategic components like the balance wheel-hairspring and the escapement, which are emblematic of the art of watchmaking, the Rolex PERPETUAL movements are the fruit of an independent and integrated manufacturer with complete watchmaking know-how and state-of-the-art equipment, often exclusive or developed by Rolex itself.
These components reflect the values of the brand, a pioneer of the wristwatch, and are made in the strictest respect of its uncompromising requirements: • excellent chronometric precision; • great reliability; • high shock resistance; • high-performance self-winding; • ease of maintenance. From the blank to Final assembly A PERPETUAL movement comprises up to 380 components. Staff at the Bienne site are engaged in the manufacture of all these components, as well as research and development, laboratory, assembly, quality control, maintenance and packaging activities. More than 2,000 of the over 6,000 employees of the brand in Switzerland work in Bienne.
Rolex has a total of over 9,000 employees worldwide.
Everything begins with the manufacture of the blanks, plates and bridges, which hold the mechanism of the movement together. Although invisible, hidden from view inside the hermetically sealed OYSTER cases of Rolex watches, these parts are meticulously finished and decorated in keeping with the traditions of the art of watchmaking. The many components of the movement, whichareoftentinyandofcomplexgeometry, aremanufacturedwithaprecisionoftheorder of a few microns using several techniques: profile turning, gear cutting, polishing, stamping and cutting, and milling. Each component must conform to Rolex quality standards.
Such rigorous execution, at each and every stage of production from the very beginning,allows100percentofPERPETUAL movements to meet the precision criteria of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
The assembly and regulating of the movements are done by hand. In these procedures, the quality and skill of the operators and watchmakers – their precision, know-how and attention to detail – are of enormous importance and constitute an essential added value. the oscillator, guardian oF time In a mechanical watch, the oscillator is the centrepiece,theguardianoftime.Comprising a hairspring and a balance wheel, this regulating organ determines the precision of the watch by the regularity of its oscilla- tions. It illustrates Rolex’s perfect mastery in combining cutting-edge technologies and watchmaking tradition.
27 A site dedicAted to the movement, the heArt of the wAtch
In 2000, the brand developed and patented an innovative hairspring in an exclusive alloy of niobium, zirconium and oxygen: the PARACHROM hairspring. Entirely manufac- tured at the Bienne site using Rolex’s exclusive and advanced technology, this strategic component, finer than a human hair, presents major advantages for chronometric precision: it is insensitive to magnetic fields, offers great stability when exposed to temperature variations, and remains up to 10 times more accurate than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks.
All of the hairsprings are tested. To ensure their perfectly concentric development once they are assembled at the heart of the movement, a Breguet overcoil is formed. Rolex is the only manufacturer to fashion Breguet overcoils on a large scale.
The hairspring could not maintain its hypnotic rhythm without the effect of inertia provided by the balance wheel to which it is attached. The balance wheel guarantees the regularity of the oscillator. The precision of the oscil- lator is finely regulated thanks to gold MICROSTELLA nuts, also a Rolex invention. With in-house manufacturing of the PARACHROMhairspring,allthecomponents of the balance wheel, the pivot stones and the PARAFLEX shock absorbers, and even the lubricants that play a crucial role in the proper functioning of the movement, Rolex masters all the elements that are critical to the precision and reliability of the movement.
the escapement and the perpetual rotor The escapement plays a key role in measuring time and distributing energy to the oscillator. This mechanism consists of components that must interact within toler- ances of a few microns – the escape wheel, the pallets and the roller of the balance wheel. Their manufacture is a real challenge of microtechnology. The quality levels achieved in the Bienne workshops in manufacturing each one of these parts are such that the need for delicate fine-tuning, or “finalizing”, which is usually necessary to ensure optimal operation, is reduced to a minimum. The PERPETUAL rotor self-winding system, invented by Rolex in 1931, consists of a half-moon-shaped oscillating weight rotating freely in both directions on its axle under the impetus of the wearer’s wrist movements.
It transmits continuous natural energy to the watch. This mechanism is easily recognized by the two red reversing wheels, which ensure the winding of the movement regardless of the direction in which the oscillating weight rotates.
the Bienne site is one of the mAinstAys of rolex quAlity. 28 A site dedicAted to the movement, the heArt of the wAtch
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES number of employees in bienne: over 2,000, including about 60 apprentices apprentices: watchmakers, poly-mechanics, mechanics, commercial employees, computer scientists, watchmaking operators rolex employees worldwide: • over 4,000 in Geneva at three sites • over 2,000 in Bienne • over 3,000 at the affiliates throughout the world
chapter 5 Automated stocking and retrieval, a production aid The automated stocking and retrieval system in Bienne is one of the key features of the site.
It allows rational organization of production of the movement, improves quality, accelerates the process of transporting the components and contributes to the working comfort of the employees. Rolex is a pioneer in the use of automated stocking systems of this magnitude on its different production sites. 30
Like each of the three Rolex sites in Geneva (Acacias, Chêne-Bourg and Plan-les-Ouates), Bienne has a fully automated infrastructure for stocking components and distributing them to the workshops. This sophisticated network saves precious time in the production flow of the movements. While optimizing stock management, since stocks are centralized in a single location, it also offers increased security and unparalleled protection from possible damage, particularly that due to dust and light. At a speed of three metres per second, the required trays of components are transported to the workplaces.
As dedicated local storage is no longer required in the workshops, consid- erable space is saved, resulting in more ergonomic work areas. In addition, the system frees the production staff from logistical and transport activities, such as inventory management or receiving and dispatching.
46,000 storage compartments The heart of the automated stocking system is a high-security vault, located on the underground floors of the new building. Consisting of 14 aisles of shelves, it has a total of more than 46,000 storage compart- ments. Each of these spaces is able to receive parts in various forms of packaging placed on transport trays. In total, the vault can store tens of millions of components. Each aisle is served by conveyor robots – 14 in all – which pick up from the shelves the required trays and automatically place them on the distribution conveyors which go to the various working areas.
The delivery takes place via this vast horizontal conveyor network, including four vertical distribution towers similar to elevators. The system is so efficient that it takes barely a few minutes to deliver the tray to its destination. On each floor, near the distribution tower, a delivery station allows the users to pick up the trays they have ordered from stock and to send back those that are to be returned for storage. In total, 22 stations are set up, two of which are double: one at the receiving docks and the other dedicated to the checking and washing of components delivered by suppliers.
entirely computerized Computers control the automated stocking system and all the flows. A routing system coordinates some 60 programmable controllers,whichmanagethetraymovements under way and guide the trays between the stock area and the workshops. The whole installationiscontinuouslyoverseen,24hours a day, by an extremely high-performance software program. The auTomaTed sTockinG system is so efficient thAt it tAkes BArely A few minutes to deliver A trAy to its destinAtion. 32 auTomaTed sTockinG and reTrieval, a producTion supporT
AUTOMATEd STOCkINg SYSTEM – FACTS ANd FIgURES dimensions: 30m x 27m x 10m = 8,100m3 capacity: more than 46,000 compartments or storage spaces conveyor robots: 14 total length of conveyor system: approx.
1.2km travel speed of conveyor robots: 3m/s Vertical distribution towers: 4 towers, 27m high advantages of the automated stocking system: • centralization of stock and optimal delivery service to workplaces • high-speed delivery of components • security and availability • working comfort • protection of components from possible damage in transit (for example, from dust and light)
chapter 6 Respect for the environment Each new Rolex building is designed and operated according to very strict principles of security, integration into the environment and respect for natural surroundings. The production building in Bienne, like the group’s three sites in geneva, aims to reconcile optimized production and sustainable development. 34
throughout the project Security, respect for the environment and thesortingofwasteweresubjecttospecial measures from the moment construction work began and throughout the duration of the project.
Rolex went beyond legal requirements and recruited a specialized company to monitor on a day-to-day basis the application of official norms and its own quality criteria, in order to ensure optimal working conditions and safety on the site. With regard to the environment, a local partner specialized in this field ensured compliance with norms and best practices. Since much of the work was carried out below the level of the water table, continuous monitoring was performed to avoid any pollution.Forexample,allwastewaterfromthe construction site was treated in a catchment basin and analysed before being released.
Finally, a company was hired to ensure waste generatedbytheconstructionsitewassorted and recycled. This policy contributed to the general cleanliness and safety of the site. compliance With minergie® standards The new building in Bienne conforms to the Swiss MINERgIE® sustainable building standard,whichisexceptionalforaproduction facility of its size. The building is distinguished by “rational use of energy and broad adoption of renewable energies, while ensuring higher quality of life, better competitiveness and reduced impact on the environment”. This approach applies to the following areas: • Sources of energy: groundwater is used as a heating and cooling source via heat pumps that draw groundwater at about 14°C.
In addition, a pellet boiler produces high-temperature hot water. Finally, a 1,200m2 photovoltaic solar energy system, located on the roof, can generate more than 100,000kWh per year.
• Light: the glass facades guarantee maximum natural daylight in the workshops, for working comfort as well as for energy savings. The BuildinG’s Glass fAcAdes form An extremely hiGh-performance Thermal envelope. 36 respecT for The environmenT
COMPLIANCE WITH MINERgIE® STANdARdS • groundwater used as a heating and cooling source • solar energy system on the roof • installation of high-performance heat pumps and cooling machines • heat recovered from evacuated air and the production of compressed air • high degree of integration of industrial processes with the building’s technical systems • building equipped with a high-performance thermal envelope • thermal inertia enhanced by a “green roof”
• Heat: these same glass facades, with a double-skin design – triple glazing plus an additional offset panel which ensures air circulation and includes motorized window shutters – form an extremely high-performance thermal envelope. In the workshops, the heat generated by the machines is recovered by heat exchangers and used in the ventilation systems. • Roof: the partially planted “green roof”, which also features terraces extending from the restaurant, improves the thermal inertia of the whole building, limiting temperature peaks inside the workshops. Fitting into the natural setting The areas towards the edge of the site were carefully designed to respect the surrounding countryside.
The grounds surrounding the new building were landscaped taking into account the improvements to the access roads carried out by the city of Bienne. The landscaping included the enlargement of the existing outdoor car park and enhancing it with trees, as well as the creation of a walkway linking the new building’s main entrance to the bus stop on the Route de Zurich. Particular attention was given to collecting rainwater from the roof and the reuse of materials from the construction site. A large underground reservoir collects the rainwater, which is used for watering the grounds and for the toilets.
This significantly reduces mains water consumption, a priority in sustainable development construction. In addition, the materials stored on the site since the beginning of the project were largely reused, whether it was river gravel from the excavations for the embankments or topsoil for the landscaping. This construction project is a fine example of sustainable development policy in action, achieving both cost reduction and respect for the environment, particularly by minimizing the quantity of materials taken to landfills and their transport.
The consTrucTion projecT in Bienne is a fine example of susTainaBle developmenT policy in acTion. 39 respecT for The environmenT
chapter 7 Rolex in Bienne, more than a century of history It is the story of an encounter – between two entrepreneurs. It is the story of a shared passion – for precision, excellence, the mastery of time and technical challenges. It is the story of a prosperous partnership – one that would have a profound impact on the history of the city of Bienne and the history of watchmaking. 40
1878 Jean Aegler created the Aegler watch factory in Bienne.
Between 1890 and 1895, the factory began to produce its own blanks in its “Rebberg” workshops on the Haute-Route and became a manufacture. early 1900s The young entrepreneur Hans Wilsdorf was taking his first steps into the world of watchmaking in the nearby Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds. At a time when the pocket watch was the norm, as a passionate visionary he foresaw the full potential of the wristwatch. But it lacked precision. He heard about the Aegler firm, which was renowned for the manufacture of small high-quality movements, and made a first contact. Hans Wilsdorf quickly established a trusting relationship with one of Jean Aegler’s sons, Hermann Aegler, with whom he shared the same ambitions and values.
In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf founded Wilsdorf & davis in London to distribute, in great Britain and throughout the British Empire, wristwatches equipped with movements produced for him by his partner in Bienne.
This association of the Aegler manufacture's technical mastery and Hans Wilsdorf's visionary spirit would ultimately ensure the success of Rolex. In 1919, Hans Wilsdorf moved the headquarters of his company to geneva and founded Montres Rolex S.A. the following year. This move brought him closer to his supplier in Bienne and allowed him to take advantage of geneva’s international connec- tions. As of 1936, Rolex geneva obtained exclusive rights to the entire production of the company in Bienne, which became the Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. Rolex’s activities revolved around two hubs: Montres Rolex S.A.
in geneva and Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. in Bienne, the latter being entirely dedicated to the manufacture of the movement. the story of rolex in Bienne is the story of A shAred passion ThaT would have a profound impacT on The world of waTchmakinG. Hans Wilsdorf Jean Aegler 43 rolex in Bienne, more thAn A century of history
deVelopment oF the bienne site The success of the Bienne site is closely linked to Emile Borer, nephew and successor to Hermann Aegler, then to his son Harry Borer who continuously improved the production facilities and working conditions. With true entrepreneurial vision. 1931 Emile Borer was appointed director of Rolex in Bienne. 1969 Harry Borer took over management of the Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. A passionate manufacturer and philan- thropist, he developed the site considerably. 1994 A full industrial complex was born with the inauguration of the new Rolex IV and V production buildings in the Champs- de-Boujean industrial area.
2003 Expansion of the site continued with the opening of Rolex VI, dedicated to pro- duction and administration. The movement manufacturing activities were, as of then, located on seven sites, all in the Champs- de-Boujean industrial zone. 2004 Harry Borer sold the Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. to Rolex SA. This strategic acquisition by the Rolex group contributed to vertical integration of its pro- duction facilities and would help to ensure its growth. Rolex possesses, at its four sites in geneva and Bienne, perfect mastery of the essential components of its watches, thus ensuring its future autonomy.
2009 The construction work on the new production building began. The official ceremony for the laying of the first stone took place on 30 September 2009, in the presenceofFederalCouncillordorisLeuthard. 2012 Harry Borer was granted the title of citizen of honour of the city of Bienne. The new building of the Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. in Bienne was officially inaugurated on 16 October 2012. The 1926 oysTer is The cornerstone of A leGendary collecTion ThaT epiTomizes excellence and eleGance, performance and precision.
44 rolex in Bienne, more thAn A century of history
copyright coVer ©Rolex/Christoph Stöh Grünig; p.2 ©Rolex/Christoph Stöh Grünig; p.5 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.6-7 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.8 ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer; ©Rolex/ Cédric Widmer (Acacias); p.9 ©Rolex/Thomas Hensinger; p.10 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.11 ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer; p.12-13 ©Rolex/Christoph Stöh Grünig; p.14-15 ©Rolex/Christoph Stöh Grünig; p.16-17 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.18-19 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.20-21 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.22-23 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.24-25 ©Rolex/Thomas Hensinger; p.26 ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer; p.27 (from left to right) ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer; ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.28 (from left to right) ©Rolex/Nick Welsh; ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer; p.29 ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer; p.30-35 ©Rolex/Christoph Stöh Grünig; p.36-37 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.38 ©Rolex/Roger Frei; p.39 ©Rolex/Christoph Stöh Grünig; p.40-43 ©Rolex; p.44 (from left to right) ©Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer, ©Rolex; p.45 ©Rolex; p.46-47 ©Rolex/Christoph Stöh Grünig