For more than 20 years I bicycled around the world visiting the head offices of over 4,000 of the world’s biggest companies (www.corporatetrivia.com). In 2003 and 2004 I visited more than 100 Swiss watch companies. The Swiss watch industry generates something like $20 BILLION in revenues a year. Being a complete watch novice, a great time was had visiting and learning about this somewhat secretive but fascinating business.
Go to my website: www.corporatetrivia.com and click on the "Watches and Chocolate" heading to read the stories from 2003/2004. Following this posting there will be a Part Two featuring more watch companies revisited in the Swiss Jura area.
I'm in a light industrial area less than a mile from Geneva Airport and since my 2003 visit Chopard had added another connecting building to its head office/factory complex.
Another view of Richemont construction site.
In another light industrial park roughly four miles from Geneva one finds Patek Philippe's head office/factory complex. It's tough taking photos as much of it is hidden behind shrubbery. Great memory of an excellent reception.
More than 30 years ago I was bicycling through downtown La Jolla, California and spotted a wallet near the curb. I stopped, checked it out and ended up putting it in an envelope and mailing it back to the owner in New York City. Several weeks later I receive a package in the mail. Turned out to be a Tiffany clock and enclosed was a note from the man's wife thanking me for returning the wallet. So, 10 years ago while visiting a watch company I was being shown around by the CEO and I spotted the exact same Tiffany clock--though without the Tiffany name stamped on it. The CEO said they manufacture all of Tiffany's clocks but, asked me not to mention it. He went on to say that watch companies contracting with other watch companies to put together their timepieces happens quite a bit.