Rolex is doing everything it can to get a supply to meet the demand.
The watch behemoth is opening three temporary production sites in Switzerland to churn out more wrist candy for collectors, as reported by Bloomberg. Construction on the facilities in the canton of Fribourg will begin later this year, with timepieces rolling out as soon as 2025. Rolex is also planning to launch a new $1.1 billion factory nearby in Bulle that is expected to commence production in 2029.
Headquartered in Geneva, the crown is the world’s largest watch manufacturer by far. It currently has several production sites in Switzerland, with cases, dials, testing, and assembly plants near Geneva, as well as a movements production site in Bienn of nearly a million square feet.
Although Rolex does not report production figures, it is estimated that it currently produces about one million watches per year, with a turnover of almost $8 billion in 2021, according to Morgan Stanley. At present, however, new models are generally unavailable for immediate purchase through the watchmaker’s authorized network as demand is astronomically high. It’s a numbers game that, hopefully, the new outposts will help solve.
Rolex said there will be a temporary facility at the Vivier SA industrial park in Villaz-Saint-Pierre and a 97,000-square-foot facility in Romont that will begin operating in 2024 and 2025, respectively. There will also be a recruitment center in Bulle. Production lines will be installed gradually, according to the watchmaker. The recruitment will also be staggered, but the new facilities could eventually employ between 250 and 300 workers. The employees will reportedly be trained in Romont before being transferred to Bulle.
“The new production site in Bulle, just like these three temporary installations, will allow Rolex to expand its production capacity, support growth and meet ever-increasing demand,” the company in an email to Bloomberg.
Fingers crossed this means more new watches in Rolex boutiques.