Rolex Prepares To Boost Watch Production With New $1 Billion Facility

Rolex’s global headquarters in Switzerland.

Rolex has reportedly bought 100,000 square meters of land in Bulle, Western Switzerland, and has plans to build a facility employing up to 2,000 people.

Rolex currently employs around 30,000 people, according to industry sources.

The Swiss watchmaker has not confirmed news of the Bulle development, which was broken by state broadcaster RTS, but Olivier Curty, president of the state council for Friburg, the Swiss canton that will house the new facility, is optimistic that all administrative hurdles can be cleared to ensure the development goes ahead.

He described the Rolex plan as a “Project of a rare scale”. Adding: “This significant investment will create very many jobs. The project is on the right track and the Friborg authorities will do everything to ensure that it succeeds”.

RTS says that the new facility could be completed by 2029.

Rolex currently has four major facilities in Switzerland: its administrative headquarters and assembly operation in Geneva; a factory in Plan-les-Ouates making watch cases and bracelets; Chêne-Bourg, which is responsible for dials, gem-setting, cerachrom bezels and bezel inserts; and Bienne is the beating heart of the operation to manufacture movements.

There is no information on what Rolex plans to do with its Bulle facility, but any additional capacity that leads to increased supply of finished watches will be a welcome relief for authorized dealers and their customers, which have seen demand exceed supply by a wide margin for the past two years.

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