More Than Innovation Visit Piaget’s Plan-les-ouates Factory

The day after we visited the Earl La Côte-aux-Fées watchmaking workshop in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland, we visited the Earl Plan-les-Ouates factory in the suburb of Geneva, Switzerland. The factory is mainly responsible for the design and manufacture of the case of Piaget watches, the welding of the bracelet, and the inlaying, polishing, rhodium plating, assembly, casing, adjustment and after-sales departments of jewellery watches. The entire building area of ​​the new factory is 8471 square meters. Meters, of which there are two large production workshops for the production of watches and jewellery, with 2,628 and 1,124 square meters respectively, and the entire factory currently has nearly 400 workers.

  The overall shape of the Piaget factory is a circle, and the overall layout is cleverly designed. This successful design was from the Swiss construction company Pierre Studer SA. We entered the Piaget factory from this long corridor, and this corridor The hands implying a watch, we are amazed by every design.

  Standing on the promenade, I saw the center garden of Earl’s Factory full of tables and chairs. The staff who received us told us that Earl would have a staff meeting today, so everyone was preparing for it. The beautiful scenery and comfortable working environment made People are fascinated.

  After entering the factory, we first came to the design department of Piaget watch case and metal bracelet. Piaget’s overall design department has nearly 50 employees, while only 13 employees are responsible for the design of the watch case and bracelet.

  The case designer explained to us the design process of the case. First, a 3D model will be designed according to the size and shape of the movement, and then a rubber case will be made to verify the feasibility of this product. In the process, we need to cooperate with the part. Through constant communication and adjustment, after a satisfactory product is finally obtained, a real watch case will be made and the movement will be assembled. After confirming that it is correct, continue to design various parts related to the watch case before mass production. Because Piaget’s strict technology requires that the assembly gap of some movements is only 0.04 mm, in order to achieve perfect results, it takes about a year from the beginning of designing a case to the completion of assembly. When asked if the leather strap was designed by them, the designer answered humorously: ‘Because there are no crocodiles in Piaget’s factory garden, they have no way to design a leather strap.’

  After a brief understanding of the design department, we entered the factory. First of all, the staff explained the layout of the factory and the location of each department.

  We first came to the watch parts production workshop. On the table were design drawings for production. When we were taking photos, the workers quickly blocked the key parts with paper.

  On the center of the tray, there are already formed watch parts. Above the tray are the white gold bars and rose gold bars used to produce watch parts. The editor actually took a very heavy hand, and these precious gold bars passed After many processing, it becomes a part on the watch.

  This instrument is used to process watch parts. Workers set the program in advance and put gold bars into the instrument. After processing, they will get formed parts. The pieces of gold bars dropped in this process will be counted by Piaget. The factory collects it every two weeks, and then returns to the gold bar supplier to refine it into gold bars again.

  After visiting the parts production workshop, we came to the special parts grinding workshop. The picture above shows that the unassembled bracelet is being polished. The white object is high-tech ceramics. Water is added and then rotated and polished. It is determined according to the complexity of the bracelet. Polishing time. Generally, the bracelet needs to be polished for about three hours.

Part of the bracelet after high-tech ceramic sanding.

  After visiting the sanding workshop, we visited the hand-carving and sanding workshop, which is mainly responsible for the part of the watch case and the bottom of the watch.

 It takes 8 minutes to simply polish the back of a case, but if you need to sculpt the Piaget’s mark, you need to add at least 25 minutes. The round case is a molded product directly provided by the supplier. Piaget is only responsible for the engraving and polishing of the case pattern.

  The Piaget watch not only has a beautifully designed case but is also very good at the design and production of the bracelet. We saw an illustration of the bracelet making process on the desk of an employee.

The assembly process of Piaget bracelets is also very complicated. Each step of meticulous care has made Piaget today.

  The assembly of this diamond bracelet will further test the skills of the workers. The worker who assembled this bracelet said that he has worked for Piaget for a long time. Since his father and brother both worked in Piaget’s watch factory, he also liked Piaget’s wrist very much. The working atmosphere of the watch and Piaget Manufacture, so he also joined in.

  Piaget employees are working on the seamless welding of the bracelet and the case. First, the bracelet is melted with high temperature and then welded to the case. The next table is the finished product that has been welded.

  After the assembly of the bracelet is completed, someone will polish the bracelet. The polishing of a bracelet is roughly divided into five steps, from simple to detailed. The polishing of a bracelet takes at least 20 hours. When encountering bracelets with different patterns, it needs to be separately polished for more complicated processing.

  Workers are sanding the bottom of the table. The grinding workshop implements a two-shift work system, each working 8 hours, but the welding workshop only works 8 hours a day.

  The case that is being polished is the case of the Limelight Gala series of women’s watches. Due to its full-featured case shape, it also makes it difficult for the polisher to work, especially the two elegantly extended lugs will be more polished in actual polishing Difficult, but it is still difficult to beat our earl polishing skills.

  Then we visited the jewellery and diamond setting workshop, where we learned the setting of Piaget diamonds through a microscope. The skill of the setting technician is amazing.

  The setting technique first cuts the diamond setting position on the case or dial with a stainless steel tool, and then uses the tool to place the precious diamond in the tool to retract the cut. At this time, the cut not only plays the role of fixing the diamond, but also is skilled by the technician The method will also make the cutout particularly beautiful and play a decorative role.

  Next we visited the Piaget design and production department. The design and processing of jewelry products will be completed by this department. The Piaget staff showed us some of the latest Piaget jewelry products. Later we will meet Jean-Bernard, the director of the Piaget jewelry department. Forot has an interview session that will reveal more questions about Piaget jewelry.
 Interview with Franck Touzeau, Director of Piaget Watch Group

  After visiting the jewelry design and production department, we are about to end this tour of Piaget Watch Factory. At noon, our lunch is arranged in a very quiet restaurant near the Piaget factory. Due to the staff dinner at the Piaget factory today, we are sorry that we cannot enjoy Piaget staff canteen. Franck Touzeau, director of the busy Piaget watch department, took the time to answer some of our questions during lunch time. This professionalism deserves our admiration. Next, I summarize some issues that I think are more important to share with you.
Watch House: In everyone’s impression, Piaget’s most prominent characteristic technology should be ultra-thin design. Both the movement and the case are based on thinness. What does ultra-thinness represent in your opinion?
Franck Touzeau: Anyone who knows Piaget knows that when Piaget was born in 1874, the main business was to provide watch movements. It was not until 1943 that we established our own brand and launched ultra-thin watches in 1959. The watch was recognized by everyone once it was launched, and the market responded strongly and achieved great success. One of the goals we are pursuing is ultra-thin, which can be said to be the soul of Piaget.
Watch House: What new products will Piaget watch launch this year?
Franck Touzeau: In September this year, there will be a ‘Clocks and Miracles’ exhibition in Hong Kong. At that time, we will launch some new products at this exhibition, including the Emperador Emperador pillow type ultra-thin. Minute repeater Minute repeater, three new Gouverneur watches and Dragon and Phoenix watches.
 Group Interview with Jean-Bernard Forot, Director of Piaget Jewellery Division

  In a cheerful atmosphere, we ended our lunch with Franck Touzeau, the director of Piaget’s watch department, and then we returned to the Piaget factory. -Bernard Forot is a man who seeks to be extremely good at discovering beauty. His personal motto is: ‘Beauty is a promise of happiness’. From this simple and romantic words, we can feel his personal charm.

Watch House: What do you think is the core charm of Piaget jewelry?
Jean-Bernard Forot: Each Piaget jewellery has always run through four principles from the beginning of the conception stage: elegance, preciousness, joy, and sensuality. Regardless of whether it is top-level luxury jewellery or products for the people, we always hope that Piaget jewellery can bring happiness to everyone, and Piaget jewellery will be remembered and celebrated for you at every memorable moment in your life.
Watch House: Why did Piaget decide to enter the jewelry industry?
Jean-Bernard Forot: Jewelry and watches are more popular with women than jewelry. Jewelry is just like women’s best friends. Piaget jewelry products also want to be women’s friends, so Piaget jewelry was born. In the 60 years of global pursuit of freedom and women’s liberation, Piaget Jewellery came into being. After the end of the 60’s, the watch also has the function of jewellery matching. Since 90 years, the Japanese have been interested in our jewelry products, so Piaget seized the business opportunity to develop more jewelry series products, while some other brands Also began to force jewelry products, such as Cartier, Chopard and so on.
  Summary: It is impossible to tell me about the 100-year-old cultural history of Piaget in a short period of two days, but through these two days I have a new understanding of Piaget, from La Côte-aux, the birthplace of Piaget. -Fées watch factory to the new Piaget factory we visited today, as if I follow the development history of Piaget, the quiet and elegant La Côte-aux-Fées watch factory is very suitable for the development and production of the movement, every watchmaker inherit The spirit of Piaget’s corporate culture is ‘Always better than required’. The Plan-les-Ouates factory visited today has more modern equipment and a stronger work team. Here not only carries the final assembly and final inspection of the watch, but also the creation of Piaget jewelry watches. This is not only The production base of Piaget watches is also the birth base of Piaget jewelry. The two-day visit made me understand the production process of Piaget watches, and the Piaget corporate culture of ‘Everything is better than required’. Let us wish Piaget watches to go further and further. !!
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