Frédérique Constant's Classic Worldtimer watch

PARIS — Swiss watchmaker Frédérique Constant is set to almost double its production capacity in the coming years at its facilities in Plan-les-Ouates.

The company, acquired by Japan’s Citizen Watch Co. last year, broke ground earlier this week on a 30,000-square-foot, four-level extension to its factory, scheduled to take two years to complete.

While many Swiss watchmakers are scaling back, hit by two years of declining sales in international markets despite an uptick in March, Frédérique Constant, which offers its namesake label as well as sister brands Alpina and Ateliers de Monaco, appears to be bucking the trend with its offer focused on “accessible luxury.”

The company, founded in 1988, said it saw single-digit growth in the first quarter.

Through the expansion, the firm hopes to increase its annual production capacity to 250,000 units, compared with 150,000 currently, and will also double its headcount to 250.

“Our current manufacture will reach capacity in the coming years and we wish to prepare our manufacturing facilities for the years beyond,” said Peter Stas, president and cofounder of Frédérique Constant.

The current facility, which opened in 2006, measures 32,000 square feet and houses movement component production, caliber assembly, watch assembly and quality-control departments as well as the company’s headquarters.

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