LONDON — Compagnie Financière Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre, is building a manufacturing, research, and educational center dedicated to the future of watchmaking.
The company said Monday it has invested 100 million Swiss francs, or $110 million, in the Campus Genevois de Haute Horlogerie, a 324,000-square- foot site in Meyrin, Switzerland, outside Geneva.
The campus will house several high-end Swiss watchmakers, including the headquarters of Maison Roger Dubuis; the watchmaking workshop of Van Cleef & Arpels; production workshops of Vacheron Constantin, as well as firms that manufacture watch movement components and dials.
Richemont said the cornerstone of the new project would be the Learning and Apprenticeship Center for Haute Horlogerie, a training ground for aspiring watchmakers.
The center, which will open in the fall, will initially offer 45 places to apprentices and offer official certifications. The campus itself will be inaugurated in fall 2014.
“The center will ensure the sustainability of the watchmaking profession and of traditional craftsmanship, the recognition of our maisons’ legacy, and the development of the group’s employees,” Richemont said.
“The objective of the campus is to promote interaction and exchange, and enable the transformation of ideas into extraordinary products, such as those bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva,” it added.
The campus will also house a research center for watchmaking, with a mission to develop new technologies. Richemont said it plans to invest about 60 million Swiss francs, or $66 million, on training and research over 10 years.