Fossil Group to increase Swiss watch production

Fossil Group is planning to increase its production of Swiss-made watches with new collections planned to launch in 2013 and 2014 for both its private and licensed brands.

The US watch company already produces 400,000 Swiss-made watches each year but will scale this up over the next two years as it expands its production facilities Switzerland.

Fossil Group Europe managing director Martin Frey said: "At the moment, our turnover share is small, but we see great growth potential for our brands in the medium price range.

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"We have the know-how, the brands and the sales channels in order to develop these markets. To realise this potential, we now want to extend the necessary capacities and build an appropriate vertical integration.”

Earlier this year Fossil Group started work on a new plant in Glovelier, Switzerland, that will be used for the production of watch cases. The factory will provide an initial 30 jobs but Fossil Group expects that by 2015 the site will employ 100 people as it gradually expands.

Fossil Group has owned factories in Switzerland since 2002 when it acquired three small watchmaking companies originally from Biel that specialise in design, prototypes and assembly under the company name Montres Antima.

Last year Fossil Group acquired Swiss Technology Production in Manno, Switzerland, which can produce several thousand movements each year.

In February Fossil Group released a line of Swiss-made watches under its Fossil brand that includes chronographs, automatic watches and watches with weekday and date display. It will now turn its attentions to creating Swiss-made lines for other brands in its stable over the next two years, including Burberry, which will show its first line of Swiss-made timepieces at BaselWorld this month.

Frey said: “By gradually extending our Fossil Swiss-made production for private and licensed brands, we continue our existing long-term commitment in Switzerland."

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