Patek Philippe has laid the first stone of its new CHF 500million (£324m) building at Geneva’s Plan-les-Ouates.
An audience of 200 guests witnessed Patek’s honorary president Philippe Stern and president Thierry Stern raise shovels of earth whilst flanked by Plan-les-Ouates commune mayor Xavier Magnin and Geneva state councillor Antonio Hodgers.
The self-financed development will consist of CHF 450m (£291.5m) on construction and a further CHF 50m (£32.4m) on new production equipment.
The new 110,000sq m building, set to open in 2018, will house a number of different activities including new test and approval laboratories, the formation of a new team of 40 artisans, a training centre to preserve traditional techniques, spare parts manufacturing as well as in-house training in sales and marketing, watch repair and brand training for distributors and retailers.
Half of the space, which is spread out over six levels and four basement floors, will go to watch production while the building will provide sufficient space for the company’s growth over the next 30 years.
Image: Patek Philippe and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.