On an uncommonly warm day in early October I visited a place few watch writers go – the manufacture (well one of them) of Dubois-Depraz. High-up in the mountainous region of Switzerland’s famous Vallee de Joux the factory sits among many famous watch brands. Dubois-Depraz is a key cog in the watch industry you know and love, but they don’t make watches.
Unlike the many curated tours of watch factories I am subject to, my guide at Dubois-Depraz wasn’t a PR guide. He probably just spoke English a bit better than the other people there. The manufacture is operated by two of the three Dubois brothers, and it has been in the family since its inception in 1901. The component maker currently is comprised of three locations, and I got to visit the most important facility – the assembly plant.
The air of the facility is very industrial. There is a bit more hustle and bustle here than in many other watch manufactures – but the white lab coat attire is familiar. Noisily machines operate as ambient sound fills the room with the repetitive operations of pins being connected to plates and gears being tested. Parts aren’t actually produced at this location – that is still mostly done by Dubois-Depraz, but elsewhere. Here parts are tested and put together into their final forms. I notice that the type of person here is different than in-house as most brands. The workers are older, more mature looking. It is very common for the average age of people working at even the highest-end watch manufactures to be about 25. Dubois-Deprez has a more lived in feel that is comforting.
Read the rest here at the watch review site aBlogtoRead.com
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