Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Here are sme pics and info fron a VC press kit thah came out when the new Manufacture was opened


Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-OuatesVacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron at Plan-Les-Ouates

Vacheron Constantin : the new Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates is now operational

The building is also the brand’s international headquarters. It unites under a single roof all the professions exercised withiin vacheron constantin, which is preparing to celebrate its 250th anniversary.

Vacheron Constantin took possession of its new Manufacture on August 9th 2004. Located in Plan-les-Ouates/Geneva, the premises designed by Swiss-born French architect Bernard Tschumi also serve as the brand’s international headquarters. It was officially inaugurated on September 8th, after two years of planning and 18 months of intensive building work, and symbolises an significant stage in the development of the world’s oldest brand in uninterrupted operation since its founding in 1755.

Enriched by a longstanding tradition of excellence, Vacheron Constantin is celebrating in due style this new stage in its development. Determined to regroup its forces hitherto spread out between various sites around Geneva, the brand launched an international architectural competition which was won in the second round by Bernard Tschumi Urbanistes Architectes. Once this stage was over, building work began in December 202. The Head Office and Manufacture, distinguished by a daring design and by its transparency, now brings administration and production together under one roof, providing the perfect setting for around 170 employees representing the Vacheron Constantin professions and the brand spirit. The personnel should grow to 250 in due course.

Dynamism and permanence

“A timeless form in touch with our times” or an alliance between contemporary technologies inherent to the 21st  century and the intelligence dear to the Age of Enlightenment, the 18th century. The equation set out by the architect in parallel with the specifications established by Vacheron Constantin has found its answer in a building combining dynamism and permanence. A metal envelope, symbolising the dynamics of time, tops a concrete structure, the very embodiment of durability. The premises are set in 30,000 sq.m. of parkland and are entirely in harmony with the surrounding scenery. Plan-les-Ouates is a particularly judicious location, which is easy to reach and close to the airport. It is interesting to note that the municipal coat-of-arms features the famous Maltese Cross which has been the brand emblem since 1880. For Vacheron Constantin, this logo is inspired by the tiny part of the barrel cover which formerly served to limit the winding of the mainspring, thus improving the rating of the watch.

The luminous interior volumes place an emphasis on accessibility, depth and transparency, in order to ensure smooth internal flows between the various departments. This is a sure token of the successful growth of a company which focuses on creativity and quality rather than targeting increased volumes as its priority. Vacheron Constantin, one of the rare reference brands within the select circle of Haute Horlogerie, now has a facility to match its corporate philosophy, dedicated to the service of a deliberately limited production.

Right through to the Geneva quality hallmark
The Manufacture unites within a single site all the elements involved in the watchmaking process: design studios, as well as workshops responsible for adjusting mechanical movements, casing up, testing and after-sales service. The heart of each of Vacheron Constantin watch is entirely finished by hand: each of the movements is enhanced by exceptional finishing work, with steel surfaces systematically bevelled and decorated by hand. One unit specifically dedicated to performing the finishing of mechanical movements to meet the criteria of the Geneva quality hallmark (Poinçon de Genève), the highest standard in the business, is located in Plan-les-Ouates. The main watch exterior components, such as the dial and case, are also hand-finished.

The Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates, thanks to the integration of the full spectrum of specific watchmaking professions and crafts preserved by the brand, enables Vacheron Constantin to considerably reinforce its development strategy as it gears up towards its 250th anniversary.
In addition to the Plan-les-Ouates site, Vacheron Constantin can rely on members of its personnel working in workshops in Le Sentier, in the Vallée de Joux. While this facility currently employs 72 people, current development objectives foresee around 100 jobs there. The unit in Le Sentier is devoted to Research & Development and to the making of parts for mechanical movements.
The historical site “en lle”, at the heart of Geneva, which served as company headquarters since 1755, remains the emblem of the brand’s rich heritage and one of the icons of Geneva watchmaking thanks to its Museum and its boutique, as well as a “custom-made watches” workshop. It represents the third pillar on which the brand is founded.

As a final token of recognition for the exceptional creation represented by the new Manufacture, discussions that took place with the municipal authorities of Plan-les-Ouates and with the management of the Canton of Geneva official cadastral department, have enabled Vacheron Constantin to locate its new site at no. 10, Chemin du Tourbillon. This particularly apt name pays tribute to one of the Haute Horlogerie specialities in which Vacheron Constantin excels.

The  Manufacture in a few figures

·    Surface area of the grounds:     30,000 m2
·    Surface actually built on:     7,000 m2
·    Dimensions of the building:     40 m x 80 m
·    Volume of earth shifted:    30,000 m3
·    Number of trees planted:     1500

·    Quantity of concrete:     7,600 tonnes or 3,000 m3
·    Quantity of girders :     670 tonnes of steel
·    Glass surface area:     3,000 m2
·    Metal framework :     460 tonnes
·    Electric cables:     10,000 metres
·    Phone cables:     37,000 metres

Taken together, the concrete and the steel girders represent a weight equivalent to 83 million watches weighing 100 grams each.

Plan-les-Ouates :
Current workforce:     170 people Medium-term objective:     250 people
VC Vallée de Joux :         Current workforce:     72 people Medium-term objective:    100 people
Activities :    Research & Development in mechanical movements    Production of components for mechanical movements    Bevelling and decoration of movement parts
Historical headquarters (Ile) :   
Personnel:    15 people working for the Boutique, the Brand Heritage, the after-sales service and the “custom-made watches” department.

The architect’s vision of the Manufacture Vacheron ConstantinThe concept behind the building is based on the idea of a fine and supple envelope. Its outer surface is coated in metal, while the inner surface is clad in wood. The resulting volume is precise and sophisticated on the outside, and warm and welcoming inside. The logic of the opening envelope entails large glass surfaces on the sides, generously welcoming the light from the north and filtering it on the south.By way of contrast with this metal and wood envelope, the main features relating to circulation within the building are in glass. By way of example, in the part spread over several levels, the atrium consists of an interplay of staircases, gangways and an elevator, all entirely in glass. The load-bearing structure is in a particularly well-prepared raw concrete.The building nestles in a dip in the beautifully landscaped grounds and features a car park with natural lighting. Above it, the horizontal part of the construction hosts the workshops of the Manufacture, enhanced by an aquatic patio in the middle. The continuity of the metal envelope confers a sense of both functional and visual coherence on the entire site, and suggests natural, fluid relations between the various management, design and production departments of the Manufacture.
Bernard Tschumi, Urban  planner and Architect Companies involved
Project manager               
    Vacheron Constantin - Geneva           
Associate project manager                
    Richemont International SA - Geneva           
    Bernard Tschumi Urbanistes Architectes - Paris        
    With Véronique Descharrières, BTuA           
Supervision of building work                
    Ortech Sàrl - Neuchatel           
    BtuA Sàrl, Alex Reid           
    Enerconom AG Ingénieurs Conseils CVSC - Bern       
    Scherler SA Ingénieurs Conseils Electricité  - Lausanne
    SGI Ingénierie SA - Lausanne           
    Desvigne Paysagiste - Paris           
    Kuhn J.-P. &  Wasser J.-C. SA  - Carouge GE       
Specialised engineers                
    BCS SA Ingénierie Façade - Cormondrèche       
    Marcel Torre Ingénieur Sécurité CFST - Meyrin GE
    Solem SA - Carouge GE           
    Géotechnique appliquée Deriaz SA - Petit-Lancy GE
    Integrate Security - Aubonne           
    ATI Planification cuisine - Clarens           

Contracting companies                
Earthworks     Jean Piasio SA - Plan-les-Ouates GE           
Concrete, building contractor    Construction Perret SA - Satigny GE           
Doors, strongroom    Fichet - Bauche  SA - Nyon           
Metal framework, glass façade and roofing    Hevron SA - Courtételle NE           
Electrical installations    Felix Badel SA - Geneva            
Electrical control panels    Schaub SA - Vésenaz GE           
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)    IMV Suisse SA - Port BI           
Fire detection equipment and alarm    Siemens SA - Plan-les-Ouates GE           
Access and break-in control, surveillance.    ARTV - Genève           
Heating, sanitary ventilation    Riedo Clima SA - Düdingen           
Sprinkler and MCR installation    Siemens SA - Plan-les-Ouates GE           
Elevators and service elevators    AS Ascenseurs SA - Genève           
Plasterwork, paintwork, false ceilings    Riedo & Fils - Villars-sur-Glâne           
Locks    Arcia SA + Bitz & Savoye SA - Renens           
Carpentry work    Fournier Steiner SA - Lausanne           
Adjustable partitions    Clestra Hauserman SA - Crissier           
Non-jointed floors    Multisol SA - Plan-les-Ouates GE           
Flooring    Farine & Droz - Peseux NE           
Technical false floors    Lenzlinger Fils SA - Vernier GE           
Floor tiling    Bagattini SA - Genève           
Cleaning the building (at the end of building work)    Multi Entretien Service SA - Plan-les-Ouates GE       
Fitting out of kitchens and cold rooms    Ginox SA - Clarens           
Gardening    Menu Joseph SA - Plan-les-Ouates GE       
Waste disposal management    Ecodéchets Sàrl - Carouge GE           
Signposting    A & A - La Chaux-de-Fonds / Ateliers Créalis Sàrl - Boudry NE
Furniture    Buroroy Diffusion SA - Acacias GE           
    Saporiti Italia - Besnate (Italie)           
    Teo Jakob SA - Carouge GE           
Fittings    Expodesign S.A – Perly GE           
Catering    DSR           
Cleaning and maintenance of the building    Omniservice SA - Carouge           

As much as I don't like it from the outside I find the inside a
07/27/2007 - 19:39

fantastic architectural success, the wood, glass, metal and concrete al mix perfectly!

Here are some photos of the work in progress back in 2003-2004

Re: As much as I don't like it from the outside I find the inside a
07/27/2007 - 20:40

I was struck by the use of natural light which pervades the building eveywhere.

Even the overhead lights are not incandesent but seem be at the right temp to mimic sunlight.

A great work environment.


I want to work here!!!!!!!! LoooooL
07/27/2007 - 21:52

Thanks JB for thse pictures and the details!