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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:09 am 
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Hi All,

As mentioned earlier in the week I was incredibly fortunate to be asked on a guided tour of the Breitling Chronometrie facility in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland.

Below is a link to my write up of this special day.

I hope that anyone with an interest in Breitling, watchmaking and luxury product manufacturing will find this interesting.

As mentioned in the article no cameras were allowed in the manufacturing and testing areas. Therefore, I would recommend watching the superb Breitling Superfactories video on Youtube to complement this article.

As always your comments and constructive criticism are welcome.

http://www.andrewmichaels.co.uk/blog/to ... onometrie/

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:33 pm 
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You wrote

"It takes a minimum of 7 months to produce a movement. The calibre 01 takes about 1 year.

Amazingly it takes about three months to produce a bracelet."

How many employees do they have? Given that they are making roughly 150,000 watches a year that would take an awful lot of watchmakers or perhaps they are exaggerating the production times just a teeny bit? :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Ray G wrote:
You wrote

"It takes a minimum of 7 months to produce a movement. The calibre 01 takes about 1 year.

Amazingly it takes about three months to produce a bracelet."

How many employees do they have? Given that they are making roughly 150,000 watches a year that would take an awful lot of watchmakers or perhaps they are exaggerating the production times just a teeny bit? :roll:



7 months duration, not effort!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Great write up Ricardo, makes for a great read!

And I'm guessing they have a few siestas in those 7 months ;-)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:56 am 
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Thanks for sharing your experience, Ricardo. Hopefully I'll get to follow in your footsteps one day and visit the factory myself.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:56 am 
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Just had a chance to read it Rick, and it's a great write up - and great memories for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:31 am 
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great writeup, Rick, enjoyed the read - though a bit unsure about one of the vintage watches shown, but that would hijack your thread, will do that in the proper section. :oops:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:03 am 
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Roffensian wrote:
Ray G wrote:
You wrote

"It takes a minimum of 7 months to produce a movement. The calibre 01 takes about 1 year.

Amazingly it takes about three months to produce a bracelet."

How many employees do they have? Given that they are making roughly 150,000 watches a year that would take an awful lot of watchmakers or perhaps they are exaggerating the production times just a teeny bit? :roll:



7 months duration, not effort!


Correct, Roff.

There are logistics involved whereby the bracelet, movement will not be worked on each day. Plus there's all the ageing tests, etc.

I did ask if they had calculated how many man-hours were spent creating a Calibre 01 but the guide did not know.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:06 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
great writeup, Rick, enjoyed the read - though a bit unsure about one of the vintage watches shown, but that would hijack your thread, will do that in the proper section. :oops:


Hijack away Fred.

I'm intrigued what an expert such as yourself has noticed.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:30 am 
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well, Rick, was/am unsure about the hands on the SuperOcean 2005, immediate reaction was clearly wrong, but found another example with the same hands, nothing really relevant.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:31 am 
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Thanks for the write up Rick. A great day out!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:58 am 
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Very interesting review of your day, must have been great!

Not at all jealous!!

I was very interested though to read that the Caliber 01 receives so many checks, especially as I (amongst others) have received faulty movements. It really does make me wonder how they slipped through, I'm still a little annoyed that my Navitimer 01 had that fault and the following farcical episode!

Stef

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Thanks for the write up. It was very interesting to read.
Who are all those people who were also on the tour? Colleagues, friends or people from other jewellers in other countries?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:53 am 
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Thanks for all the kind words folks.

gbuergisser wrote:
Thanks for the write up. It was very interesting to read.
Who are all those people who were also on the tour? Colleagues, friends or people from other jewellers in other countries?


The other members of our party were from other selected Breitling retailers in the UK.

Breitling are also doing the tour for all other countries.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:04 am 
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Great write-up, thanks so much for sharing! It would be awesome to pick-up a unique watch straight from the factory that can only be bought after a tour so hopefully they come through with opening this up to the public and offering a special watch for sale.


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