Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Time is Movement"

Today we had a full day with three technical visits around Geneva.  Our first stop was to Chopard, a family-owned luxury watch, jewelry, and accessory company.   The company produces 75,000 pieces daily with 1700 people in their organization worldwide.  Almost all of their products are produced in house, something of a rarity for today’s manufacturers

Touring the company was an extremely unique experience.  First off, the fact that we got in at all is quite an accomplishment.   Chopard typically does not do any tours and rarely lets even their best clients in.  To give you an idea of a one-time client, a Chopard watch values anywhere between $3,000 to $500,000.  Their best clients definitely have more than one little watch.

We actually were able to get behind the doors to see how their products were made were made, from the fusion and melting of the gold which they buy in bricks from the bank, to the design centers, and to the rooms where they cut the stones and hand assemble each watch by hand. At times we were able to hold the gold bars and pass around the diamonds and other precious gems for a close look.  At one time, I easily had $40,000 just sitting in my hand.  And, seeing the skills the crafters have for finite detail is nearly unbelievable.

The most impressive part of this company was the fact that it is still family run despite the size and representation of the organization.  Chopard still sponsors several events from having part in the Oscars to helping AIDs organizations.  At the end, the CEO of Chopard took the time to come out to talk to us personally and answer any questions.  I would have to say, if you have a few extra grand just lying around, Chopard is the place to use it.

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