Rolex, the world famous brand for more than a century, has completed its new manufacturing facility in Bienne, Switzerland. For the duration of its existence, Rolex has also made all its movements in Bienne and then transported them to Geneva for final installation and casting. While Rolex previously had to manufacture its movements in Bienne, other parts of the watch, such as the cases, bracelets and dials, and their production and final assembly took place across sites in Geneva. Now, this new facility and decade long project allows Rolex to manufacture and assemble all the essential elements of its watches, including cases, dials, and movements in one setting. This new building allows Rolex to integrate and bring together the sites that were scattered about different places. Rolex now manufactures its products across seven buildings in the Champs-de-Boujean area of Bienne. Most of these buildings are separate from each other and optimize projection level for the brand.
The new building, which is 230,000 sqm is now combined with two previously existing units, bringing the total space of this production facility to 400,000 sqm. This massive unit brings together a lot of Rolex activities and allows for optimal use of production space. This specific space allows the brand’s machining, stamping and surface treatment to occur in one place, again optimizing use of space and time. It brings together sites that existed across Bienne and Geneva. The building has four floors above ground and three below and a highly functional automatic stocking and retrieval system that allows for timely delivery of parts to their designated, rightful places. Aside from its already mentioned benefits, this new building and system has top notch security and damage prevention components.
The new system and facility utilizes and entirely computerized system. The routing system coordinates 60 programmable controllers that manage the movements of the parts and projects and guides them between stocking areas and workshops. The automated storage space is said to consist of 14 aisles of shelves which have the ability to store millions of parts and components. Each aisle has a conveyor robot that picks up components and trays from the designated shelves and automatically places them on distribution conveyors, which then are transported to specific working areas. According to Rolex, the whole system is overseen 24 hours a day, everyday, by an extremely sophisticated software program. This world-class facility is sure to be a huge asset for Rolex going forward.