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In 2023, TUDOR inaugurated a brand new facility in Le Locle, Switzerland.
Here, we explore what this new manufacture looks like, and what it might mean for the brand.
Earlier this year, TUDOR opened the doors to its new manufacture in Le Locle, Switzerland. This is TUDOR’s first ever exclusive production facility, marking the start of a new era in the brand’s one-hundred-year history. The state-of-the-art building provides space for innovation alongside extensive quality control, all in service of TUDOR’s mission to provide the best possible watches at the best possible price.
TUDOR chose Le Locle for its position as a centre of Swiss watchmaking, which allows the new manufacture to maintain close links with the brand’s affiliates and suppliers. The town has been a watchmaking hub since the 17th century, and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. The new TUDOR manufacture is another chapter in this long history, keeping the watchmaking tradition of the area alive into the future.
The manufacture has been designed with a keen eye to both aesthetics and the environment. TUDOR red is prominently featured both inside and out, complemented by silvery grey. A large portion of the power used by the facility is generated by solar panels on the roof, and great care was taken not to disturb the flow of the Bied River during construction. Even the surrounding planting has been carefully considered, in order to maintain the biodiversity of the area.
The building itself spans four levels totalling over 5500 square metres of working space. The whole structure is designed to provide the perfect conditions for watchmaking, as efficiently as possible. Light is controlled by self-tinting Sage Glass windows, which automatically regulate the amount of natural light entering the building. A specialised HVAC system allows precise control over temperature and humidity, and new air is circulated 3.5 times per hour. The air flow is carefully directed to keep dust to the bare minimum.
In order to integrate all the different processes that go into creating a TUDOR watch, the new facility is interconnected with the neighbouring Kenissi manufacture. Kenissi is TUDOR’s movement production outfit, and this new physical proximity allows further opportunities for the development and production of high-performance calibres paired with TUDOR’s robust build quality.
Created to take advantage of the most up-to-date technology, the new manufacture offers the best in production management and automated testing systems. Automated assembly lines deliver components into the hands of skilled watchmakers, combining human skill with computing power to maintain close control over the entire process. Once assembled, the watches are delivered to the testing floor, which is fully automated and runs 24 hours a day. Here, the watches are subjected to pressure tests, precision checks and extreme magnetic fields among other stringent performance tests.
Finally, the watches are mounted to their bracelets and thoroughly checked by trained watchmakers. It is this co-ordination of technology with human expertise that really makes this facility special. Throughout the manufacture, the comfort and protection of the watchmakers is paramount, from the choice of furniture to the ergonomics of their stations. TUDOR never forgets that they are the ones with the know-how to make best use of all this advanced technology in order to create the best possible watches.
This is an exciting new chapter in TUDOR’s history, and comes as a logical next step after the brand’s introduction of manufacture calibres in 2015. The level of control afforded by this new facility creates opportunities for further innovation and development of the brand’s already-impressive offering. It will be interesting to see what comes out of TUDOR’s Le Locle manufacture in the years to come.
Here at Winsor Bishop, we are proud to partner with TUDOR. Our showroom offers the perfect environment to explore the new collection with the help of our knowledgeable experts. If you would like to make an appointment, we would invite you to contact us by telephone or via our online contact form.
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