TAG Heuer has announced that it is doubling its mechanical-chronograph movement manufacturing capacity by building a new site in Chevenez, in the Swiss Canton of Jura, which will create 100 jobs and be operational by the end of 2013. The site will produce the in-house Caliber 1887 mechanical chronograph that was launched two years ago, plus a brand-new caliber that TAG Heuer is developing.
Currently, all of TAG Heuer’s in-house movements are made by the company at its facility in La Chaux-de-Fonds and at Cortech in Cornol. TAG Heuer also buys Swiss mechanical movements from Sellita, ETA, Dubois-Depraz, Soprod and Zenith. The company cited the reduction in supply announced by ETA — supported by the Swiss Competition Committee COMCO, through its provisional measures — and the additional volumes needed to meet its growth targets as reasons for manufacturing more mechanical movements in-house. It will also seek to strengthen its cooperation with its other partners in Switzerland and abroad.
Construction will begin in a few weeks on the 2,400-square-meter facility in Chevenez, where the key components of TAG Heuer mechanical chronographs will be produced and finished, as well as assembled, in addition to the existing capacity at La Chaux–de-Fonds. In total, the site will employ over 150 staff. The mechanical movement component production currently based in Cornol will be transferred to the new Chevenez site, enabling TAG Heuer to allow Cortech to concentrate on case production while significantly increasing capacity.
Four months ago, TAG Heuer acquired Artecad, a Swiss dial manufacturer based in Tramelan in the Canton of Bern. Now, with Cortech manufacturing cases, Artecad making dials, and Chevenez and La Chaux-De-Fonds concentrating on watch movements and assembly, TAG Heuer continues its path toward being a more vertically integrated Swiss watch manufacture.
Another move that TAG Heuer is making concerns escapement components. Given the company’s strong development and the non-renewal of a supply contract with Nivarox-FAR SA that expired at the end of 2011, TAG Heuer has decided to obtain the high volumes of these components it needs to satisfy its movement production capability by combining supplies from Swiss companies with escapement components specifically developed and manufactured by Seiko Instruments Inc.(SII). SII, despite being based in Japan, is an active member of the Swiss Chronometry Society (Société Suisse de Chronométrie).