Greubel Forsey has consolidated its activities within new headquarters and workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The dedicated building, located close to the Eplatures airport, is the new to home to the four companies created by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, and jointly run by the two founders along with CEO Emmanuel Vuille: Greubel Forsey, CompliTime, CT Design and CT Time. Over one hundred people will move to the new location from the Ancien Manège and other sites where Greubel Forsey started.
The new workshops are composed of two distinctive buildings: the first is a 17th century farmhouse renovated by Mr. Gilles Tissot, an expert in the renovation of Neuchâtel-style historical buildings. It will serve as a reception area, and it also houses the Unique Timepieces workshop – a showcase for the brand’s creativity. The renovation work preserved several key features including the shingle roof, external walls and foundations. Visitors can admire the building’s decorative aspects such as a vaulted cellar, a former open fireplace, an 18th century master room with its wood-worked ceiling and tiled stove, a carved doorway dating to 1668, and a sundial symbolizing the passage of time – well suited to the building’s new function.
The main building directly linked to the farm and designed by architect Pierre Studer houses the development and production premises. Its original shape reflects a geological fold as seen in the topography of the Jura mountains, further enhanced by a ‘green’ or garden roof. It is also the first double-skin environment-friendly construction in the region and the glass outer walls create a natural thermal buffer zone. In summer, the air circulates to create a cool breeze; while in winter it is enclosed to serve as additional insulation. The ground-floor ventilation is equipped with an adiabatic cooling system (the extracted air is cooled by water evaporation and then used in a heat exchanger to cool the pulsed air). The ventilation system on the uppermost floor, home to the watch movement and final assembly department, is cooled by filtered air. Inside the building, concrete has been widely used to better stabilize temperature. Natural light streams into the whole interior from the outer walls and through the impressive glazed covered courtyard. The staircases on each side are a subtle reminder of the Ancien Manège.