Professional Jeweler Archive: Vaucher Expands Movement Facility

February 2004


Vaucher Expands Movement Facility

High-end manufacturer expands options for watchmakers

High-end watch manufacturers now have a new source for movements, thanks to the expansion of Vaucher Manufacture, Fleurier, Switzerland. The company, the watchmaking division of the Sandoz Family Foundation, is nearing complete vertical integration of its facilities and provides movements to Parmigiani Fleurier and Bovet, both of which are located across the street, as well as a new watch from Hermès.

Vaucher is one of the elite manufacturers that can handle the high costs involved in producing fine watch movements. Most companies rely on those made by divisions of the Swatch Group, which will soon restrict how its movements are sold to outside watch manufacturers. In 2006, Swatch will sell only complete movements rather than movement “kits” that are then customized by the buyer. Many companies say they expect to pay more for their movements as a result of the decision.

But higher-end companies have been able to work toward more vertical integration, and several already make their own largely in-house calibers.

Vaucher expects to make about 5,000 mechanical movements each year, 2,000 of which will be fitted into Parmigiani watches. The remainder will be divided among five brands, including those noted above. In the next several years, the group plans to produce between 15,000 and 20,000 customized movements annually.

Vaucher’s final step toward fully vertical operations will be manufacturing balance springs, currently supplied to the watch industry only by a division of the Swatch Group. Recently, Lange & Söhne also reported it plans to make its own balance springs.

– by Michael Thompson

The movement inside this Hermès Dressage timepiece is made by Vaucher Manufacture (the Caliber P 1928). The expanded company says it will likely continue to work with Hermès and other high-end timepiece companies.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications