From Thursday, October 12 to Saturday, October 14, 2023, the Plan-Les-Ouates watchmaking ecosystem will open its doors and its trades: tours of prestigious Manufactures, the Geneva School of Watchmaking, discreet cotractors… Published in the Swiss watchmaking journal JSH (Since 1876).
In this industry, we even joke about Plan-Les-Watches…!
However, the shared history of the watchmaking industry and the commune is quite recent. It began in the 90s. But public interest is growing, as shown by the promising success of the first edition in 2021 of “Autour du temps.”
On behalf of his municipality Administrative Councillor Xavier Magnin voices his “pride in being able to be part of this history and to promote it“. He adds: “Watchmaking is a highly valued image and, more concretely, a source of many jobs, substantial tax revenues and exceptional buildings. If some people in Asia, the United States or South America know the name of Plan-les-Ouates, we owe it to watchmaking.“
What about the looming shortage of jobs in the sector over the next few years? “In March 2023, the commune organized the ‘On Stage: les métiers en scène’ event, a day of on-site visits to local companies and practical workshops that enabled over 500 young people from nearby schools to discover a wide range of career opportunities, including, of course, watchmaking,” he confirms.
And what about ‘Autour du Temps’? “The event was conceived from the outset to appeal to the youngest visitors, and to fully integrate the discovery of watchmaking professions and know-how. Many of the visits, including those to the Rolex Training Center, are dedicated to young people, and the event also provides information on the training courses available in the sector. In a few months’ time, we’ll be welcoming the watchmaking school to our commune, and we’re also partnering with the OFPCto organize direct recruitment sessions,” he adds.
When asked what the commune is doing to attract companies, economic development delegate Philip Maguire replies: “In concrete terms, the main factor of attractiveness is our watchmaking ecosystem itself. The combined presence of major manufacturers, independent suppliers, subcontractors and training establishes a veritable watchmaking cluster that lives, collaborates and interacts in and around Ziplo, our industrial zone. So naturally, other companies want to join in. And we obviously hope that an event like ‘Autour du temps’ can, on its own merits, contribute to raising the profile of this ecosystem and its players.“