Archive | Luxury Industry

Luxury Industries Lose More Jobs

Posted on 20 June 2009 by Papessa

In the luxury industry, both Zenith and Metalor have indicated they intend to cut further staff. The luxury watch maker Franck Muller already shook up the Romandy region of Switzerland with the announcement of a 50% reduction in the company’s 450 strong workforce.

Zenith and Metalor have announced 120 a total of 120 job losses between them. The two companies say that falling orders for luxury watches and jewelry are the cause. They had each already made job cuts several months back.

The job cuts hit the canton of Neuchatel particularly hard. Neuchatel has a large proportion of the luxury brands headquartered there.

Metalor, specialized in precious metals (present in both Neuchatel and Marin) will be laying off roughly 50 staff.

Zenith is a subsidiary of LVMH and the spokesman indicated that the substantial difficulties that the sector is experiencing are behind the job losses. All branches of the business are affected by the cuts and all levels of the company. Zenith also let go 20 staff in January of this year.

The companies have not divulged their financial situation but analysts evaluate sales for 2008 at roughly 100 million francs. It is difficult to determine the extent of the decrease in sales, but sector analysts say it is roughly 30%. Zenith is also strongly present in the US market where sales have declined as much as 50%.

Metalor is one of the main suppliers of Rolex and explains its financial straits in similar terms – the morose state of the luxury sector. Zenith’s firing of 50 staff adds to the 40 they let go in late 2008. Metalor employs 460 people in Switzerland and 1300 worldwide.
For 2008, the company made a profit CHF 62 million on sales of 330 million.

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Tags: cartier, chomage, downsizing, franck mueller, gerard perregaux, job loss, job vacancy notices, job websites, jobs, jobs switzerland, layoff, layoffs, luxury brands, micromechanics, nicholas hayek, recession, richemont, roger dubuis, Unemployment

Luxury Brands Reduce Staff

Posted on 12 April 2009 by Papessa

luxzury_brandsThe luxury and watchmaking industries are undergoing some strong setbacks from slowing orders and several luxury brands have begun letting go employees. Top companies already began shedding jobs last autumn. Nonetheless, as often happens in downturns, some companies are also hiring as well. The paradox is that companies look at the business downturn as an opportunity to better optimize the company competitive position, firing less performing staff and hiring others. Continue Reading

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Growth of Work in Switzerland – Jobs lack Personnel

Posted on 01 July 2008 by Hans-T

The workforce in Switzerland grew significantly in the first and second quarters of 2008. Switzerland is in particular need of wokers qualified in the building and construction fields and in Information Technology (I.T.).

The job market in Switzerland remains excellent and has even improved over the first two quarters of 2008, in spite of inflationary fears and worries over the general economy.

Job growth has been strong, there are generally more opportunities than qualified professionals to fill them, work in Switzerland continues to increase, pulling in experts from the surrounding EU countries and even globally.

According to a recent Manpower study, some sectors of the economy continue to show marked scarcities of qualified job seekers in Switzerland.

By contrast with the three months of last year, the workforce grew by IT Jobs in Switzerland

3% between January and march of 2008, to 4.5 million working professionals.

The strongest gains in annual job growth concerned the sectors of precision medical instruments and luxury watch making (which Work in Swiss Companiesshowed a gain of 7000 jobs, + 7.8%). Building and Construction also grew by 1.9% or 5700 jobs.

Health and Social Services also registered gains (+2.8% or 12,800 jobs) and services – particularly I.T. – rose 3.3% adding roughly 12,000 during the first quarter of the year.

In Switzerland, 36% of the 786 companies surveyed for the Manpower survey experienced problems recruiting qualified personnel. Our of 10 domains of activity affected by the scarcity of qualified professionals and educated work force, the economy lacks particularly qualified personnel in the building and construction industries – such as carpenters, electricians,… — as well as production workers and skilled technicians.

The lack of qualified technicians, particularly in the luxury watch making industries, such as micromechanics experts, constitutes a real threat to Swiss economic growth and future of work in Switzerland. Repercussions of the demographic changes in progress will aggravate further the current lack of qualified personnel in the coming years.

The report underlines the importance of professional training and continuing education, as well as facilitating the import and relocation of foreign professionals with key skills and talents in order to maintain the growth of Swiss industries and the quality of work in Switzerland.

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Jobs in Chaux-de-Fonds – Working in Switzerland

Posted on 14 April 2008 by ThomasP

The watch making city of Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchatel has too many jobs. Many of the jobs are taken by foreigners working in Switzerland and commuting from nearby France.

The economy of Chaux-de-Fonds, in the canton of Neuchatel, is booming, showing a 2007 growth of almost 5% in jobs for over the preceding year. In 2006, roughly 1000 new jobs were created in this small watchmaking town.

Currently there roughly 25,000 jobs in Chaux-de-Fonds, of which 6100 are in watchmaking.

Of the work in Switzerland, a substantial part of the jobs in Chaux-de-Fonds are taken by border workers (‘frontaliers’) – workers actually living in neighboring France who commute across the border to work in Switzerland. The practice engenders a certain amount of local hostility. Between 2006 and 2007, the number of commuters rose by more (about a 1000) than the increase in jobs.

Jobs in chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchatel, Switzerland

The residents of Chaux-de-Fonds wonder whether their strong economy is profiting only workers living in neighboring France and coming across the border to work in Switzerland. The city president in charge of the economy (Socialist Laurent Kurth) organized recently a press conference to show that this perception is largely an exaggeration. He cited figures showing that the number of jobs occupied by border workers had risen by roughly 500, and that the rise was proportionally less steep than the increases noted from other regions of Neuchatel where there are higher concentrations of nonresident foreigners working in Switzerland.

Working in Neuchatel, Switzerland

in Chaux-de-Fonds, border workers hold 16% of the jobs, against 14.6% in 2006. Between 1990 and 2007, the number of commuters doubled, going from 5000 to 10,000. In the same time, border workers rose 80%. Their importance, according to city officials, has therefore declined. That fact, however, goes strongly against the perceptions of the resident population, who feel that jobs in Work in Chaux-de-Fonds -  SwitzerlandSwitzerland are being squandered on nonresidents. Chaux-de-Fonds nonetheless is managing extremely well, despite numerous workers from neighboring France pouring across the border to take jobs in Switzerland. Over the past few years, the unemployment rate has continually decreased. As of February 2008, the jobless rate was roughly 4%. When one considers only the fields of highly educated professionals (biomedical, information systems, engineering, managerial…) there is too much work in Switzerland for the available supply of career professionals to assume the vacant jobs.

To deal with the ‘frontalier’ question, the authorities are trying instead to convince these border workers to move into the community of Chaux-de-Fonds. The population of Chaux-de-Fonds is currently about 37,000. In 1967 the population of Chaux-de-Fonds was 43,000. The tiny city has an image problem. From the rest of Neuchatel, the mountainous Chaux-de-Fonds are perceived as an austere industrial region with nasty winter weather. The city government is publishing a brochure enumerating all the advantages for a border worker working in Switzerland but currently living in neighboring France to entice him to move and establish himself in Chaux-de-Fonds. The brochure highlights the city’s quality of life, its amenities, and natural surroundings and high quality, inexpensive housing.

For a commuter living in Neuchatel, travel to work amounts to six full days of a year and costs 5640 francs. A border worker commuting from, say, Besançon, spends 29.5 days in his car per year and spends a total of 26,420 francs.

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Filling Professional Jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 01 February 2008 by ThomasP

In the beginning of 2008, the scarcity of qualified personnel for jobs in Switzerland has deepened.

Thousands of specialists for key jobs in Switzerland are lacking the fields of I.T., banking, medical services, trading, as well as mechanical engineering, construction, and the hotel industry.

I.T. specialists, watchmakers, engineers in the pharmaceutical industry, mechanics, or even nurses – professional qualifications are worth gold in Switzerland. Switzerland is currently experiencing its worst labor crisis in decades, with severe shortages of qualified personnel in several key sectors of the economy and a record number of unfilled jobs.

Charles Belaz of Manpower Switzerland say succinctly, ‘the labor market is, in effect, extremely tight.’

An executive at Adecco adds, In general, all professions are affected when it’s a question of looking for highly qualified candidates for jobs in Switzerland.

Jobs for I.T. specialists - Swiss labor shortage

As a result, candidates currently have the upper hand in the process.

Top qualified candidates can choose between many possibilities say a recruiter with Curriculum SA, a company active in searching for qualified executives and professionals in service sector jobs in Geneva.

What are the professions and sectors the most affected ?

jobs in Switzerland - hot economy requires specialists

I.T. specialists are among the most hard to find and vigorously sought according to the administrators of some of the popular job recruitment websites in Switzerland.

“It’s not a new phenomenon,” notes Yves Fluckiger of the Employment Observatory, “but has simply become more and more serious with the expansion of the economy in the sectors of high technologies and information systems and communications.”

The shortage of candidates for jobs in Switzerland is made even more acute because so many large Swiss based companies are currently seeking to implement the same enterprise software systems like SAP and Oracle. And the I.T. field has also lost a lot of its luster in Switzerland over the past few years, attracting far fewer students in the Swiss universities.

Meanwhile, more and more multinationals are relocating to Switzerland for its infrastructure and its tax advantages.

The watch making industry is also hard hit by the shortage of qualified professionals – the situation is exacerbated by the explosion of the market for luxury watches. The Employment Observatory says the difficulties are of a structural nature: the Patronal Society of Watchmakers demonstrated that the expectations for current training of new professionals from now to 2010 will result in 2164 new watchmakers for the Swiss marketplace. While waiting for these future graduates to fill vacant jobs, the luxury watch companies must face the current labor shortage with recruitment abroad or hiring from the unemployment rolls.

Then there is nursing and the hotel industry. The demographic explosion in Switzerland has created a severe lack of nurses and paramedical personnel. The hotel industry has long suffered a lack of qualified professionals; the field is known for its low salaries and difficult working conditions.

The labor market is simply completely dry, according to Manpower executives in Switzerland, and notably in the domains of pharmaceutical, medical technologies, and I.T. specialties. Today, says Manpower, the only solution to filling jobs in Switzerland is to recruit outside of Switzerland.

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Piaget enlarges its Plant in Geneva

Posted on 30 November 2007 by Papessa

Built in 2001, Piaget is already enlarging its manufacturing plant in Plan-les-Ouates in Geneva, because its business is growing too fast. The current space cannot absorb the growth and an extension of an additional 850m2 is planned for summer 2008. This will no doubt translate into additional requirement for qualified staff across several hiring domains of luxury watch making.

In only 6 years the Piaget enterprise has grown considerably into a major manufacturing facility, according to Philippe Léopold-Metzger. Piaget is already a major employer in the Geneva area.

Piaget has ridden the wave of the boom in the emerging economies in which the nouveau riche have been purchasing luxury brands at an astounding pace.

Piaget is part of the Richemont group of brands and Richemont is experiencing a period of great profitability across all its brands. 2007 is shaping up to be an exceptional year for the company, which has work in switzerland luxury industries - extension to Piaget site

both luxury watch brands and jewelry brands.

Jewelry has become a veritable brand exercise, with companies already enjoying a legitimacy in this sector seeing their profits go through the roof.

This has proved a windfall for Piaget, which was already benefiting from the ebullient markets for luxury watches across the world.

Careers in SwitzerlandThe 5000m2 of space for thee Piaget Manufacture thus no longer can absorb the growth in staff resulting from the company’s expansion. There are already 360 staff working at the Geneva facility in Plan-les-Ouates and roughly 30 new jobs are created every year so far.

The new job profiles that will undoubtedly be sought once the extension is made next summer will be in the areas of product development, marketing, training, and technical fields in the production of watches and jewelry. The space additions will be largely attributed to office space (rather than workshop space).

The extension work has been going on for more than 3 months and coincides with another Piaget project going on at the rue du Rhone, where the company has its prestigious boutique. By spring time the Geneva boutique will be redone from top to bottom and furnished with an additional surface of 180m2 comprising notably a VIP salon. Piaget envisions also to install an audiovisual space retracing and displaying the creations of the over 40 trades encompassed by the Piaget company, employing thematic exhibits and presentation pieces from private collections.

Piaget’s spokesman says that in just a few years, their network of 51 boutiques has become an important source of growth.

Even the strong Euro seems to have had no effect on the growth of Switzerland luxury brands, and they continue to inundate the labor market with demands for top quality marketing, sales, branding, logistics, and technical professionals. Job seekers in such fields as watch making or jewel setting or branding strategy find a seller’s market for their skills on the Swiss job market.

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Luxury Watch Recruitment – Jobs at Patek Philippe

Posted on 11 October 2007 by Papessa

The luxury watch making sector is continuing its meteoric rise with profits continuing to increase as the world’s wealthy seek out expensive products to spend their money on.

One luxury watch manufacturer, PATEK PHILIPPE, a prestigious brand based in Geneva with an illustrious history making expensive precision watches, is currently seeking to hire so many professionals they needed a full page advertisement this week to list them all. Their largest offices in Geneva are in Plan-les-Ouates.

Among the roles they are trying to recruit for are:

Master Watchmakers skilled in ‘Complications.’ They are seeking to recruit several master watchmakers, who have CFC Watch making certifications or something equivalent and at least 5 years of experience assembling complex high-end watches. The sort of experts they want to hire master the precision design and assembly of high caliber micromechanics and movements.

Junior Watchmakers, who have a CFC certificate or equivalent and at least 2 years of experience assembling high-end watches.

Finishers and Assemblers who are skilled at finishing watch chassis, boxes and high-end bracelets. These professionals should have 5 years of experience working with precious metals or gems like gold and platinum and be skilled at finishing, polishing, and table mounted stonecutting.

Micromechanics are also being sought – professionals with a CFC in micromechanics and a strong experience in working with conventional or digital machinery. They should have solid experience working with the manufacture of watch components for movements.

Methodologists with a diploma ET en mechanics as well as 3 years of experience in a similar position. Possessed of an analytical mind and a mastery of I.T. tools in CAD and CAMM, the candidates they are seeking will be able to modify or create procedures and plans for the necessary operations to the manufacture of components of watch movements.

The Methods Officers will take part in the industrialization of new products as well as new procedures. A knowledge of Quality Control is very important.

All interested candidates for any of the above positions may inquire or apply to the address below. Note that Patek Philippe is a prestigious employer and is very demanding as to the character of those they hire: meticulous, precise, autonomous, working well in a team as well as independently…. The company routinely offers internal training on its movements and calibers, as well as providing flextime work conditions. They are an equal opportunity employer. Applicants should (indicate what opening they are applying for and) send along with their CV a letter of motivation, copies of their diplomas and work certificates to Monsiuer M. Nicod, Ressources Humaines, PATEK PHILIPPE, Case Postale 2654, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, or by email to

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Luxury Watch Industries Still Recruiting

Posted on 05 October 2007 by Papessa

The luxury watch industry continues to register strong growth in profits and sales, increasing demand on hiring.

In September, the exhibition of the Swiss Federation of Watch Manufacturers’ Associations (FH), called ‘Tempus – The Temple of Time’ took place at Raffles in Singapore and was part of a marketing initiative toward asian collectors.

In Switzerland, where the luxury watch industry is experiencing great pains finding the qualified staff they need to keep growing, most companies were posting large gains in sales/production and profits.

Frédérique Constant annoucned sales growth of 52% for the first six months of 2007
and increases in activity across most regions, noting strong growth in in Western Europe, Russia, and Asia.

Swatch Group increased their turnover for the first half of 2007 roughly 16.7% to $ 2.74 billion! Though Swatch has had production capacity problems, and needs to bring on more qualified staff, profit nonetheless increased +27.1% to $511 million. Swatch has 18 brands covering all price categories but the best performance was shown by the luxury sector (Breguet, Blancpain and Omega).

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton had first-half sales of 7.4 billion euros, growth of 6%, and figures for operating and net profit rose 11% and 2% to Euro 1.4 billion and 834 million respectively. But the key position held by watchmaking and jewellery in LVMH was more ponouced with increased operating profit (+90% to 57 million). LMVH’s brand TAG Heuer continued its move upmarket, buoyed by growth in the sales of its F1, Aquaracer and Carrera icons.

Audemars Piguet opened a new boutique in Tokyo’s high-profile Ginza district to address growth in its asia markets and luxury watch and jewellery group Richemont recorded a rise in turnover up by 9% to 1,268 million euros.

All the luxury watch companies are on the lookout for new talent and are in recruitment mode.

Below are a few of the job offers appearing in the local Swiss-French press.

PATEK PHILIPPE is seeking a Talent Manager with a background in Human Resources and 5+ year of experience managing talent. They are seeking to recruit a dynamic and conscientious professional with experience developing evaluation systems and implementing training programs. The individual they are looking for should have a mastery of I.T. tools and be used to working with talent management and career management. Interested candidates can apply to M. M. Nicod, Resources Humaines, PATEK PHILIPPE, Case Postale 2654, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, or by email to

FREDERIC PIGUET is seeking to recruit for its Logistics Department a Logistics Technician to be attached to the Department of Logistics and Information Systems. The company is part of the Swatch Group and is based in Le Brassus, which is between Geneva and Lausanne in the part of Vaud known as the Joux. The role will be responsible for insuring the development of the logistics function and studying the dimensioning of the company’s capacities with respect to commercial projections, as well as optimizing the management of information flows and offering advice and support to other sectors of the company. The profile the company is looking for has a technical background in industrial logistics, experience in the watch making profession and an effective communicator. Interested candidates can apply to Frédéric Piguet, Department of Human Resources, Rue des Collèges 8, 1348 Le Brassus, Switzerland, or by email to The telephone number is +41 21 845 1616.

ROLEX is seeking to recruit for its Production Division a Mechanic – Toolmaker to follow up the making of tools in the Rolex workshops and do periodic quality controls, as well as participate in the implementation of tools and their evolution and guarantee their amelioration and correction and CN settings and program optimization. The profile they are looking to recruit is a professional with a CFC Mechanic or equivalent, experience in toolmaking, experience with automated systems, mastery of I.T. tools, a passionate mechanic and someone who is meticulous and available for work on flexible work shifts. Interested candidates should apply to ROLEX, Mme D. Del Grosso Horvath, Ressources Humaines, 15, route de Jussy, 1225 Chêne-Bourg, Geneva, Switzerland, or by email to

CHOPARD is seeking to recruit for its luxury watchmaking and jewelry operations Watch Makers, and Jewelers – Polishers. Watchmakers should have a CFC in watchmaking or its equivalent (CFC Horloger) and have at least 5 years experience. The role involves assembling and setting properly high end luxury watch movements as well as sophisticated mounting operations. Various post-sales tasks are also required. Jewelers/Polishers should have a CFC with at least 3 years experience with watch packaging or mounting bracelets or jewels. Interested candidates can apply to Chopard & Cie, Ressources Humaines, Rue de Veyrot 8, CP 85, 1217 Meyrin, Geneva, Switzerland.

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