Kering Watches Manufacture (KWM) has announced that its production facilities will begin the process of gradually reopening in the coming weeks and months.
The manufacturer of Swiss brands Girard Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin became one of the first companies to make the decision to close some of its sites in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
While shipping and production have been suspended for around six weeks, the company’s marketing, human resources and commercial teams have been working remotely.
Now they will be undertaking a progressive return to work, with the workshops of both Girard Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin now open.
KWM iterated that all workers not essential to production are continuing to work from home, and that the company is taking all necessary health and safety measures.
Watchmakers and operators have been organised into teams of 35, and are working staggered hours.
Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin and Girard Perregaux, commented: “Since 1846 for Ulysse Nardin and 1791 for Girard-Perregaux – in over 200 years of existence and through two world wars – neither of the two have ever had to close their doors.
“We have been able to successfully face this situation, which is unprecedented in the world and in our industry.
“The emergency organization was a challenge, but I am delighted to note the agility and passion present within the teams of both brands at such a destabilizing time.
“Think quickly, act fast. Plan for the future. The level of engagement shown by the employees was extremely high during the confinement period and I know that we are all eager to return to work.”