Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, two of the Swiss watch industry’s top three independently-owned watchmakers, have closed their manufactures.
Rolex shut down its facilities for at least 1o days on March 17.
TAG Heuer and Hublot, both LVMH brands, closed their plants earlier this week.
Switzerland currently has 6,186 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 58 people have died from the virus. It has 715 cases per million of the population, one of the highest concentrations in the world.
Patek Philippe’s closure began on March 18, and will continue until March 27. Distribution has also been shut down in some countries as regional teams have been sent home.
A statement by e-mail from Patek Philippe says: “Keeping everyone’s safety top of mind at all times will help us to navigate this challenging period and by doing this we may contribute to the stabilization of the situation, hoping that we will be able to safely revert to our activities as soon as possible.”
Audemars Piguet, which notched sales of almost CHF 1.2 billion in 2019, according to estimates by investment bank Morgan Stanley, also announced its decision to mothball its Swiss production facilities on March 18. They will remain closed until the end of March.
In this period of uncertainty, people’s safety remains at the heart of our priorities. This is why we have decided to close our Swiss production sites as well as some of our offices and boutiques in various countries until the end of March. pic.twitter.com/CXQauug7vO
— Audemars Piguet (@AudemarsPiguet) March 18, 2020