Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Rolex Temporarily Closes Factories

Rolex Temporarily Closes Factories

Jean-Frédéric Dufour

ROLEX CEO Response to COVID-19 

For the first time in history, that I am aware of, Rolex CEO, Jean-Frédéric Dufour, in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Virus Pandemic made the decision to temporarily close down all of the Rolex factories which are all located in Switzerland.

Below is a letter Rolex CEO, Jean-Frédéric Dufour that discusses Rolex's approach to protecting all employees from the COVID 19 virus.

Jean-Frédéric Dufour Letter seen above translated into English reads,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Dear Colleagues,

I already told you last week, we are facing a very serious problem. In order to protect you, your families and your loved ones, but also to limit as much as possible the risks of spread of Coronavirus, we decided to close our production sites in Geneva, Bienne and Crissier on Tuesday March 17 5:00 PM until Friday, March 27, 2020. Of course, this date may be postponed depending on the evolution of the epidemic.

Certain services will have to remain open for reasons of operational imperatives. Your managers will give you more details on this.

In the meantime, we ask you to respect to the letter the containment measures issued by our authorities in Switzerland and in France.

I am sure that this is a difficult time and that if all of us adapt the right behavior, it will help to help stabilize the situation and allow work to be resumed safely within the shortest possible time.

Thank you for respecting the instructions of your managers to ensure this closing in good conditions.

Good luck for the days to come, take care of yourself!

Best regards,

Jean-Frédéric Dufour

Geneva, March 16, 2020

This news does not come as a surprise although much of the world remains shell-shocked by the unfolding events.

This is the first time in history that I can think of where the entire planet has had to respond largely as a single organism, and hopefully when all is said and done, it will have served as a blessing in disguise.

Rolex's response, as always, is ultra-professional, which is what makes Rolex, Rolex. 

On a Positive note, since we are on the subject of the Rolex factories, all of which are in Switzerland, let's hop in the Rolex Time Machine and go back to 2013 to take a tour through the Rolex factories. 

Seven years ago, back in November of 2013, Rolex invited me to become one of four horological journalists to be the first to tour all four Rolex factories in Switzerland. Ariel Adams, from A Blog To Watch took the photograph of me standing in front of Rolex's International Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland seen below.

Benjamin Clymer, James Dowling, Ariel Adams, and Jake Ehrlich on November 19, 2013
(Hodinkee.com, Timezone.com, ABlogToWatch.com, and RolexMagazine.com)

I wrote a super-detailed article which outlined my experience touring all the Rolex factories, which is named, "Inside Rolex: Exploring What Makes Rolex Tick", which I highly recommend reading.

Below are a bunch of images from my tour story of the Rolex Wonka Works in Switzerland: