28 Dec '12, 5am
"WatchTime Exclusive: Inside Rolex Bienne"
Besides Paschoud, our guides on the tour are the facility’s top manager, Raymond Kerrison, and Jacques Baur, head of research at Rolex. We start in Rolex V, in the department where the movement’s plates and bridges are made. There, in a huge room filled with the roar of toiling machines, we see something — or rather some things — we’ve never seen before. They look like giant, round, glass pods, or maybe spaceships, nearly as high as the ceiling and 12 feet or so in diameter. The Rolex officials call them “modules.” There are a dozen of them, some connected at the top to an adjacent module by metal rails, which, we soon learn, are a kind of monorail transit system for carrying components from one module to the next. Four of the modules are dedicated to the 4130. Inside each one, a cluster of CNC machines are stamping, drilling, milling, turning and polishing the plates, the...