IWC: a new production building soon

By MyWatch

Schaffhausen, 24 septembre 2014 – Étant l’un des leaders mondiaux dans le segment des montres de luxe, IWC Schaffhausen continue d’investir dans son site d’origine où l’entreprise a été fondée en 1868 et où elle a son siège depuis. Le traditionnel premier coup de pelle a célébré le lancement des travaux dans la vallée de Merishausen, à la périphérie de Schaffhausen.

Members of IWC Management and numerous esteemed guests gathered to mark the forthcoming commencement of building work on IWC’s new manufacturing centre in a manner befitting the occasion. IWC CEO Georges Kern was joined by Cantonal Councillor Reto Dubach, as well as Peter Neukomm and Raphaël Rohner, heads of the municipal­­ council’s­ finance­ and­ building­ departments.


“Today’s ground-breaking ceremony is about more than just marking the start of construction for the new production facility,” comments IWC CEO Georges Kern, emphasizing­ the­ significance­ of­ the­ event.­“It­ is­ a­ commitment­ to­ Schaffhausen­ as­ the­ home­ of­ IWC­ and­ to­ attractive­ working­ conditions for our employees. It is also testament to the positive ­work ­being­ done ­by ­both­ the ­city ­and­ the­ Canton­­ of Schaffhausen to create the ideal con ditions for IWC to continue­producing­unique­timepieces.”­With ­an ­investment totalling around 40 million Swiss francs, this new building represents the largest expansion of production facilities to date. It follows the addition of the East Annex in 2005 and the West Annex in 2008 to the premises in the old town, which were constructed to meet growing demand. With 800 employees at its headquarters, IWC Schaffhausen is not only one of the most important employers in the region, but is an ambassador for the city’s image across the globe. The company was able to secure development ­rights ­for­ the­ 20,000-square-metre ­site­ thanks­ in no small part to the residents of Schaffhausen, who 2­ years ­ago ­voted ­with ­a ­majority ­of ­over­ 80% ­in­ support­ of the luxury watch manufacturer’s plans, demonstrating the trust they place in their local employer.


Once again, IWC is sending out a clear signal with the construction­ of ­the­ modern ­manufacturing­ centre.­“Over­ the past 10 years, IWC has grown from a niche company into a global brand, and we want to keep growing a little more each day,” says Georges Kern of the ambitious building project. “The large site allows us to design the building with ­a­view ­to ­creating­ optimized,­carefully­ coordinated­ lean production and logistics processes, which will enable us ­to ­further­ improve­ our ­ability­t o­ compete­internationally.”­ Upon completion of the new building in October 2016, the Schaff hausen-based watch manufacturer will relocate the case and parts manufacturing departments along with the movement ­assembly­ to ­the ­Merishausertal.­State-of-the-art­ workstations­will ­be ­provided ­for ­a ­total ­of ­250­ employees­­ across­ a ­floor ­space ­of­ 13,000­ square­ metres,­while­ the­ building’s capacity allows for up to 400 workstations.


The large expanses of green and the elegant architecture of ­the ­two-storey ­flat-roofed­ construction­ ensure ­that­ the­ staggered building complex blends seamlessly into the topography of the Merishausertal. The new manufacturing centre is not just the product of IWC’s philosophy and its dedication to climate protection and ecological responsibility; the experience gathered from the new-build projects undertaken­ over ­the ­past ­10­ years­ has ­also ­strongly ­influenced­ plans ­for­ the­ building.­ An­ example ­of ­this ­is ­the­ triple-insulated glass facade which ensures that the interior is­ flooded­ with ­light.­“We ­are ­continuing ­on ­from­ where ­we­ left off in 2008 with the West Annex, and implementing only the highest possible standards,” continues Georges Kern. “A long side­ water­ heat­ recycling­ and­ heat­ recovery­ ventilation systems, we also use groundwater heating and cooling methods, and it goes without saying that our insulation measures meet the Minergie standard. We will also be able to­ cover ­a ­significant­ share­ of­ our­ energy­ requirements­ with­ the­ photovoltaic­ system ­that ­is­ planned ­to ­cover ­a ­large­ section­ of­ the­ flat ­roof.”­ Lighting ­in­ the ­building­ and­ the­ surrounding ­area ­will ­be­ equipped ­with­ LED ­technology­­ and controlled by motion sensors. Also planned as part of the infrastructure is an intelligent waste and recycling manage ment system to facilitate the reuse of waste from the ­production ­process.­ A ­canteen­ will ­also ­provide ­meals­ for­ the­ staff.­IWC ­has ­been ­a ­certified­ carbon-neutral­company since 2007, and in line with this commitment will also provide ­its ­employees ­with ­a­ smart ­fortwo ­electric ­car. ­A­ final ­progressive ­initiative­ comes ­in ­the ­form ­of­ charging­ stations for the car and for e-bikes.


Location : Merishausertal
Total investment CHF 40 million
Total floor space : 13,000 m2
Length of building : 121 m
Width of building : 40.5 m
Workstation capacity : 250 employees
Start of construction 29 September 2014
Planned move into
the new building from October 2016
ATP kfp architekten ingenieure, Zurich,
RMA Rainer Müller Architekten, in cooperation with ­Christoph­ Grainger-Herr, ­Executive­ Brand­
Architect at IWC Schaffhausen


With­ a­ clear ­focus­ on ­technology­ and­ development,­the­ Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing ­timepieces ­of ­lasting­ value­s ince­ 1868.­The ­co-pany has gained an international reputation based on a passion ­for ­innovative ­solutions ­and ­technical ­ingenuity.­One­ of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC­ crafts­ masterpieces ­of ­haute ­horlogerie­ at­ their ­finest,­ combining ­supreme ­precision with­ exclusive ­design.­As­ an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people, and maintains partnerships with organizations dedicated­ to­ climate­ and­ environmental­ protection.

  • The futur manufacturing center
  • The futur manufacturing center
  • The futur manufacturing center
  • IWC CEO Georges Kern with Cantonal Councillor Reto Dubach, Peter Neukomm and Raphaël Rohner, heads of the municipal­­ council’s­ finance­ and­ building­ departments
  • IWC CEO Georges Kern with Cantonal Councillor Reto Dubach, Peter Neukomm and Raphaël Rohner, heads of the municipal­­ council’s­ finance­ and­ building­ departments