Autour du Temps
While Plan-les-Ouates may not be known to the general public internationally, it is a location that everyone in the watch industry is well aware. A suburb of Geneva, it is where many high end watchmakers, including no less than Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, produce their timepieces. The area is "industrial" in a very high end way, with often architecturally impressive buildings giving watchmakers the light, space and cleanliness they need to produce some of the best watches in Switzerland.
"Autour du Temps" was first created in 2021. Following its success, this year is the second edition. Over 3 days, the professions and skills of watchmaking are made accessible to the general public, including for children. The lineup is highly impressive, with 17 sites to visit (most very nearby), 9 different workshops, 3 conferences and various other activites onsite.
Please note most visits require registration, and they fill up very fast. Registrations open on September 21 at 2 pm Geneva time. Important: all activities are in French.
Chemin du Cahmp-des-Filles 4/6 - 1228, Plan-les-Ouates (Google Maps)
Thursday October 12, Friday October 13 and Saturday October 14
How much? Free!
Registration: follow this link
List of Activities
The list of activities is very large (over 30) , so please visit the Autour du Temps website directly to see them all. Particular highlights, but also the ones that fill out the fastest, include:
Manufacture visits of Laurent Ferrier, Piaget and Vacheront Constantin
Guided tour of the Patek Philippe Museum
Various workshops for adults and kinds alike, up to 2 hours, with master watchmakers. Among the workshops you'll find How to Tell Time (for kids as of age 4), Making a Sundial (8+) and, for grownups, disassembling and reassambling a UNITAS 6497-1 movement.
SWE Rating: Excellent
The cheapest watchmaking experience listed on this site is 300 CHF. While the others usually last longer, here they are entirely free, and still substantial (up to 2h). Provided by recognized expert institutions, the quality is top notch. It's worth signing up for, and doing so fast!
As mentioned above, everything here will be in French.
Many will want to sign up for the visit of the Rolex training center but please note it's only open to registered watchmaking students.