02 HS122 Manufacture 2
Architecture & Design

Cartier: the forerunner in contemporary industrial architecture


Cartier is considered the forerunner of a special type of industrial architecture deeply imbued with the brand culture and integrating all watchmaking crafts under one roof.

By David Richard

To see and to be seen

Both the 1992 Villeret-Saint-Imier unit by Jean Nouvel and the manufacture at Crêt-du-Locle have definitely left their mark. The building, features an oversized large glass façade with Cartier written on it allows the watchmaker to see and to be seen. That’s a true revolution in the field of horology.  Even Alain Dominique Perrin, at the time CEO of the brand, was impressed by the interaction between technology and nature: the windows look onto the verdant surroundings and, at night, one can appreciate, spectacular openings particularly in the night, and, ultimately, a feeling of harmony given off by this building, an icon of modern horology.

Quoting the architect

“Our task consisted in imagining a vast, modular production space on one level with an administrative building on top and some parking spaces. The latter are divided between some spaces discreetly located on the ground floor and others partially buried at the back of the building.” A & A Atelier d’Architecture.

Site evolution:

Extension work on the site finished in 2007. A total of 3,000 m2 on four stories were created for the installation of all of the brand’s research and development departments.

Cartier, Usine de La Chaux-de-Fonds

Title: Cartier: the forerunner in contemporary industrial architecture 
Address: 10 Chemin des Alisiers, CH-2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchâtel
Telephone: +4132 927 7277
Website: www.cartier.com
Function: Production unit
CEO: Stanislas de Quercize
Site director: Jean-Kley Tullii – Manufacture director
Assignment: Architecture competition launched in 1998
Delivery date: Inaugurated in 2000 and finished in 2001
Architect: A & A Atelier d’Architecture – Suzanne Kaussler (La Chaux-de-Fonds)

The building in numbers

  • Grounds area 33,225 m2
  • Width of façade 90 m
  • SIA volume 143,000 m3
  • Stories 4
  • Underground stories: 2
  • Workstations available prior to extension 650
  • Number of occupied work stations 1,100
  • Underground parking spaces: 343
  • Outside parking space: 9


This page is an extract from our page Horology and Architecture

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