Rolex Shuts All Plants and Prepares for Worst Year Ever

The Swiss watch industry has survived lickings before, but Rolex, Omega and Cartier now face a combination of economic punches putting them back on their heels, Bloomberg News reported. The industry was just adapting to the downturn from political protests in its largest market, Hong Kong, when the coronavirus outbreak hit. Now as China’s economic slowdown is set to engulf the rest of the world, the strong Swiss franc, surging gold prices, and store closures are set to saddle companies like Swatch Group AG and Richemont with higher costs. Rolex shut down all its plants in Switzerland for at least 10 days starting Tuesday. Richemont has been offering price cuts of as much as 49% for secondhand Cartier timepieces in a one-week special offer on its vintage resale site, Watchfinder. Watch fairs in Basel and Geneva have been canceled. Swatch will put as much as 70% of its Swiss production staff on reduced working hours by the end of the week. Read more

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