Patek Philippe, arguably the most renowned horological marvel the world has ever seen is forced to close it's manufacturing facilities.
WWD reported that Patek Philippe had shut down its “production sites and its head office starting Wednesday, and running through March 27,” and continuing in an email, “Keeping everyone’s safety top of mind at all times will help us to navigate this challenging period and by doing this we may contribute to the stabilization of the situation, hoping that we will be able to safely revert to our activities as soon as possible.”
Similarly, Audemars Piguet announced the decision on Twitter, stating:
“In this period of uncertainty, people’s safety remains at the heart of our priorities. This is why we have decided to close our Swiss production sites as well as some of our offices and boutiques in various countries until the end of March.”
Hublot went a step further in its announcement on Instagram, writing:
“Due to the global spread of COVID-19, as a precautionary measure, and in order to protect the health and well-being of our staff and their families, we have decided to temporarily close our Manufacture’s production site until further notice. We are confident in our ability to collectively rise to meet new challenges and will overcome this crisis, together.”
Factory closures aren’t particularly surprising taking into consideration the severity of this virus on all businesses globally and the potential economic fall out once this is over. It's incredibly encouraging to see that major brands / players within the watch community are taking the safety of their staff and their families as the priority rather that trying to persevere in the current climate - bravo!