Rolex issues temporary shut-down of its manufactures due to Covid-19 pandemic

Switzerland is one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, with over 2,200 cases and 18 deaths.

From 17th March 1700 hrs (Central European Time) through Friday 27th March, 2020, Rolex manufactures across Switzerland (Geneva, Bienne, and Crissier) will be closed. Only essential operational functions are to remain open.

This 10-day shut-down comes after the Swiss government declared an “extraordinary situation” on the coronavirus epidemic. It has since instituted a ban on all private and public events, closing bars, restaurants, sports and cultural spaces until 19th April. Schools are also closed nationwide.

Only business providing essential goods such as grocery stores, bakeries and pharmacies are unaffected.

Rolex’s shut-down was announced in a letter, originally written in French, from its CEO Jean-Frederic Dufour. Circulated to its employees on 16th March, here are its contents translated:

As I’ve previously mentioned, we are going to face a very serious situation. With the objective to protect you, your families and those close, but also to limit risks of propagation and the spread of Coronavirus, we have decided to close our sites of production in Geneva, Bienne and Crissier from Monday 17th of March until Friday 27th of March. 

This date is subject to change based on the evolution epidemic. Certain services will stay open to answer imperative operational questions.

We will send more details on the subject. From here we ask you to respect the letter, and the measures of confinement specified by the authorities in Switzerland and in France.

I am certain this bad passage in time will pass and we will adopt composure and contribute to stabalising the sitatuon and permit work in the best fashion.

Thank you for accepting the instructions of your managers to ensure this closure in good conditions. I hope it all ends, good luck for all the days to come and take good care of yourself.