Societe des montres
Paul Picot S.A.
Surrounded by farmland and forests, Le Noirmont (population 1,000)
is another one of those off-the-beaten-path Swiss villages that
looks like its locals enjoy the slower pace of life. Though located
in a primarily residential area, it doesn't take long finding
Paul Picot's three-story edifice thanks to the name near the
top of the building.
Entering the place it feels more like a house than an office/watch
factory. Jeez, things don't look good as the man manning the
reception counter says nobody knows anything about my letter
of introduction sent a month earlier to Mario Boiocchi, president
and founder of the company back in 1976. Luckily Magali Orsat,
International Sales Administrator, steps out and agrees to answer
my questions. It gets better though as Orsat corrals Eric Oppliger
to help out. Who's Oppliger? He's the company's managing director
and turns out he's the one who ended up with my letter of introduction.
There's nothing special looking about the three-story building
that was built in the early 1900's but tearing it down isn't
an option as it's a protected/historic structure. The 30 employees
working here get their exercise thanks to the building being
without an elevator.
As one would expect, employee parking isn't a problem here. Smoking
is allowed in the workplace, there's no formal dress code and,
it's two and a half-hours to Zurich's airport. There's no cafeteria
but an employee breakroom.
Boiocchi is hard at work when I pop in and check out his modestly
furnished second floor corner office. However, it's plush compared
to Managing Director Oppliger's no-frills tiny first floor office.
I note the two plants, laptop, barren walls and unexciting view
of the street. Then again, Oppliger also uses the comfortable
meeting room we met in as an additional office.
We go upstairs to another room where Oppliger proceeds to dazzle
me with trays upon trays of Paul Picot watches. I like 'em. Website: