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: www.paulpicot.ch