Quinting SA

Over the past four weeks I've dropped by watchmaker Quinting's offices on four separate occasions and every time I find the door closed. This is my final attempt. The three-story building sits on a quiet side street about a mile from Geneva's city center. The building's primary tenant is Swisscom, Switzerland's former phone monopoly. Actually, I get the feeling the place was a former phone switching station.

Entering the building I'm taken aback to find the Quinting's office door open. Standing in the doorway I see it's just one large room with two men sitting behind desks. One walks over to the door to find out what I want. I explain mailing a letter of introduction to CEO Pascal Berclaz over six weeks ago. This man points to the other man still sitting behind a desk and says, "that's Pascal Berclaz". Berclaz then motions me to come in so I grab a seat in front of his desk. I tell of dropping by on four other occasions and never finding anyone present. Berclaz says he's only here one day a week with the rest of the time spent at the company's factory in Neuchatel, a lakefront town about 70 miles from here. Two months ago I remember passing the Quinting factory building as I cycled through Neuchatel because it lies practically next to the bike path running along the lakefront.

I ask Berclaz if he received the letter of introduction sent six weeks ago. "No", he answers. How can this be since it was sent priority mail from Lausanne, a city only 30 miles away? I ask Berclaz if he has time to answer questions about the head office. "No, he says, "I'm flying to Tokyo tomorrow and haven't time". Since it's a one-room office I tell Berclaz my questions won't take more than a few minutes. Well, that gets the same response. I ask for brochures with background information on the company. I'm given a booklet and shown the door. Later I find the brochure contains no background material, only pictures of Quinting watches.