Titoni SA

It's a fun visit to watchmaker Titoni thanks to the warm welcome extended to me by CEO Daniel Schluep and others. Titoni's green-colored office/factory building stands a few blocks from Grenchen's city center.

The reception area is very small and minimally furnished. I note the fake tree and hanging plant. The two friendly people manning the reception counter make a few calls and in a few minutes Kurt Schaller, Sales Manager, gives me an enthusiastic welcome.

Schaller and I head to a conference room where CEO Daniel Schluep shortly joins us. Haven't heard of Titoni? The company's been around since 1919 and it might have something to do with the fact that they market their products primarily in Asia. Matter of fact, Schluep says Titoni is one of the five best-known watch brands in China.

I'm given an extensive top to bottom tour of the five-story building and considering the fact it was built in 1959; it's a very comfortable place. About 50 to 60 people work here---some of the help is seasonal.

The company cafeteria is located on the top floor allowing employees a great view of the area. The surrounding area is mixed-use with apartment buildings prevalent. Grenchen's population is about 16,000. There's plenty of employee parking and if you ride your bicycle to work-there's covered parking, which might have something to do with the fact that Fritz Schluep, company founder and grandfather of current CEO Daniel Schluep, used to ride his bike to work.

Smoking isn't allowed in the workplace, there's no formal dress code and it's about an hour's drive to the nearest major airport (Zurich). Any employee perks? Titoni watches at factory prices.
CEO Schluep occupies a first floor corner office. I note the computer, one real plant, several framed prints by Chagall (not originals) hanging on the wall and pictures of his two kids. The view? The passing street traffic out front.

CEO Daniel Schluep was attending the University of California at Berkeley back in the early 1980's and received a call that his father (Bruno) unexpectedly passed away. Though only in his 20's, he returned to Grenchen, took over the reins and has been running the family business ever since.