Bergeon & Cie SA

It seems every time I'm given a tour of a watch factory I spot the name "Bergeon" stamped on various tools, machinery and even the watchmaker's workbench. Hmm, I better visit this company.

Right smack in the middle of downtown Le Locle (population 11,000) and a stone's throw away from the town's impressive turn-of-the-century city hall building is where I find the five-story, company-owned headquarters of Bergeon & Cie. Built in 1947, the exterior of the building contains two glass displays filled with tools used by watchmakers.

After checking in with the helpful and friendly receptionist I'm soon meeting with Arnold Calmonte, Executive Sales Director. No complaints here as the engaging Calmonte, who's been with the company over 30 years, answers my questions and gives an extensive tour of the place. The building is a lot bigger than it looks from the front as it extends to the next street in the rear. Besides being the head office it's also a warehouse and distribution center. Bergeon supplies watchmakers and jewelers around the world with the tools of their trade and has done so since its founding in Le Locle way back in 1791. In fact, in its 213-years of existence, Bergeon has always been located within two blocks of its present site.

The lobby contains a large showroom displaying a vast array of products offered in Bergeon's catalogs. About 60 people work here. Management gets reserved parking, smoking isn't allowed in the workplace, there's no formal dress code. Though there're no onsite recreational facilities, exercise can be had by trekking up and down the stairs as there's no elevator.

Nothing special about General Director Michel Soldini's no-frills, third floor corner office. Company's website: