The British Masters SA

The main business and shopping street through downtown La Chaux-de-Fonds (population 40,000) is where I find the offices of British Masters. The company's two watch brands are Arnold & Son and Graham, who's roots can be traced back to 1764 and 1695, respectively.

The company occupies the second and 11th floor of an 11-story building built in 1969. The exterior of the building was renovated in 1990. Though the offices are nothing special, it's a nice visit thanks to Catherine Boillat, Assistant to the CEO.

Fourteen people work here. Smoking is allowed in the workplace, senior management gets reserved parking, there's no formal dress code and it's an hour and a half to Geneva's airport. Any unusual employee perks? 40% off the cost of British Masters watches. The 11th floor middle office of CEO Eric Loth is small, functional and no-frills. Heck, Boillat's corner office is bigger than her boss. There's a skateboard in his office but Loth swears it belongs to his son. The view out his window? Downtown La Chaux-de-Fonds.

The offices are pretty ho-hum except for the big meeting room which, with it heavy green carpeting, dark woodwork and English nik-naks, reminds one of an aristocratic British reading or sitting room.