Candino Watch Company Ltd.

I'm maybe a mile from Bienne's city center and standing outside the three-story headquarters of Candino Watch Company. It looks to have been built in the 1950's. It's connected in the rear to a large building that was obviously at one time a watch manufacturing facility. Now, most of the facility houses a deep discount retailer called Otto.

A sign directs visitors to the reception area on the second floor. Ugh, the building reeks from the stench of cigarettes. One plant and a black sofa highlight the blue carpeted reception room. I explain to the receptionist how I mailed a letter of introduction a month earlier to CEO Jean-Claude Schwarz. She steps away from her desk and returns a few minutes later with an unidentified man. The man says Schwarz isn't in and no one knows anything about my letter or has time for me. I'm told to return in the afternoon (it's now 9AM). I never make it back but doubt I'm missing anything. Spanish watch company Festina bought Candino several years ago.