Lausen, population 2,000, lies about eight miles south of Basel
and has been home to Ronda since its founding back in 1946. What
does Ronda and its over 1,400 employees do? Its electronic movements
tick in wristwatches all over the world.
The four-story head office is mixed-in with factory buildings
that look to have been built in various stages over the years
from 1950's onwards. A large sign near the road sports the name
Evidently the receptionist knows who I am and don't even get
a chance to announce my name as I'm quickly taken to an adjoining
room and told to have a seat. Soon, Sabina Biedert, Marketing
Services, steps in and gives me a warm welcome. After going through
the questions we head over to meet CEO Erich Mosset, who leads
the way on a tour of the factory. There's a lot going on as a
wide variety of machinery spits, stamps and processes all kinds
of watch movements.
Over 300 work here. Employee parking is free and plentiful, the
partly-subsidized cafeteria serves hot meals and smoking is not
allowed in the workplace. A large public soccer field complex
lies adjacent to the property, there's no formal dress code,
it's 25 minutes to Basel's city center, five minutes to the nearest
freeway and one hour to Zurich's airport or 40 minutes to Basel's
airport. Any employee perks? Ronda doesn't market its own line
of watches because then it would be competing with its customers.
However, in the reception area I did spot several watches in
glass displays with the Ronda name. Employees are allowed to
purchase one a year at a special price.
CEO Erich Mosset, who's father (William Mosset) founded the company
occupies a second floor office. Nothing fancy about the furnishings
as I look around and count two clocks, three plants (real), a
computer and several colorful drawings done by his kids. The
view out his window? His office is located on the backside of
the building overlooking train tracks and a grassy hillside.
So, he can either watch trains speeding by or view cows lazily
munching grass on the hillside.
Company website: www.ronda.ch