Ronda AG

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 "Ronda".

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 in 1946,
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.

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