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Richemont Partners With Switzerland's EPFL to Create Academic Chair

Compagnie Financiere Richemont is underlining its commitment to research and development in watchmaking.

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RICHEMONT’S RESEARCH: Compagnie Financiere Richemont is underlining its commitment to research and development in watchmaking by partnering with Switzerland’s Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne to create an academic chair in multi-scale manufacturing technologies, at the EPFL’s Neuchâtel Microcity Campus at its Institute of Microengineering. In a statement Monday, Richemont said that the move is “a clear sign of [Richemont’s] ambition to support innovation and academic research in this field.”

The luxury goods firm, which counts A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier and Vacheron Constantin among its watch maisons, said that the optimization of the manufacturing processes for mechanical watch components is “one of the key success factors for the Swiss watchmaking industry.” It said the new post would capture the potential of emerging technologies in watchmaking, such as laser machining, 3D printing and plasma etching.

Richard Lepeu, co-chief executive officer of Richemont, said: “We are faced with a demanding and sophisticated client base, increasing competition and continuous technological progress. Innovation is a necessity for a major global company like Richemont,” he said. “These new technologies open a wide range of technical possibilities to respond to future industrial requirements.”

Richemont said the recruitment process for the future professor had already begun, and noted that the professor would start at EPFL’s Institute of Microengineering in 2015.

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