One of ETA workshops in Grenchen has been completely devastated after a fire broke out on Sunday morning under so far unexplained circumstances. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident that ravaged the galvanic facility of the world’s biggest movement manufacturer. The fire was eventually put out by the swift reaction of the internal and the Grenchen’s fire departments. So far, there are no official reports considering the scope of damages, however as the brand’s representatives stated, the damage is “considerable”.
As it has been reported, the fire broke out in the galvanic department which is the integral part of the ETA’s main facilities, at around quarter to nine on Sunday. Nobody was present at the location at that time and it is still unknown why the incident occurred. The fire had spread quite quickly in the facility used for electroplating and rust proofing of metal, and the firefighters were not able to put it out immediately, despite the quick response. Soon, a huge cloud of smoke was visible throughout the entire Grenchen, which caused quite a scare to the city’s population which was warned by the officials to stay indoors and to close the windows because of the potential spread of toxins. Luckily, the joint efforts of the ETA’s internal fire brigade and the local fire departments were enough to keep the blaze contained by half past nine and any possible spreading of the fire was prevented. Swiftly after that, the fire was eventually put out, but not before the workshop of the Swatch Group owned manufacturer was entirely destroyed.
In the statement for the local Swiss radio station, Nick Hayek, the CEO of Swatch Group explained that the facility is utterly destroyed, but that it is also too soon to talk about the scope of the damage. The first unofficial reports estimate the harm to be worth at least several thousand of dollars. Additionally, Hayek explained that the brand has the necessary back-up facilities which will be used instead of the workshop that burnt down.
ETA S.A. Manufacture Horlogere Suisse is the world’s largest movement manufacturer which provides movements not only for the Swatch Group by which it is owned, but also for several major rival watch manufacturers. It is estimated that it produces no less than 60 percent of the movements used in the entire industry, while this percentage is even significantly higher when it comes to some of the movement’s components.