INTERVIEW: Cédric Mulhauser, Production Manager & Watchmaker
Our passionate colleagues share the secrets of their job and your watch.
"I love sport, especially hockey. It’s a total release. I need it to use up my energy so I can stay calm and focused at my workbench." CÉDRIC MULHAUSER - 27 years / Suisse / Production Manager & Watchmaker at Emile Chouriet since 2014.
WHERE'S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN GENEVA ?
The Allondon riverbanks between Satigny and Dardagny. It’s a stunning place bursting with nature that I unearthed fairly recently. You wouldn’t think there are places like that in Geneva. Otherwise, the Old Town with its bars and restaurants for a bit of a buzz.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE KID ?
I don’t think I knew what I wanted to be. I never had a specific idea or plan. We had to do a 2-day work placement in my final year at school. My godfather organised a placement at Vacheron Constantin for me. I was fascinated.
WAS THAT YOUR LIGHTBULB MOMENT ?
Yes. I’d always liked watches. My grandmother gave me Flik Flaks. I often had to buy them as I was always losing them so I had lots of different watches. During the placement I learnt about watchmaking and the engineering behind it. My choice of career was made. Especially since I had a good relationship with the apprenticeship supervisor who looked after me for the two days.
HOW DID YOU TRAIN TO BECOME A WATCHMAKER ?
I started with a 4-year watchmaking CFC course at the Ecole d’Horloger de Genève then I carried on studying to get a diploma in microtechnology. I spent 50% of my time at work and 50% at school for 3 years.
TELL US WHAT YOUR JOB INVOLVES ?
I supervise and oversee the watchmakers’ work. I also implement work procedures to improve quality and boost production. That doesn’t mean working faster; just working better. It’s vital to have a versatile team to provide skills where necessary: from casing to assembly.
DO YOU ALSO HANDLE INTERNAL TRAINING ?
It’s part of my job but I see it more as teamwork. We discuss how things should be done together. It enables us to check and alter things.
WHAT HAPPENS TO WATCHMAKERS ON SANDWICH COURSE AT EMILE CHOURIET ?
They take a course to get an AFP watchmaking operator certificate approved by the CPIH (Swiss Watch Industry Employers’ Convention). There are different modules: Introduction, Packaging, Assembly and Settings. They can then train to get a CFC. Our goal is to give them the tools they need to go forward.
HAS THE EC5318 AND DEVELOPING ITS OWN RANGE BEEN A GREAT TEACHING TOOLS ?
It’s an amazing opportunity to see another side to the trade. It enables us to understand how pieces are made before they’re fitted. It’s a fantastic, highly rewarding experience.
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BE A WATCHMAKER ?
You have to have a passion for it first and foremost. You have to throw yourself into it. As trades change, it’s good to specialise in something but you mustn’t lose sight of everything involved in watchmaking as a whole. That’s what helps you progress in a career.
YOU HAVE TO BE CALM AND HAVE ATTENTION TO DETAIL AS WATCHMAKER... HOW DO YOU LET YOUR HAIR DOWN ?
I love sport, especially hockey. It’s a total release. I need it to use up my energy so I can stay calm and focused at my workbench.