Ulysse Nardin is the leader of innovation and independence in the Swiss watch industry. And, it is Pierre Gygax, Chief Operation Officer who set the precedent, laying some of the most important groundwork for the manufacturer to grow its legacy well into the future.
An engineer by trade, Pierre Gygax joined Ulysse Nardin in 1997 as industrial manager, bringing with him nearly 25 years of diverse experience. He began his career in 1973 in the development of the MegaQuartz, the high frequency (2.4 MHz) unsurpassed Omega precision timepiece, moving on to EEM (now a branch of ETA) as production manager of quartz movements with injection moulded base plates. When Swatch Group (named SMH at the time) restructured its activities and firms, Gygax left the watch industry to accept a position as the general manager of the largest Swiss injection moulding firm; its customers came from the automotive, microelectronic and pharmaceutical industries.
With a desire to return to the world of haute horology, armed with an incomparable skill set in technology, he accepted the invitation to join Ulysse Nardin. With conviction, he embraced his role as industrial manager, working side by side with then President Rolf Schnyder to realize his mission: to revive Ulysse Nardin’s status as a competitive manufacturer through a formula that fused traditional luxury products, modern technologies and highly innovative methods.
Throughout his 15-plus year tenure with Ulysse Nardin, Gygax has demonstrated that he is a change-maker, leading to the culmination of many of Ulysse Nardin’s most profound accomplishments. Ulysse Nardin is now recognized as a formidable manufacturing force in fine Swiss watchmaking due to its state-of-the-art operation in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This operation is where all in-house movements are produced. In this same vein, Gygax is responsible for the use of new, creative materials; he is revered as the father of silicium technology in watchmaking, which was first introduced in the revolutionary FREAK. This breakthrough sparked Sigatec, the Ulysse Nardin-Mimotec joint venture, forever shaping the industry as a whole and elevating Ulysse Nardin to a status all its own.