Z.I. La Romaine 2, 2824 Vicques, Switzerland |+41 32 436 10 60

Décovi, experts in precision machining

Décovi, experts in precision machining

Since its foundation, the Jura-based company has acquired extensive experience in the manufacture of components for the watchmaking industry, particularly oscillating weights. A trusted partner to numerous watch manufacturers, the company is constantly growing and innovating.

Located on the outskirts of the Jura village of Vicques, the family business specializes in bar turning, CNC turning, milling, laser engraving and decoration, and offers its services to numerous companies in the watchmaking, medical, mechatronics and micromotor sectors, to name but a few.

Although the company now spans some 5,000 m2, it started out modestly in 1947. Fascinated by his job as a bar turner, Denis Chèvre decided to convert the back of his father’s farmhouse into a machine shop. Ten years later, he built the first production unit on the current Vicques site. The passion for precision engineering continued to run in the family, and his son, Claude Chèvre, joined the company in 1985. Over the years, the company has built other units, expanded its activities, enlarged its machine park and strengthened its teams. To seize new development opportunities, it joined the Acrotec Group in 2009.

Today, headed by Cédric Chèvre, Claude’s son, Décovi employs some 130 people and boasts a modern, diversified machine park, enabling it to meet production requirements ranging from samples to large production runs. With ISO 9001 certification, the company meets the criteria for quality management.

A key partner for the watchmaking industry
A large part of Décovi’s business is dedicated to the watchmaking industry (just over 75%), for whom the company manufactures high-precision components for watch movements and casings. Since 2009, it has specialized in the manufacture of oscillating weights, an activity for which an entire department has been set up.

Once purely utilitarian and hidden at the back of the movement, the oscillating weight is now displayed on the back as well as the front of watches. Subtly decorated, with the company logo or refined ornamentation, these rotors require great attention to design. Décovi has made this its speciality, and not only machines the raw parts, but also adorns them with decorations such as Côtes de Genève, colimaçonnage, satin-finish, cerclage or soleillage. Surface coatings or laser engravings can also be applied. Customized in this way, the parts embellish the timepieces and catch the eye with their oscillating vibrations.

The rotors manufactured in-house are essentially made of heavy metals, and more specifically tungsten. Once machined, the parts undergo a process of cleaning and inspection, before moving on to the final stage of decoration or personalization. While surface coatings ensure longer life, decorations add visual value. Depending on the contract signed with the customer, certain finishing operations are subcontracted to other specialized Acrotec Group companies. In fact, there is great synergy between all the group’s entities, to optimize the capabilities of each company and provide the best possible service to customers.

Each year, Décovi manufactures over a million rotors, almost all of which are delivered to Swiss watch manufacturers. It also produces other components for movements, such as barrel drums and covers, calendar disks, wheel blanks, etc. And in the watchmaking finishing sector, it produces bezels, carrures, case backs, casing rings and retaining rings. Our high level of expertise enables us to offer our customers perfect workmanship for every machined part.

Throughout the manufacturing process, turned parts undergo numerous inspection stages, where tolerances and visual appearance are checked using dedicated equipment. The process has been fully optimized using the most advanced technologies, such as the Hexagon Global S 3D measuring device and Quick Control inspection software. Great rigor is applied to these operations, not only on the oscillating weights, but on every part turned in-house.

Alongside its watchmaking activities, Décovi also produces parts for the MedTech (surgery, dentistry and orthopedics), aeronautics and Precision HighTech sectors. These fields have necessitated the achievement of standards, such as ISO 13485 for quality management in the medical device industry. Although watchmaking now accounts for most of the Jura-based company’s capacity, it intends to give greater importance to other sectors, specifically the medical sector, thanks to its extensive technical expertise. To date, the company is capable of machining a vast array of materials (stainless steel, titanium, tungsten, plastics, copper alloys and aluminum) and offering a wide variety of turned components based on metal bars or billets.

Always on the lookout for innovation, Décovi has its own technical office whose task is to constantly improve work processes. In order to optimize certain repetitive operations, the company has developed autonomous robotized systems that take on work that is not particularly rewarding for staff, 24 hours a day. As a result, employees can concentrate on other, more complicated operations that specifically require human intervention.

As part of its commitment to the environment, the Jura-based company is ISO 14001 certified. The company controls and limits its consumption, emissions and waste. For example, it recycles the waste (various metals, plastics) from each screw-cutting machine on a daily basis, separating it from the residual oil and returning it to a partner company for reconditioning for other uses. Décovi also uses photovoltaic panels to generate part of the electricity it needs. It also attaches great importance to the commitment of its staff. 80% of our employees live within a 25 km radius, so they have a very short commute to work.

Training new talent is a very important issue for Décovi and for the Acrotec Group in general, with the motto: “Bringing together talents to better serve customers”. Several apprentices – bar turners, micromechanics, logisticians and commercial employees – are therefore trained here every year, mainly on the basis of dual courses. Aware of the lack of qualified personnel available, Cédric Chèvre devotes part of his time to this theme and regularly welcomes young people into the company to introduce them to the technical professions and inspire them to embark on such training.

To better serve its customers and offer its staff a pleasant working environment, Décovi is further expanding its Vicques site. Some 2,000 m2 more will be added to the existing facility by spring 2024.