Espoo watchmaking cluster sets sights on global success
Espoo is home to an internationally significant watchmaking and micromechanics cluster. The City of Espoo and the Finnish Watchmaking Cluster have now set out to raise the specialism’s profile and reputation to match other sectors currently enhancing the international competitiveness of the Finnish economy.
In addition to hi-tech, Espoo is strongly focused on the so-called hi-mech; the education, training, know-how, production and heritage relevant to watchmaking and micromechanics.
Espoo – leading the way for innovation in Europe
According to City of Espoo Mayor Jukka Mäkelä, the significant watchmaking and micromechanics expertise generated in Espoo means that the city can rightly be considered an industry forerunner internationally.
“What Finland needs now are new enterprises and new technology sector jobs. In Espoo, we are committed to establishing ourselves as Europe’s leading city of innovation, the Espoo Innovation Garden. The Espoo-based Finnish Watchmaking Cluster is ideally aligned with this approach.”
Major Watchmaking Cluster members are the Finnish Watchmakers’ Association, with some 500 members, based in Tapiola, the Finnish School of Watchmaking in Leppävaara and the Museum of Horology at the WeeGee exhibition centre. The VTT Mikes metrology unit provides the most accurate and precise time measurement in Finland. Other cluster partners include Oxford Instruments Analytical Oy, local watchmakers Aikamuoto Watch & Design Oy, Navigil Oy, Rönkkö Watches Oy as well as local watch retailers and importers.
Espoo leading the timepiece sector
“Finland’s watchmaking cluster is based in Espoo. What we are dealing with is not merely a question of industry, technology or competitiveness but Espoo’s identity and the role our watchmaking culture plays in shaping that,” Joona Vuorenpää, Chairman of the Finnish Watchmakers’ Association, commented.
“Our plans include opening an international maintenance unit in Espoo, launching the concept of ‘Espoo time’ and ensuring that we carefully record our industry heritage. We want to establish the Kellodesign watchmaking competitions as an Espoo landmark, complete a book project on watchmakers on the international scene who received their training here and refurbish a Finnish museum timepiece that ranks among some of the most accurate in the world. These are just some examples of the possibilities that lie ahead and what people can expect from the cluster going forward,” Vuorenpää said.
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