Chen Zhi and Prince Group Bring the Art of Swiss Watchmaking to Cambodia

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BEIJING, CHINA – Media
OutReach
 – 20 January 2021 – The global pandemic has changed the
working lives of many people across the world, including in Cambodia. Chairman
Neak Oknha Chen Zhi (
公爵) and Prince Group,
being a responsible corporate citizen, have opened the Prince
Horology Vocational Training Center, Cambodia’s first independent
watch school. The training center gives Cambodians the
opportunity to learn a new artisanal skill — watchmaking — and gain the
necessary experience to help them in job markets in Cambodia and abroad. The
training center follows the strict regulations for watchmaking outlined by
regulatory bodies in Switzerland.

As a country steeped in history, Cambodia has long preserved
artisanal skills for generations, with the Kingdom well-known for its ancient
handwoven silk and traditional handicraft industries that boast a heritage
dating back to the time of the Khmer Empire, a significance that Chen Zhi and
Prince Group have always understood and appreciated.

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New artisanal skills, however, need to be introduced to improve job
opportunities for Cambodians, especially as the textile and garment industry, much
like other sectors, has suffered greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic with
media reports indicating that more than 55,000 workers have been stranded
without an income.[1]


Many Cambodians have returned to agriculture and setup small
businesses in a bid to restore balance to their lives. To that end, Chen Zhi and
Prince Group have launched the Prince Horology Vocational Training
Center in Phenom Penh, Cambodia to help introduce opportunities to learn new
skills.

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The state-of-the-art center offers a full-time, two-year course
modelled on the certificate fédéral de capacité (CFC), standards
for vocational training defined by the Swiss government that are widely
considered the industry norm for basic watchmaking education.

As a component of Chen Zhi and Prince
Group’s environment, social and governance (ESG) endeavours in Cambodia, the
center also offers scholarships to local students and those requiring
financial assistance, ranging from a 50% subsidy of the school fees to a fully
paid scholarship that includes accommodation. The first group of students have
started their watchmaking journey.

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Prince Group has hired world-leading watchmakers, including Maarten
Pieters, a former director of Switzerland’s leading watchmaking school, the
Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program (WOSTEP).

Furthermore, Anthony McGonigle, the center’s chief instructor and one
of the brothers from Ireland’s most famous watchmaking family, compiled the
syllabus, which encompasses lessons on the history and culture of watchmaking,
as well as benchwork, including machining, micro-mechanics, and production of
components like the winding stem and balance staff etc. The center also focuses
on traditional artisanal skills like decoration and turning.

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“I
am honoured to announce the launch of the Prince Horology Vocational Training Center,
Cambodia’s first independent watch school. All the center’s modern
machinery and equipment have been imported from Switzerland, Germany and other
countries,” said Chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi of Prince Group. “We have also
put together a world-class team to teach Cambodian and international students
new skills that will make them competitive in job markets in Cambodia and
abroad.”

Last year, Prince Group lived up to its
ESG responsibilities in other fields. It made several large-scale donations to
help in the fight against the pandemic and assisted flood victims in Cambodia. Till
date, Prince Charitable Foundation Organization has organized more than 240
charitable events and donated funds and other materials worth more than US$11
million, benefitting more than 320,000 people. In early December, Chen Zhi and
Prince Group donated US$3,000,000 to Prime Minister Hun Sen to help Cambodia
purchase 1 million COVID-19 vaccines as well.

The Prince Horology Vocational Training Center is accepting
applications for the next school year that will begin on June 2, 2021. The
center accepts eight students — at least five of whom will be Cambodians — each
year. For more details, please visit https://princehorology.com/.
 



[1] Cambodia’s
uncertain economic rebound in 2021, East Asia Forum feature series on 2020 in
review (link)

About Neak Oknha Chen Zhi

Neak Oknha Chen Zhi of Cambodia is the chairman of Prince
Group, short for Prince Holding Group. As chairman, Chen Zhi has turned Prince
Group into a leading conglomerate in Cambodia that adheres to international
standards, invests in the future of the Kingdom and is committed to sustainable
business practices.

In Cambodia, Chen Zhi has expanded Prince Group’s business
operations to encompass various sectors, such as real estate development,
banking, finance and tourism. Aside from his business activities, Chen
Zhi actively engages in helping Cambodian communities with his
philanthropy work.

About Prince Holding Group

Prince Holding Group, better known as Prince Group, is one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Cambodia, with
businesses spanning across multiple industries, including real estate
development, banking, finance, aviation, tourism, logistics, technology, food
and beverages, and lifestyle sectors. Prince Group adheres to its mission of
“Building a Better Life” and the Group’s philosophy espouses the
values of “Commitment, Responsibility, Respect, Generosity and Innovation”.


Chen Zhi and Prince Group Bring the Art of Swiss Watchmaking to Cambodia

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Chen Zhi and Prince Group Bring the Art of Swiss Watchmaking to Cambodia - Brand SpurChen Zhi and Prince Group Bring the Art of Swiss Watchmaking to Cambodia - Brand Spur

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