The Swiss Made trademark is one of the most heavily regulated in the world. Like a badge of honour for many, and usually found (but not always) neatly positioned either side of the six o'clock index on your watch dial. What does it really mean though?
David Bredan has written a thoughtful piece explaining exactly what is required by a brand to include the 'Swiss Made' wording, but also what is coming from 2017 that could affect a large portion of brands in the entry level price segment.
Today, a watch can legally be considered to be Swiss if all of the following are true: a) its movement is Swiss, b) its movement is cased up in Switzerland and c) the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland. A movement is Swiss if at least 50% of its value (excluding cost for assembly) has been realized in Switzerland and if it has been assembled and "inspected" by the manufacturer in Switzerland.
But here's where the shift in legislation comes in:
The new law is expected to enter into effect on Jan 1, 2017. From then on, all "Swiss Made" watches will have to be manufactured in compliance with the new industry ordinance: the “Swiss Made” designation will no longer apply to the just watch movement, but will apply instead to the entire watch (with a possible exception of the strap/bracelet), whereas at least 60% of the watch’s manufacturing costs will have to be realized in Switzerland, with the watch, of course, also being assembled there. A jump from 50 to 60 percent may not sound like much – especially if we consider that it will have taken nearly an entire decade for the legislative organizations to conceive, approve, and implement the updates – but it will make a difference.
A great move for the industry to ensure the prestige of a Swiss timepiece is kept intact!
Read the whole article here at A Blog to Watch: "Swiss Made" to Mean a Whole Lot More for Watches in 2017