A powerful sign used in some of the best products in the world, “Made in Switzerland “, but what does that mean? When it comes to watches, it will mean a lot more, in 2017 and is now being applied not only to the movement inside the watch but and the entire watch case, dial, and bracelet as well. “Many people are unaware that the extent to which the Swiss Made watches greatly varies from watch to watch from one manufacturer to another. Yes “Swiss Made” may apply to other products as well, but the most important thing in the world of watches. From what we can gather in 2017 “Swiss Made” with reference to a Swiss watch would mean that 60% of the value of the “Made in Switzerland” watch movement and the case must come from Switzerland.

Using the label Made in Switzerland for watches covered by the decision of the Federal Council of 23 December 1971, and a more detailed introduction of this decision can be found on the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. After doing the math, we will end up with legislation which is more than forty years – and just as the globalized world has come a long way in that time, the law is expected to keep up with the pace of those procedures. Early from2017, some interesting changes will be implemented in the law of “Swissness”, so let’s see what these changes are, why they are needed, and how brands are expected to respond.

From January 1, 2017, new rules will come into place as to what qualifies as a “Swiss Made” watch. You see, in the eyes of the Swiss regulators and many consumers, the previous rules, which require at least 50% of the watches to market in Switzerland have been abused by manufacturers with lower costs, which have been producing watches that, legally speaking “Made in Switzerland” not supporting the implicit industry standards, it is expected to go with him.

The new adjustment comes at a time when the Swiss luxury watch industry finds itself at a critical impasse due to the rapidly changing demands of consumers in Asia and the changing global economy, so the impact of any changes in the industry will be felt more acutely than in the period of relative calm.

Previous Regulation

Now, for the watch, to be considered a “Made in Switzerland”, all of the followings must be true

  • Its movement is Swiss
  • Its movement is covered in Switzerland
  • The manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland

New “Swissness” Regulation

New “Swiss Made” regulation of “Swissness” was passed by Parliament back 21 June 2013 – after some six years of discussion and debate – and changes the third bullet point of going to the Swiss movement the following

  • At least 60% of the production of watches, taken as a whole must be Swiss.
  • The movement must still contain at least 50% in the manufacture of Swiss component value (not the number) and at least 60% of the products of this movement must be generated in Switzerland.
  • And last but not least, it also indicates that the technical development of the “Swiss Made” watches and movements should be held in Switzerland. Smartwatch also includes for the first time.

As mentioned earlier in this article, the new rules will take effect on 1 January 2017, but this does not mean that since the New Year all the watch in your local store will adhere to these rules. All watches are produced before the end of this year will be allowed to extend until 31 December 2018 Cases and crystals in stock at the end of this year; it will be allowed to be used in production until the end of 2018, without having to be included in the “60% rule”. Watches and movements are not industrialized in Switzerland and manufactured until the end of 2018 can remain in circulation until the end of 2020.

New regulation can also mean that lower cost watch manufacturers will abandon the “Made in Switzerland” label completely and instead choose cheaper movement paired with a higher advertising budget. The label “Swiss Made” is a seal of authenticity (and, to some degree, quality), but it is only one point in the sales pitch to consumers, rather than the entire value proposition of these watches.

I also think that with the passage of time manufacturing standards and capabilities will be improved in those countries where it is cheaper components currently made, and you may have a situation has developed in the foreseeable future, when “imported” quality is quite high, and in some cases, to put the noble struggle with products labeled as “Swiss Made”.

Personally, I would like to say that it might be interesting to see the classification system for the label “Swiss Made”. Watch that meet the criteria are “Made in Switzerland: Grade A”, for example, and those that meet the previous criteria can be “Made in Switzerland: Class B” with levels upward or downward on both sides. For representatives who care about the quality of movement and sourcing of materials, information will be clearly listed and yet businesses are completely frozen out of the market in Switzerland. This will prevent the “Made in Switzerland” stamped on as binding at the same time providing consumers with the information they wish about watch making.

The problem with the Swiss luxury watches manufacturers is not what their reputation is now reduced to a cheap quality of movement and archaic business practices and outdated marketing. These new rules to the tag “Swiss Made” will, in the short term, because some watch manufacturers more affordable price driven out, but in the long run, can do little to address the issues that are at the root cause of the current downturn in the industry. Perhaps this change in regulation will be an incentive for change, but only time will tell the true impact of this new regulation.