Swiss Made: everything you need to know about this tag


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At the risk of disappointing many, and contrary to what one might think, the “Swiss Made” label does not mean that the parts of the mechanical watch in question are Swiss made. It must be said that the current players with a can are rare and very expensive. What happens next, and especially how to find out what watches really buy?

It is no secret that Swiss watches have an excellent reputation worldwide, built over the centuries based on precise knowledge and high standards. Symbol of prestige, innovation and impeccable quality, a touching label ” Swiss Made “It requires specific criteria to be able to visualize itself as such. There is a law promulgated by the Swiss government to protect this name and guarantee its integrity to avoid abuses in the watch industry.

The ordinance of the Swiss Federal Council of August 28, 1992 establishes precise specifications in which all the requirements of the famous label are listed. In 2007, the Watch Federation has tried to strengthen the norms inherent in the “Swiss Made”.

The criteria of a Swiss watch:

  • Join a Swiss movement;
  • Join a movement nested in Switzerland;
  • Final inspection carried out in Switzerland by the manufacturer;
  • A minimum of 60% of the cost of the watch is generated in Switzerland (ie “60% of the Swiss value”).

The criteria of the Swiss movement:

  • They have met in Switzerland;
  • They have been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland;
  • A minimum of 60% of the cost price is generated in Switzerland (ie “60% of the Swiss value”);
  • Be manufactured in Switzerland for at least 50% at least of the value of all constituent parts (without the cost of assembly).

Small clarification: the law authorizes the use of parts ” foreigners “But it stipulates that the assembly of the movement and the final tests must be carried out in Switzerland with the percentage indicated in relation to the components and, in particular, the movement.

Keep in mind that the fact that a watch is of Swiss origin does not mean that you benefit from the ” Swiss Made “For this, you must meet all of the above criteria. If, for example, it is assembled in Switzerland but most of the parts that compose it were manufactured in another country (China), then you cannot claim the label.

A basic mechanical watch includes many different parts, but production in Switzerland can be very expensive, more than in other countries. So, although many watchmakers respect the 60% rule, many of them use parts of countries like China, whose costs are much lower, in their movements.

Nicolas Forni

Passionate about watchmaking, I launched Mr Watch at the end of 2015! Join me and discover new brands and follow the latest news from the world of watchmaking.