FAQ #3 - What does SWISS MADE mean?  4 Comments


One of the most controversial issues that will arise in the watch industry in the next 5 to 10 years will be the definition and meaning of "Swiss Made". I think it will become controversial because of the expanding use of outsourced services. In particular the potential outsourcing of manufacturing and assembling of movements from China in the near future.

In my online research I discovered that the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has published their definition. To read it, click on the photo on the left. Interestingly, the Swiss legislation has a statute that specifically regulating the use of "Swiss" in watches.

A watch is considered to be Swiss if:

  1. its movement is Swiss;
  2. its movement is cased up in Switzerland; and
  3. the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland.

A movement is considered to be Swiss if:

  1. it has been assembled in Switzerland;
  2. it has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland; and
  3. the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 50 percent of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly.

Also for the case of a watch, it is considered to be Swiss if:

  1. it has undergone an essential manufacturing operation in Switzerland (stamping, turning, or polishing);
  2. it has been assembled and inspected in Switzerland; and
  3. over 50 percent of the manufacturing costs (excluding the value of the material) are due to operations carried out in Switzerland.

What is interesting and an eye opener is how the requirement for the watch movement and case needs only to reach 50% of total value and the watch is still deemed Swiss.

Theoretically, you can still have a "Swiss" made watch even though almost half of it may not be from Switzerland!



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  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
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Horolography - noun, the art of photographing timepieces

Horolographer - Harry SK Tan

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