Back in July, 2016, we published a special article to explain the changes to the 'Swissness Law Ordinance' that will go in effect on January 1st, 2017. In that article, we also mentioned that while many watches bear the 'Swiss Made' designation on their dials, movements or case backs, the Swiss law is so subjective and the ordinance has so many loopholes that in reality many of these watches could be more Asian made than Swiss.
According to the 'Swissness' law Ordinance 232.119 from December 23, 1971 by the Swiss Federal Council regarding the utilization of the label 'Swiss' on watches, the law defines a 'Swiss Made' wristwatch, as: "a time measuring device where its movement does not exceed 50 mm in width, length or diameter and its movement is not thicker than 12 mm including the main plate and bridges. Additionally, a 'Swiss Made' wristwatch has to have a 'Swiss' movement, has to be cased up in Switzerland and the final quality control inspection by the manufacturer has to take place also in Switzerland." The Swiss law states that a 'Swiss' movement, is: "a movement that has been assembled in Switzerland, that has been controlled by the manufacturer in Switzerland and that at least 50% of the 'value' of all its components/parts were made in Switzerland—without taking into consideration, the cost of labor for its assembly." To read our full article on the Swissness Law Ordinance click here.
Well, as a response from H. Moser & Cie. to the changes that will go in effect next year, with the new 'tougher' legislation around the Swiss Made label where 60% of the watch components must be of Swiss origin in order to be considered eligible for the Swiss Made label. H. Moser & Cie. deems this reinforcement to be insufficient as this label will lead to more confusion rather than adding value. Since there is a big gap between end-consumers’ perception of the label, who generally take the Swiss Made designation to mean the item is 100% Swiss but the reality that brands manufacture many components in other countries. The small independent Schaffhausen-based manufacture —whose own production processes are over 95% Swiss—, would have welcomed a much stricter standard, matching the extremely high criteria that it measures itself against. For this reason, H. Moser & Cie. has decided to forgo the 'Swiss Made' label and from 2017 on, the 'Swiss Made' designation will no longer appear on the dial of any new H. Moser & Cie. creations.
Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie. explains: "We are strong believers in Swiss values and we fight to defend traditional mechanical watchmaking every day. In our Manufacture, we design, develop and produce all of our components from start to finish, including the hairsprings and regulating organs from our sister company, Precision Engineering AG. Anything that we cannot achieve internally is sourced from Swiss suppliers. With over 95% of our components produced in Switzerland, we far exceed the requirements of the Swiss Made standard and yet, the same label on our dials is used by those brands barely complying, who benefit from the flexibility of the label to manufacture a large proportion of their components in other countries. Today, the Swiss Made label is devalued because it is used by entry-level brands to justify their very existence or price point. Ultimately, our own image is undermined by this. In fact, we need no justification from this label, because our products speak for themselves".
Following this reasoning to its logical conclusion, H. Moser & Cie. is removing the Swiss Made label from the dials of its models. An H. Moser watch, as a true traditional product that demonstrates watchmaking craftsmanship, can speak for itself. Taking this approach a step further, on January 12th, 2017, H. Moser & Cie. will be launching the most Swiss watch ever created; produced in Switzerland by Swiss watchmakers and using materials of Swiss origin, the watch will have a a red fumé dial. This new watch will be presented during the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie —SIHH 2017— between January 16th and 20th, 2017 and from where we will be reporting live.
Kudos to H. Moser & Cie. for their reaction to the upcoming 'Swissness Law Ordinance' and stay tuned for the live pictures and hands-on review of the new Red Fumé timepiece as we bring our usual coverage of the most exclusive watch show in the world straight from Geneva next month.
For more info on H. Moser & Cie. click here.