Cabinet tightens ‘Swiss watch’ definition

Both entire watches and watch movements will have to meet higher standards in order to be labeled Swiss starting in 2017 Keystone

Watch buyers are willing to pay as much as 50% more for a watch made in Switzerland. In order to protect the trademark, the cabinet has strengthened the requirements for “Swissness”. The new regulation affecting the watch industry goes into effect on January 1.

This content was published on June 17, 2016 - 15:55

In future, the origin label “Swiss made” will be placed only on watches for which at least 60% of production costs were incurred in Switzerland. Previously, only watch movements had to meet this standard.

The movements themselves are still required to meet the 60% production requirement, and in addition, half of the movement’s value must be derived from components manufactured in Switzerland.

The technical development of a “Swiss made” watch and movement must also have taken place in Switzerland.

The definition will also apply to new technological developments and watch forms such as “smart” watches.

According to trademark law, the Swiss cabinet can respond to an industry request to strengthen the criteria by which the standards are defined. The standards may not be lowered, however.

The new regulation is designed to protect Switzerland’s reputation as a producer of quality watches, to deter copycats and to strengthen Switzerland as a centre of production. The “Swiss Made” ordinance for watches was based on legislation passed by parliament in June 2013.


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