Most people may assume that if a watch is labelled as "Swiss made", it is actually made in Switzerland. But they would be wrong. While it is one of the most respected stamps in the luxury market, it has never meant that a watch is wholly made in Switzerland, but rather that a watch was at least 50% Swiss.
New rules are set to make it more difficult to use the "Swiss‑made" label. From 1 January 2017, for a watch to be called "Swiss made", the following requirements must be met:
- At least 60% of the production costs of the watch taken as a whole must be Swiss‑based. This may include the costs of assembly, research and development and legally or industrially regulated quality assurance and certification.
- The movement must contain at least 50% Swiss made components in terms of value.
- The technical development of the watch and movement must be carried out in Switzerland.
The shift from 50% to 60% has been made in response to certain brands at the lower end of the market meeting the old criteria but without fully committing to the manufacturing standards long associated with the Swiss made stamp. It was easy for manufacturers to circumvent the old rule by manufacturing or sourcing many components in cheaper countries, while still claiming their product was Swiss made.
While the new regulation is now in force, all watches manufactured up to 31 December 2016 can remain in distribution until the end of 2018, even if they are not 60% Swiss made