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When Can A Watch Be Called Swiss Made?

Question:

When can a watch be called ‘Swiss Made’?

Asked by Patrick from Dublin.

Answer:

Thank you for your question Patrick, for those reading now, in his full email, Patrick referenced our recent article revealing the truth about Seiko Made In Japan, and was wondering how the rules are regarding putting ‘Swiss Made’ on watches. If you don’t already know, there is a lot of controversy revolving around the rules of using ‘Swiss Made’, and this is mainly because large parts of the watch can be made in China, but the watch can still be labeled ‘Swiss Made;.

The exact rules state the following:

Swiss Made defined by law

Swiss watch

A watch is considered Swiss, according to the Swiss law if:

  • its movement is Swiss and,
  • its movement is cased up in Switzerland and;
  • the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland

Swiss watch movement

A watch movement is considered Swiss if:

  • the movement has been assembled in Switzerland and,
  • the movement has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland and;
  • the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 50 percent of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly. From 1 January 2017, the law set the minimum at 60 percent.

(Read more on Wikipedia)

As you can see, not all of the watch needs to be made in Switzerland, so the case, bracelet, dial, hands and everything that is visible can be made in China, but so long as over half of the value of the components are Swiss, the watch can still be called Swiss Made.

In my opinion this is rather deceptive, the same with ‘Made In Japan’ labelled watches, which have an even more alarming set of laws defining when this statement can be used.

Thanks again for your question, Patrick!

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