Swiss Made label strengthening - fillip from Swiss parliament

November 2011

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) has reported that the Legal Affairs Commission of the National Council has approved the “Swissness” project and proposed that at least 60 per cent of the cost price of industrial products must be made in Switzerland in order to qualify for the “Swiss Made” label.

On 11 November 2011, after more than two years of discussion, the Commission approved the draft amendment of the law on trademarks and the bill concerning the protection of coats of arms (Swissness project). In relation to industrial products, including watches, the Commission is proposing that at least 60% of their cost price must be made in Switzerland.

This decision echoes a steadfast desire on the part of the FH to introduce a minimum rate of Swiss value as a condition for use of the Swiss Made label on Swiss watches, namely 60 per cent for quartz watches and 80% for mechanical watches. These criteria will form the basis of an amendment of the 1971 ordinance regulating use of the name “Swiss” for watches (Swiss made ordinance).

At present, the Swiss made ordinance does not stipulate a minimum threshold in relation to added value accruing from the designation Swiss. With the support of a very large majority of its members, the FH wishes to remedy this shortcoming to prevent watches incorporating only a very small percentage of Swiss value from being designated as “Swiss made”.

Currently in order for a watch to be labelled Swiss Made it must be equipped with a Swiss movement and must be assembled and inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland. In addition to these three conditions, the FH project introduces a minimum value threshold for production costs (60 per cent for electronic watches and 80 per cent for mechanical watches) and the requirement that technical construction and prototyping must be carried out on Swiss soil.

Under current regulations for a movement to be certified as Swiss Made, 50 per cent of the production costs must be incurred in Switzerland. The FH project calls for this rate to be increased to at least 60% of the value of all constituent parts.

Read the full article on the FH website