consumer buys a Swiss watch believing that it’s manufactured entirely in Switzerland: that’s downright deception. Are those the values we’re defending? Swiss-made watches are of high quality and appreciated the world over for their excellence.
Not because they’re manufactured entirely in Switzerland, but because our real expertise resides in the extremely meticulous technical and aesthetic design, high quality standards, and extraordinarily skilled coordination of Swiss and foreign manufacturers. The ‘Swiss made’ label does not represent reality. It can be applied equally well to entry-level watches made mostly with foreign components as to high-end watches produced entirely in Switzerland. To be absolutely logical, you’d have to add a percentage before the ‘Swiss made’ to indicate the truly Helvetic share...
But it might be more judicious to step back a little and realise that today, the value of a watch is not represented by its origin. Quality is no longer exclusive to Switzerland: there are good and less good subcontractors both in Switzerland and elsewhere. We have genuine expertise, genuine values and real value added: that’s what we have to promote through our product, while explaining our design and manufacturing choices. It would be more accurate (and amusing) to speak of ‘Swiss brain’ rather than ‘Swiss made’.
We believe that the only alternative is transparency. Consumers want authenticity, they want the real story, without the gloss. That’s why we created Label TTO, standing for ‘Total Transparency about Origin’. Every one of our timepieces comes with a kind of ID card, which is available online. It shows the precise origin of every component and every operation. Of course, the label is open to other brands.
Our watches are made up of Chinese components, Italian leather and Swiss and Japanese movements that we chose for their special features and excellent value for money, not to meet the ‘Swiss made’ criteria.”
More on the question of “Swiss made” from another opinion leader in the next issue of Europa Star!