New Swissness Legislation

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) has just approved the partial revision of its Swiss made ordinance for watches and stipulated that this will come into force on January 1 2017. The revision will strengthen the label for watches and movements in accordance with the new Swissness legislation.

Any watch bearing the indication of provenance Swiss or Swiss made embodies Swiss watchmaking expertise. A number of studies have shown that consumers are willing to pay up to 20 per cent more for Swiss watches in general, and up to 50 per cent more for certain mechanical watches.

The revision of the Swiss made ordinance for watches is designed to strengthen the link between Swiss made watches and Switzerland, to counter any possible abuse of the indication and bolster the reputation of both the Swiss brand and Swiss production sites.

The Swiss made ordinance for watches fine-tunes the Swissness watchmaking sector legislation adopted by Parliament on June 21 2013. In future, at least 60 per cent of the production costs of a watch taken as a whole (i.e. the finished product) must be Swiss-based.

At present, only the cost of its movement is taken into account in determining the Swiss origin of a watch. The movement will still enjoy pride of place however, as Swiss-made components must continue to represent at least 50% of its value, while at least 60% of its production must be generated in Switzerland. New criteria will be added to the calculation of Swiss value, such as research and development and certification costs.

Moreover, the technical development of a Swiss made watch and movement must henceforth be carried out in Switzerland. Finally, the concept of watches covered by the Swiss made indication now also extends to smart watches, reflecting recent technological advances.

The revised Swiss made ordinance for watches will come into force on January 1 2017. The general criteria introduced by the Swissness legislation will also apply from that date. This move is expected to strengthen the Swiss made label in the watch industry and reflects the mood of the members of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

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