Watches To Be 10% More ‘Swiss Made’ From January 01, 2017


window.onload = function () {staticOverlay();}
div > iframe {width: 100%!important; height: 2000px!important; margin: 0;}

Watches To Be 10% More ‘Swiss Made’ From January 01, 2017

On January 1, 2017, a new regulation will go into place concerning what qualifies a watch as “Swiss Made.” You see, in the eyes of Swiss regulators and many consumers, previous regulations, which required at least 50% of a watch’s value to be realized in Switzerland have been abused by lower-cost manufacturers who have been producing watches that are, legally-speaking, “Swiss Made” without upholding the implicit manufacturing standards expected to go with it.

The new regulation comes at a time when the Swiss luxury watch industry finds itself at a critical impasse due to dynamically changing consumer demands in Asia and a volatile global economy, so the impact of any change to this industry will be felt more keenly than in a period of relative calm.

Previous Regulation

Currently, for a watch to be considered “Swiss Made,” all of the following must be true:

  • Its movement is Swiss
  • Its movement is cased up in Switzerland
  • The manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland

A full report of the previous regulations can be found by downloading this report (PDF) from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, but the major focus of this regulation is on the first bullet point. What makes a movement Swiss?

The Swiss Federal Council defines a movement as Swiss if all of the following are true:

  • It has been assembled in Switzerland,
  • It has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland,
  • The movement’s (not the entire watch’s) components of Swiss manufacture must make up for at least 50% of its value.

As David pointed out in his article on the new regulation back in late 2014, it is the third bullet point that is the most contentious. Lower cost manufacturers will purchase movement kits and key components from generally lower quality Asian manufacturers, then buy higher priced items in Switzerland (balance wheel, springs, mainspring, and jewels are most common), hitting the 50% mark for value of components of Swiss manufacture.

New “Swissness” Regulation

The new “Swiss Made,” or “Swissness” regulation was adopted by parliament back on June 21, 2013 – following some six years of discussions and debates – and changes the third bullet point about the Swiss movement to the following:

  • At least 60% of the production costs of a watch taken as a whole must be Swiss-based.
  • The movement must still contain at least 50% Swiss-made components in value (not in quantity) and at least 60% of the movement’s production must be generated in Switzerland.
  • Last but not least, it also specifies that the technical development of a “Swiss Made” watch and movement must be carried out in Switzerland. Smart watches are also included for the first time.

As was mentioned in the beginning of the article, the new regulations will be in effect from January 1, 2017, but that doesn’t mean that starting in the new year every watch at your local retailer will abide by these regulations. All watches produced until the end of this year will be allowed to be distributed until December 31, 2018. Cases and crystals in stock at the end of this year will be allowed to be used in production until the end of 2018, without having to be included in “The 60% Rule.” Watches and movements not developed in Switzerland and produced until the end of 2018 can remain in circulation until the end of 2020.

Economic Impact

The economic impact of the new regulation is unclear. According to Swisstime, “consumers are willing to pay up to 20% more for Swiss watches in general, and up to 50% more for certain mechanical watches” which could be interpreted as some flexibility on the customers’ side when it comes to paying a premium for a Swiss made product.

The thing is though this new regulation should mostly affect watch brands in the sub-$1,000 market where there has traditionally been more of a balancing game when it came to managing Swiss made and “overseas sourced” parts used to make up a watch. Thus far it had been entirely possible to produce a watch with an Asian case, dial, hands, crystals and strap, have the movement come from a Swiss supplier (or just modify an Asian movement with some Swiss parts in Switzerland) case said movement up and still get to put a Swiss Made stamp on the dial.

So, the new regulations will certainly go far in strengthening the Swiss brand and keeping the value of a “Swiss Made” watch high, but it will also drive out certain lower cost manufacturers from the country and may discourage entrepreneurs from starting watch companies in Switzerland as they will face a higher barrier to entry.

The new regulation could also mean that lower cost watch manufacturers will abandon the “Swiss Made” label entirely and instead opt for a cheaper movement paired with a higher advertising budget. The “Swiss Made” label is a stamp of authenticity (and, to some extent, of quality), but it is just one point in a sales pitch to consumers, not the entire value proposition of the watch.

Also consider that over time manufacturing standards and abilities will improve in countries where cheaper components are currently being made and you might in the foreseeable future have a situation where “imported” quality will be high enough in some cases to put up an honorable fight against products labeled as “Swiss Made.”

Personally, I would say it could have been interesting to see a grading system for the “Swiss Made” label. Watches that meet the current criteria could be “Swiss Made: Grade A” for example and those that meet the previous criteria could be “Swiss Made: Grade B,” with descending  or ascending levels on either side. For collectors who care about the quality of the movement and sourcing of the materials, the information would be clearly listed and yet entrepreneurs would not be totally frozen out of the Swiss manufacturing market. This would prevent the “Swiss Made” stamp from being so binding while also giving consumers the information they desire about the manufacturing of the watch.

As Ariel discussed in an article he did for Forbes, the issues with Swiss luxury watch manufacturers are not that their reputations are being diminished by cheaper quality movements, but rather archaic business practices and outdated marketing. These new regulations to the “Swiss Made” tag will, in the short-term, force some of the manufacturers of more affordably priced watches out, but in the long-term may do little to address the issues that are at the root cause of the industry’s current slump. Perhaps this change in regulation will be the impetus for change, but only time will tell the true impact of this new regulation.

About aBlogtoWatch

Established in 2007, publishes watch buying guides, timepiece reviews and horological articles viewed by over one-million people worldwide each month.

ABTW strives to provide enthusiasts, consumers and watch collectors with the highest calibre of watch related information. We work for our audience and our coverage is as honest as it is passionate.

Find out more about our editorial policies →

  • “Swiss Made Grade A” is not something I want to start seeing emblazoned on watch faces. I was happy when they signaled their intention to do this. Next step is abolishing those “free trade zones” that lets items made in Haiti qualify for a “Made in USA” tag.

    • “Made on Earth” – you heard it here first.

      • Earth is overrated. The Martian colonies have really increased quality lately, and lunar production is already basically on par. I feel for Earth workers and all, but I’m going to buy the best product I can for the lowest amount of money.

        • “Make Earth Great Again” – we need to keep Earth jobs from going to lower wage earners on Mars. The Martians fix their currency (but only when it is broken).

        • I hear the exchange rate for $ to Martian laser disc credits is really good lately. Those watches they specially design for seeing with 8 compound eyes look fantastic.

        • At the end of the movie “Alien Resurrection”, Ron Perlman’s character, upon learning that the ship is going to Earth, says: “Earth, what a shithole.”
          Yeah baby, but it’s our shithole!

        • I guess I was reading your comment a little too quickly because I thought the last part said “for the lowest amount of monkey.”

          “Excuse me, good sir. I’ve taken a shine to that Sun Moon Tourbillon. So how many Capuchins will it take for you to part with it?”

      • “Made on Earth”…by nearsighted persons with tiny hands. And wearing a mask.
        In a country as yet to be named.

      • Let it be “Geneva Switserland Earth”

      • Afraid that is not got enough Mark!

        Will need to make Made in the Milky Way, i am not sure solar system is accurate enough.

        You are forgetting the Moon Watches (no, not the Omega) and the the Meteor watches.×644.png

  • Glad to see them ramping up the requirements, but I guess the real question is: will the market of tomorrow place as much emphasis on ‘Swiss Made’ as they did yesterday? My guess is that the market already places less emphasis on that label than they did 20 years ago.

    I think the more important thing is to develop objective standards of quality that go beyond accuracy or a single segment of the market. I understand perfectly why the Swiss industry would not champion something like that. But it’s coming…

    • What he said.

    • I would have to disagree with you. It’s in particular in my experience people that know less about watches who place more emphasis on the swiss made designation. I hope they continue to preserve that into the next twenty years, it’ll make selling my stuff to fund living as I shuffle into retirement having squandered most of my income on stupid purchases a bit better.

      • I totally agree that the label still carries weight to those that don’t know or care to know much about watches. We will cling onto whatever flotsam we can find to stay afloat until the rescue boat arrives: I am talking about the rescue boat.

        • Well in that case, I do hope that the government continues to be diligent in enforcing the label rules and that the manufacturers continue to perform at a level where it is worthy of being coveted/recognized.

          I love JDM watches but definitely for me “swiss made” continues to tug at the heart strings a lil’.

        • Don’t pay the ferryman. Don’t even fix a price…

    • Your guess would be wrong. And it’s going to get more and more important as the Trump era takes hold and the EU crumbles and China loses its steam. There is a new wave of nationalism and globalists are going to diminish in power. The origins of a watch and the parts inside are, like all products in general — but especially luxury products like mechanical watches — will become more and more important.

      I don’t know anything about you but I will guess that you work for a company or perhaps have a business of you own that is focused on a globalist perspective, perhaps with manufacturing, likely with China as part of the picture. Whenever I read opinions like you’ve expressed and I learn something about the person who wrote them, that’s what’s going on with them.

    • I agree in a big part for the average consumer, who is not too much into watches. WIth the globalisation of everything and the computerisation of everything, the importance of how well made things are is becoming less important.

      Technology is changing so fast there has been a fundamental change in what is deemed acceptable most consumer items, if it is phones, tv’s, washing machines, beds etc. For example my parents have an AEG (German) fridge freezer that is still going strong after 30 years. Ten years ago I spent £800 on on AEG fridge freezer and it lasted all of 7 years.

      Every day people specially the people bone in the 80’s and afterwards are not as concerned about quality and longevity as before.

      Bringing it back to watches I think that has an impact, especially with smart watches (even though i don’t like them) will further make a difference as smart watches are not Swiss. They are Chinese, Korean, Japan and American.

      Also for people who are into watches with quite a lot of German and British brands and companies (even if they use Swiss movements) it shows there are alternatives out there. You don’t have to buy pure Swiss.

      The only people wear the impotance of Swiss made is very important is for the people who have so much money that this change will make zero difference to them.

      • “Built in obsolescence”. Its such a cynical part of modern life. What happened to making something as well as you can, too the best of your abilities, to last for as long as possible.
        Its like that other grail of marketing: “Authenticity”, which is completely contradictory to ‘built in obsolescence’. Because it implies excellent build quality and brand heritage.

  • I was 100% Swiss-made!

    Also: I prefer when watches just say “Swiss” under 6-o’clock:

  • So the “truly Swiss” stuff will get more expensive in a time when we desperately need lower prices?? Unintended consequences I guess.

    • Well watches less than 3k or so at least i would imagine.

    • Who’s this Scouse plonker?

      • What does «scouse plonker» mean? Who is a scouse plonker?

        • Wai-aii mon. Means you live in Newcastle UK

          • I don`t. I live in Switzerland. So I must be a cheesehead or something similar.

  • Why don’t they grow a pair and require “Swiss Made” to be 100% Swiss, and anything less “Assemblé en Suisse”? That would make it easier for the consumer, no? But I guess that’s not what they really want.

    • Then you have to mine all of the iron ore, gold and platinum in Switzerland I guess.

      • You`ll not believe the problems with chocolate.

        • They’ve got a point with chocolate. The stuff the manufactures try to pass off as fine chocolate over here (UK) is a joke. And I’ve tried American chocolate and at the risk of starting a war and offending everybody, that stuffs even worse that the sh*t we call chocolate.

          • Haha. I worked in a chip (called fries in the USA) factory as the QC Manager. The floor staff were always knocking on the door of the lab begging chips off the QC operatives. But the smell of them now makes me do a 180′ and run.

          • I heard years ago the American chocolate had more paraffin (wax) than European chocolate. But that this helps to keep it from melting at warm room temperatures. I do a bit of Dove dark chocolate these days. Milkd chocolate doesn’t do it for me much anymore. And the Swiss embraced chocolate all of those years ago as something to support their exiting dairy industry (hence Swiss Milk Chocolate) – or so I was told as a kid. Cheers.

          • When you say more paraffin wax than European chocolate. I hope you mean more than none. All the same. It does explain why we were so successful at lighting our, um yes, er digestive functions, when we were teenagers in the dorm after lights out.

          • There`s no doubt that Swiss paraffine free chocolate is among the best in the world. It`s a little bit off topic, but beside watches, Switzerland has to offer a lot of great products like:
            -Rohner socks
            -Swiss Pitralon aftershave
            -Caran d`ache 825 pens (better than this smelly and annoying BIC crap. Can`t lose that *ç% cover.)
            -Ovomaltine (Can replace a meal)
            -Candle operated raclette maker! (Works with bacon as well!)
            -Kandahar shoes
            But where`s light, there`s shadow: You think Mountain Dew is the worst lemonade in the world? Try Rivella! A milk lemonade! Horrible! How sick is that? making a lemonade on milk base?

          • Hi Fi as well Nagra, Goldmund and Avant garde for example.

          • I have to admit, I just know Revox and Lenco.


          • Since you don’t want to offend anybody I will add cheese. American cheeze is more processed and plastic then plastic or tins that they come in.

            Although to be fair it does taste good on Nacho’s.

          • You should try STINKING BISHOP/OLD STINKER Cheese, from UK. Its served with the live maggots still living in it, and is famous as the strongest smelling cheese in the world. Oh, and your meant to eat the maggots as well, apparently they take on the flavour(?) of the cheese.
            I’m lead to believe it tastes of rotten eggs, sh*t , and an overpowering stench of ammonia.
            It’s illegal to sell with the maggots in it, so its only sold with maggots in the underground cheese market. (Really). A small part of Somerset is famous for a few farms that produce it.

          • I have heard of it but never tried it. Did not know about the maggots though. May be the UK should export it and sell in bars along with tequilla with worms.

            My wife is going to a christmas do where that is on the desert menu. Maybe I will tell her to try it! The name I am afraid will put her off.

      • Ha, ha. Raw materials can be imported. We’re talking finished components.

        • And that’s there is gets murky. Are “unfinished” watch parts from China a “raw material”? Specifically how about case stampings that may or may not need machining in Switzerland. Or how about machined but not polished? It seems like it can be whatever the Swiss government/industry want it to be.

  • This makes a lot of sense. It should have been a lot higher earlier on. I think that every country that manufactures watches should have at least the same level of requirements or they can’t put: “Made in Germany” or “Made in Japan” or England or United States or whatever on the watch. Origins of a luxury product like mechanical watches is very important. When you’re spending thousands of dollars on a small mechanical machine on your wrist and buying into the whole fascination and history and image, it should be what you think you’re getting — not some Frankenstein with half the parts secretly imported from some sweatshop who knows where.

    • And what do you label a watch with 55% Swiss-ness? What country of origin should be stated for export/import? The real issue here is that “Swiss Made” in an international trademark. So it’s clearly about the Swiss watch industry having the Swiss government play ball and enact the content requirement that the industry wants. And it really is to protect the perception of “Swiss quality” in the consumer’s mind rather than being a country of origin issue.

      What’ sort of ironic is that a Swatch quartz watch gets the “Swiss Made” notation while something really nice which also has mostly Swiss content but is not cased up nor regulated in Switzerland can’t be called “Swiss Made” (but then the Gronefeld brothers don’t want their watches to say “Swiss Made” even though they have higher Swiss content than a lot of Swiss watches).

  • I basically agree with Ryan.
    For brands sub-$1000, they’re better off using miyota 9015’s, or the better Seiko Nh movements anyway. They’re excellent for what they are. I don’t have any Hangzhou or Seagull movements; but I believe they’re making some excellent quality movements in their AAA category.
    It also means when you buy swiss, you’re not questioning how watered down ‘swiss’ it actually is. You can buy Sweiss with more confidence, which surely is a good thing. Specially as you’re paying a premium for the name/brand of ‘Swiss’.
    Not sure I like the idea of A or B grade Swiss, who’d want to buy a Swiss B grade watch.

    • Maybe “Swiss +” and “Swiss ++”? And then the highest honor, the most Swissy of all: “Riiiiiiii-co-laaaaaaaa”. Right on the dial.

      Superlative Chronometer
      Officially Certified

      • Haha

        • Can’t ‘cherry pick’ you’re swissness

          • What about the Swiss Miss?

          • Heidi?

          • Martina Hingis

          • Ahhh

          • Swiss Miss could be:
            1.Local weed strain
            2.Ursula Andress
            3.Martina Hingis (snorted accidently some coke, without realizing, so didn`t pass doping tests a decade ago)

          • I know. She has had a second chance though and has thrived as a doubles player of late. I saw her at the French Open the year she was booed in her match against Graf. Was that 1999? Like a great wine Hingis gets better and more beautiful with age

        • I forgot the 7 lines at the top:

          Oyster Perpetual
          Roger Federer wears these
          And he’s the best
          You should wear one too

          So only 11 lines of text.

          • Don’t forget: “ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX……”
            All around the rehaut. Just so you can’t mistake that the watch you’re being shown is a ROLEX.

      • I am surprised they still say Swiss made on the dial.

        I am surprised it is not “Rolex made Superlatively”

        • Do any Rolexes have “Geneve” on them? Just the Cellinis?

  • So glad i’ve recently really started to appreciate well made Japaneses movements, especially Grand Seiko

    • Makes you wonder though…how much of a GS is actually 100% Japanese???

      • Aaargh! That’s a thought. Are they secretly sourcing stuff from Switzerland and passing it off as JDM?

      • Cheap Seiko (even mechanical) are made in Malaysia, and they are not really hiding it. Given that they have the manufacturing tools in Malaysia, I wouldn’t be suprised if some parts of more expensive watches were made in Malaysia too (not that I have a problem with that).

        • They definitely don’t hide it. When you buy a Seiko the last letter (or second last letter) is usually J or K. If it’s a J, it’s made in Japan. If it’s a K it’s usually made in Malaysia, although I believe there are a few other places as well.
          If you knew all this anyway, apologies in advance.
          If something is JDM, it means it was made for the Japanese domestic market and is been sold outside Japan on the grey market.

  • According to this article: “…previous regulations, which required at least 50% of a watch’s value to be realized in Switzerland have been abused by lower-cost manufacturers who have been producing watches that are, legally-speaking, “Swiss Made.”

    I’m very sorry, but I have bad news for you. Really bad news. Do you honestly think that only lower-cost manufacturers are using non-Swiss parts? Do you really think that Rolex, Omega, Patek, or Blancpain use 100% Swiss made parts, and that these watches are 100% made in Switzerland? If you look above and beyond the history and heritage fairy tale, then you will quickly notice that all prestigious watch brands have one thing in common — make as much money as possible. If lower-cost manufacturers abused the law to their advantage, do you think that prestigious brands didn’t do the same.

    Patek, for instance, could have easily used the 50% law to their advantage, and the reality is
    that it’s virtually impossible for the consumer to check the facts. The ONLY way to make sure that a high-end brand is exclusively Swiss made is to have full access to its order books and see exactly who the suppliers are, and how these suppliers are manufacturing said parts.

    • Agree. You don’t really know much about all the processes in making the watch.

      There is so much smoke and water about what is inside the watch and how much hand making and finishing there is going through the watch industry.

      The way a £25k Patek and a £100k patek is made will be completely different in terms of finishing.

    • I don’t think you can say this without being able to point to specific parts of a Patek or Rolex. I have interviewed multiple industry CEO’s who have gone on record as saying their parts are 100% made in Switzerland…Part of publicly traded companies, knowing the statement is on the record, accountable to shareholders. I think you have to have specific contrary evidence before calling the author naive.

      • You have interviewed multiple CEO`s? Just because multiple CEO`s said on record that their watches are 100% Swiss made doesn`t mean anything. Bremont oficially stated that their movement was in-house, but surprise, surprise, it turned out that it was actually outsourced and that they manufactured only ONE component in-house. Tag Heuer oficially stated that their chronograph caliber was in-house, but surprise, surprise, it was actually a Seiko caliber.

        I don`t have to show any contrary evidence. Rather, these brands have to make their order books public and demonstrate that everything is Swiss made. How many of the higher end brands are completely transparent about their parts and suppliers? Probably none. So, yes, I would say that the people who really believe that high-end watches are completely Swiss made are rather naive.

        • Your point was about prestige brands buying non Swiss components but you are giving examples of Bremont and TAG complete movements. Have you been to the Rolex facilities? The ones where they make everything down to the hairspring and where they forge their own cases and links? AWS is right to ask, what components are you suggesting come from outside Switzerland? General cynicism is really no different to niaivity.

          • Isn`t the movement a component of the watch? Do you know exactly how Rolex manufactures its watches? I doubt that you have 100% access to the Rolex facilities so that you can inspect everything.

            My point was about the “honesty” of these brands. Just because they say that everything is Swiss doesn`t actually mean that everthing is Swiss. Even Jack Forster from Hodinkee argued that you cannot be 100% certain that all parts are Swiss made.

            As Jack Forster argued, the reality is extremely simple: brands should be completely transparent about their suppliers and parts-providers. That way it would be extremely simple to check the facts.

          • I am a huge supporter of lifting the lid on Watchmaking, and there is plenty of evidence that companies as a whole can be untruthful unless compelled. But to just extrapolate that out to assume that everything is BS is very niaive.

            I am absolutely talking about the movement, which is comprised of wheels, springs, arbors, bridges – all of which in the case of Rolex are made in Bienne, including paraflex and parachrom. In fact, they build many of the machines that make these components. Dials are made in Chene-Bourg and the cases and links are made in Plan-les-Ouates. I am sure Jack Forster would agree that it doesn’t get more in house than Rolex, and their house is in Switzerland. Perhaps they get their sparkling wine from France – is that what you are getting at?

          • Okay, let`s assume that Rolex is 100% Swiss. How about the others? Can you be certain that Patek, JLC, IWC, Blancpain etcetera are also 100% Swiss?

            P.S. The fact that you know where Rolex manufactures its components doesn`t mean that you actually have access to these facilities and check the operation and the order books.

          • I haven’t been to Burkina Faso either, but I have enough confidence it exists to not need to kiss its soil.

          • I haven`t handled a Janis Trading watch in person, but I have enough confidence it`s completely Swiss made to not question it.

          • The you sir are a fool. I am talking about Rolex.


          • “After all, if they advertise their watches as Swiss, they should also prove it.”

            Well, they actually do it exactly with this “Swiss Made” label. There is an independent authoritity that controls the books. It is not you, but they are there.
            I am working for one of the top 10 Swiss watch brands and I can tell you that almost all our components are Swiss made. There are some exceptions such as alligator straps and some (not all) sapphire glasses. I agree with you that it would be nice for the consumer to look into the books of every company. But I guess there is no industry branch (beside nutrition) that does that…

            You call people “naive” who believe that “Swiss Made” watches are actually Swiss made. I would call people naive that only believe what they can see/touch themselves (see Burkina Faso example below).

          • The “Swiss Made” label? Are you joking? This very article explains that “Swiss Made” doesn’t require 100% of the parts to be Swiss. In fact, only 50% of a watch`s value has to be realized in Switzerland. I repeat: 50%. The “Swiss Made” label is practically meaningless these days. Are you aware that the market is full of low-rent brands that are all labelled Swiss Made.

            À propos naïveté. Let’s say that I want to purchase an €18,000 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400ST. How exactly will the “Swiss Made” label help me? The regulation requires only 50% of the watch`s value to be realized in Switzerland. So how exactly can I make sure that the watch is 100% Swiss?

  • Could not care less.

  • How does this actually stop the Chinese to stamp whatever they want onto their dials? Is there some kind of committee that is inspecting all the Kickstarter watches to be actually Swiss Made and if they’re not then they will sue them with the lawyers paid by Swiss government?

    • same thing as counterfeit goods, upon discovery they are destroyed and the retailers subject to fines

  • Swiss Made…………………………..who cares ? . There are many fine watches coming out of some countries, especially my own : )

  • With the advent of 3D printing ( currently in its absolute infancy ) , the whole concept of manufacturing is on the verge of a paradigm shift . Place of manufacture will become meaningless . The equivalent of the StarTrek replicator will exist within the life time of the child born today . When this happens , discussions of the relative merits of Swiss , German , Italian or Japanese manufacture will be as relevant as arguments as to who breeds the best draught horses or who designs the best water wheels .
    Artisan watch makers producing genuinely hand made trinkets for the ultra-rich will still exist , but most mass market products will be untouched by human hands before they are finally un-boxed .

  • Swiss is not what it used to be. The Germans and Japanese (at the high-end) make watches equal to or better than the Swiss. The 60% hurdle was put in place while things still looked rosy for the Swiss. But they got greedy and are still thinking with a late 20th century mindset. Swiss made may still mean something to select connoisseurs, but to the mainstream millennial, she/he couldn’t care less!

    • Wouldn’t it be such a refreshing idea if one of these prestigious companies came out and listed the country of origin for all the parts they use? It would be great to say we respect our customers so we want to let them know exactly what they are buying. Or maybe if they have nothing to hide and are proud with all components made in Switzerland? On the flip side I should have the right to know what I am buying and attempts to finds out have all been met with vague or standardized answers that are equivalent to “go away”

      But I am sure if I kept on asking the final answer will be you don’t have to buy it so buzz off.

      • Check out the caseback on the SevenFriday hotrod watch. – they list countries of origin on the back by part.

        • Thanks for sharing, that is cool and although not one of the traditional prestigious brands that seem to have a “shroud of secrecy” I like the transparency with 7 Friday, it tells me they make good watches and don’t feel the need to hide anything.

      • Project Goldgena. Ugly watches, but full transparency.

      • The Germans are secretive also. If you are not aware of it, then that only proves it is working, ha ha. I know for a fact that at least one well known German brand outsources some work beyond their borders.

        • Well you can’t disprove that!

          • I could, but then they would have to shoot me (sworn to secrecy)

        • I agree that no Swiss nor Japanese nor Germans can be 100% open about every single jewel or screw in their watches. But some time ago I had a long email conversation with Stowa (I wanted some customization) and they surprised me to be so open about many many details they use and how they are assembled. I hardly believe that any Swiss in their range would do the same, but (!) we may consider Stowa on a smaller side, more like a microbrand – maybe this is the reason of being closer to their customers.

        • I have gotten more questions answered, even asked who makes your rubber straps and they actually told me the company name, I asked what your cost is and they gave me a pretty good ball park which I thought to myself surely they will tell me the conversation is over but they continued to accommodate me. I like the attitude of I’m the customer, I’m paying so my satisfaction is their paramount concern. Of course I don’t abuse this nor expect to ask specific sales data or how many they made per model but for the watch I bought I can know everything about it if I wish.

          I have since bought 10 of their watches because I like the way they do business.

          I have never had that kind of transparency from the Swiss.

        • I also know of a very high end brand that outsource their cases, they are owned by a Swiss conglomerate. Try asking them that directly and you’ll get a simple email that say we don’t comment on that. My question is why not? Why hide it if you are confident.

    • Then again perhaps I’m asking too much or too demanding. It’s for the most part useless information to me but as a geek it’s cool to me that I know.

  • When Swatch / ETA limited supply, it was to promote true manufacturers but instead it accelerated the development of movement suppliers. The real goal was to control competition but the market dropped out and there was an over supply of movements.

    They lost market share as a movement manufacturer while their watch brands started to slump and at the same time created a much more robust competition.

    Now they want to reverse that decision to supply movements again, perhaps they can produce movements cheaper to help watch companies compete to “Help” the industry. But we all know they just want to salvage a bad bet.

    The current climate serves as a “stress test” for their business model / mindset. The current traditional transaction mindset where retailers own what they buy might look good on paper but they miss out on vital pulse.

    Other industries sell products to retailers but they are not truly realized until the end customer takes delivery, so they offer financial and logistical support to help retailers sell through, stock rotate and promotional efforts to flush products out. In turn these retailer report what they sell or can’t sell. Combined you now have much more visibility to what you should be producing while setting the correct outlook and expectation to your stakeholders.

    Every company faces economic challenges and there are indeed events you cannot account for but their current surplus in supply, a thriving grey market segment, lack of retailer support that leads to back door selling and discounting, retail price drops on current models that anger owners that bought prior, at the severity it is today all stems from not knowing your business.

    This change to define “Swiss Made” should be the last thing on their minds, what does this mean to the industry? Well, let’s try to save the industry first.

    • Totally agree with your statement “This change to define “Swiss Made” should be the last thing on their minds”. The excess inventory and losing sales in the affordable segment ($1,000) will likely cause Swiss to become only an ultra-exclusive name, which is fine if your goal is to operate in the Patek sphere, but assuming lower priced watches are a gateway to an eventual Patek purchase, abandoning this price segment by making it impossible for low price producers to meet the standards seems like a risky move. On the contrary, most people don’t realize “Swiss Made” is only 50%, which is far from standards in other countries.

      On a related note, many watches in America are much closer to a 100% “Made in” standard and still can’t claim the title….I question if the parts care which country they were put together in as long as the final quality is superior.

      • There are plenty of ETA-powered watches in the sub $1000 sphere. If the movement is where all of this matters, I can’t imagine Swatch lobbyists allowing this to get through if ETA movements don’t meet the threshold.

  • I have always had hard time to understand how crappy watches like Hanowa Swiss, Golana, Mathey Tissot, etc. get “Swiss Made” logo? They feel and they are worse than Chinese watches like Parnis, Debert, etc. And this cheaply made quartz jokes get same fancy mark as Patek Philippe and co. Since then I couldn’t care less for “Swiss Made” – it became a joke, prostitution with %%, +10% – who cares? Give us quality products, not like Swatch Groups plasticy G10 calibers, which when any issue – go to the bin. Even Philippe Dufour outsources parts – but who cares, since he is the King of finishing. Would it really bother you so much if your watch fits into 47%, 51%, 63%, 72%, etc?

    • Yup Agree. A lot of JDM is light-years ahead in quality and finish. My brand new Cocktail Time with its 6R15 movement (arrived in post today), is easily as good or better than anything that I’ve handled for a £1000 from Switzerland.

        • I was looking at some white dialed Orient Stars, as they do have beautiful dials and lovely polishing and brush work on the cases. You’re right about the movement, at this price they concentrate on the quality and not the finishing. I’ve always wondered why they put display backs on them. I got the CT in the end because I got it for a really good black Friday deal. I still want to get an Orient Star, or maybe a Seiko Brightz. Or even just a sarb.
          NO…. Next year my resolution is to stop buying Divers, etc and save up and get a Grand Seiko.

          • I’m tempted to get a GS Quartz, which is just bizarre as I collect automatics and hand-winds (mostly). But I’m really tempted, apart from the fact its almost an affordable.
            But really I’d love the GS Snowflake Spring Drive or one of the GS Hi-Beats. Pure watch ‘pron’.
            EDIT: Your pictures just came up on my tablet. Spring Drives and Hi-Beats, haha. With a diashock? Great minds and all that…

          • To be true, Spring Drives and Hi-Beats are overstretch for me.. ? These are kind of grail pieces. I am also thinking of getting some 9F-based model and I like this movement so much that I don’t mind it is quartz. Anyway, its second hand runs very different from any watch I’ve seen even more expensive quartz Breitlings. I was even thinking to “break all rules” and buy a display-back quartz model – SBGV005 LOL ? Crazy, isn’t it?

          • Champagne dial, blued hands with only GS and Grand Seiko under the hands. A quartz at 40mm and no display back… Perfection in a watch.

          • You are right regarding the text – I love that 9F-based models have less of it. Would prefer not to see any descriptions about the movement type at all, it is one thing I cannot understand about Grand Seiko.

          • Agree about the text. I think I might rationalize the collection next year and take myself down to 4 or 5 good pieces. That should raise a fair bit towards getting a GS.
            I always worry that buying a watch thats so much better than all the others means it’ll just take up all the wrist time.
            And you’re right about the 9F, something magical about having one of those.

          • Same thoughts. I already started to shrink my little collection ? initial idea was to get a diver, a pilot and a dress watch from a bit higher range than usual – to cover all my casual and other situations. However now I think that my perfect collection should consist of 5 watches. Some daily beater and 4 special occasion watches ?

          • This JDM model will probably be almost perfect:

            Hand-wound, no silly text, lovely pattern. It reminds me of a smaller and luxurious version of CT ?

          • I’ve just googled that display back. It’s a 4/5 back with Geneva style stripes, a copper coil, and a battery!
            It’s completely mad. When you’re used to seeing rotors and plates etc. It’s actually kind of genius.

          • It’s so mad that I even like it ? I know only 2 brands making such watches today – German Bruno Söhnle and Grand Seiko. But not every quartz movement looks as refined as 9F.

          • Patek also has nice looking quartz movements.

          • Do they still use them? I remember only vintage models

          • I recall seeing them from outside the PP booth at BaselWorld 2013.

          • We forgot F.P. Journe Elegente high end quartz watches:

            Note a little heart on the PCB – cute touch from the maestro ?

          • If you look very, very closely you an see the electrons flowing on the gold traces. Pulsing, hell whatever it is they actually do. If gravity can be waves, electrons can be what?

          • Electrons have combined behavior of both particles and waves, so oscillation, frequency is all applicable to them. I doubt I’ve seen any electrons, but I’ve seen the atoms using TEM.

          • Something about its right there.. but if you look it will disappear. Oh and something about calling the animal sanctuary because of cruelty to cats, keeping them in boxes and such like. They had to report a Mr Schrodinger, or something.

          • An automatic watch in a box (unobserved) may be running or not. But taking it out and observing it may change its state (that ole rotor always to spin a bit).

          • Haha

          • That’s a really cool and novel way to present a quartz. Gives it a cachet factor all of its own. Takes quartz from being an also-ran, to an artistic and interesting watch in its own right.


          • I meant SBGV019 – it has a display back, which is rare (at least) for a quartz

          • Haha same as sbgv005 but with a display back. It seems to come in two sizes, 40mm and 37mm.

          • Actually, what I like about SBGV019 are perfect proportions – 38 mm is my sweet spot for such kind of watches. And at 9.5 mm thickness it is among the slimmest Grand Seikos available. Another benefit compared to their automatics ?

          • I can wear big, and don’t mind it in sport watches like my Bulova Moon or Turtle. But I have to absolutely agree with you I am more and more putting on my 40mm watches. I used to think 42mm was a kind of sweet spot. But recently all I look at when window(?) internet shopping is 38-40mm.

          • I strongly divide my preferences according to a type of the watch ? I can easily wear a 47 mm watch if it is 100% casual, like my Seiko Tron (pic attached), or a pilot/dive watch (they have a reason for being so). But I cannot understand why minimalistic or dress pieces are tending to be so big today. My sweet spot for dress/simple is around 38 mm, and for vintage even less ~35 mm is just great. I also have some trick to mask the size: bund strap :))

            P.S. But I must say that not only diameter is what matters. I sold my 45 mm Ancon diver since the lugs were protruding so far above my 7″ wrist. While some 47 mm pieces sit just fine thanks to right profile and shorter lugs.

          • My Dads given me his 32mm Cartier Santos (quartz). When he says he’s given it to me, he has. Its just still at his house. I would perfectly happily wear that. All though when it finally ends up in my house, I’m first trying to persuade him to service it, its had a bit of a life.

          • While 32 mm is extremely small by today’s standards even for a dress watch, I am sure you’d love to have it at your house (when it finally moves to it lol). My father has had a long interest in watches which slept for ages, before he retired. Now he collects some vintage pieces (but only mechanical, he is no-quartz guy :)) and services them himself. So from time to time he gives me some of his (finely restored) watches ? none of them is expensive but I love them.

      • I’ve got one of those. Gorgeous ain’t it?

      • Partly agree. I love my Cocktail Time and don’t deny that the case, dial and hands finishing is better than anything swiss for the same price, but we seemed to be talking about movements and the 6R15 is rather inferior to ETA/Sellita 2824. In fact it is just a modified 7S. Seiko is the king of movements for $100 watches, and their high end movements are great too, but on that intermediate level they rather lack behind, let alone the fact that the vastly superior Powermatic 80 car be had for reasonable prices.

        • I still doubt how would Powermatic 80s behave in a long run. They have some cheapening solutions like plastic escapement wheels and pallet forks, details from disposable System 51. I am not sure, but some consider them half-disposable and hardly serviceble as well. Some say it cannot be regulated, there are some threads at WUS. I won’t say that 6R15 is a great caliber and my main concern is its thickness which limits the ability to make beautiful thin cases. And I totally agree that Seiko has some gap between entry and luxury segments which was fitted some time ago with 4L25 and whole 4L line of movements. But then they sold the construction to Swiss (Soprod A10) and are now facing the situation of gap between 6R15 and high-lines 6S, 8S, 9S, etc.

        • Not sure I agree, (respectfully). There’s modified and modified. The 6R has much better quality component pieces and meets much higher specifications. It’s obviously not as good as the GS movements, but its way better than the basic grades of ETA movements

  • This is actually a very important topic. Increasing the requirement by 10% isn’t just parts, it now applies to RD, inspection costs, and parts outside the movement. I totally agree a machine doesn’t care where it makes its parts. This law risks making it impossible for brands producing watches $1,000 to remain viable and in business. There are many examples of shifting preferences and displacement already occurring (see article

    The $1,000 is entry level where many people buy their first affordable luxury watch. If this disappears or becomes irrelevant, will the next generation continue to become more comfortable with Daniel Wellington and Shinola and by extension, not care if their future luxury watch is made in America, Britain, Japan, or Canada? I guess only time will tell. I wonder if this law is coming into effect just in time to make people ask “wait, there isn’t a higher standard already”?

  • IMO, and it will not be a popular one, the world is slowly “getting over” the ‘Swiss’ factor in watchmaking.
    A number of other countries are designing and making excellent parts and assembling them to industry required standards.
    Those that are not – are falling by the side. As well it should be.
    Having said that ; I applaud this efforts but lament the interpretation that seems to be only furthering the “Swiss mystique” drama.

    • My sentiment too, sir.

  • I stopped caring 20 years ago if a watch was Swiss made or not,


2016 Audience Survey

Help Improve The Site Chances To Win Watches

More information


No Comments

    Leave a reply