Hong Kong, 19 November 2014

Swissness 2017 / 2019

Welcome to our Newsletter

In Switzerland the preparations for introducing the new “Swissness” law are in full swing. As matters currently stand, the first changes here should enter into effect as early as January 2017. So securing the sourcing of cases, dials and hands in Switzerland is a top priority right now for all watch manufacturers.

We hope that this Newsletter provides you with a little more clarity on the issue!

Erich Mosset – CEO     
Chris Scholer – Managing Director


The story so far

New “Swissness” law approved

Swiss Parliament voted in favour of the new Swissness legislation on 21 June 2013.
This means that a new law will now definitely enter into effect on the use of the “Switzerland” brand.

The Swiss Federal Council opened the consultation process on the implementation provisions for the new “Swissness” legislation this summer. The process will continue until around mid of 2015, and centres on the general implementation provisions for industrial products.
The new legislation is intended to create more specific provisions for enforcing the decision to enhance the protection of the “Swiss” name and the Swiss cross. It should also provide more clarity on the issue, along with a sounder legal foundation (see media release of 20 June 2014).

» Consultation procedure “Swissness”
» The chronology of the new legislation

A glimpse into the future

Watch manufacturers’ milestones 2017 / 2019

The new law is expected to enter into effect on 1 January 2017. From then on, all Swiss watches will have to be manufactured in compliance with the new industry ordinance. The “Swiss Made” designation will no longer apply to the watch movement, but will apply instead to the entire watch (possibly excluding the strap/bracelet). In addition, at least 60% of the watch’s manufacturing costs will have to be incurred in Switzerland. The watch will also have to be assembled in Switzerland. And further requirements are part of the definition.

The two-year current-stock consumption period for watches manufactured under the present ordinance will end on 31 December 2018.
From 1 January 2019 onwards, only watches complying with the new legislation may be sold.

The “IG Swiss Made” interest group is currently endeavouring to have the Federal Council defer the present 2017/2019 deadlines. We would like to emphasize, however, that it is felt to have little chance of doing so.

Have you started making the necessary arrangements to secure the sourcing of the components you need? Please bear in mind that this new legislation is certain to come into effect!

General industry implementation provisions

Additional ordinance for watches

The “industrial products” category covers all goods that are not natural or food products. This includes watches. For a “Swiss Made” label to be applied to such products, two conditions must simultaneously be met:

-  At least 60% of the manufacturing costs must be incurred in Switzerland.
-  The activities that have given the product its prime characteristics (e.g. assembly of
    a machine) must have been performed in Switzerland.

Now that the general implementation provisions for industrial products have been established, the next step is to draw up – with full regard to Switzerland’s obligations under its bilateral agreements with the European Union – an additional specific ordinance for the watch manufacturing sector. This will require the FH (Swiss Watch Federationand the IG Swiss Made interest group to precisely define the watch manufacturing process.

» FAQs on the new legislation

The “Switzerland” brand

The importance of the Swiss watch

Products that have been manufactured in Switzerland are a byword for precision, reliability and top quality. The “Swiss Made” label enjoys an excellent reputation all over the world.
In this whole field, no product is associated as closely with Switzerland as the Swiss watch. So the “Swiss Made” label is a key selling point for the watch manufacturing industry. According to studies by St. Gallen University, consumers are prepared to pay up to 20% more – depending on the market segment – for a watch of Swiss origin.