Independent watchmaker H. Moser & Cie. to drop ‘Swiss Made’ label from January 1, 2017

H. Moser & Cie. (HMC) has announced that it will drop the ‘Swiss Made’ demarcation from the dials of its watches from January 1, 2017. The move is in response to new legislation governing the ‘Swiss Made’ label, which the independent brand says are still too lax, and may actually mislead customers. The brand also says it will unveil the most ‘Swiss Made watch ever created’ on January 12, 2017. We can’t wait…

H. Moser & Cie. CEO Edouard Meylan was in Dubai for Dubai Watch Week just a month ago.

From January 1, 2017, the legislation governing the use of the ‘Swiss Made’ label will require that 60% of the value of a watch has to be produced within Switzerland. Currently only 50% of a watch’s value has to come from Switzerland in order for it to qualify for the label, which means brands can inexpensively produce a significant portion of their products overseas but still position and label them as ‘Swiss Made’. The new legislation is a slight improvement, however it still allows brands to produce a sizable portion of their watches overseas, while taking advantage of the Swiss Made label. HMC takes exception to this, saying that even with the new legislation, the Swiss Made label adds more confusion rather than adding value.

“We are strong believers in Swiss values and we fight to defend traditional mechanical watchmaking every day. In our Manufacture, we design, develop and produce all of our components from start to finish, including the hairsprings and regulating organs from our sister company, Precision Engineering AG. Anything that we cannot achieve internally is sourced from Swiss suppliers,” said Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie. “With over 95% of our components produced in Switzerland, we far exceed the requirements of the Swiss Made standard, and yet, the same label on our dials is used by those brands barely complying, who benefit from the flexibility of the label to manufacture a large proportion of their components in other countries. Today, the Swiss Made label is devalued because it is used by entry-level brands to justify their very existence or price point. Ultimately, our own image is undermined by this. In fact, we need no justification from this label, because our products speak for themselves”.

H. Moser & Cie. has dropped the ‘Swiss Made’ label on some of its watches in the past. Seen here is the Venturer XL Concept Dubai Edition, limited to nine pieces.

H. Moser & Cie. says that 95% of the production and materials in its own watches come from Switzerland. This being the case, it’s blindingly obvious why HMC is protesting against the new legislation (as explained by CEO Edouard Meylan above). In fact, you could justifiably say that they are adding more value to the label, rather than the other way round.

The Schaffhausen-based watchmaker goes on to say consumers generally believe that watches sporting the Swiss Made label are produced entirely in Switzerland. We reckon this is a fair statement, as consumers generally take labels at face value, and perhaps more so when it comes to luxury watches.

We can’t wait to see what the independent brand has in store for January 12, 2017.

Within the same announcement H. Moser & Cie. also said that it will launch a new timepiece that is ‘produced in Switzerland, by Swiss watchmakers and using materials of Swiss origin’. The watch will premiere on January 12, 2017, and will then be shown at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) between January 16th and 20th. HMC has already let slip that the watch will feature a red fumé dial with white indexes and hands, which is obviously a nod to the flag of Switzerland.

To learn more about H. Moser & Cie., click here.

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