Please read the link below. John Patterson at Bathys says this topic is a big buzz right now at BaselWorld 2007.
A synopsis of the article states that the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) intends to take new steps in the use of the “Swiss Made” label. The main point here is that a mechanical watch would be at least 80% made from Swiss parts and the Quartz would be 60%.
It is my opinion, this means that this will leave most of the “small/mid sized private labeled” “Swiss Made” label companies out in the dark. The big boys (Rolex, Richemont Group, Patek, etc) would then be the only ones that will qualify for the “Swiss Made” label. Then they could be free to raise prices of their watches at will. This would mean start looking for a “Swiss Made” labeled automatic watch to cost you a starting price of ~ $3,000 and up. It’s likely that they would also raise prices on existing models across the board, so even if you like the bigger Swiss brands, you will likely see large price increase in the future.
If you are not familiar of the Richemont Group here is two links:
John Patterson of Bathys Hawaii told me that this would make lines like his move from being “Swiss Made” to non-“Swiss Made” since his case and strap is made in Hong Kong (HK). He went on to say that most if not all of the “small/mid sized private labeled” companies have their cases made in HK as well. I guess the issue is this: do you think that it makes enough difference where the case is made to justify a doubling of the price?
So what are your opinions WIS folks?