Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .
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Thread: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

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  1. #1
    Administrator Ernie Romers's Avatar
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    Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    Roger KHEMLANI, Founder & Creative Director of House of VOILA said:
    The new 60% Swiss made rule in my opinion is a ticking time bomb as this immediately puts emphasis on where rest of the 40% is being made. Well exactly in the same place as it has been for the past 40 years...in Asia.

    For over 4 decades now most Swiss watchmakers have enjoyed an added advantage of using cheaper imported (Asian made) parts in their Swiss made watches, and this change now is only happening because their hushed, secretive Swiss made code is being openly leveraged by (overseas) brands like VOILA - in a way these truly are - Revolutions in Time!

    We all know Switzerland does not own, produce or mine any Gold, Platinum or Diamonds, so technically none of their high end jewellery watches fitted with precious stones or metals can now claim their precious Swiss Made mark, well that's what you think. The Swiss with all their 'Swissness' have played these rules to read 'Swiss value' and not 'Swiss components' which grants them an infinite authority to accommodate R&D, design, publicity and 'you name it' costs in order to fit into this 60% rule. The rest of the 40% could even mean your Swiss made watch can now be a 100% sourced &/or assembled anywhere in the world including China with China made movements. This will lead to an open disclosure of hefty margins retained in Swiss made watches, a disaster for their horological and other industry.

    The Chinese insisted on stricter Swiss Made rules in lieu of relaxed import duties with an (obvious) agenda to strengthen their own brands. With this new 60% rule, more and more watches will be globally manufactured and will become increasingly acceptable to all levels of watch buyers.

    It’s not hard to see this law was designed to benefit 1 or 2 big players and at the cost of numerous Swiss jobs, all this will hurt the smaller Swiss manufacturers, and gives larger groups an added advantage and a new reason to raise their prices.

    It did take the Swiss parliament six years to light this fuse, and may take another 5-10 years till this blows up and it eventually will. In the meantime the Asian watch industries along with American micro brands are laughing all the way to the Bank. There still maybe time to cull this fuse as its either got to be a 100% Swiss or the ’Swiss Made’ rules must remain as they were.
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    Ernie Romers
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  2. #2
    Member swissgmt's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    Looks like typical corporate lobbying to me. The big corporations trying to muscle out their competition (smaller manufacturers). I think the more Swiss watchmakers there are the better for the consumer and the industry, true with just about any product or service. More choices feeds the free market. Maybe 100% Swiss to have "Swiss Made" on the dial would be better for the Swiss economy. Not the sourcing of raw materials mind you, but the manufacture of the components etc. But I'm no economist. Good thread and info for discussion.

  3. #3
    Member dspaulson's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    It's interesting to ponder all of this in comparison with the automotive industry. It doesn't even matter that much where a given car is actually made anymore, given the extreme complexity of the global supply chain of parts. There was a time when a Honda was Japanese and a Ford was American. Can that really even be said today, apart from where the company is HQ'd or on what market it's shares are traded? I think watches might end up in a similar state sometime down the road regardless of what regulations are put in place. You will surely have high end manufacturers that are still "Swiss" and made with nearly 100% Swiss components, but that will be a tiny fraction of the market if it isn't already. Domestic legislation can only do so much to combat global economic forces. My 2 cents.

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  5. #4
    Member Kevin_Lomax's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    I studied the draft law for work and (eventough it has some mistakes) I don't think the risks mentioned in the article are a problem.

    It is true that materials like gold, silver etc. are not counted for the 60 % critererion. BUT the legislation also says that the decisive step of manufacture for the Watch has to be done in Switzerland. So you cannot source or assemble the product in asia and call it "swiss made"...

    Most of the uncertainties of the law should be solved when they publish the regulations...
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  6. #5
    Member bluloo's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Romers View Post
    Roger KHEMLANI, Founder & Creative Director of House of VOILA said:

    ...The rest of the 40% could even mean your Swiss made watch can now be a 100% sourced &/or assembled anywhere in the world including China with China made movements...
    I find it difficult to believe that the new law has such gaping vagueries that a watch could be wholly produced in China (even if it used a Swiss movement), and sold as "Swiss Made", as long as sufficient funds were spent on R&D, design and publicity/advertising.

    Sounds more like an emotional appeal to me - and I hope it is.
    RON in PA likes this.
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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    I would much prefer to see some transparency rather than trying to define a percentage of Swissness that few really understand. A breakdown by country of origin for major components would provide some insight into the mystery of the Swiss Made label. As is done with automobiles in the USA.
    Movement springs and jewels: Switzerland, Spain and USA
    Movement plates, gears, etc: Switzerland and China
    Case and Bracelet: India and Taiwan
    Dial and hands: Switzerland and France
    Decorative jewels and metals: Africa, USA
    Other: Numerous
    Last edited by John MS; July 17th, 2013 at 16:42.

  8. #7
    Member drunken monkey's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    This is always a bit of a straw man argument for those against the Swiss Watch industry or otherwise has a vested interest as in this case.


    The label Swiss Made, while in part is to do with the origins of the item in question, has also equally been about the quality of the product that the label promises.
    In times past, for sure, the origins of the manufacture did play an important role in the quality of the product but in the modern manufacturing industry, this is less true. Thus, the actual origins of the item now doesn't matter as much as it used to and we should instead be looking at whether the quality is worth what the label promises. There is also now the added modern issue of global manufacture and so the Swiss government are right to be concerned with Swiss jobs and so part of their issue is that Swiss Made (and the controlled use of it) also serves as a means to protect those jobs without harming the industry that it receives revenue from.


    As for the article itself; I suppose when you run a website like this, you have to give everyone their voice no matter the worth.


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    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting opinion and food for discussion? : SWISS MADE A TICKING TIME BOMB . . .

    I really don't see that this change is that big of a deal, nor do I see 'Swiss Made' on the dial as telling me a whole lot about a watch (before or after the changes) other than knowing without looking that the watch uses ETA/Sellita/Soprod instead of Miyota or Sea-Gull. After the changes, the buyer still has the ability to ascertain where the movement is made and by whom. As for other parts, I think the level of fit and finish is what it is. A beautifully finished watch is no less beautiful because its hands were made in Asia as opposed to somewhere else (as long as quality control is there). Now, if the case is light and cheap feeling and there is a difference between painted hands and blued hands, then there is a real difference there, but these real differences aren't exclusive to Switzerland. I do not believe that quality is something that trickles down from the Alps. I think that a high quality watch can be produced in a lot more places than just Switzerland (as Seiko has clearly demonstrated). A buyer just needs to become more aware of the movement they are buying, the reputation for quality control for the brand they are buying, and have a point of comparison when comparing types/level of finish. Perhaps the changes will serve to make more people aware that there are options for nice watches outside of Switzerland and make it more possible for manufacturers outside of Switzerland to elevate their game in an attempt to access a larger market.
    Last edited by mpalmer; July 17th, 2013 at 22:34.
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