The Swiss government strictly enforces a law on “the protection of brand names and place of origin”, especially with respect to watches. For this reason, any watch bearing the words “Swiss Made” must adhere to this law, passed on August 28, 1992.
The rule was tightened in 2013 to require 60% “Swiss value” and again in 2017 to require 60 percent of value of a watch movement to be of Swiss origin. The calculation of this value can include production and assembly costs, research and development costs, and costs for quality assurance and certification. It does not include the cost of raw materials not available in Switzerland, packaging, transport, and distribution costs.
The law applies to any watch carrying on the outside the words “Swiss made” or “Swiss”, or any other use of the word “Swiss” in any language. According to Section 1a OSM, a watch is considered to be Swiss if
- its movement is Swiss;
- its movement is cased up in Switzerland;
- and the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland.
Swiss Watch Movement
A Swiss movement is defined as follows in Section 2 OSM
- it has been assembled in Switzerland;
- it has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland; and
- the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 60 percent of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly.
If the movement is Swiss and the case is not, a watch may only contain the words “Swiss movement”. According to Section 3 § 3 OSM, the word “movement” must appear in full and be written in the same type-face, of identical size and colour, as the word “Swiss”.