Controversial strengthening of the Swiss Made label Differences emerge at the Swiss Watch Industry Association FH
The Swiss Watch Industry Association FH is currently seeking a change in the specifications required to qualify for the "Swiss Made" label award from the Swiss authorities in an attempt to permanently protect the credibility and the value of Swiss origin. The current standard allows watches to display the "Swiss Made" label which only contain a very low proportion of Swiss-made parts.
The adulteration of the label enabled by the current legislation, and the abuse that ultimately follows could, according to the association, damage the Swiss watch industry with lasting effect, and particularly in the upper price segment. The proposal for adaptation of the "Swiss Made" label criteria is, according to the association, supported within the branch by more than 80% of its members, amongst them the small independent and medium-sized enterprises from the low and middle price segments. Indeed, the discussion is much more active and opinions more manifold than the interests which the association represents. According to branch insiders, some considerable differences also exist between the members of the association. Changes could be life-threatening, in particular for members who produce cheaper Swiss watches, and for this reason scepticism abounds.
For this reason, the FH, whose association represents about 90% of the entire Swiss watch industry, vehemently and regularly argue against the widespread but erroneous opinions of some watch manufacturers and branch representatives in order to prevent these adjustments. The loss of many jobs is one argument posed by the opposition in Switzerland. But it is no secret that behind the opponents to the plan are often the lobby interests of Asian suppliers. They stand to be the biggest losers as part suppliers for the cheaper watch brands as a result of these changes to the status quo.