Federal law to protect manufacturer’s trademarks and registered brands When is a watch really Swiss Made?
"Swiss Made“ is a certification of origin seal for products from Switzerland. This designation should indicate to consumers that the product is of a high quality.
In 1880, the Federal Council enacted a federal law for the protection of manufacturing brands and trademarks. As a result, numerous brands registered their intellectual property with the Swiss Federal Council. The place of origin containing the name "Switzerland" was often incorporated into the brand name and the trademark. Presumably on account of the significance of international competition, the name "Swiss Made“appeared in the years following. Very quickly, the concept "Swiss Made" found its way onto the watch face, at 6 o'clock on the dial. This made sure that everyone knew that the product originated in Switzerland.
Today the Swiss Made concept encapsulates more than just a mark of origin for Swiss products, rather like other origin names, for example, Made in Germany. Concepts like "Made in Switzerland“, "Fabriqué en Suisse" or "Hergestellt in der Schweiz“ could have led to problems when transferring the text to watch dials, due to the length and spaces in the words themselves. Currently the Swiss law permits the names "Suisse", "produitsuisse", "fabriqué en Suisse", "qualitésuisse", or translations such as "Swiss", "Swiss Made“, or "Swiss Movement".
Today the name "Swiss Made“ may be used only if the following conditions are fulfilled:
A watch can be described as being a Swiss watch when:
a. Its movement is Swiss-made;
b. Its movement was initiated in Swizerland, and
c. The manufacturer implements its final quality control check in Switzerland.
A watch movement can be described as being Swiss when:
a. It was put together in Switzerland;
b. It was checked by a Swiss manufacturer, and
c. Its Swiss components make up at least 50% of the value of the watch, regardless of the cost of its assembly.
The Swiss Watch Industry Association FH is trying to tighten up these standards. At the General Assembly in 2007 it was decided to introduce a bill in the Swiss Parlaiment which complied with this demand. New rules stipulated that at least 80% of the production costs should originate in Switzerland in the case of mechanical watches and that at least 60% of the value of an electronic watch should be Swiss. In addition, the development and prototypes of the watch must have been made in Switzerland. The law has been introduced, but not yet passed.