What is a Swiss Watch and Why is it Better?
What is a Swiss Watch?
The answer is in the name...a Swiss watch is a watch made in Switzerland. However, it’s not quite as simple as you may think. In fact, being “Swiss-made” does not necessarily mean that a watch is 100% made in Switzerland. Instead, it indicates that the watch meets certain high-quality standards in the form of Swiss trademark law.
Previous Swiss Watch Regulations
Previously, Swiss law established three conditions that had to be fulfilled in order to call a watch “Swiss-made”:
The movement of the watch was Swiss
The movement was encased in Switzerland
The final inspection of a watch was conducted by the manufacturer in Switzerland
Unfortunately, these conditions were often exploited and many loopholes were explored by cheaper manufacturers. To understand why, it’s necessary to explore the first condition in more depth.
What Made a Watch Movement Swiss?
According to previous regulations, what constituted a Swiss watch movement was as follows:
Its production was in Switzerland Its final inspection was conducted by the manufacturer in Switzerland
At least 50% of the value of the movement’s components were manufactured in Switzerland
This allowed manufacturers to import cheap parts from Asia and to mix them with Swiss components, subsequently labeling their watches as “Swiss-made”. Meaning that a watch with lower quality parts could be sold as a luxury item, misleading customers into thinking they had a genuine Swiss watch.
Current Swiss Watch Regulations
As of 2017, new regulations were put into place to tighten the law on what makes a watch “Swiss-made”. They are as follows:
At least 60% of the whole watch’s production costs must be incurred in Switzerland
At least 50% of the value of the movement’s components must be manufactured in Switzerland AND at least 60% of the movement’s manufacture must be conducted in Switzerland
The technical design of the watch and its movement must be developed in Switzerland
The new regulations have strengthened the Swiss brand, but there is still room for improvement. According to the Gevril Group, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry is considering tightening the Swiss trademark law even further by increasing the percentage of production cost that is genuinely based in Switzerland to at least 80%.
Why Are Swiss Watches Better?
Watchmaking in Switzerland
The history of watchmaking in Switzerland is a fascinating story, involving French Protestant refugees, John Calvin’s discouragement of wearing jewelry in Geneva and the resulting expression of jewelry-makers in the form of mechanical timepieces that could be worn as accessories.
Subsequent innovative inventions, as well as the industrious nature of many peasants and farmers surrounding Geneva, allowed Switzerland to overtake rivaling countries in the manufacture of watches. All of which gave rise to the prestigious industry that is present in Switzerland today.
Swiss Watch Quality
On countless occasions, Switzerland’s watch industry was forced to overcome adversity. Fierce competition from American manufacturers, handmade craftsmanship vs. industrialization, the invention of cheaper and temporarily more accurate quartz timepieces from Japan, and the current popularity of smartwatches have all presented certain challenges to the status of “Swiss-made” watches.
Despite these adversities, Swiss manufacturers have continuously evolved stronger than ever. By developing contemporary and ingenious products that use cutting-edge technologies, they stand out clearly as world-renowned quality and luxury watchmakers. Swiss watches are better because they have to be - they have a powerful legacy of craftsmanship and an irrefutably prodigious reputation to uphold.
Why Buy a Swiss Watch?
Watches have to pass scrupulous conditions in order to be classed as “Swiss-made” and, as such, high quality of craftsmanship and outstanding performance is guaranteed.
At Franck Dubarry, every watch has been developed and produced in-house in the Swiss mountains. Ground-breaking and innovative technological materials, such as carbon, Kevlar and grade 5 titanium, were used to create each luxury watch.
With the history of Swiss watchmaking and the advanced technologies of the future to support them, Franck Dubarry Swiss watches stand the test of time.
To see our full range of Swiss-made watches, then follow this link to our online shop.