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As we all probably have noticed by now, a recent FTC determination directed Detroit-based Shinola to change the language of some of its marketing materials, labeling, and product design to remove or alter those aspects of their work which might give the impression that their products were Made In The USA when they were not. A larger issue for watch enthusiasts, however, was raised as well: how does Made In The USA stack up against Swiss Made, and is the Made In The USA requirement unfairly restrictive – indeed, does it tend to stifle the nascent watchmaking industry in the United States?
According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH, a watch is Swiss Made if it meets three criteria: a Swiss movement; final assembly and casing in Switzerland; and final inspection in Switzerland. For a movement to be Swiss, it must be assembled in Switzerland, and 60% of its total value has to derive from parts made in Switzerland (exclusive of manufacturing costs). As of January 1, 2017, a revision to "Swiss Made" goes into effect which stipulates that at least 60% of the total production cost of manufactured goods, including watches, must originate in Switzerland. Tightening of "Swiss Made" regulations for watches to even more strict requirements has long been supported by the Federation but many manufacturers in lower price segments – where, typically, far more components are source from non-Swiss factories – have argued against it. One of the most outspoken has been Ronnie Bernheim, co-owner of Mondaine, who has argued that "Swissness" should be "more a promise than a physical manifestation." While this may sound like industry doublespeak, Bernheim's substantive point is that in forcing lower priced Swiss brands to adhere to stricter requirements, brands like Rolex (which already easily meets the criteria) benefit, at the cost of competitiveness for lower end brands.
https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/a-lev ... ly-matters
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