Switzerland, on January 1, 2017, modified an old legislation to force Swiss watchmakers to use 60% of components in a “Swiss Made” Label to be of Swiss origin. This has created quite a lot of hardship for independent watchmakers, including for suppliers of Schaffhausen-based H. Moser & Cie who already use 95% “Swiss Made” components in their fine watches. To fight back this new legislation, Moser decided to do two things – going forward they will not use the “Swiss Made” label on their dials. Secondly, they created this Swiss Mad Watch, a unique and symbolic timepiece that is 100% Swiss to poke fun at the “ridiculous” new law.
The main component of the Swiss Mad Watch is cheese, as in Swiss cheese! They have put the old cow to good use in making this watch. The case is made using real Swiss cheese “Vacherin Mont d’Or médaille d’or” as base and itr2 composite material with carbon nanotubes. The case is then machined and polished and decorated with H. Moser & Cie’s signature finishes. The timepiece has a fiery red dial and white double indices at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, resembling the Swiss flag. Completing the cheese ensemble is a black and white cowhide strap.
CEO of H. Moser & Cie, Edouard Meylan explained the reasons behind his personal campaign against the new law, “Our Swiss Mad Watch sends a clear message to the Swiss watchmaking industry, the authorities and watch enthusiasts: the Swiss Made label is meaningless. Worse than this, it gives credibility to the worst abuses in our industry. Our response to this lax and insufficient label is derision. At H. Moser & Cie., we produce watches that are truly Swiss, watches that are steeped in watchmaking tradition and centuries of experience. The quality of these pieces speaks for itself and dispenses with the need for a label. We are no longer “Swiss Made”, but we are Swiss. 100% Swiss, in the case of the Swiss Mad Watch, and over 95% Swiss for all of our other models.”
Meylan and H. Moser & Cie plan to present their 100% “Swiss Made” Swiss Mad Watch during the SIHH 2017 next week. It also has an interesting price at CHF1,081,291(a whopping $1,070,055). It’s a symbolic amount that references to the date of the signing of the Swiss Federal Charter on August 1, 1291. If they find a buyer, they plan to give all proceeds from the sale to create a fund to support independent Swiss watchmaking suppliers, who currently suffer a great deal due to outsourcing and economic difficulties.
Catchy nationalistic hashtags are a thing these days, perhaps due to the popularity of Donald Trump’s #MAGA campaign. H. Moser & Cie has theirs – #MakeSwissMadeGreatAgain. They just want to bring back value to the Swiss Made label. And don’t worry, your $1 million Swiss Mad cheese watch doesn’t smell.
Source: H. Moser & Cie