H. Moser has done it again. Last year the independent family owned Swiss brand poked some fun at smartwatch fever with the launch of the mechanical Swiss Alp watch, this year the brand has taken on the new legislation regarding the Swiss Made label for watchmaking – and how!
Basically, the legislation for using the Swiss Made label for watchmaking was revised and now requires 60% of the components in a watch to be of Swiss origin. This might come as surprise to many who had naturally assumed that Swiss Made meant that the watch was 100% Swiss.
The reality is quite different, though, and many watch brands use the prestige associated with the Swiss Made label without disclosing the fact that the vast majority of the components are sourced abroad (Asia) and merely assembled in Switzerland.
For H. Moser, 60% is an insult. Because of the brand’s high degree of manufacturing autonomy, capable of producing all the components of a watch from start to finish – including the hairsprings – H. Moser has reacted to the lenience of the recent legislation and will forgo the Swiss Made label on all its watches. Instead of angry tirades against the legislation and pretentious marketing campaigns to recuperate the value of the Swiss Made label, the brand is presenting the “100% natural and entirely Swiss” Swiss Mad watch at the SIHH watch salon in Geneva.
Believe it or not, the 42mm case of the Swiss Mad watch is made from real Swiss cheese (a Vacherin Mont d’Or, to be precise) and mixed with an innovative composite material and then machined and polished. The dial, like so many of H. Moser’s watches is a fumé dial rendered in a red colour with double indices forming a cross, just like the Swiss flag. And as you might have guessed, the strap is made from Swiss cowhide.
Made entirely in-house, H. Moser takes great pride in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities located in the Swiss canton of Schaffhausen. Edouard Meylan, the fearless CEO of this family run business that oversees the manufacture of just 1,000 exquisite high-end mechanical timepieces a year, is unusual in many respects because he not afraid to stand up to the heavyweights in the business.
According to Meylan: "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," concludes Edouard Meylan.
The watch is a unique piece and comes with a hefty price tag of SFr. 1,081,291. All proceeds from the sale of the watch will be used to create a fund to support independent Swiss watchmaking suppliers who have faced stiff competition from outsourcing to Asia, “the very artisans who keep traditional Swiss watchmaking alive and who help it to continually evolve”.
H. Moser presents the Swiss Mad watch with a case made from real Swiss cheese, a red fumé dial like the Swiss flag and a cowhide strap (SFr. 1,081,291).
Proceeds from the sale of H. Moser's Swiss Mad watch will be used to establish a fund for independent Swiss watchmaking suppliers (SFr. 1,081,291).
Reacting to the lenient legislation regarding the Swiss Made label, H. Moser will forgo the Swiss Made label on all its watches from now on.