The new requirements stipulated by Swissness

Swissness is the term which covers revision of the Federal law on the protection of trademarks and indications of origin. Because conditions governing the use of these indications generally, and the name Swiss in particular, were not hitherto regulated in detail, the Swiss parliament adopted this revision on 21 June 2013.

Swissness introduces new criteria making it possible to determine more precisely the geographical origin of a product or service; in other words, the law stipulates the point at which a product can legitimately claim to be of Swiss origin.

Above all, this new legal basis meets the concerns of consumers around the world, who are prepared to pay more for products marked Swiss made but expect in return, quite rightly, that the major part of such products should be manufactured in Switzerland.

For all these reasons, the watch industry supported the principle of strengthening the criteria underpinning the Swiss made label from the very start of the legislative process.

The new criteria vary according to categories of products or services. In this instance, Swissness sets a minimum rate of Swiss value of 60% for industrial products, including watches.

For the watch industry, the adoption of Swissness requires changes to the existing implementing ordinance, namely the Ordinance of 1971 governing use of the name Swiss for watches. In this ordinance too, the criteria for obtaining the Swiss made label for watches are being amended and reinforced. It is worth noting that watchmaking is at present the only Swiss industrial branch to have such an implementing ordinance.