Swiss Made Watches: The Excellence of Swiss Watchmaking

Orologi Swiss Made


Watches made in Switzerland are considered a global benchmark in the industry, synonymous with technical and manufacturing quality. They are accordingly protected by the prestigious SWISS MADE label, regulated by specific parameters laid down by law, which guarantees that the watches have been made according to the Swiss watch industry‘s standards of excellence.

The SWISS MADE label has been of fundamental importance to Swiss watch manufacturers because its stringent parameters have enabled the Swiss watch industry to maintain the high level of quality for which it is known, resulting in its status as one of the most sophisticated and admired industries in the world of luxury.

The SWISS MADE label is perceived by the public to be synonymous with quality, precision, reliability, and elegance, which is why many are willing to pay a premium price to own a SWISS MADE watch.

In 2022, the export of timepieces bearing this designation reached a record value of CHF 22.8 billion.

In this article, we will explain which regulations protect the Swiss Made label, from the first regulation in 1971 through the updates in 2017.

Swiss Made Watch Regulation

The Ordinance of 23rd December 1971

The term ‘SWISS MADE’ as applied to watchmaking was first subject to federal regulation on 23rd December 1971 with an ordinance that defined the characteristics and standards a watch must meet in order to be able to boast the designation of Swiss origin, better known as Swiss Made.

Along with the wording SWISS MADE, the regulation also applies to other designations, such as Swiss or Made in Switzerland, and to the white cross on a red background, all of which indicate the Swiss origin of a product.

The position of these words on the various components of the watch, such as the casebody, caseback, or dial, must also follow parameters specified by law.

The 1971 Ordinance stipulated that a watch could be defined as Made in Switzerland if it met a number of requirements, the main ones being:

  • Movement assembled and inspected in Switzerland
  • 50% of the movement value composed of Swiss components (excluding assembly costs)
  • Movement cased up in Switzerland
  • Final inspection carried out by the manufacturer in Switzerland

Following the introduction of this regulation, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS) set up a coding system for all companies interested in producing watches under the SWISS MADE label.

Each registered company is identified by a code (SIP), sometimes found even on non-visible parts of the watch, which allows better monitoring of compliance with the regulations.

The 1st January 2017 Revision

To keep up with the aesthetic and technical evolution of watches, on 1st January 2017, the ‘Swissness’ ordinance changed some of the old criteria governing the indication of a watch’s Swiss origin:

  • 60% of the manufacturing costs for the watch head (excluding the bracelet or strap) must be incurred in Switzerland.
  • 60% of the value of the movement must come from Swiss components and manufacturing.
  • The development and prototyping of analogue watches must take place in Switzerland; the development and prototyping of digital watches, including display, software, and circuit boards, must take place in Switzerland.

The development of a product within Swiss borders and restriction of the use of foreign components in the manufacture of watches represent a key point for Swiss watchmaking, which has had to adapt to an ever-changing industry.

The 1971 definition of a watch has also been revised to include SmartWatches, and the movement dimension limits within which the Swiss Made regulation applies have been redefined: 60 mm in width and 14 mm in thickness.

Private Label Swiss Made Watches

TAN SA has been offering its customers SWISS MADE private label watches since 1984.

Developed, assembled, and inspected in Switzerland, these watches meet all the necessary legal requirements.

The service that TAN SA offers for the production of SWISS MADE private label watches can start with either a project commissioned by the customer or a collaboration between TAN and designers in the sector, proceeding to follow all stages of the production process.

TAN SA is also able to produce sustainable Swiss Made watches, ensuring respect for the environment while meeting the ever-increasing market demand for sustainability.