By Magnus Salbu
When I say ‘Swiss watches’, what pops up in your head? Green valleys and small independent workshops where the finest movements, dials and cases are carefully machined and put together? If that’s the case, then you might be disappointed to hear what H. Moser has to say about the ‘Swiss made’ image. Back in December, H. Moser announced that they were removing the ‘Swiss made’ label from all of their future watches, and that they were working on creating the most Swiss watch ever made. You can write more about why they were doing this here, or you can keep reading for a short recap. In short, H. Moser meant that the ‘Swiss made’ label was misguiding to the consumer as it made it seem like the watch was made 100% in Switzerland using Swiss workforce and materials, when in fact a lot of both cheaper and more expensive so called Swiss manufacturers outsource a lot of materials and workforce from the far east. H. Moser does not want to support what they are saying is an unfair treatment of their customers. So they decided to stop using the ‘Swiss made’ label.
Fast forward to SIHH 2017 and H. Moser finally revealed the most Swiss watch ever, the H. Moser & Cie Swiss Mad (yes that is mad as in insane or crazy). As you will probably immediately notice from the photos, the case is not steel. But what is it? Is it marble? Is marble typical Swiss? No. It’s cheese. The case of the Swiss Mad watch is made of Swiss cheese. The idea was that since the watch needed to be 100% Swiss Made, the case couldn’t be made out of steel, because that steel would most likely come from somewhere else. So to make sure the watch case was Swiss Made, and to be sure to generate a lot of attention, H. Moser made the case out of Swiss cheese. The cheese has been processed and other materials have been added in to create a hard, non-smelly and rugged case.
The mo(o)vement is the typical H. Moser three day manually wound calibre HMC 327 which, as usual, is beautifully finished with vertical Geneva stripes. The dial, although it does not say ‘Swiss made’ anymore, is still very much Swiss, as can be seen by the huge white markers on the red fumé dial that looks like a Swiss flag from the right angle.
As you may have already figured out by now, this is for the most part a huge marketing stunt. However, I think it is also a very important message, because Edouard Meylan (CEO of H. Moser) does have a point when he says the customers are being cheated with the ‘Swiss Made’ label because ‘Swiss made’ doesn’t mean 100% Swiss made. This isn’t the first time H. Moser does something like this, last year they launched the Moser Swiss Alp Watch which was an obvious jab at the Apple Watch, as it looked exactly the same, and the launch video was exactly the same. The Swiss Mad watch was also launched with a very entertaining launch video where Ed Meylan himself explains what they’ve made and why.
It is also important to note that H. Moser is a very small, independent manufacture who only produces about 1500 watches every year. The H. Moser Swiss Mad Watch will cost 1,081,291 Swiss Francs, which is a reference to The Swiss Federal Charter which was signed on August 1st, 1291. In addition, all proceeds from this sale goes to create a fund that will support independent Swiss watch manufacturers. I think this is a very clever marketing stunt and a great way to generate publicity around a very important matter. The Swiss Mad Watch truly is a breath of fresh air into an otherwise rather bleak watch industry.
For more info, please visit h-moser.com