Metal, leather, gears . . . OK, maybe I can’t name all of the components of a typical watch, but I do know it doesn’t usually include cheese.
Last month, H. Moser unveiled a very pricey timepiece called the Swiss Mad Watch. Designed to be “the most Swiss watch ever created,” it incorporates one of “the most precious Swiss resources that exists: cows” by featuring a cowhide strap and yes, a case made of the rare and seasonal Vacherin Mont d’Or (pasteurized and not stinky, according to its promotional video, but preserved in resin, rendering it inedible). With a smoked red dial and four white lacquered indices at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, it’s even reminiscent of the country’s flag. It’s all yours for a cool 1,081,291 Swiss francs (a nod to August 8, 1291, when Switzerland’s Federal Charter was signed), or roughly $1.09 million.
The independent company created this 100 percent Swiss watch in protest of the latest changes regarding the “Swiss Made” title. As of Jan. 1, timepieces can only be given that distinction if at least 60 percent of their value comes from Switzerland; the previous minimum was 50 percent. Other requirements such as Swiss movement and a final inspection in Switzerland remain intact. However, H. Moser felt this new standard still wasn’t enough, saying in a statement that it’s “too lenient . . . creating confusion and encouraging abuses of the system.”
The watchmaker, who claims its products are at least 95 percent Swiss, also announced it will drop the “Swiss Made” label moving forward, in the hopes that these actions will send a clear message to the watchmaking industry that the validation is “meaningless.” Proceeds from the sale of the Swiss Mad Watch will go toward creating a fund for independent Swiss watchmakers currently forced to outsource to Asia.
Feature Photo Credit: H. Moser