ZURICH – A luxury Swiss watchmaker has made a watch that costs a million dollars and has a case made from genuine Swiss cheese.
It may sound like a joke, but the watch is genuine, and the motivation behind it is very serious. The timepiece was made by Swiss jewellers H. Moser & Cie in response to new laws in the country, which means only 60 per cent of their parts have to be produced domestically.
Despite the fact that Moser watches are entirely made in Switzerland – apart from the straps, which are made in Italy – the company announced that this year it is removing the “Swiss-made” label from all of its watches in protest.
The independent luxury watchmaker argues that the regulations are so loose, and the enforcement of them so lax, that it is possible to have so-called Swiss-made watches that are in fact largely produced elsewhere, notably in the Far East.
Company‘s CEO Edouard Meylan said: “Our 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.”
The watchmaker decided to highlight the issue by making a watch emphasizing the importance of Swissness, and what could be more Swiss than cheese?
The aptly named Swiss Mad Watch is a one-off piece and is going on sale for 1,081,291 Swiss francs (almost £900,000) a symbolic price that references the signing of the Swiss Federal Charter in August 1291.
For those put off by the high price – or the lactose content – there is also a non-cheese version available for £15,500. It has the same in-house, hand-wound movement but a case made not from Swiss cheese, but from white gold.
The company will donate money made from the sale of the watch to keep independent watchmakers in the business.