The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry is resigning from the Swiss Business Federation, in a dispute over what constitutes a Swiss watch.
“By failing to support the [proposal that] sets at 60 percent the minimum rate of Swiss value in a Swiss product, [the Swiss business federation] not only stands in the way of strengthening the protection of this label, but raises the likelihood of it becoming weaker than it is at present,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said in a statement.
The Swiss watch group argued that its industry is most affected by the debate over what is “Swiss-made,” since most of its products carry the label, and the perception of a product made in Switzerland “contributes to the attractiveness of Swiss watches and their psychological appeal.”
The resignation shows the dispute over the issue has turned increasingly rancorous. According to Reuters, the Swiss parliament is now debating two measures about how to define a “made in Switzerland” product. The lower house has argued that 60 percent must be manufactured in Switzerland for it to bear that label, while the upper house allows for 50 percent.