While the casual observer might think there’s no whey a respected watchmaker like H. Moser & Cie. would have the curds produce such a cheesy timepiece, the Swiss Mad Watch is a one-off creation that aims to be provocative proclamation of the brand’s opinion on the slack rules governing the “Swiss Made” appellation, much like how its Swiss Alp Watch is a dig at smartwatches.
While those rules were recently revised to require that watches so labelled to be at least 60% Swiss by value – up from the original 50% – they are still far from being demanding. H. Moser & Cie. watches, in contrast, are at least 95% Swiss by value. Naturally the Swiss Mad Watch is 100% Swiss, right down to the furry calfskin strap.
But at the same time Moser is also announcing a serially produced watch in the same vein, the Swiss Mad Venturer, that takes inspiration from the one-off, cheese-cased timepiece.
And to cap it all off, Moser will abandon the “Swiss Made” label on all its watches starting this year.
A unique piece with a price tag of just over SFr1m, the Swiss Mad Watch (ref. 8327-1400) has a case made of a carbon-resin composite mixed Vacherin Mont d’Or médaille d’or, a soft cheese traditionally produced in winter. Both the composite material and dairy product are Swiss.
The Swiss Mad Watch has a red fume dial with graduated tones that go from light in the centre to dark at the edges. The markers and hands are a bright white, giving the watch a red and white (and cheese) theme that’s reminiscent of the Swiss flag.
And the Swiss-ness continues with the price of SFr1,081,291. That’s a reference to August 1st, 1291, the date when the Swiss Federal Charter proclaiming the Swiss confederation was signed.
According to Moser, “All proceeds from the sale of this watch will be used to create a fund to support independent Swiss watchmaking suppliers currently suffering under the difficult economic situation and outsourcing to Asia.”
The Swiss Mad Venturer is a variant of the standard Venturer, with a 39mm case in white gold, but fitted with a red fume dial based on that found on the one-off Swiss Mad.
And like the Swiss Mad, the Venturer is equipped with the hand-wound HMC 327 – that’s complete with the in-house Straumann overcoil hairspring – as well as a furry calfskin strap.
The Swiss Mad Venturer (ref. 8327-0208) is a limited edition of 50 pieces priced at SFr19,500.
While Moser makes a fair point about the looseness of the rules governing “Swiss Made”, it should be remembered that its watches, which average SFr15,000, are in a price bracket that allows for entirely Swiss production.
With labour costs what they are in Switzerland, it’s essentially impossible to produce a mechanical watch priced under say, SFr2000, that’s wholly Swiss made.
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