We told you a few weeks ago that H. Moser would be removing the “Swiss Made” label from its watches in 2017 in protest of what it views as lax regulations on the designation that work in favor of companies outsourcing work from the country. At the time, Moser also said it would be releasing “the most Swiss watch ever created” too, showing what real Swiss Made could mean. We knew it would be something interesting, but we could never have predicted this (though Arthur sort of did a while back): a watch with a case made of actual Swiss cheese. I’m not kidding. Not one bit.
As a bit of background, before we get into the dairy-laden Swiss Mad Watch itself, H. Moser’s removal of the Swiss Made label comes just after the Swiss government initiated changes to the regulations on the use of the term itself. Now, 60% of the value of a watch must come from inside Switzerland for it to qualify, rather than the 50% required previously. However, importantly, that can now include things like R&D costs, so it could be theoretically possible to have a watch entirely manufactured elsewhere and still be called Swiss Made should the development costs be high enough. It’s unlikely, but in principle it’s easy to understand why Moser and others are rattled by these changes.
So the result from Moser is the Swiss Mad Watch. This is a 42mm watch with Moser’s in-house HMC 327 caliber inside, meaning it’s got real guts. You’ll also notice the new rich red fumÃ© dial with white lacquered double indexes and white lacquered hands, meant to recall the Swiss flag. It also comes with a Swiss cowhide strap, amping up the patriotism even further. So far, so good. Did I mention that the case is made of cheese? Like, actual Swiss cheese? It is.
In an effort to make the watch as Swiss as possible,Â Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese (from the same village as Moser CEO Edouard Meylan) was combined with a resin to create a composite material that could hold up as a watch case. It’s, um, interesting to say the least, and definitely a niche look. Luckily, it’s a unique piece with a whopping 1,081,291 CHF price tag â the number is a reference to the founding date of Switzerland, the eighth of August, 1291 (and a bit of a jab at the watch industry’s inflated prices from the past few years). The proceeds will be used to set up a fund for supporting independent Swiss watchmaking though, so know that some real good will come of this.
As always, H. Moser has also released a video to go along with the launch â this one even more outlandish and provocative than usual. Love it or hate it, you’ve got to at least give Meylan and his team credit for not taking themselves too seriously or falling prey to industry orthodoxy. Check it out here:
But that’s not the only watch being released for the Swiss Made initiative. Moser is also releasing the lactose free (and more reasonably priced) Venturer Swiss Mad. This watch has a 39mm white gold case that’s 11.9mm thick and has Moser’s signature M-branded crown. The watch has the same red fumÃ© dial as the Swiss Mad Watch and similar white lacquer markers and hands (though the hands are a more restrained leaf shape). You’ve also got the same caliber HMC 327 and cowhide strap too.
Think of this as the actual Swiss Mad Watch. Sure, the white gold isn’t mined in Switzerland (there are no gold mines in the country, by the way) but you won’t have to explain to everyone that yes, your watch is made of cheese, but no, it doesn’t stink like it. The red of the dial is a little more aggressive than the usual fumÃ© dial colors, but it has the same depth and richness, which is nicely offset by the starkness of the white hands and markers.
The Venturer Swiss Mad is a limited edition of just 50 pieces, with a retail price of $21,500.
For more, visit H. Moser online.