I know a couple of people who always look the other way if it’s not Swiss. The daughter is a choc-snob and her father; his obsession with the words Suisse and Genève knows no bounds. And that’s something he likes poking on me (also, his preference for English guns. This is something where we both agree and he doesn’t mind me sticking around sometimes on his gun-cleaning weekends). My Eco-Drive and 23-jewel auto don’t stand a chance before the Made in Switzerland marks and looks doesn’t matter.

It’s tough dealing with them blind to simple truths. Else, it’s not possible looking down on the Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk because it lacks the Geneve mark. It’s the same outlook towards the generic Swiss ETA movements. I was scoffed at royally while arguing in favor of the high-quality ones.

Next followed an increasingly vigilant probing on my ignorance with the word Swiss, to the extent it sent me seeking its provenance. Luxury watch-making and its appreciation is a pleasure within limits, not when it looks down upon your whole b****y existence! Rest of the necessary evils are hell lot better.

So, to benefit us all when the horophiliac attempts to bite in, here’s a look from multiple POV on what gives Swiss  its name.

Swiss is primarily a label signifying standards, of the highest attainable, perfect orders. Every player in the industry has his own ways to attain them and that imparts a brand its image, profitability and future growth. How those standards are attained are secrets and heavily protected data. Those shrouds of mysteries are behind the grayed perception on Swiss watches and this lack of clarity may have severe consequences in terms of quality and revenue. Cost-conscious Swiss watchmakers (low-price segment) often import the external/visible parts. They often put in Swiss-Made movements made from parts sourced from outside. Or, just a part of the watch movements are made at home. This is not Swiss, maybe a Swiss-mix. That means, not of sufficient Swiss pedigree. You don’t pay for them as you do for a purebred. They are simply not as Swiss. That makes the affordable Swiss-range a tricky one. It’s an often-forgotten gray area that suffers global recessions the most. However, affordable is not always inexpensive in the Swiss lexicon; they are also objects of desire even to the truly wealthy. There’s no such thing as affordable luxury. Zodiac, Tissot, EL, Hamilton and DeBaufre are tough and reliable Swiss watches. Not luxury. Luxury is something very different from what goes around in its name. Let me get back on that next week.