Mondaine has announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art watch manufacturing plant in Biberist, Switzerland. The new facility, scheduled to open in 2009, will also produce Luminox watches .
“Our company is on a path of solid growth and we take this step in spite of the proposed new Swiss Made law and the proposal of the [ Swiss Watch Industry] FH to increase the percentage of Swiss content,” says Ronnie Bernheim, CEO of Mondaine Watch Ltd.
Bernheim has been an outspoken opponent of the new law, which he says put too much of a burden on the smaller watch companies that can't as easily absorb the higher costs of Swiss-based watch production.
The FH voted in 2007 to ask the Swiss government to strengthen legal criteria for use of the term, “Swiss made,” on watches. At least 80 percent of mechanical watches and 60 percent of quartz ones would have to be done in Switzerland to qualify for the label. But the European Union still needs to weigh in on the law, which some deem as overly protectionist, before it goes into effect.