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Why a Swiss company created a watch made from cheese

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Why a Swiss company created a watch made from cheese
Photo: H Moser
08:59 CET+01:00
A Swiss watchmaker on Thursday unveiled a one-million-euro "Swiss Mad" wristwatch with a case made of local winter cheese and a dial recalling the nation's distinctive red-and-white flag.
The tongue-in-cheek edition by H.Moser is a satirical comment on new strictures placed on watchmakers using the "Swiss Made" label, who now have to source 60 percent of the components domestically against 50 percent earlier.
 
The new law came into force at the start of this year. 
 
In a statement H Moser -- whose watches are over 95 percent Swiss -- said the law was "too lenient, providing no guarantee, creating confusion and encouraging abuses of the system".
 
The company "would have welcomed a much stricter standard, matching the extremely high criteria that it measures itself against," it had said earlier.
   
H.Moser has dropped the "Swiss Made" moniker from its own products in protest against a law it says is "meaningless" and said it would also release "the most Swiss watch ever created".
 
The Schaffhausen-based company said it was responding  "with derision" to the new rules.
   
The dial is smoked red with the four white lacquered indexes indicating every quarter of an hour.
   
The cheese fringing the case is Vacherin Mont d'Or medaille d'or, which is made in winter, and comes from the same village as Moser CEO Edouard Meylan.
 
It is fortified with resin to hold up to use and time.
 
The strap is made from cowhide, "the obvious choice", said the company.
     
The steep price tag -- 1,081,291 francs ($1.0 million) -- is a reference to the date the Swiss Confederation was set up: August 1st, 1291.
   
"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," Meylan said.
   
The "Swiss Mad Watch" will be presented at the four-day international luxury watch show --  Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie -- which will be held in Geneva from Monday.

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