Discussion:
Swiss Made watch companies are corrupt and are scamming you... Read this...
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r***@americanwatchdesign.net
2005-01-08 16:03:50 UTC
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Definition and analysis of the term 'Swiss Made' 1
Definition and analysis of the term 'Made in the USA' 6
The Jaquet Scandal 18
The Franck Muller Scandal 22
The Saddam Hussein Money Laundering Scandal 26
Conclusion 31
List of some companies marking watches 'Swiss Made' 33


'SWISS MADE' A DECEPTIVE TERM (Information cited from the nawcc.org
forum and fhs.ch websites)
Here is a breakdown of what the term Swiss Made legally means (taken
directly from the official website for the Federation of the Swiss
Watch Industry) at http://www.fhs.ch (my breakdown is in red):

Swiss Made
A general overview

Moreover, a law "regulating the use of the name 'Swiss' for watches"
sets out the minimum conditions that have to be fulfilled before a
watch merits the "Swiss made" label.

This law is based on a concept according to which Swiss quality depends
on the amount of work actually carried out on a watch in Switzerland,
even if some foreign components are used in it. The term is actually
stating that Swiss assembly people in the watch industry are the best
rather than the components being the best. The term 'Swiss Made'
is actually a trademark. You can find this fact by going to the
http://www.uspto.gov website and doing a trademark search. It is not a
properly descriptive term, but is a trademark used to deceive you into
spending higher dollar amounts for items bearing that term. It
therefore requires that the assembly work on the movement (the motor of
the watch) and on the watch itself (fitting the movement with the dial,
hands and the various parts of the case) should be carried out in
Switzerland, along with the final testing of the movement. It also
requires that at least 50% of the components of the movement should be
manufactured in Switzerland. The 50% term is later discussed as 50% of
the value of the components.


Legally speaking

Conditions for use Case
A Swiss watch "Swiss Quartz" indication
A Swiss watch movement "Swiss parts" indication
Material extent of the use of the word "Swiss" Role of the FH
Wristlet


Conditions for use


A Swiss watch

Only when it is Swiss, may a watch carry the indications "Swiss made"
or "Swiss", or any other expression containing the word "Swiss" or its
translation, on the outside. According to Section 1a OSM, a watch is
considered to be Swiss if:

* its movement is Swiss;
* its movement is cased up in Switzerland;
* and the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland.
Read below to see what the above terms mean. It is surprising for those
who have understood this term to mean so much more or who have been
deceived by the use of this legalisitc sounding but really all about
marketing term.

A Swiss watch movement

As we have seen, to be Swiss, a watch must use a Swiss movement.
According to Section 2 OSM, a movement is considered to be Swiss if:

* it has been assembled in Switzerland;
* it has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland; and
* the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 50 percent
of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly.
Remember that 50% of the VALUE of the components must be manufactured
in Switzerland. A $10.00 Chinese movement unassembled could be sent to
Switzerland and then assembled using 1 (ONE) Swiss manufactured rotor
or screw or any component on the movement that cost $10.00 and this
movement will qualify for legal use of the term. Remember that Franck
Muller used the Poljot movements (Russian manufactured) with platinum
Swiss manufactured rotors, and although it was a bit of a black eye for
the Swiss watch industry and an eye opener for collectors, did not
cause Franck Muller any problems because Watchland was complying with
the legal use of the term on their watches.

If the movement fulfills these conditions, but the watch is not
assembled in Switzerland, the "Swiss" indication may be affixed to one
of the components of the movement. On the outside of the watch, may
then only appear the "mouvement suisse" or "Swiss movement" indication.
Section 3 § 3 OSM requires that the word "movement" appear in full,
and be written in the same type-face, of identical size and colour, as
the word "Swiss". So if I have a Chinese movement valued at $10.00, one
Swiss manufactured rotor valued at $10.00, and assemble it in
Switzerland, but send it to China to have the hands put on and the
movement fit to the dial and have it cased up, I can legally put "Swiss
Movement" on the dial of the watch.

Material extent of the use of the word "Swiss"


The word "use" is understood in a broad sense: it not only covers the
application of the above-mentioned designation to the watch, but also,
according to Section 3 § 5 OSM:

* the sale, offering for sale or putting into circulation of watches
bearing such an indication;
* the application of this designation to signs, advertisements,
prospectus, invoices, letters or commercial papers.

Particular cases

Wristlet

The "Swiss made" indication may only appear on a wristlet if it is of
Swiss manufacture and if the watch is also Swiss. A wristlet is
considered to be Swiss if it has undergone an essential manufacturing
operation in Switzerland and if 50 percent of the production costs
originate in Switzerland.

When a Swiss wristlet is attached to a watch manufactured abroad, it
may only bear a reference to the word "Swiss" if this designation
clearly shows that only the wristlet is of Swiss manufacture (for
example, "Swiss wristlet").

Case

The "Swiss case" indication on a watch case betokens that the case is
of Swiss manufacture. A case is considered to be Swiss if:

* it has undergone an essential manufacturing operation in Switzerland
(stamping, turning, or polishing);
* it has been assembled and inspected in Switzerland; and
* over 50 percent of the manufacturing costs (excluding the value of
the material) are due to operations carried out in Switzerland.

When the "Swiss case" indication appears on the outside of the case,
and the watch is of foreign manufacture, the origin of the movement or
of the watch must also be affixed to the outside of the watch.

"Swiss Quartz" indication

This indication is often illegally affixed to the outside of the watch,
especially by foreign manufacturers wishing to show that the quartz
movement used is of Swiss origin. But, according to the OSM, the use of
this indication on the outside of the watch signifies that the watch is
Swiss.

"Swiss parts" indication

This marking indicates that the movement is composed of movement-blanks
which have been manufactured in Switzerland, but assembled abroad. This
indication may only appear on the movement, and never on the outside of
the watch.


Role of the FH


The FH has a double role in the protection of this indication of
geographical origin;

firstly, the FH advises the companies on the lawful markings for
watches and movements according to the Federal Council's Ordinance
governing the use of the word "Swiss" for watches;

secondly it may act against companies which illegally use this
indication, in order to protect the consumer, on the one hand, and, on
the other hand, the renown of this designation, which is synonymous
with quality.

If you have any questions about "Swiss made", please do not hesitate to
contact a member of our Legal staff. (See also News)

Download the text of the Federal Council's Ordinance governing the use
of the word "Swiss" for watches

There have been rumors for years that many Swiss Made watches use
components manufactured in the far east. I think this really clarifies
that they can do so without any penalty. If ETA can produce most of a
movement in Taiwan and then send it to Switzerland for assembly while
utilizing the very valuable marketing tool known as Swiss Made, then
they are within their legal rights. And if they can do this and produce
said movement for half as much as if they produced it in Switzerland,
then they undoubtedly will or are. My main problem is that the same
people who so loudly endorse this marketing term "Swiss Made" also
denounce their far east colleagues, and this isn't right. The Asians
and Russians are doing some nice work. I'll bet you a nickel that their
nicest work appears in some of the nicest mainstream watches on the
market.

'MADE IN THE USA' Don't mess with the FTC
Complying with the Made In the USA Standard
Introduction (information cited from the ftc.gov website)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is charged with preventing deception
and unfairness in the marketplace. The FTC Act gives the Commission the
power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading
claims that a product is of U.S. origin. Traditionally, the Commission
has required that a product advertised as Made in USA be "all or
virtually all" made in the U.S. After a comprehensive review of Made in
USA and other U.S. origin claims in product advertising and labeling,
the Commission announced in December 1997 that it would retain the "all
or virtually all" standard. The Commission also issued an Enforcement
Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims to provide guidance to marketers
who want to make an unqualified Made in USA claim under the "all or
virtually all" standard and those who want to make a qualified Made in
USA claim.
This publication provides additional guidance about how to comply with
the "all or virtually all" standard. It also offers some general
information about the U.S. Customs Service's requirement that all
products of foreign origin imported into the U.S. be marked with the
name of the country of origin.
This publication is the Federal Trade Commission staff's view of the
law's requirements. It is not binding on the Commission. The
Enforcement Policy Statement issued by the FTC is at the end of the
publication.
Basic Information About Made In USA Claims
Must U.S. content be disclosed on products sold in the U.S.?
U.S. content must be disclosed on automobiles and textile, wool, and
fur products. There's no law that requires most other products sold
in the U.S. to be marked or labeled Made in USA or have any other
disclosure about their amount of U.S. content. However, manufacturers
and marketers who choose to make claims about the amount of U.S.
content in their products must comply with the FTC's Made in USA
policy.
What products does the FTC's Made in USA policy apply to?
The policy applies to all products advertised or sold in the U.S.,
except for those specifically subject to country-of-origin labeling by
other laws . Other countries may have their own country-of-origin
marking requirements. As a result, exporters should determine whether
the country to which they are exporting imposes such requirements.
What kinds of claims does the Enforcement Policy Statement apply to?
The Enforcement Policy Statement applies to U.S. origin claims that
appear on products and labeling, advertising, and other promotional
materials. It also applies to all other forms of marketing, including
marketing through digital or electronic mechanisms, such as Internet or
e-mail.
A Made in USA claim can be express or implied.
Examples of express claims: Made in USA. "Our products are
American-made." "USA."
In identifying implied claims, the Commission focuses on the overall
impression of the advertising, label, or promotional material.
Depending on the context, U.S. symbols or geographic references (for
example, U.S. flags, outlines of U.S. maps, or references to U.S.
locations of headquarters or factories) may convey a claim of U.S.
origin either by themselves, or in conjunction with other phrases or
images.
Example: A company promotes its product in an ad that features a
manager describing the "true American quality" of the work produced at
the company's American factory. Although there is no express
representation that the company's product is made in the U.S., the
overall - or net - impression the ad is likely to convey to
consumers is that the product is of U.S. origin.
Brand names and trademarks
Ordinarily, the Commission will not consider a manufacturer or
marketer's use of an American brand name or trademark by itself as a
U.S. origin claim. Similarly, the Commission is not likely to interpret
the mere listing of a company's U.S. address on a package label in a
non-prominent way as a claim of U.S. origin.
Example: A product is manufactured abroad by a well-known U.S. company.
The fact that the company is headquartered in the U.S. also is widely
known. Company pamphlets for its foreign-made product prominently
feature its brand name. Assuming that the brand name does not
specifically denote U.S. origin (that is, the brand name is not "Made
in America, Inc."), using the brand name by itself does not constitute
a claim of U.S. origin.
Representations about entire product lines
Manufacturers and marketers should not indicate, either expressly or
implicitly, that a whole product line is of U.S. origin ("Our products
are made in USA") when only some products in the product line are made
in the U.S. according to the "all or virtually all" standard.
Does the FTC pre-approve Made in USA claims?
The Commission does not pre-approve advertising or labeling claims. A
company doesn't need approval from the Commission before making a
Made in USA claim. As with most other advertising claims, a
manufacturer or marketer may make any claim as long as it is truthful
and substantiated.
The Standard For Unqualified Made In USA Claims
What is the standard for a product to be called Made in USA without
qualification?
For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic
origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must
be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. The term "United States," as
referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50
states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and
possessions.
What does "all or virtually all" mean?
"All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing
that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product
should contain no - or negligible - foreign content.
What substantiation is required for a Made in USA claim?
When a manufacturer or marketer makes an unqualified claim that a
product is Made in USA, it should have - and rely on - a
"reasonable basis" to support the claim at the time it is made. This
means a manufacturer or marketer needs competent and reliable evidence
to back up the claim that its product is "all or virtually all" made in
the U.S.
What factors does the Commission consider to determine whether a
product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.?
The product's final assembly or processing must take place in the
U.S. The Commission then considers other factors, including how much of
the product's total manufacturing costs can be assigned to U.S. parts
and processing, and how far removed any foreign content is from the
finished product. In some instances, only a small portion of the total
manufacturing costs are attributable to foreign processing, but that
processing represents a significant amount of the product's overall
processing. The same could be true for some foreign parts. In these
cases, the foreign content (processing or parts) is more than
negligible, and, as a result, unqualified claims are inappropriate.
Example: A company produces propane barbecue grills at a plant in
Nevada. The product's major components include the gas valve, burner
and aluminum housing, each of which is made in the U.S. The grill's
knobs and tubing are imported from Mexico. An unqualified Made in USA
claim is not likely to be deceptive because the knobs and tubing make
up a negligible portion of the product's total manufacturing costs
and are insignificant parts of the final product.
Example: A table lamp is assembled in the U.S. from American-made
brass, an American-made Tiffany-style lampshade, and an imported base.
The base accounts for a small percent of the total cost of making the
lamp. An unqualified Made in USA claim is deceptive for two reasons:
The base is not far enough removed in the manufacturing process from
the finished product to be of little consequence and it is a
significant part of the final product.
What items should manufacturers and marketers include in analyzing the
percentage of domestic content in a particular product?
Manufacturers and marketers should use the cost of goods sold or
inventory costs of finished goods in their analysis. Such costs
generally are limited to the total cost of all manufacturing materials,
direct manufacturing labor, and manufacturing overhead.
Should manufacturers and marketers rely on information from American
suppliers about the amount of domestic content in the parts,
components, and other elements they buy and use for their final
products?
If given in good faith, manufacturers and marketers can rely on
information from suppliers about the domestic content in the parts,
components, and other elements they produce. Rather than assume that
the input is 100 percent U.S.-made, however, manufacturers and
marketers would be wise to ask the supplier for specific information
about the percentage of U.S. content before they make a U.S. origin
claim.
Example: A company manufactures food processors in its U.S. plant,
making most of the parts, including the housing and blade, from U.S.
materials. The motor, which constitutes 50 percent of the food
processor's total manufacturing costs, is bought from a U.S.
supplier. The food processor manufacturer knows that the motor is
assembled in a U.S. factory. Even though most of the parts of the food
processor are of U.S. origin, the final assembly is in the U.S., and
the motor is assembled in the U.S., the food processor is not
considered "all or virtually all" American-made if the motor itself is
made of imported parts that constitute a significant percentage of the
appliance's total manufacturing cost. Before claiming the product is
Made in USA, this manufacturer should look to its motor supplier for
more specific information about the motor's origin.
Example: On its purchase order, a company states: "Our company requires
that suppliers certify the percentage of U.S. content in products
supplied to us. If you are unable or unwilling to make such
certification, we will not purchase from you." Appearing under this
statement is the sentence, "We certify that our ___ have at least ___%
U.S. content," with space for the supplier to fill in the name of the
product and its percentage of U.S. content. The company generally could
rely on a certification like this to determine the appropriate
country-of-origin designation for its product.
How far back in the manufacturing process should manufacturers and
marketers look?
To determine the percentage of U.S. content, manufacturers and
marketers should look back far enough in the manufacturing process to
be reasonably sure that any significant foreign content has been
included in their assessment of foreign costs. Foreign content
incorporated early in the manufacturing process often will be less
significant to consumers than content that is a direct part of the
finished product or the parts or components produced by the immediate
supplier.
Example: The steel used to make a single component of a complex product
(for example, the steel used in the case of a computer's floppy
drive) is an early input into the computer's manufacture, and is
likely to constitute a very small portion of the final product's
total cost. On the other hand, the steel in a product like a pipe or a
wrench is a direct and significant input. Whether the steel in a pipe
or wrench is imported would be a significant factor in evaluating
whether the finished product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.
Are raw materials included in the evaluation of whether a product is
"all or virtually all" made in the U.S.?
It depends on how much of the product's cost the raw materials make
up and how far removed from the finished product they are.
Example: If the gold in a gold ring is imported, an unqualified Made in
USA claim for the ring is deceptive. That's because of the
significant value the gold is likely to represent relative to the
finished product, and because the gold - an integral component - is
only one step back from the finished article. By contrast, consider the
plastic in the plastic case of a clock radio otherwise made in the U.S.
of U.S.-made components. If the plastic case was made from imported
petroleum, a Made in USA claim is likely to be appropriate because the
petroleum is far enough removed from the finished product, and is an
insignificant part of it as well.
Qualified Claims
What is a qualified Made in USA claim?
A qualified Made in USA claim describes the extent, amount or type of a
product's domestic content or processing; it indicates that the
product isn't entirely of domestic origin.
Example: "60% U.S. content." "Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts."
"Couch assembled in USA from Italian Leather and Mexican Frame."
When is a qualified Made in USA claim appropriate?
A qualified Made in USA claim is appropriate for products that include
U.S. content or processing but don't meet the criteria for making an
unqualified Made in USA claim. Because even qualified claims may imply
more domestic content than exists, manufacturers or marketers must
exercise care when making these claims. That is, avoid qualified claims
unless the product has a significant amount of U.S. content or U.S.
processing. A qualified Made in USA claim, like an unqualified claim,
must be truthful and substantiated.
Example: An exercise treadmill is assembled in the U.S. The assembly
represents significant work and constitutes a "substantial
transformation" (a term used by the U.S. Customs Service). All of the
treadmill's major parts, including the motor, frame, and electronic
display, are imported. A few of its incidental parts, such as the
handle bar covers, the plastic on/off power key, and the treadmill mat,
are manufactured in the U.S. Together, these parts account for
approximately three percent of the total cost of all the parts. Because
the value of the U.S.-made parts is negligible compared to the value of
all the parts, a claim on the treadmill that it is "Made in USA of U.S.
and Imported Parts" is deceptive. A claim like "Made in U.S. from
Imported Parts" or "Assembled in U.S.A." would not be deceptive.
U.S. origin claims for specific processes or parts
Claims that a particular manufacturing or other process was performed
in the U.S. or that a particular part was manufactured in the U.S. must
be truthful, substantiated, and clearly refer to the specific process
or part, not to the general manufacture of the product, to avoid
implying more U.S. content than exists.
Manufacturers and marketers should be cautious about using general
terms, such as "produced," "created" or "manufactured" in the U.S.
Words like these are unlikely to convey a message limited to a
particular process. Additional qualification probably is necessary to
describe a product that is not "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.
In addition, if a product is of foreign origin (that is, it has been
substantially transformed abroad), manufacturers and marketers also
should make sure they satisfy Customs' markings statute and
regulations that require such products to be marked with a foreign
country of origin. Further, Customs requires the foreign country of
origin to be preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or words of similar
meaning when any city or location that is not the country of origin
appears on the product.
Example: A company designs a product in New York City and sends the
blueprint to a factory in Finland for manufacturing. It labels the
product "Designed in USA - Made in Finland." Such a specific
processing claim would not lead a reasonable consumer to believe that
the whole product was made in the U.S. The Customs Service requires the
product to be marked "Made in," or "Product of" Finland since the
product is of Finnish origin and the claim refers to the U.S. Examples
of other specific processing claims are: "Bound in U.S. - Printed in
Turkey." "Hand carved in U.S. - Wood from Philippines." "Software
written in U.S. - Disk made in India." "Painted and fired in USA.
Blanks made in (foreign country of origin)."
Example: A company advertises its product, which was invented in
Seattle and manufactured in Bangladesh, as "Created in USA." This claim
is deceptive because consumers are likely to interpret the term
"Created" as Made in USA - an unqualified U.S. origin claim.
Example: A computer imported from Korea is packaged in the U.S. in an
American-made corrugated paperboard box containing only domestic
materials and domestically produced expanded rigid polystyrene plastic
packing. Stating Made in USA on the package would deceive consumers
about the origin of the product inside. But the company could
legitimately make a qualified claim, such as "Computer Made in Korea
- Packaging Made in USA."
Example: The Acme Camera Company assembles its cameras in the U.S. The
camera lenses are manufactured in the U.S., but most of the remaining
parts are imported. A magazine ad for the camera is headlined "Beware
of Imported Imitations" and states "Other high-end camera makers use
imported parts made with cheap foreign labor. But at Acme Camera, we
want only the highest quality parts for our cameras and we believe in
employing American workers. That's why we make all of our lenses
right here in the U.S." This ad is likely to convey that more than a
specific product part (the lens) is of U.S. origin. The marketer should
be prepared to substantiate the broader U.S. origin claim conveyed to
consumers viewing the ad.
Comparative Claims
Comparative claims should be truthful and substantiated, and presented
in a way that makes the basis for comparison clear (for example,
whether the comparison is to another leading brand or to a previous
version of the same product). They should truthfully describe the U.S.
content of the product and be based on a meaningful difference in U.S.
content between the compared products.
Example: An ad for cellular phones states "We use more U.S. content
than any other cellular phone manufacturer." The manufacturer assembles
the phones in the U.S. from American and imported components and can
substantiate that the difference between the U.S. content of its phones
and that of the other manufacturers' phones is significant. This
comparative claim is not deceptive.
Example: A product is advertised as having "twice as much U.S. content
as before." The U.S. content in the product has been increased from 2
percent in the previous version to 4 percent in the current version.
This comparative claim is deceptive because the difference between the
U.S. content in the current and previous version of the product are
insignificant.
Assembled in USA Claims
A product that includes foreign components may be called "Assembled in
USA" without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in
the U.S. and the assembly is substantial. For the "assembly" claim to
be valid, the product's last "substantial transformation" also should
have occurred in the U.S. That's why a "screwdriver" assembly in the
U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the
manufacturing process doesn't usually qualify for the "Assembled in
USA" claim.
Example: A lawn mower, composed of all domestic parts except for the
cable sheathing, flywheel, wheel rims and air filter (15 to 20 percent
foreign content) is assembled in the U.S. An "Assembled in USA" claim
is appropriate.
Example: All the major components of a computer, including the
motherboard and hard drive, are imported. The computer's components
then are put together in a simple "screwdriver" operation in the U.S.,
are not substantially transformed under the Customs Standard, and must
be marked with a foreign country of origin. An "Assembled in U.S."
claim without further qualification is deceptive.
The FTC and The Customs Service
What is the U.S. Customs Service's jurisdiction over
country-of-origin claims?
The Tariff Act gives Customs and the Secretary of the Treasury the
power to administer the requirement that imported goods be marked with
a foreign country of origin (for example, "Made in Japan").
When an imported product incorporates materials and/or processing from
more than one country, Customs considers the country of origin to be
the last country in which a "substantial transformation" took place.
Customs defines "substantial transformation" as a manufacturing process
that results in a new and different product with a new name, character,
and use that is different from that which existed before the change.
Customs makes country-of-origin determinations using the "substantial
transformation" test on a case-by-case basis. In some instances,
Customs uses a "tariff shift" analysis, comparable to "substantial
transformation," to determine a product's country of origin.
What is the interaction between the FTC and Customs regarding
country-of-origin claims?
Even if Customs determines that an imported product does not need a
foreign country-of-origin mark, it is not necessarily permissible to
promote that product as Made in USA. The FTC considers additional
factors to decide whether a product can be advertised or labeled as
Made in USA.
Manufacturers and marketers should check with Customs to see if they
need to mark their products with the foreign country of origin. If they
don't, they should look at the FTC's standard to check if they can
properly make a Made in USA claim.
The FTC has jurisdiction over foreign origin claims on products and in
packaging that are beyond the disclosures required by Customs (for
example, claims that supplement a required foreign origin marking to
indicate where additional processing or finishing of a product
occurred).
The FTC also has jurisdiction over foreign origin claims in advertising
and other promotional materials. Unqualified U.S. origin claims in ads
or other promotional materials for products that Customs requires a
foreign country-of-origin mark may mislead or confuse consumers about
the product's origin. To avoid misleading consumers, marketers should
clearly disclose the foreign manufacture of a product.
Example: A television set assembled in Korea using an American-made
picture tube is shipped to the U.S. The Customs Service requires the
television set to be marked "Made in Korea" because that's where the
television set was last "substantially transformed." The company's
World Wide Web page states "Although our televisions are made abroad,
they always contain U.S.-made picture tubes." This statement is not
deceptive. However, making the statement "All our picture tubes are
made in the USA" - without disclosing the foreign origin of the
television's manufacture - might imply a broader claim (for
example, that the television set is largely made in the U.S.) than
could be substantiated. That is, if the statement and the entire ad
imply that any foreign content or processing is negligible, the
advertiser must substantiate that claim or net impression. The
advertiser in this scenario would not be able to substantiate the
implied Made in USA claim because the product was "substantially
transformed" in Korea.
Other Statutes
What are the requirements of other federal statutes relating to
country-of-origin determinations?
Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and Wool Products Labeling
Act - Require a Made in USA label on most clothing and other textile
or wool household products if the final product is manufactured in the
U.S. of fabric that is manufactured in the U.S., regardless of where
materials earlier in the manufacturing process (for example, the yarn
and fiber) came from. Textile products that are imported must be
labeled as required by the Customs Service. A textile or wool product
partially manufactured in the U.S. and partially manufactured in
another country must be labeled to show both foreign and domestic
processing.
On a garment with a neck, the country of origin must be disclosed on
the front of a label attached to the inside center of the neck -
either midway between the shoulder seams or very near another label
attached to the inside center of the neck. On a garment without a neck,
and on other kinds of textile products, the country of origin must
appear on a conspicuous and readily accessible label on the inside or
outside of the product.
Catalogs and other mail order promotional materials for textile and
wool products, including those disseminated on the Internet, must
disclose whether a product is made in the U.S., imported or both.
The Fur Products Labeling Act requires the country of origin of
imported furs to be disclosed on all labels and in all advertising. For
copies of the Textile, Wool or Fur Rules and Regulations, or the new
business education guide on labeling requirements, call the FTC's
Consumer Response Center
(202-382-4357). Or visit the FTC online at www.ftc.gov. Click on
Consumer Protection.
American Automobile Labeling Act - Requires that each automobile
manufactured on or after October 1, 1994, for sale in the U.S. bear a
label disclosing where the car was assembled, the percentage of
equipment that originated in the U.S. and Canada, and the country of
origin of the engine and transmission. Any representation that a car
marketer makes that is required by the AALA is exempt from the
Commission's policy. When a company makes claims in advertising or
promotional materials that go beyond the AALA requirements, it will be
held to the Commission's standard. For more information, call the
Consumer Programs Division of the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (202-366-0846).
Buy American Act - Requires that a product be manufactured in the
U.S. of more than 50 percent U.S. parts to be considered Made in USA
for government procurement purposes. For more information, review the
Buy American Act at 41 U.S.C. §§ 10a-10c, the Federal Acquisition
Regulations at 48 C.F.R. Part 25, and the Trade Agreements Act at 19
U.S.C. §§ 2501-2582.
What To Do About Violations
What if I suspect noncompliance with the FTC's Made in USA standard
or other country-of-origin mislabeling?
Information about possible illegal activity helps law enforcement
officials target companies whose practices warrant scrutiny. If you
suspect noncompliance, contact the Division of Enforcement, Bureau of
Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580;
(202) 326-2996 or send an e-mail to ***@ftc.gov. If you know about
import or export fraud, call Customs' toll-free Commercial Fraud
Hotline, 1-800-ITS-FAKE. Examples of fraudulent practices involving
imports include removing a required foreign origin label before the
product is delivered to the ultimate purchaser (with or without the
improper substitution of a Made in USA label) and failing to label a
product with a required country of origin.
You also can contact your state Attorney General and your local Better
Business Bureau to report a company. Or you can refer your complaint to
the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better
Business Bureaus by calling (212) 754-1320. NAD handles complaints
about the truth and accuracy of national advertising. You can reach the
Council of Better Business Bureaus on the web at
adweb.com/adassoc17.html.
Finally, the Lanham Act gives any person (such as a competitor) who is
damaged by a false designation of origin the right to sue the party
making the false claim. Consult a lawyer to see if this private right
of action is an appropriate course of action for you.
Your Opportunity to Comment
The Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and
10 Regional Fairness Boards collect comments from small business about
federal enforcement actions. Each year, the Ombudsman evaluates
enforcement activities and rates each agency's responsiveness to
small business. To comment on FTC actions, call 1-888-734-3247.
JAQUET SCANDAL
Wild west-methods in the watch world
The watch forger-affair around manufacturer Jean-Pierre Jaquet from La
Chaux de Fonds expands
An unprecedented watch forger-scandal shakes the Neuenburger law: along
with manufacturer Jean-Pierre Jaquet sit also a dozen persons in
pre-trial detention. Jaquet is charged with robbery, receiving of
stolen goods, goods forgery and also hijacking.

By Markus Steudler and Daniel Hug

It was a unique action when about twenty officials of the Neuenburger
canton police appeared on Tuesday morning on the grounds of the watch
firm Jaquet SA in La Chaux de Fonds then bolted the entrance and
searched the building. Head of the company Jean-Pierre Jaquet was
arrested, the company Jaquet SA with its 160 employees was closed for
two days.

The hard inquiry method, explained examining magistrate Sylvie Favre,
has taken place « within the scope of a wide investigation to watch
and precious metal thefts ». Favre supposed to find tips to the
production of phoney luxury watch in the Jaquet SA or her sphere. In
the knowledge around the risks for the region the examining magistrate
pushed after: « Everything is risked that the economy of the region is
not impaired by the current and perhaps future inquiries. » The fear
of an image loss may dwindle in the Neuenburger law which lives to a
great extent from the watch branch, however, not so fast. The affair
expands: « Meanwhile there are a dozen people in pre-trial detention
», says Favre. « Possibly half of them have confessed. »

Shots at the factory
Not confessing is 57-year-old Jean-Pierre Jaquet who stands in the
center of the inquiries. The watchwork designer could be the head of a
well organized forger and fence ring. Favre suspects him of the
robbery, the instigation to robbery, the receiving of stolen goods, the
goods forgery, the attempted instigation to arson and also of the
freedom deprivation and hijacking. During the last weeks Jaquet has
become meanwhile a victim of threats of force; in the end, a possible
power escalation, so sphere is supposed in Jaquets, has been a release
for the police action.

« My client and his family have received murder threats during the
last weeks », says Jaquets lawyer Freddy Rumo. « One has shot at his
office, and once he had to be treated in the hospital, after him three
persons had knocked him down. » Trusted sources from the sphere of the
Jaquet SA tell of two cars which have driven up one night at the
factory and have been fired shots at the chief office. Shot holes in
Jaquets office should testify of it. Of the cowboy's methods in - wild
- Swiss west, however, not enough is known: Once Jaquet should have
escaped on the run before the aggressors with a jump in the Doubs. «
Hence, the charge of the hijacking says that Jaquet one of the
aggressors who sits now in pretrial detention has invited home and
laid, besides, a pistol on the table », says Rumo.

About the reason for the aggressions there are several hypotheses. « I
believe, the people wanted to blackmail money. At least, Jaquet has
done very good business », says Rumo. However, this is not what the
investigation authorities believe in, as the lawyer confirms: « The
investigators charge my client; the aggressors would have committed
robberies and thefts by his order for which he has still owed money to
them. » He has seen proofs of it?, according to Rumo, none.

Dubious theft series
Against it statements of imprisoned Jaquet mount. Among the arrested is
the head of the foreman's work Miranda in La Chaux de Fonds. This firm,
respectively one of her instructed courier's service, became in 2002
victims of a robbery raid. Several strangers carried off golden Rolex
cases to the value of half a million francs. A 35-year-old Bosnian was
arrested and was condemned to 5,5 years of prison. His accomplices and
principals are not determined. The Rolex cases from which perfect
forgeries can be made, remained disappeared.

Another unsettled case is the burglary in the watch firm RSM in Le
Locle from June, 2002 when two armed employees demanded to open the
safe deposit and ten kilograms of gold vanished. There was, according
RSM manager Ivano Magistrini, further thefts in other firms. The last
of the dubious series is that at the watch firm Ulysse Nardin in Le
Locle. Before a watch auction on the 19th March, 2003 in New York in
the catalog of the firm Antiquorum a Ulysse Nardin model appeared which
was not yet on the market. « Our searches proved that an employee with
us had stolen the watch», says Ulysse Nardin patron Rolf W. Schneider.
All together the man has stolen about 20 watches, mostly very expensive
pieces with retail prices to 40,000 francs. « It turned out that he
had stolen watch already with his two earlier employers - and resold to
people in the sphere of Jaquet », says Schneider. Jaquet had earlier
owned a small pawnshop and with it has had always an excuse when with
him when he has been charged that he puts on the market stolen watches.

The inquiries to the Ulysse Nardin case brought the authorities
obviously on Jaquets track. « The phone of my client was monitored for
one year », says lawyer Rumo. Examining magistrate Favre explains: «
It is an object of the inquiries whether there is a connection between
the various cases and whether Jaquet has to act a little bit with it.
» The man who should often carry a pistol on himself and be previously
convicted because of a property offense has the call of a clever
designer, however, he also counts as audaciously and cold-blooded.
Jaquet was known in the branch for the fact that he set down luxury
watch above the gray market abroad. Besides, one has with the Swatch
Group clues for forgeries: « We have found phoney watch in which a
work was inserted by Jaquet », says Anton Bally, head to the Swatch
subsidiary eta.

On Wednesday evening Jaquet has withdrawn with his Jaquet SA from all
functions. He still remains a stockholder. The new head Frédéric
Wenger stresses that the firm whose capital majority has gone over in
the first semester in 2003 to new investors is not under suspicion of
the investigators. « The investigation authorities have found no clue
for any offenses with us », he says.

Supplier of the big watch brands
The Jaquet SA been based by former antiquarian Jean-Pierre Jaquet is
specified to refine so-called raw watchworks (Ebauches) of the Swatch
subsidiary eta, to do alterations and to extend complicated mechanisms;
big date, split seconds, perpetual calendar or Seconde Foudroyante
(which measures fractions of one second). Today Jaquet in the
possession is the holding company which belongs by the majority
Frédéric Wenger, Eric Loth, Rudolf Bohli and about five other
investors. Jaquet should still hold 40% of the capital. In 2001, Jaquet
according to a proficient presentation a turnover of 22 Mil. Frs of
most important customers were Franck Muller (17% of sales interest),
Girard Perregaux (12%), sense (9%), Maurice Lacroix (8%), Journe (6%),
Eberhard (5%), Richemont (5%). (dah).

Business with Ernst Thomke
The affair around Jean-Pierre Jaquet throws a shade on the Swiss
entrepreneur and earlier Swatch manager: Ernst Thomke is a
long-standing business partner of Jaquet. In 1995 Thomke had helped to
found the firm British master (BM) in La Chaux de Fonds. Thomke and
Jaquet hold 25% in the share capital of the society, above all under
the name Arnold & Son and Graham luxury watches in the top price
segment produces and markets. Another block of shares is held by BM
manager Eric Loth. The English Masters watch are produced practically
exclusively in the studios by Jaquet.

Besides, Frédéric Wenger, present finance head and since the last
week is a head of the company of the Jaquet group, a good friend of
Thomke. Once he worked at the bank on the Bellevue, is connected with
the Thomke since his time as Sour-Sanierer. Ernst Zängerle, also he a
Thomke confidant, has organized the whole logistics for Jaquet.
Zängerle tried before together with Thomke the renovation of the shoe
manufacturer Bally and today sits together with him in the
administrative council of themedical technology company Nobel Biocare.

Also the Eric Loth who was performed in August, 2001 as a manager by
Jaquet SA cooperates for many years with Thomke (in the bases for
Jaquet investors with ET called). Thomke was not able to be reached
this week for a statement. Trusted sources around Thomke in August have
expressed heavy doubts in the integrity of Jaquets. Nevertheless, he
has obviously undertaken nothing to remove Jaquet from his positions.
Only the intervention of the examining magistrate led to this step.

Thomke, the long-standing opponent of Swatch patron Nicolas G. Hayek,
also remains as a majority owner of Metalor with the watch industry:
the enterprise with about 1000 employees is the biggest manufacturer of
golden cases in Switzerland. (dah).

FRANCK MULLER SCANDAL (Information cited from
http://www.badbusinessbureau.com)
The following informations show the scandals occuring in the swiss
watch industry and the theft and using of Aisan components in genuine
Franck Muller watches.
According to today's Tribune de Geneve newspaper, Franck Muller
Watchland has confirmed the arrest on November 10th of two of its
employees, one of them identified as the uncle of Mr. Franck Muller
himself. He had been laid off by the company on August 29th due to
reorganization of the firm, after the departure of Mr. Muller.

At this gentleman's house in Genthod, the Neuchatel police found great
quantities of spare parts and partially assembled Franck Muller
watches. In addition, confidential technical plans for new watches were
also found.

The firm has expressed its shock and surprise at this development. The
uncle of Franck Muller had access to all areas of Watchland for the
past eight years.

More information to follow.

The large office of Mr. Franck Muller, in Genthod, is empty. The rays
of the racks are strewn with some curios and other photographs that
l?horloger left. On l?une d?elles, it takes the installation beside
Johnny Hallyday. But for the remainder, plus any document or computer
n?encombre its work table. Two forgotten coffee cups have simply
recalled that for several months l?endroit s?est transformed into
occasional room of conferences. A strong image of the divorce between
Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes, its associate. Since nearly nine
months, the famous clock and watch maker deserted Watchland, the vast
property which is the stronghold of the watches which bear its name.
The revelations of the Platform of Geneva, these last days, l?ont
thorough to leave the dumbness in which it is terrait. It gives its
version of the facts (see below). It does not want to guarantee any
more what occurs to Genthod, it feels betrayed, it has d?ailleurs
deposited felt sorry for in June against its associate for unfair
management. This last denies in block, ensures that the company is
better than well, and also deposited to him felt sorry for, counters
Franck Muller of course, for slandering and request of the damages.
Without forgetting proceedings brought in front of a guardian court,
always against its associate. The conflict beats its full with, in
addition, l?arrestation of l?oncle of Franck Muller within the
framework of l?affaire Jaquet (see our editions d?hier). But behind
this surging divorce, there is nearly 500 employees who are
destabilized. And of the customers who are décontenancés by
l?affaire. For a long time, the watches Franck Muller were the symbol
d?une fulgurating success. Aujourd?hui, at the time when the two
founders of the group return themselves the minutes of their "lawsuit",
the movement loses its precision. With each one its truth.
Tour of Mullers WAtchland


Posted By: Jeff Hess
Date: 11-21 06:23

We were at the opening of Watchland three years ago. It was big "to do"
with a huge orchestra, tons of people and lots of fancy wine and food
to show folks the new working factory that Muller had opened. Top notch
party and topnotch facility.

My wife and I went as journalists and pretty much wandered about with
no supervision.

We were amazed at how clean the watchmakers benches were. We jokingly
commented that perhaps NO WORK was done there! It was THAT clean. EACH
table and workspace and watchmakers bench that we saw had nary a spot,
a tool or a part on them. Sterile. The floors were buffed to a high
polish with no tracks or evidence of anyone walking on them.

We went up and down the elevators in the two "back castles" (they were
modeled on the estate up front that served as the showroom) and no one
tried to stop us.

It was amazing.
One wonders.... Jeff
Not a translation, just a precis: F. Muller was a senior Franck Muller
Watchland employee, who was entrusted with the keys to various key
areas within the business and was responsible for the stock of parts.
During the restructuring of FM Watchland suspicions were raised when he
would not account properly for the inventory.

In his and another watchmaker's house they found a large number of
genuine and counterfeit FM parts, including cases with FM reference
numbers, plus watches in a partially constructed state. They feel it is
certain that some have been sold on the market as genuine.

The investigation is under the direction of the same magistrate who is
invetigating the Jaquet Droz affair. Some 'fake' Franck Muller watches
were discovered at Jaquet in the course of their inquiries, some using
genuine parts and some using asian fakes.

They are continuing the inquiry to determine whether other employees
have participated and have interviewed Franck Muller himself three
times. He is remaining silent in public, but it is reported that he
feels the image of the marque he created is in danger.

High school level French 40 years ago, so sorry for any mistakes.

INDUSTRY NEWS - Franck Muller Russian Movement Admission! Dec 19,
2003 - 02:18 PM

Notwitstanding the fact that both Mr. Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes
(co-owners of Franck Muller Watchland - FM, Pierre Kunz, ECW) are
suing each other in court for breach of trust, now the saga of the
Russian movements has turned a new page.

After the Geneva newspaper Le Temps reported that FM Watchland ordered
thousands of Russian made movements, Vartan Sirmakes denied it and sued
the newspaper for libel.

Now, according to the research done by another Swiss newspaper, Le
Matin, documents have been unearthed that show that indeed Mr. Sirmakes
purchased from Poljot, 1,500 movements. A contract dated 1994 and
signed by Mr. Sirmakes' other company, Technowatch, shows the purchase
order to Poljot for the movements states that these will be deprived of
any engraving marks that will identify them as Poljot!

Vartan Sirmakes denies vigorously that these movements ended up in
Franck Muller cases, and gives an other explanation for their use:
"Yes, it sometimes happens that we order Russian, Japanese or Chinese
movements. But we used them for research, to know what the competitors
are making. There is nothing but Swiss movements in the watches of the
Franck Muller group".

Here is a report from the JCK that includes information regarding
illegal Armenians working at WatchLand on Franck Muller timepieces.
The obvious interpretation is that this means that at least some
'Swiss Made' watches are assembled in Switzerland by people who
should not even be in the country. This seems to be a clear fraud on
the public. Watch specialists find it astonishing that 1,500 movements
were purchased simply to study them!
The start of 2004 was bumpy for Swiss luxury watch firm Franck Muller
Watchland S.A., whose brands include Franck Muller, Pierre Kunz, and
European Company Watch. A dispute between watchmaker Franck Muller and
Vartan Sirmakes, who co-founded the company in 1991, helped spark a
government investigation and delay the company's first stock offering.
Muller left the company in 2002.
On Jan. 5, Daniel Zappelli, attorney general of the Swiss canton of
Geneva, began a preliminary investigation of claims that Watchland had
used undocumented workers. Officials of Watchland, located in the
Geneva suburb of Genthod, denied the accusation.
According to Swiss press and radio reports, Zappelli acted on
complaints by Franck Muller, two Geneva government officials (Micheline
Spoerri, minister of justice, and Carlo Lamprecht, minister of
economics), and a major trade union, FTMH. Muller allegedly questioned
Sirmakes last April about 20 supposedly unlicensed Watchland employees,
most of them reportedly Armenian, and about cars and apartments
allegedly provided to them by the company.
In August, after leaving the company, Muller reportedly went to Spoerri
and also contacted FTMH, which press reports say gathered information
about allegedly questionable dismissals at Watchland. Just before
Christmas, Muller filed a formal deposition with Geneva's attorney
general, say the reports. The prosecutor said he'd wait for results of
the preliminary investigation before deciding how to proceed.
On Jan. 8, Groupe Franck Muller issued a statement accusing co-founder
Muller of "bitter and cutthroat tactics" intended to "destroy his
partners and the group" and "damage the image" of both them and the
brand. The accusation of illegal workers was "totally unfounded," said
its statement, which also expressed "dismay" that Geneva officials
aided "a smear campaign" against a company providing almost 500 local
jobs.
An arbitration proceeding, separate from the Geneva investigation, was
under way in January to settle disputes involving Muller, Sirmakes, and
the company. The two sides also had filed legal suits against each
other. The group statement, though, claimed Muller wanted to liquidate
the company and settle the dispute "not through mediation, but ...
absolute confrontation."
After leaving his former company, Franck Muller opened an office in
Geneva. On Jan. 7, watch industry veteran Jean-Claude Biver, former
president of luxury brand Blancpain and a top executive of the Swatch
Group-the world's largest watchmaker and distributor-took a year's
leave of absence to "help" Muller in "various activities," said a
Swatch Group statement. In response, Groupe Franck Muller warned that
Muller was "bound by non-competition and confidentiality commitments"
and couldn't develop "any activities in the watchmaking field without
prior consent of his partners."
Meanwhile, the group's plan for its first public offering of stock
apparently was delayed by the dispute. Miguel Payró, the group's chief
financial officer, has spent several months consolidating accounts and
introducing new accounting standards in preparation for the IPO.
However, documents for the banks and investors had to be signed by both
Muller and Sirmakes, and as of January Muller allegedly hadn't signed
anything concerning the company for several months.

Well-heeled Saddam has global stash (cited from washingtontimes.com)
By Jay Bushinsky
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
GENEVA - If Saddam Hussein is indeed orchestrating an anti-American
guerrilla campaign from a hideout somewhere in Iraq, he can count on
the billions of dollars he stashed away all over the world to finance
his hit-and-run operations.
The latest evidence of the fugitive Iraqi ruler's ability to return to
power by covering the costs of the requisite arms acquisitions and
operational outlays is the discovery of a cache of gold bars in a Swiss
metallurgic firm - $5 million worth ready for meltdown.
It has been "frozen" by Switzerland's government and the executives
of Metalor who are reported to have engaged in illicit business
dealings with Saddam's half brother and finance chief, Barzan
e-Tikriti. Several Metalor executives are being questioned by the Swiss
police and Mr. e-Tikriti is under interrogation in Baghdad, where he
surrendered to the U.S. military authorities.
Swiss law enforcement officials were not able to act against Mr.
e-Tikriti during the two decades in which he ran Saddam's financial
network from this international banking center because simultaneously
he enjoyed diplomatic immunity as Iraq's chief delegate to the United
Nation's local headquarters.
According to Nicolas Giannakopoulos, head of Organized Crime
Observatory (OCO), Saddam is a multibillionaire whose worldwide
financial grid trades in gold, diamonds and drugs, and has links to
important Russian and U.S. companies. The OCO is an independent
Geneva-based investigative group specializing in dubious banking and
money-laundering operations.
Saddam's funds not only have been deposited in Swiss banks but also
in banks and off-shore companies in Liechtenstein, Panama and the
Bahamas, among other countries, Mr. Giannakopoulos said. The money
derived from Iraq's prewar and pre-sanctions oil revenues, 5 percent of
which was skimmed off the top by Saddam for his personal fortune
throughout the 1980s and to the extent that Iraq could dodge the
U.N.-sponsored embargo, during the 1990s as well.
Mr. e-Tikriti funneled it to banks here and abroad - which either
did not ask any questions, which is the Swiss way of doing business, or
did not divulge whatever sensitive information they were able to deduce
or gather.
At the Banca del Gottardo's branch in the Bahamas, for example, the
money was reportedly kept in Account Number 70531, known as the Satan
Account, according to an article published in the Sunday Times in
April.
Money was never deposited anywhere in Saddam's name. According to
the article, the account was said to have been managed for Saddam by
Elio Borrodori, 75, a Swiss attorney who was employed by him for 10
years. Banca del Gottardo issued a news release in Nassau categorically
denying the Sunday Times report.
The OCO's attorney, Francois Membrez, contends that Saddam's
financial agents in Switzerland operate "beyond the limits of Swiss
laws," implying that it is virtually impossible to indict them in this
country's courts.
"Our judicial authorities cannot deal with this," he said. "They
are not authorized under our constitution to handle such problems as
criminal cases."
Mr. Membrez said legal proceedings cannot be initiated "unless it
can be proved that the funds discovered in Switzerland are the result
of criminal activities, such as corruption, theft, violation of legal
obligations."
"In this case, investigations for money laundering could be opened
against Saddam's financial agents as well as against the Swiss banks
and Swiss agents where funds are discovered."
This was borne out in a statement by Hansjurg Mark Wiedmer of the
Swiss attorney general's office. He confirmed that Swiss law
enforcement personnel are invetigating the activities of Islamic and
other banks suspected of funding Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda
organization, but not Saddam Hussein's financial activities here.
A Swiss government source said this investigation began "one day
after the 9/11 attacks." Mr. Wiedmer confirmed that it is being
conducted in close cooperation with the U.S. authorities, including the
FBI.
Distinguishing between "criminal" and "political" cases, Mr.
Wiedmer said the latter, such as violations of the U.N. sanctions
regime, are within the purvey of the secretary of economic affairs.
According to Othmar Wyss, an expert who works in the office of the
secretary of economic affairs, Switzerland could not freeze the assets
of any Iraqi person prior to May 22. On that date, the U.N. Security
Council formally authorized such action by passing Resolution 1483, he
said. Beforehand, Switzerland "was not obligated to confront these
persons," he said.
Mr. Wyss pointed out that it was not until the end of June that his
office received the names of 55 persons whose assets were to be frozen
at the request of the U.N. body.
Turning to the treatment of companies whose activities might be
deemed illicit or controversial, such as the 300 belonging to Saddam's
financial network, Mr. Wyss said the U.N. Security Council called for
action against Iraqi companies immediately after the invasion of Kuwait
in 1990. "This was specified in Paragraph Four of Resolution 661," he
went on, "but to date the U.N. has not published the names of these
companies."
The OCO's Mr. Giannakopoulos said Switzerland was chosen as the hub
of Saddam's network because "the Swiss didn't ask questions; they just
let his agents do whatever they wanted to do."
Paolo Fusi, an Italian investigative reporter, has spent nearly two
years on Saddam's money trail. He began his research immediately after
the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"Saddam's financial network was modeled on that of the late
President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt," Mr. Fusi said.
"Saddam fled to Cairo in 1959 after having participated in an
abortive coup d'etat [during which he was wounded, arrested and
escaped] and became an admirer of the Egyptian regime and its
charismatic leader. His goal was to turn Iraq into a replica of
Nasser's Egypt." The Egyptian president relied on substantial sums of
money that were deposited in foreign banks and controlled by a special
emissary based in Milan, Italy, Mr. Fusi went on to say.
Its purpose was to pay for weapons purchases and to provide a
financial cushion in case he were overthrown and forced into exile, Mr.
Fusi said. Mr. Fusi, who has exceptional access to the Italian
judiciary and police, managed to penetrate the dealings of Saddam's
secret brigade of business agents with European industrialists. He also
cut through the web of bank transfers, money-laundering activities and
dummy companies that enabled Iraq's fallen Ba'athist leader to turn his
totalitarian state into a regional military power.
The Iraqi network's financial activities were anchored in Lugano,
Switzerland's Banca del Gottardo, in conjunction with which one of its
component firms, Mediterranean Enterprises Development Projects (MEDP)
moved $5 billion annually. The MEDP had developed into one of
Switzerland's biggest companies by the end of the 1970s.
Returning from self-imposed exile after spending five years in
Cairo, Saddam took over Iraq in 1979. He had sent his half-brother,
Barzan e-Tikriti, to Geneva nearly a decade before his seizure of power
to set up the network, Mr. Fusi said.
The network's financial power reached a peak of $31 billion
annually, Ernst Backes, an international banking expert based in
Luxembourg, estimated. Mr. Backes, who specializes in international
clearing houses which expedite interbank money transfers worldwide,
said that funds allocated by Saddam from 1979 to 2002 for the purchase
of weapons or raw materials for their manufacture totaled $100 billion.

The network had the wherewithal to buy or obtain controlling shares
in various industrial firms on three continents.
German manufacturers topped its list of industrial investments.
Contracts were signed by the network with several of them for raw
materials ostensibly to be used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals
in Iraq but that were earmarked for military purposes such as chemical
weapons.
Israel's Mossad intervened at least twice, Mr. Backes said,
recalling that it tried to scuttle major Iraqi military acquisitions:
Condor-2 missiles from Switzerland's Consen AG and poison gas from two
German firms, WET and H-H Metallform.
One of the network's boldest exploits was laundering millions of
Iraqi and Kuwaiti dinars (the latter plundered by Iraqi troops during
the 1991 Persian Gulf war for recycling back to the Levant).
"The money was packed into suitcases, which were transported by
truck from Bled, Slovenia, to Zurich, where a fair exchange was
guaranteed by Youssef Nada of El-Taqwa Bank" - an outfit included in
President Bush's list of al Qaeda's money suppliers, Mr. Fusi said.
El-Taqwa's headquarters were in Campione, a tiny Italian enclave
surrounded by Swiss territory, which also serves as an international
tax haven.
"The neatly packaged bills then were shipped to Lebanon and Syria
after which they disappeared," he said.
Another case entailed a consignment of weapons purchased in
Slovenia from Russian, German and American arms merchants by one of
Saddam's agents. The contraband was sent to the Croatian port of Koper,
where landlocked Slovenia has extraterritorial shipping privileges. It
was listed on the outgoing freighter's manifest as "grain" and
delivered to Syria.
"Ironically, the boat was named the Nada after the Egyptian
financial family whose scion, Youssef, founded El-Taqwa Bank," Mr. Fusi
said.
Saddam's penchant for cruelty and sadism did not exempt his
financial emissaries. When he learned that Saad el-Mahdi, a nephew who
worked out of Milan, was siphoning off much more money than is the norm
on such missions, as was a colleague, he summoned both to a closed-door
hearing in Baghdad, gave them a week to tell their side of the story
and had them beheaded.
El-Mahdi's bereaved family engaged a crack Swiss-Italian lawyer,
the late Gianluca Boscaro, to sue the Iraqi president for its share of
the funds in question. The case never went to court because Mr.
Boscaro, a champion skydiver, was killed last August when the ropes on
his paraglider became inextricably tangled in flight and his paraglider
crashed near Northern Italy's Lake Orta.
The Italian police did not have a chance to investigate nor conduct
an autopsy, Mr. Fusi said, because their Swiss counterparts arrived at
the crash scene three hours before they did and took Mr. Boscaro's
corpse back to Switzerland for burial. This was legitimate because of a
standing agreement between the Swiss and the European Union according
to which the former can take instant charge of forensic investigations
that relate to their own citizens.

CONCLUSION
The Asians have some very highly skilled workers who are making many of
the components in 'Swiss Made' watches while the Swiss watch
industry badmouths their counterparts in Asia. This is not fair. Many
of the components in the best known watch brands are extremely well
made in Asia. It's time the world be told the truth about this.
Most of the information provided herein has been cited from the press,
governments, and non-profit organizations. However, this information
is basically unknown to the general public, and needs to be distributed
widely in the name of fair trade. Many 'Swiss Made' watches are
not really entirely nor mostly manufactured in Switzerland. If you
have purchased one of these watches, you have been duped and defrauded
by a trademarked term designed to falsely instill confidence in their
products. The Swiss are involved in counterfeiting and there is
research available on the internet that speculates that the major
houses even perform shill bidding on auctions to drive prices up for
collectors. They have assisted terrorists. This is a very bad
grouping of companies. My opinion? Buy Made In the USA or Asian
products. Doing so, you will not be purchasing lies, fraud, deceit,
and aiding terrorists.

A partial list included in this booklet of items that currently use or
have used the 'Swiss Made' trademark is:
Arnold & Son
Audemars Piguet
Baume & Mercier
Bedat & C°
Bertolucci
Blancpain
Boucheron
Breguet
Breitling
Cartier
Cédric Johner
Charles Oudin
Charriol
Chaumet
Chopard
Christian Dior
Chronoswiss
Clerc
Concord
Daniel JeanRichard
David Yurman
de Grisogono
DeLaneau
Dubey & Schaldenbrand
Ebel
Eberhard & C°
European Watch C°
F.P. Journe Invenit et Fecit
Franck Muller
Frédérique Constant
Georges V
Gevril
Girard-Perregaux
Glashütte Original
Goldpfeil Geneve
Graham
Gucci
Harry Winston
Hermes
Hublot
IWC
Jaeger-LeCoultre
Jean-Mairet & Gillman
L. Leroy
Leonard
Locman
Longines
Michele Watches
Olivier Roux
Omega
Panerai
Parmigiani Fleurier
Patek Philippe
Perrelet
Quinting
Rado
Raymond Weil
RGM
Richard Mille
Roger Dubuis
Rolex
TAG Heuer
TechnoMarine
Tiffany & Co.
Ulysse Nardin
Vacheron Constantin
Versace
Zannetti
Zenith
Please note that not all watches bearing the trademark 'Swiss Made'
use foreign components, but most brands do. It is important not to
slander companies who are actually being truthful about the origin of
components, so please do not distribute information that falsely
accuses anybody of something for which you do not have proper evidence.
r***@americanwatchdesign.net
2005-01-08 16:25:46 UTC
Permalink
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Definition and analysis of the term 'Swiss Made' 1
Definition and analysis of the term 'Made in the USA' 6
The Jaquet Scandal 18
The Franck Muller Scandal 22
The Saddam Hussein Money Laundering Scandal 26
Conclusion 31
List of some companies marking watches 'Swiss Made' 33


'SWISS MADE' A DECEPTIVE TERM (Information cited from the nawcc.org
forum and fhs.ch websites)
Here is a breakdown of what the term Swiss Made legally means (taken
directly from the official website for the Federation of the Swiss
Watch Industry) at http://www.fhs.ch (my breakdown is in red):

Swiss Made
A general overview

Moreover, a law "regulating the use of the name 'Swiss' for watches"
sets out the minimum conditions that have to be fulfilled before a
watch merits the "Swiss made" label.

This law is based on a concept according to which Swiss quality depends
on the amount of work actually carried out on a watch in Switzerland,
even if some foreign components are used in it. The term is actually
stating that Swiss assembly people in the watch industry are the best
rather than the components being the best. The term 'Swiss Made'
is actually a trademark. You can find this fact by going to the
http://www.uspto.gov website and doing a trademark search. It is not a
properly descriptive term, but is a trademark used to deceive you into
spending higher dollar amounts for items bearing that term. It
therefore requires that the assembly work on the movement (the motor of
the watch) and on the watch itself (fitting the movement with the dial,
hands and the various parts of the case) should be carried out in
Switzerland, along with the final testing of the movement. It also
requires that at least 50% of the components of the movement should be
manufactured in Switzerland. The 50% term is later discussed as 50% of
the value of the components.


Legally speaking

Conditions for use Case
A Swiss watch "Swiss Quartz" indication
A Swiss watch movement "Swiss parts" indication
Material extent of the use of the word "Swiss" Role of the FH
Wristlet


Conditions for use


A Swiss watch

Only when it is Swiss, may a watch carry the indications "Swiss made"
or "Swiss", or any other expression containing the word "Swiss" or its
translation, on the outside. According to Section 1a OSM, a watch is
considered to be Swiss if:

* its movement is Swiss;
* its movement is cased up in Switzerland;
* and the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland.
Read below to see what the above terms mean. It is surprising for those
who have understood this term to mean so much more or who have been
deceived by the use of this legalisitc sounding but really all about
marketing term.

A Swiss watch movement

As we have seen, to be Swiss, a watch must use a Swiss movement.
According to Section 2 OSM, a movement is considered to be Swiss if:

* it has been assembled in Switzerland;
* it has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland; and
* the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 50 percent
of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly.
Remember that 50% of the VALUE of the components must be manufactured
in Switzerland. A $10.00 Chinese movement unassembled could be sent to
Switzerland and then assembled using 1 (ONE) Swiss manufactured rotor
or screw or any component on the movement that cost $10.00 and this
movement will qualify for legal use of the term. Remember that Franck
Muller used the Poljot movements (Russian manufactured) with platinum
Swiss manufactured rotors, and although it was a bit of a black eye for
the Swiss watch industry and an eye opener for collectors, did not
cause Franck Muller any problems because Watchland was complying with
the legal use of the term on their watches.

If the movement fulfills these conditions, but the watch is not
assembled in Switzerland, the "Swiss" indication may be affixed to one
of the components of the movement. On the outside of the watch, may
then only appear the "mouvement suisse" or "Swiss movement" indication.
Section 3 § 3 OSM requires that the word "movement" appear in full,
and be written in the same type-face, of identical size and colour, as
the word "Swiss". So if I have a Chinese movement valued at $10.00, one
Swiss manufactured rotor valued at $10.00, and assemble it in
Switzerland, but send it to China to have the hands put on and the
movement fit to the dial and have it cased up, I can legally put "Swiss
Movement" on the dial of the watch.

Material extent of the use of the word "Swiss"


The word "use" is understood in a broad sense: it not only covers the
application of the above-mentioned designation to the watch, but also,
according to Section 3 § 5 OSM:

* the sale, offering for sale or putting into circulation of watches
bearing such an indication;
* the application of this designation to signs, advertisements,
prospectus, invoices, letters or commercial papers.

Particular cases

Wristlet

The "Swiss made" indication may only appear on a wristlet if it is of
Swiss manufacture and if the watch is also Swiss. A wristlet is
considered to be Swiss if it has undergone an essential manufacturing
operation in Switzerland and if 50 percent of the production costs
originate in Switzerland.

When a Swiss wristlet is attached to a watch manufactured abroad, it
may only bear a reference to the word "Swiss" if this designation
clearly shows that only the wristlet is of Swiss manufacture (for
example, "Swiss wristlet").

Case

The "Swiss case" indication on a watch case betokens that the case is
of Swiss manufacture. A case is considered to be Swiss if:

* it has undergone an essential manufacturing operation in Switzerland
(stamping, turning, or polishing);
* it has been assembled and inspected in Switzerland; and
* over 50 percent of the manufacturing costs (excluding the value of
the material) are due to operations carried out in Switzerland.

When the "Swiss case" indication appears on the outside of the case,
and the watch is of foreign manufacture, the origin of the movement or
of the watch must also be affixed to the outside of the watch.

"Swiss Quartz" indication

This indication is often illegally affixed to the outside of the watch,
especially by foreign manufacturers wishing to show that the quartz
movement used is of Swiss origin. But, according to the OSM, the use of
this indication on the outside of the watch signifies that the watch is
Swiss.

"Swiss parts" indication

This marking indicates that the movement is composed of movement-blanks
which have been manufactured in Switzerland, but assembled abroad. This
indication may only appear on the movement, and never on the outside of
the watch.


Role of the FH


The FH has a double role in the protection of this indication of
geographical origin;

firstly, the FH advises the companies on the lawful markings for
watches and movements according to the Federal Council's Ordinance
governing the use of the word "Swiss" for watches;

secondly it may act against companies which illegally use this
indication, in order to protect the consumer, on the one hand, and, on
the other hand, the renown of this designation, which is synonymous
with quality.

If you have any questions about "Swiss made", please do not hesitate to
contact a member of our Legal staff. (See also News)

Download the text of the Federal Council's Ordinance governing the use
of the word "Swiss" for watches

There have been rumors for years that many Swiss Made watches use
components manufactured in the far east. I think this really clarifies
that they can do so without any penalty. If ETA can produce most of a
movement in Taiwan and then send it to Switzerland for assembly while
utilizing the very valuable marketing tool known as Swiss Made, then
they are within their legal rights. And if they can do this and produce
said movement for half as much as if they produced it in Switzerland,
then they undoubtedly will or are. My main problem is that the same
people who so loudly endorse this marketing term "Swiss Made" also
denounce their far east colleagues, and this isn't right. The Asians
and Russians are doing some nice work. I'll bet you a nickel that their
nicest work appears in some of the nicest mainstream watches on the
market.

'MADE IN THE USA' Don't mess with the FTC
Complying with the Made In the USA Standard
Introduction (information cited from the ftc.gov website)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is charged with preventing deception
and unfairness in the marketplace. The FTC Act gives the Commission the
power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading
claims that a product is of U.S. origin. Traditionally, the Commission
has required that a product advertised as Made in USA be "all or
virtually all" made in the U.S. After a comprehensive review of Made in
USA and other U.S. origin claims in product advertising and labeling,
the Commission announced in December 1997 that it would retain the "all
or virtually all" standard. The Commission also issued an Enforcement
Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims to provide guidance to marketers
who want to make an unqualified Made in USA claim under the "all or
virtually all" standard and those who want to make a qualified Made in
USA claim.
This publication provides additional guidance about how to comply with
the "all or virtually all" standard. It also offers some general
information about the U.S. Customs Service's requirement that all
products of foreign origin imported into the U.S. be marked with the
name of the country of origin.
This publication is the Federal Trade Commission staff's view of the
law's requirements. It is not binding on the Commission. The
Enforcement Policy Statement issued by the FTC is at the end of the
publication.
Basic Information About Made In USA Claims
Must U.S. content be disclosed on products sold in the U.S.?
U.S. content must be disclosed on automobiles and textile, wool, and
fur products. There's no law that requires most other products sold
in the U.S. to be marked or labeled Made in USA or have any other
disclosure about their amount of U.S. content. However, manufacturers
and marketers who choose to make claims about the amount of U.S.
content in their products must comply with the FTC's Made in USA
policy.
What products does the FTC's Made in USA policy apply to?
The policy applies to all products advertised or sold in the U.S.,
except for those specifically subject to country-of-origin labeling by
other laws . Other countries may have their own country-of-origin
marking requirements. As a result, exporters should determine whether
the country to which they are exporting imposes such requirements.
What kinds of claims does the Enforcement Policy Statement apply to?
The Enforcement Policy Statement applies to U.S. origin claims that
appear on products and labeling, advertising, and other promotional
materials. It also applies to all other forms of marketing, including
marketing through digital or electronic mechanisms, such as Internet or
e-mail.
A Made in USA claim can be express or implied.
Examples of express claims: Made in USA. "Our products are
American-made." "USA."
In identifying implied claims, the Commission focuses on the overall
impression of the advertising, label, or promotional material.
Depending on the context, U.S. symbols or geographic references (for
example, U.S. flags, outlines of U.S. maps, or references to U.S.
locations of headquarters or factories) may convey a claim of U.S.
origin either by themselves, or in conjunction with other phrases or
images.
Example: A company promotes its product in an ad that features a
manager describing the "true American quality" of the work produced at
the company's American factory. Although there is no express
representation that the company's product is made in the U.S., the
overall - or net - impression the ad is likely to convey to
consumers is that the product is of U.S. origin.
Brand names and trademarks
Ordinarily, the Commission will not consider a manufacturer or
marketer's use of an American brand name or trademark by itself as a
U.S. origin claim. Similarly, the Commission is not likely to interpret
the mere listing of a company's U.S. address on a package label in a
non-prominent way as a claim of U.S. origin.
Example: A product is manufactured abroad by a well-known U.S. company.
The fact that the company is headquartered in the U.S. also is widely
known. Company pamphlets for its foreign-made product prominently
feature its brand name. Assuming that the brand name does not
specifically denote U.S. origin (that is, the brand name is not "Made
in America, Inc."), using the brand name by itself does not constitute
a claim of U.S. origin.
Representations about entire product lines
Manufacturers and marketers should not indicate, either expressly or
implicitly, that a whole product line is of U.S. origin ("Our products
are made in USA") when only some products in the product line are made
in the U.S. according to the "all or virtually all" standard.
Does the FTC pre-approve Made in USA claims?
The Commission does not pre-approve advertising or labeling claims. A
company doesn't need approval from the Commission before making a
Made in USA claim. As with most other advertising claims, a
manufacturer or marketer may make any claim as long as it is truthful
and substantiated.
The Standard For Unqualified Made In USA Claims
What is the standard for a product to be called Made in USA without
qualification?
For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic
origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must
be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. The term "United States," as
referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50
states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and
possessions.
What does "all or virtually all" mean?
"All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing
that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product
should contain no - or negligible - foreign content.
What substantiation is required for a Made in USA claim?
When a manufacturer or marketer makes an unqualified claim that a
product is Made in USA, it should have - and rely on - a
"reasonable basis" to support the claim at the time it is made. This
means a manufacturer or marketer needs competent and reliable evidence
to back up the claim that its product is "all or virtually all" made in
the U.S.
What factors does the Commission consider to determine whether a
product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.?
The product's final assembly or processing must take place in the
U.S. The Commission then considers other factors, including how much of
the product's total manufacturing costs can be assigned to U.S. parts
and processing, and how far removed any foreign content is from the
finished product. In some instances, only a small portion of the total
manufacturing costs are attributable to foreign processing, but that
processing represents a significant amount of the product's overall
processing. The same could be true for some foreign parts. In these
cases, the foreign content (processing or parts) is more than
negligible, and, as a result, unqualified claims are inappropriate.
Example: A company produces propane barbecue grills at a plant in
Nevada. The product's major components include the gas valve, burner
and aluminum housing, each of which is made in the U.S. The grill's
knobs and tubing are imported from Mexico. An unqualified Made in USA
claim is not likely to be deceptive because the knobs and tubing make
up a negligible portion of the product's total manufacturing costs
and are insignificant parts of the final product.
Example: A table lamp is assembled in the U.S. from American-made
brass, an American-made Tiffany-style lampshade, and an imported base.
The base accounts for a small percent of the total cost of making the
lamp. An unqualified Made in USA claim is deceptive for two reasons:
The base is not far enough removed in the manufacturing process from
the finished product to be of little consequence and it is a
significant part of the final product.
What items should manufacturers and marketers include in analyzing the
percentage of domestic content in a particular product?
Manufacturers and marketers should use the cost of goods sold or
inventory costs of finished goods in their analysis. Such costs
generally are limited to the total cost of all manufacturing materials,
direct manufacturing labor, and manufacturing overhead.
Should manufacturers and marketers rely on information from American
suppliers about the amount of domestic content in the parts,
components, and other elements they buy and use for their final
products?
If given in good faith, manufacturers and marketers can rely on
information from suppliers about the domestic content in the parts,
components, and other elements they produce. Rather than assume that
the input is 100 percent U.S.-made, however, manufacturers and
marketers would be wise to ask the supplier for specific information
about the percentage of U.S. content before they make a U.S. origin
claim.
Example: A company manufactures food processors in its U.S. plant,
making most of the parts, including the housing and blade, from U.S.
materials. The motor, which constitutes 50 percent of the food
processor's total manufacturing costs, is bought from a U.S.
supplier. The food processor manufacturer knows that the motor is
assembled in a U.S. factory. Even though most of the parts of the food
processor are of U.S. origin, the final assembly is in the U.S., and
the motor is assembled in the U.S., the food processor is not
considered "all or virtually all" American-made if the motor itself is
made of imported parts that constitute a significant percentage of the
appliance's total manufacturing cost. Before claiming the product is
Made in USA, this manufacturer should look to its motor supplier for
more specific information about the motor's origin.
Example: On its purchase order, a company states: "Our company requires
that suppliers certify the percentage of U.S. content in products
supplied to us. If you are unable or unwilling to make such
certification, we will not purchase from you." Appearing under this
statement is the sentence, "We certify that our ___ have at least ___%
U.S. content," with space for the supplier to fill in the name of the
product and its percentage of U.S. content. The company generally could
rely on a certification like this to determine the appropriate
country-of-origin designation for its product.
How far back in the manufacturing process should manufacturers and
marketers look?
To determine the percentage of U.S. content, manufacturers and
marketers should look back far enough in the manufacturing process to
be reasonably sure that any significant foreign content has been
included in their assessment of foreign costs. Foreign content
incorporated early in the manufacturing process often will be less
significant to consumers than content that is a direct part of the
finished product or the parts or components produced by the immediate
supplier.
Example: The steel used to make a single component of a complex product
(for example, the steel used in the case of a computer's floppy
drive) is an early input into the computer's manufacture, and is
likely to constitute a very small portion of the final product's
total cost. On the other hand, the steel in a product like a pipe or a
wrench is a direct and significant input. Whether the steel in a pipe
or wrench is imported would be a significant factor in evaluating
whether the finished product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.
Are raw materials included in the evaluation of whether a product is
"all or virtually all" made in the U.S.?
It depends on how much of the product's cost the raw materials make
up and how far removed from the finished product they are.
Example: If the gold in a gold ring is imported, an unqualified Made in
USA claim for the ring is deceptive. That's because of the
significant value the gold is likely to represent relative to the
finished product, and because the gold - an integral component - is
only one step back from the finished article. By contrast, consider the
plastic in the plastic case of a clock radio otherwise made in the U.S.
of U.S.-made components. If the plastic case was made from imported
petroleum, a Made in USA claim is likely to be appropriate because the
petroleum is far enough removed from the finished product, and is an
insignificant part of it as well.
Qualified Claims
What is a qualified Made in USA claim?
A qualified Made in USA claim describes the extent, amount or type of a
product's domestic content or processing; it indicates that the
product isn't entirely of domestic origin.
Example: "60% U.S. content." "Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts."
"Couch assembled in USA from Italian Leather and Mexican Frame."
When is a qualified Made in USA claim appropriate?
A qualified Made in USA claim is appropriate for products that include
U.S. content or processing but don't meet the criteria for making an
unqualified Made in USA claim. Because even qualified claims may imply
more domestic content than exists, manufacturers or marketers must
exercise care when making these claims. That is, avoid qualified claims
unless the product has a significant amount of U.S. content or U.S.
processing. A qualified Made in USA claim, like an unqualified claim,
must be truthful and substantiated.
Example: An exercise treadmill is assembled in the U.S. The assembly
represents significant work and constitutes a "substantial
transformation" (a term used by the U.S. Customs Service). All of the
treadmill's major parts, including the motor, frame, and electronic
display, are imported. A few of its incidental parts, such as the
handle bar covers, the plastic on/off power key, and the treadmill mat,
are manufactured in the U.S. Together, these parts account for
approximately three percent of the total cost of all the parts. Because
the value of the U.S.-made parts is negligible compared to the value of
all the parts, a claim on the treadmill that it is "Made in USA of U.S.
and Imported Parts" is deceptive. A claim like "Made in U.S. from
Imported Parts" or "Assembled in U.S.A." would not be deceptive.
U.S. origin claims for specific processes or parts
Claims that a particular manufacturing or other process was performed
in the U.S. or that a particular part was manufactured in the U.S. must
be truthful, substantiated, and clearly refer to the specific process
or part, not to the general manufacture of the product, to avoid
implying more U.S. content than exists.
Manufacturers and marketers should be cautious about using general
terms, such as "produced," "created" or "manufactured" in the U.S.
Words like these are unlikely to convey a message limited to a
particular process. Additional qualification probably is necessary to
describe a product that is not "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.
In addition, if a product is of foreign origin (that is, it has been
substantially transformed abroad), manufacturers and marketers also
should make sure they satisfy Customs' markings statute and
regulations that require such products to be marked with a foreign
country of origin. Further, Customs requires the foreign country of
origin to be preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or words of similar
meaning when any city or location that is not the country of origin
appears on the product.
Example: A company designs a product in New York City and sends the
blueprint to a factory in Finland for manufacturing. It labels the
product "Designed in USA - Made in Finland." Such a specific
processing claim would not lead a reasonable consumer to believe that
the whole product was made in the U.S. The Customs Service requires the
product to be marked "Made in," or "Product of" Finland since the
product is of Finnish origin and the claim refers to the U.S. Examples
of other specific processing claims are: "Bound in U.S. - Printed in
Turkey." "Hand carved in U.S. - Wood from Philippines." "Software
written in U.S. - Disk made in India." "Painted and fired in USA.
Blanks made in (foreign country of origin)."
Example: A company advertises its product, which was invented in
Seattle and manufactured in Bangladesh, as "Created in USA." This claim
is deceptive because consumers are likely to interpret the term
"Created" as Made in USA - an unqualified U.S. origin claim.
Example: A computer imported from Korea is packaged in the U.S. in an
American-made corrugated paperboard box containing only domestic
materials and domestically produced expanded rigid polystyrene plastic
packing. Stating Made in USA on the package would deceive consumers
about the origin of the product inside. But the company could
legitimately make a qualified claim, such as "Computer Made in Korea
- Packaging Made in USA."
Example: The Acme Camera Company assembles its cameras in the U.S. The
camera lenses are manufactured in the U.S., but most of the remaining
parts are imported. A magazine ad for the camera is headlined "Beware
of Imported Imitations" and states "Other high-end camera makers use
imported parts made with cheap foreign labor. But at Acme Camera, we
want only the highest quality parts for our cameras and we believe in
employing American workers. That's why we make all of our lenses
right here in the U.S." This ad is likely to convey that more than a
specific product part (the lens) is of U.S. origin. The marketer should
be prepared to substantiate the broader U.S. origin claim conveyed to
consumers viewing the ad.
Comparative Claims
Comparative claims should be truthful and substantiated, and presented
in a way that makes the basis for comparison clear (for example,
whether the comparison is to another leading brand or to a previous
version of the same product). They should truthfully describe the U.S.
content of the product and be based on a meaningful difference in U.S.
content between the compared products.
Example: An ad for cellular phones states "We use more U.S. content
than any other cellular phone manufacturer." The manufacturer assembles
the phones in the U.S. from American and imported components and can
substantiate that the difference between the U.S. content of its phones
and that of the other manufacturers' phones is significant. This
comparative claim is not deceptive.
Example: A product is advertised as having "twice as much U.S. content
as before." The U.S. content in the product has been increased from 2
percent in the previous version to 4 percent in the current version.
This comparative claim is deceptive because the difference between the
U.S. content in the current and previous version of the product are
insignificant.
Assembled in USA Claims
A product that includes foreign components may be called "Assembled in
USA" without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in
the U.S. and the assembly is substantial. For the "assembly" claim to
be valid, the product's last "substantial transformation" also should
have occurred in the U.S. That's why a "screwdriver" assembly in the
U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the
manufacturing process doesn't usually qualify for the "Assembled in
USA" claim.
Example: A lawn mower, composed of all domestic parts except for the
cable sheathing, flywheel, wheel rims and air filter (15 to 20 percent
foreign content) is assembled in the U.S. An "Assembled in USA" claim
is appropriate.
Example: All the major components of a computer, including the
motherboard and hard drive, are imported. The computer's components
then are put together in a simple "screwdriver" operation in the U.S.,
are not substantially transformed under the Customs Standard, and must
be marked with a foreign country of origin. An "Assembled in U.S."
claim without further qualification is deceptive.
The FTC and The Customs Service
What is the U.S. Customs Service's jurisdiction over
country-of-origin claims?
The Tariff Act gives Customs and the Secretary of the Treasury the
power to administer the requirement that imported goods be marked with
a foreign country of origin (for example, "Made in Japan").
When an imported product incorporates materials and/or processing from
more than one country, Customs considers the country of origin to be
the last country in which a "substantial transformation" took place.
Customs defines "substantial transformation" as a manufacturing process
that results in a new and different product with a new name, character,
and use that is different from that which existed before the change.
Customs makes country-of-origin determinations using the "substantial
transformation" test on a case-by-case basis. In some instances,
Customs uses a "tariff shift" analysis, comparable to "substantial
transformation," to determine a product's country of origin.
What is the interaction between the FTC and Customs regarding
country-of-origin claims?
Even if Customs determines that an imported product does not need a
foreign country-of-origin mark, it is not necessarily permissible to
promote that product as Made in USA. The FTC considers additional
factors to decide whether a product can be advertised or labeled as
Made in USA.
Manufacturers and marketers should check with Customs to see if they
need to mark their products with the foreign country of origin. If they
don't, they should look at the FTC's standard to check if they can
properly make a Made in USA claim.
The FTC has jurisdiction over foreign origin claims on products and in
packaging that are beyond the disclosures required by Customs (for
example, claims that supplement a required foreign origin marking to
indicate where additional processing or finishing of a product
occurred).
The FTC also has jurisdiction over foreign origin claims in advertising
and other promotional materials. Unqualified U.S. origin claims in ads
or other promotional materials for products that Customs requires a
foreign country-of-origin mark may mislead or confuse consumers about
the product's origin. To avoid misleading consumers, marketers should
clearly disclose the foreign manufacture of a product.
Example: A television set assembled in Korea using an American-made
picture tube is shipped to the U.S. The Customs Service requires the
television set to be marked "Made in Korea" because that's where the
television set was last "substantially transformed." The company's
World Wide Web page states "Although our televisions are made abroad,
they always contain U.S.-made picture tubes." This statement is not
deceptive. However, making the statement "All our picture tubes are
made in the USA" - without disclosing the foreign origin of the
television's manufacture - might imply a broader claim (for
example, that the television set is largely made in the U.S.) than
could be substantiated. That is, if the statement and the entire ad
imply that any foreign content or processing is negligible, the
advertiser must substantiate that claim or net impression. The
advertiser in this scenario would not be able to substantiate the
implied Made in USA claim because the product was "substantially
transformed" in Korea.
Other Statutes
What are the requirements of other federal statutes relating to
country-of-origin determinations?
Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and Wool Products Labeling
Act - Require a Made in USA label on most clothing and other textile
or wool household products if the final product is manufactured in the
U.S. of fabric that is manufactured in the U.S., regardless of where
materials earlier in the manufacturing process (for example, the yarn
and fiber) came from. Textile products that are imported must be
labeled as required by the Customs Service. A textile or wool product
partially manufactured in the U.S. and partially manufactured in
another country must be labeled to show both foreign and domestic
processing.
On a garment with a neck, the country of origin must be disclosed on
the front of a label attached to the inside center of the neck -
either midway between the shoulder seams or very near another label
attached to the inside center of the neck. On a garment without a neck,
and on other kinds of textile products, the country of origin must
appear on a conspicuous and readily accessible label on the inside or
outside of the product.
Catalogs and other mail order promotional materials for textile and
wool products, including those disseminated on the Internet, must
disclose whether a product is made in the U.S., imported or both.
The Fur Products Labeling Act requires the country of origin of
imported furs to be disclosed on all labels and in all advertising. For
copies of the Textile, Wool or Fur Rules and Regulations, or the new
business education guide on labeling requirements, call the FTC's
Consumer Response Center
(202-382-4357). Or visit the FTC online at www.ftc.gov. Click on
Consumer Protection.
American Automobile Labeling Act - Requires that each automobile
manufactured on or after October 1, 1994, for sale in the U.S. bear a
label disclosing where the car was assembled, the percentage of
equipment that originated in the U.S. and Canada, and the country of
origin of the engine and transmission. Any representation that a car
marketer makes that is required by the AALA is exempt from the
Commission's policy. When a company makes claims in advertising or
promotional materials that go beyond the AALA requirements, it will be
held to the Commission's standard. For more information, call the
Consumer Programs Division of the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (202-366-0846).
Buy American Act - Requires that a product be manufactured in the
U.S. of more than 50 percent U.S. parts to be considered Made in USA
for government procurement purposes. For more information, review the
Buy American Act at 41 U.S.C. §§ 10a-10c, the Federal Acquisition
Regulations at 48 C.F.R. Part 25, and the Trade Agreements Act at 19
U.S.C. §§ 2501-2582.
What To Do About Violations
What if I suspect noncompliance with the FTC's Made in USA standard
or other country-of-origin mislabeling?
Information about possible illegal activity helps law enforcement
officials target companies whose practices warrant scrutiny. If you
suspect noncompliance, contact the Division of Enforcement, Bureau of
Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580;
(202) 326-2996 or send an e-mail to ***@ftc.gov. If you know about
import or export fraud, call Customs' toll-free Commercial Fraud
Hotline, 1-800-ITS-FAKE. Examples of fraudulent practices involving
imports include removing a required foreign origin label before the
product is delivered to the ultimate purchaser (with or without the
improper substitution of a Made in USA label) and failing to label a
product with a required country of origin.
You also can contact your state Attorney General and your local Better
Business Bureau to report a company. Or you can refer your complaint to
the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better
Business Bureaus by calling (212) 754-1320. NAD handles complaints
about the truth and accuracy of national advertising. You can reach the
Council of Better Business Bureaus on the web at
adweb.com/adassoc17.html.
Finally, the Lanham Act gives any person (such as a competitor) who is
damaged by a false designation of origin the right to sue the party
making the false claim. Consult a lawyer to see if this private right
of action is an appropriate course of action for you.
Your Opportunity to Comment
The Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and
10 Regional Fairness Boards collect comments from small business about
federal enforcement actions. Each year, the Ombudsman evaluates
enforcement activities and rates each agency's responsiveness to
small business. To comment on FTC actions, call 1-888-734-3247.
JAQUET SCANDAL
Wild west-methods in the watch world
The watch forger-affair around manufacturer Jean-Pierre Jaquet from La
Chaux de Fonds expands
An unprecedented watch forger-scandal shakes the Neuenburger law: along
with manufacturer Jean-Pierre Jaquet sit also a dozen persons in
pre-trial detention. Jaquet is charged with robbery, receiving of
stolen goods, goods forgery and also hijacking.

By Markus Steudler and Daniel Hug

It was a unique action when about twenty officials of the Neuenburger
canton police appeared on Tuesday morning on the grounds of the watch
firm Jaquet SA in La Chaux de Fonds then bolted the entrance and
searched the building. Head of the company Jean-Pierre Jaquet was
arrested, the company Jaquet SA with its 160 employees was closed for
two days.

The hard inquiry method, explained examining magistrate Sylvie Favre,
has taken place « within the scope of a wide investigation to watch
and precious metal thefts ». Favre supposed to find tips to the
production of phoney luxury watch in the Jaquet SA or her sphere. In
the knowledge around the risks for the region the examining magistrate
pushed after: « Everything is risked that the economy of the region is
not impaired by the current and perhaps future inquiries. » The fear
of an image loss may dwindle in the Neuenburger law which lives to a
great extent from the watch branch, however, not so fast. The affair
expands: « Meanwhile there are a dozen people in pre-trial detention
», says Favre. « Possibly half of them have confessed. »

Shots at the factory
Not confessing is 57-year-old Jean-Pierre Jaquet who stands in the
center of the inquiries. The watchwork designer could be the head of a
well organized forger and fence ring. Favre suspects him of the
robbery, the instigation to robbery, the receiving of stolen goods, the
goods forgery, the attempted instigation to arson and also of the
freedom deprivation and hijacking. During the last weeks Jaquet has
become meanwhile a victim of threats of force; in the end, a possible
power escalation, so sphere is supposed in Jaquets, has been a release
for the police action.

« My client and his family have received murder threats during the
last weeks », says Jaquets lawyer Freddy Rumo. « One has shot at his
office, and once he had to be treated in the hospital, after him three
persons had knocked him down. » Trusted sources from the sphere of the
Jaquet SA tell of two cars which have driven up one night at the
factory and have been fired shots at the chief office. Shot holes in
Jaquets office should testify of it. Of the cowboy's methods in - wild
- Swiss west, however, not enough is known: Once Jaquet should have
escaped on the run before the aggressors with a jump in the Doubs. «
Hence, the charge of the hijacking says that Jaquet one of the
aggressors who sits now in pretrial detention has invited home and
laid, besides, a pistol on the table », says Rumo.

About the reason for the aggressions there are several hypotheses. « I
believe, the people wanted to blackmail money. At least, Jaquet has
done very good business », says Rumo. However, this is not what the
investigation authorities believe in, as the lawyer confirms: « The
investigators charge my client; the aggressors would have committed
robberies and thefts by his order for which he has still owed money to
them. » He has seen proofs of it?, according to Rumo, none.

Dubious theft series
Against it statements of imprisoned Jaquet mount. Among the arrested is
the head of the foreman's work Miranda in La Chaux de Fonds. This firm,
respectively one of her instructed courier's service, became in 2002
victims of a robbery raid. Several strangers carried off golden Rolex
cases to the value of half a million francs. A 35-year-old Bosnian was
arrested and was condemned to 5,5 years of prison. His accomplices and
principals are not determined. The Rolex cases from which perfect
forgeries can be made, remained disappeared.

Another unsettled case is the burglary in the watch firm RSM in Le
Locle from June, 2002 when two armed employees demanded to open the
safe deposit and ten kilograms of gold vanished. There was, according
RSM manager Ivano Magistrini, further thefts in other firms. The last
of the dubious series is that at the watch firm Ulysse Nardin in Le
Locle. Before a watch auction on the 19th March, 2003 in New York in
the catalog of the firm Antiquorum a Ulysse Nardin model appeared which
was not yet on the market. « Our searches proved that an employee with
us had stolen the watch», says Ulysse Nardin patron Rolf W. Schneider.
All together the man has stolen about 20 watches, mostly very expensive
pieces with retail prices to 40,000 francs. « It turned out that he
had stolen watch already with his two earlier employers - and resold to
people in the sphere of Jaquet », says Schneider. Jaquet had earlier
owned a small pawnshop and with it has had always an excuse when with
him when he has been charged that he puts on the market stolen watches.

The inquiries to the Ulysse Nardin case brought the authorities
obviously on Jaquets track. « The phone of my client was monitored for
one year », says lawyer Rumo. Examining magistrate Favre explains: «
It is an object of the inquiries whether there is a connection between
the various cases and whether Jaquet has to act a little bit with it.
» The man who should often carry a pistol on himself and be previously
convicted because of a property offense has the call of a clever
designer, however, he also counts as audaciously and cold-blooded.
Jaquet was known in the branch for the fact that he set down luxury
watch above the gray market abroad. Besides, one has with the Swatch
Group clues for forgeries: « We have found phoney watch in which a
work was inserted by Jaquet », says Anton Bally, head to the Swatch
subsidiary eta.

On Wednesday evening Jaquet has withdrawn with his Jaquet SA from all
functions. He still remains a stockholder. The new head Frédéric
Wenger stresses that the firm whose capital majority has gone over in
the first semester in 2003 to new investors is not under suspicion of
the investigators. « The investigation authorities have found no clue
for any offenses with us », he says.

Supplier of the big watch brands
The Jaquet SA been based by former antiquarian Jean-Pierre Jaquet is
specified to refine so-called raw watchworks (Ebauches) of the Swatch
subsidiary eta, to do alterations and to extend complicated mechanisms;
big date, split seconds, perpetual calendar or Seconde Foudroyante
(which measures fractions of one second). Today Jaquet in the
possession is the holding company which belongs by the majority
Frédéric Wenger, Eric Loth, Rudolf Bohli and about five other
investors. Jaquet should still hold 40% of the capital. In 2001, Jaquet
according to a proficient presentation a turnover of 22 Mil. Frs of
most important customers were Franck Muller (17% of sales interest),
Girard Perregaux (12%), sense (9%), Maurice Lacroix (8%), Journe (6%),
Eberhard (5%), Richemont (5%). (dah).

Business with Ernst Thomke
The affair around Jean-Pierre Jaquet throws a shade on the Swiss
entrepreneur and earlier Swatch manager: Ernst Thomke is a
long-standing business partner of Jaquet. In 1995 Thomke had helped to
found the firm British master (BM) in La Chaux de Fonds. Thomke and
Jaquet hold 25% in the share capital of the society, above all under
the name Arnold & Son and Graham luxury watches in the top price
segment produces and markets. Another block of shares is held by BM
manager Eric Loth. The English Masters watch are produced practically
exclusively in the studios by Jaquet.

Besides, Frédéric Wenger, present finance head and since the last
week is a head of the company of the Jaquet group, a good friend of
Thomke. Once he worked at the bank on the Bellevue, is connected with
the Thomke since his time as Sour-Sanierer. Ernst Zängerle, also he a
Thomke confidant, has organized the whole logistics for Jaquet.
Zängerle tried before together with Thomke the renovation of the shoe
manufacturer Bally and today sits together with him in the
administrative council of themedical technology company Nobel Biocare.

Also the Eric Loth who was performed in August, 2001 as a manager by
Jaquet SA cooperates for many years with Thomke (in the bases for
Jaquet investors with ET called). Thomke was not able to be reached
this week for a statement. Trusted sources around Thomke in August have
expressed heavy doubts in the integrity of Jaquets. Nevertheless, he
has obviously undertaken nothing to remove Jaquet from his positions.
Only the intervention of the examining magistrate led to this step.

Thomke, the long-standing opponent of Swatch patron Nicolas G. Hayek,
also remains as a majority owner of Metalor with the watch industry:
the enterprise with about 1000 employees is the biggest manufacturer of
golden cases in Switzerland. (dah).

FRANCK MULLER SCANDAL (Information cited from
http://www.badbusinessbureau.com)
The following informations show the scandals occuring in the swiss
watch industry and the theft and using of Aisan components in genuine
Franck Muller watches.
According to today's Tribune de Geneve newspaper, Franck Muller
Watchland has confirmed the arrest on November 10th of two of its
employees, one of them identified as the uncle of Mr. Franck Muller
himself. He had been laid off by the company on August 29th due to
reorganization of the firm, after the departure of Mr. Muller.

At this gentleman's house in Genthod, the Neuchatel police found great
quantities of spare parts and partially assembled Franck Muller
watches. In addition, confidential technical plans for new watches were
also found.

The firm has expressed its shock and surprise at this development. The
uncle of Franck Muller had access to all areas of Watchland for the
past eight years.

More information to follow.

The large office of Mr. Franck Muller, in Genthod, is empty. The rays
of the racks are strewn with some curios and other photographs that
l?horloger left. On l?une d?elles, it takes the installation beside
Johnny Hallyday. But for the remainder, plus any document or computer
n?encombre its work table. Two forgotten coffee cups have simply
recalled that for several months l?endroit s?est transformed into
occasional room of conferences. A strong image of the divorce between
Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes, its associate. Since nearly nine
months, the famous clock and watch maker deserted Watchland, the vast
property which is the stronghold of the watches which bear its name.
The revelations of the Platform of Geneva, these last days, l?ont
thorough to leave the dumbness in which it is terrait. It gives its
version of the facts (see below). It does not want to guarantee any
more what occurs to Genthod, it feels betrayed, it has d?ailleurs
deposited felt sorry for in June against its associate for unfair
management. This last denies in block, ensures that the company is
better than well, and also deposited to him felt sorry for, counters
Franck Muller of course, for slandering and request of the damages.
Without forgetting proceedings brought in front of a guardian court,
always against its associate. The conflict beats its full with, in
addition, l?arrestation of l?oncle of Franck Muller within the
framework of l?affaire Jaquet (see our editions d?hier). But behind
this surging divorce, there is nearly 500 employees who are
destabilized. And of the customers who are décontenancés by
l?affaire. For a long time, the watches Franck Muller were the symbol
d?une fulgurating success. Aujourd?hui, at the time when the two
founders of the group return themselves the minutes of their "lawsuit",
the movement loses its precision. With each one its truth.
Tour of Mullers WAtchland


Posted By: Jeff Hess
Date: 11-21 06:23

We were at the opening of Watchland three years ago. It was big "to do"
with a huge orchestra, tons of people and lots of fancy wine and food
to show folks the new working factory that Muller had opened. Top notch
party and topnotch facility.

My wife and I went as journalists and pretty much wandered about with
no supervision.

We were amazed at how clean the watchmakers benches were. We jokingly
commented that perhaps NO WORK was done there! It was THAT clean. EACH
table and workspace and watchmakers bench that we saw had nary a spot,
a tool or a part on them. Sterile. The floors were buffed to a high
polish with no tracks or evidence of anyone walking on them.

We went up and down the elevators in the two "back castles" (they were
modeled on the estate up front that served as the showroom) and no one
tried to stop us.

It was amazing.
One wonders.... Jeff
Not a translation, just a precis: F. Muller was a senior Franck Muller
Watchland employee, who was entrusted with the keys to various key
areas within the business and was responsible for the stock of parts.
During the restructuring of FM Watchland suspicions were raised when he
would not account properly for the inventory.

In his and another watchmaker's house they found a large number of
genuine and counterfeit FM parts, including cases with FM reference
numbers, plus watches in a partially constructed state. They feel it is
certain that some have been sold on the market as genuine.

The investigation is under the direction of the same magistrate who is
invetigating the Jaquet Droz affair. Some 'fake' Franck Muller watches
were discovered at Jaquet in the course of their inquiries, some using
genuine parts and some using asian fakes.

They are continuing the inquiry to determine whether other employees
have participated and have interviewed Franck Muller himself three
times. He is remaining silent in public, but it is reported that he
feels the image of the marque he created is in danger.

High school level French 40 years ago, so sorry for any mistakes.

INDUSTRY NEWS - Franck Muller Russian Movement Admission! Dec 19,
2003 - 02:18 PM

Notwitstanding the fact that both Mr. Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes
(co-owners of Franck Muller Watchland - FM, Pierre Kunz, ECW) are
suing each other in court for breach of trust, now the saga of the
Russian movements has turned a new page.

After the Geneva newspaper Le Temps reported that FM Watchland ordered
thousands of Russian made movements, Vartan Sirmakes denied it and sued
the newspaper for libel.

Now, according to the research done by another Swiss newspaper, Le
Matin, documents have been unearthed that show that indeed Mr. Sirmakes
purchased from Poljot, 1,500 movements. A contract dated 1994 and
signed by Mr. Sirmakes' other company, Technowatch, shows the purchase
order to Poljot for the movements states that these will be deprived of
any engraving marks that will identify them as Poljot!

Vartan Sirmakes denies vigorously that these movements ended up in
Franck Muller cases, and gives an other explanation for their use:
"Yes, it sometimes happens that we order Russian, Japanese or Chinese
movements. But we used them for research, to know what the competitors
are making. There is nothing but Swiss movements in the watches of the
Franck Muller group".

Here is a report from the JCK that includes information regarding
illegal Armenians working at WatchLand on Franck Muller timepieces.
The obvious interpretation is that this means that at least some
'Swiss Made' watches are assembled in Switzerland by people who
should not even be in the country. This seems to be a clear fraud on
the public. Watch specialists find it astonishing that 1,500 movements
were purchased simply to study them!
The start of 2004 was bumpy for Swiss luxury watch firm Franck Muller
Watchland S.A., whose brands include Franck Muller, Pierre Kunz, and
European Company Watch. A dispute between watchmaker Franck Muller and
Vartan Sirmakes, who co-founded the company in 1991, helped spark a
government investigation and delay the company's first stock offering.
Muller left the company in 2002.
On Jan. 5, Daniel Zappelli, attorney general of the Swiss canton of
Geneva, began a preliminary investigation of claims that Watchland had
used undocumented workers. Officials of Watchland, located in the
Geneva suburb of Genthod, denied the accusation.
According to Swiss press and radio reports, Zappelli acted on
complaints by Franck Muller, two Geneva government officials (Micheline
Spoerri, minister of justice, and Carlo Lamprecht, minister of
economics), and a major trade union, FTMH. Muller allegedly questioned
Sirmakes last April about 20 supposedly unlicensed Watchland employees,
most of them reportedly Armenian, and about cars and apartments
allegedly provided to them by the company.
In August, after leaving the company, Muller reportedly went to Spoerri
and also contacted FTMH, which press reports say gathered information
about allegedly questionable dismissals at Watchland. Just before
Christmas, Muller filed a formal deposition with Geneva's attorney
general, say the reports. The prosecutor said he'd wait for results of
the preliminary investigation before deciding how to proceed.
On Jan. 8, Groupe Franck Muller issued a statement accusing co-founder
Muller of "bitter and cutthroat tactics" intended to "destroy his
partners and the group" and "damage the image" of both them and the
brand. The accusation of illegal workers was "totally unfounded," said
its statement, which also expressed "dismay" that Geneva officials
aided "a smear campaign" against a company providing almost 500 local
jobs.
An arbitration proceeding, separate from the Geneva investigation, was
under way in January to settle disputes involving Muller, Sirmakes, and
the company. The two sides also had filed legal suits against each
other. The group statement, though, claimed Muller wanted to liquidate
the company and settle the dispute "not through mediation, but ...
absolute confrontation."
After leaving his former company, Franck Muller opened an office in
Geneva. On Jan. 7, watch industry veteran Jean-Claude Biver, former
president of luxury brand Blancpain and a top executive of the Swatch
Group-the world's largest watchmaker and distributor-took a year's
leave of absence to "help" Muller in "various activities," said a
Swatch Group statement. In response, Groupe Franck Muller warned that
Muller was "bound by non-competition and confidentiality commitments"
and couldn't develop "any activities in the watchmaking field without
prior consent of his partners."
Meanwhile, the group's plan for its first public offering of stock
apparently was delayed by the dispute. Miguel Payró, the group's chief
financial officer, has spent several months consolidating accounts and
introducing new accounting standards in preparation for the IPO.
However, documents for the banks and investors had to be signed by both
Muller and Sirmakes, and as of January Muller allegedly hadn't signed
anything concerning the company for several months.

Well-heeled Saddam has global stash (cited from washingtontimes.com)
By Jay Bushinsky
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
GENEVA - If Saddam Hussein is indeed orchestrating an anti-American
guerrilla campaign from a hideout somewhere in Iraq, he can count on
the billions of dollars he stashed away all over the world to finance
his hit-and-run operations.
The latest evidence of the fugitive Iraqi ruler's ability to return to
power by covering the costs of the requisite arms acquisitions and
operational outlays is the discovery of a cache of gold bars in a Swiss
metallurgic firm - $5 million worth ready for meltdown.
It has been "frozen" by Switzerland's government and the executives
of Metalor who are reported to have engaged in illicit business
dealings with Saddam's half brother and finance chief, Barzan
e-Tikriti. Several Metalor executives are being questioned by the Swiss
police and Mr. e-Tikriti is under interrogation in Baghdad, where he
surrendered to the U.S. military authorities.
Swiss law enforcement officials were not able to act against Mr.
e-Tikriti during the two decades in which he ran Saddam's financial
network from this international banking center because simultaneously
he enjoyed diplomatic immunity as Iraq's chief delegate to the United
Nation's local headquarters.
According to Nicolas Giannakopoulos, head of Organized Crime
Observatory (OCO), Saddam is a multibillionaire whose worldwide
financial grid trades in gold, diamonds and drugs, and has links to
important Russian and U.S. companies. The OCO is an independent
Geneva-based investigative group specializing in dubious banking and
money-laundering operations.
Saddam's funds not only have been deposited in Swiss banks but also
in banks and off-shore companies in Liechtenstein, Panama and the
Bahamas, among other countries, Mr. Giannakopoulos said. The money
derived from Iraq's prewar and pre-sanctions oil revenues, 5 percent of
which was skimmed off the top by Saddam for his personal fortune
throughout the 1980s and to the extent that Iraq could dodge the
U.N.-sponsored embargo, during the 1990s as well.
Mr. e-Tikriti funneled it to banks here and abroad - which either
did not ask any questions, which is the Swiss way of doing business, or
did not divulge whatever sensitive information they were able to deduce
or gather.
At the Banca del Gottardo's branch in the Bahamas, for example, the
money was reportedly kept in Account Number 70531, known as the Satan
Account, according to an article published in the Sunday Times in
April.
Money was never deposited anywhere in Saddam's name. According to
the article, the account was said to have been managed for Saddam by
Elio Borrodori, 75, a Swiss attorney who was employed by him for 10
years. Banca del Gottardo issued a news release in Nassau categorically
denying the Sunday Times report.
The OCO's attorney, Francois Membrez, contends that Saddam's
financial agents in Switzerland operate "beyond the limits of Swiss
laws," implying that it is virtually impossible to indict them in this
country's courts.
"Our judicial authorities cannot deal with this," he said. "They
are not authorized under our constitution to handle such problems as
criminal cases."
Mr. Membrez said legal proceedings cannot be initiated "unless it
can be proved that the funds discovered in Switzerland are the result
of criminal activities, such as corruption, theft, violation of legal
obligations."
"In this case, investigations for money laundering could be opened
against Saddam's financial agents as well as against the Swiss banks
and Swiss agents where funds are discovered."
This was borne out in a statement by Hansjurg Mark Wiedmer of the
Swiss attorney general's office. He confirmed that Swiss law
enforcement personnel are invetigating the activities of Islamic and
other banks suspected of funding Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda
organization, but not Saddam Hussein's financial activities here.
A Swiss government source said this investigation began "one day
after the 9/11 attacks." Mr. Wiedmer confirmed that it is being
conducted in close cooperation with the U.S. authorities, including the
FBI.
Distinguishing between "criminal" and "political" cases, Mr.
Wiedmer said the latter, such as violations of the U.N. sanctions
regime, are within the purvey of the secretary of economic affairs.
According to Othmar Wyss, an expert who works in the office of the
secretary of economic affairs, Switzerland could not freeze the assets
of any Iraqi person prior to May 22. On that date, the U.N. Security
Council formally authorized such action by passing Resolution 1483, he
said. Beforehand, Switzerland "was not obligated to confront these
persons," he said.
Mr. Wyss pointed out that it was not until the end of June that his
office received the names of 55 persons whose assets were to be frozen
at the request of the U.N. body.
Turning to the treatment of companies whose activities might be
deemed illicit or controversial, such as the 300 belonging to Saddam's
financial network, Mr. Wyss said the U.N. Security Council called for
action against Iraqi companies immediately after the invasion of Kuwait
in 1990. "This was specified in Paragraph Four of Resolution 661," he
went on, "but to date the U.N. has not published the names of these
companies."
The OCO's Mr. Giannakopoulos said Switzerland was chosen as the hub
of Saddam's network because "the Swiss didn't ask questions; they just
let his agents do whatever they wanted to do."
Paolo Fusi, an Italian investigative reporter, has spent nearly two
years on Saddam's money trail. He began his research immediately after
the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"Saddam's financial network was modeled on that of the late
President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt," Mr. Fusi said.
"Saddam fled to Cairo in 1959 after having participated in an
abortive coup d'etat [during which he was wounded, arrested and
escaped] and became an admirer of the Egyptian regime and its
charismatic leader. His goal was to turn Iraq into a replica of
Nasser's Egypt." The Egyptian president relied on substantial sums of
money that were deposited in foreign banks and controlled by a special
emissary based in Milan, Italy, Mr. Fusi went on to say.
Its purpose was to pay for weapons purchases and to provide a
financial cushion in case he were overthrown and forced into exile, Mr.
Fusi said. Mr. Fusi, who has exceptional access to the Italian
judiciary and police, managed to penetrate the dealings of Saddam's
secret brigade of business agents with European industrialists. He also
cut through the web of bank transfers, money-laundering activities and
dummy companies that enabled Iraq's fallen Ba'athist leader to turn his
totalitarian state into a regional military power.
The Iraqi network's financial activities were anchored in Lugano,
Switzerland's Banca del Gottardo, in conjunction with which one of its
component firms, Mediterranean Enterprises Development Projects (MEDP)
moved $5 billion annually. The MEDP had developed into one of
Switzerland's biggest companies by the end of the 1970s.
Returning from self-imposed exile after spending five years in
Cairo, Saddam took over Iraq in 1979. He had sent his half-brother,
Barzan e-Tikriti, to Geneva nearly a decade before his seizure of power
to set up the network, Mr. Fusi said.
The network's financial power reached a peak of $31 billion
annually, Ernst Backes, an international banking expert based in
Luxembourg, estimated. Mr. Backes, who specializes in international
clearing houses which expedite interbank money transfers worldwide,
said that funds allocated by Saddam from 1979 to 2002 for the purchase
of weapons or raw materials for their manufacture totaled $100 billion.

The network had the wherewithal to buy or obtain controlling shares
in various industrial firms on three continents.
German manufacturers topped its list of industrial investments.
Contracts were signed by the network with several of them for raw
materials ostensibly to be used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals
in Iraq but that were earmarked for military purposes such as chemical
weapons.
Israel's Mossad intervened at least twice, Mr. Backes said,
recalling that it tried to scuttle major Iraqi military acquisitions:
Condor-2 missiles from Switzerland's Consen AG and poison gas from two
German firms, WET and H-H Metallform.
One of the network's boldest exploits was laundering millions of
Iraqi and Kuwaiti dinars (the latter plundered by Iraqi troops during
the 1991 Persian Gulf war for recycling back to the Levant).
"The money was packed into suitcases, which were transported by
truck from Bled, Slovenia, to Zurich, where a fair exchange was
guaranteed by Youssef Nada of El-Taqwa Bank" - an outfit included in
President Bush's list of al Qaeda's money suppliers, Mr. Fusi said.
El-Taqwa's headquarters were in Campione, a tiny Italian enclave
surrounded by Swiss territory, which also serves as an international
tax haven.
"The neatly packaged bills then were shipped to Lebanon and Syria
after which they disappeared," he said.
Another case entailed a consignment of weapons purchased in
Slovenia from Russian, German and American arms merchants by one of
Saddam's agents. The contraband was sent to the Croatian port of Koper,
where landlocked Slovenia has extraterritorial shipping privileges. It
was listed on the outgoing freighter's manifest as "grain" and
delivered to Syria.
"Ironically, the boat was named the Nada after the Egyptian
financial family whose scion, Youssef, founded El-Taqwa Bank," Mr. Fusi
said.
Saddam's penchant for cruelty and sadism did not exempt his
financial emissaries. When he learned that Saad el-Mahdi, a nephew who
worked out of Milan, was siphoning off much more money than is the norm
on such missions, as was a colleague, he summoned both to a closed-door
hearing in Baghdad, gave them a week to tell their side of the story
and had them beheaded.
El-Mahdi's bereaved family engaged a crack Swiss-Italian lawyer,
the late Gianluca Boscaro, to sue the Iraqi president for its share of
the funds in question. The case never went to court because Mr.
Boscaro, a champion skydiver, was killed last August when the ropes on
his paraglider became inextricably tangled in flight and his paraglider
crashed near Northern Italy's Lake Orta.
The Italian police did not have a chance to investigate nor conduct
an autopsy, Mr. Fusi said, because their Swiss counterparts arrived at
the crash scene three hours before they did and took Mr. Boscaro's
corpse back to Switzerland for burial. This was legitimate because of a
standing agreement between the Swiss and the European Union according
to which the former can take instant charge of forensic investigations
that relate to their own citizens.

CONCLUSION
The Asians have some very highly skilled workers who are making many of
the components in 'Swiss Made' watches while the Swiss watch
industry badmouths their counterparts in Asia. This is not fair. Many
of the components in the best known watch brands are extremely well
made in Asia. It's time the world be told the truth about this.
Most of the information provided herein has been cited from the press,
governments, and non-profit organizations. However, this information
is basically unknown to the general public, and needs to be distributed
widely in the name of fair trade. Many 'Swiss Made' watches are
not really entirely nor mostly manufactured in Switzerland. If you
have purchased one of these watches, you have been duped and defrauded
by a trademarked term designed to falsely instill confidence in their
products. The Swiss are involved in counterfeiting and there is
research available on the internet that speculates that the major
houses even perform shill bidding on auctions to drive prices up for
collectors. They have assisted terrorists. This is a very bad
grouping of companies. My opinion? Buy Made In the USA or Asian
products. Doing so, you will not be purchasing lies, fraud, deceit,
and aiding terrorists.

A partial list included in this booklet of items that currently use or
have used the 'Swiss Made' trademark is:
Arnold & Son
Audemars Piguet
Baume & Mercier
Bedat & C°
Bertolucci
Blancpain
Boucheron
Breguet
Breitling
Cartier
Cédric Johner
Charles Oudin
Charriol
Chaumet
Chopard
Christian Dior
Chronoswiss
Clerc
Concord
Daniel JeanRichard
David Yurman
de Grisogono
DeLaneau
Dubey & Schaldenbrand
Ebel
Eberhard & C°
European Watch C°
F.P. Journe Invenit et Fecit
Franck Muller
Frédérique Constant
Georges V
Gevril
Girard-Perregaux
Glashütte Original
Goldpfeil Geneve
Graham
Gucci
Harry Winston
Hermes
Hublot
IWC
Jaeger-LeCoultre
Jean-Mairet & Gillman
L. Leroy
Leonard
Locman
Longines
Michele Watches
Olivier Roux
Omega
Panerai
Parmigiani Fleurier
Patek Philippe
Perrelet
Quinting
Rado
Raymond Weil
RGM
Richard Mille
Roger Dubuis
Rolex
TAG Heuer
TechnoMarine
Tiffany & Co.
Ulysse Nardin
Vacheron Constantin
Versace
Zannetti
Zenith
Please note that not all watches bearing the trademark 'Swiss Made'
use foreign components, but most brands do. It is important not to
slander companies who are actually being truthful about the origin of
components, so please do not distribute information that falsely
accuses anybody of something for which you do not have proper evidence.
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