At a meeting of the 19 Hallmarking Convention countries and the International Association of Assay Offices in Geneva last week it was found that the Swiss watch industry has increased its use of Convention hallmarks as watch companies prefer to use a single legally recognised international hallmark.
A Convention hallmark is an alternative to country-specific hallmarks and is recognised by all member countries in the International Convention.
Switzerland’s use of Convention hallmarks has increased by more than 50% on two years ago “driven by exports of Swiss precious metal watches to China, India and Russia especially, and the desire of the watch brands to have a single legally recognised international hallmark throughout Europe”, according to Birmingham Assay Office chief executive Michael Allchin, who was at the meeting.
Also during the meeting Italy expressed a desire to join the Convention, but while approved by 18 of the members the application was blocked by the Czech Republic. The Convention is now awaiting a written reason from the Czech Republic as to its opposition of Italy.
For more on the conference read Allchin’s guest column on professionaljeweller.com.