COSC, Geneva Seal, Fleurier Quality Foundation, ISO norms… Watchmakers underwrite their items with different certificate imprints to show their commitment to quality. These confirmations address to numerous parts of quality, identifying with models as various as accuracy, sturdiness, power, tasteful or even provenance. This portion of A Technical Perspective gives a manual for quality and chronometric accreditations seals.
A piece of history
Very early, and a long time prior to showcasing or promoting were speculated, watchmakers chipped away at building a standing of quality around their items and their name. The idea of chronometry truly created during the eighteenth century, when long stretch explorers required sharp watches to empower them to decide their situation adrift dependably. Assembling exact watches turned into a subject of competition between watchmakers, explicitly at observatories, which were established as gatekeepers of precise time. There was furious contention at observatory challenges and, along with the honors at global shows, the prizes got at Geneva, Neuchatel, Besançon or Kew were frequently utilized for exposure purposes.
The observatory competitions finished in the mid 1970s, with the appearance of quartz watches. The COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) was made in 1973, encompassing the previous autonomous Swiss labs and observatories, and characterizing the measures to meet for a development to be allowed with a chronometer certificate.
From an alternate point of view, among the soonest accreditations, the acclaimed Geneva Seal was made in 1886, characterizing great guidelines for the assembling of watches, for the most part with the completing and enrichment of the development, along for certain details on technical plan. However, the majority of all, it was pointed toward securing Geneva makers, as this confirmation is saved for watches made in the Canton of Geneva.
How do you characterize quality?
Over the years, watchmakers discussed the requirement for a meaning of quality – and obviously, there is no single answer. This has prompted the production of various confirmations, tending to various parts of quality. Among the different rules assessed, some are identified with the watch plan while others are straightforwardly associated with the exhibitions of each piece created. Quality beginnings with a decent plan, from the start of item advancement, and will be then conveyed all through the entire creation measure and the entire firm.
Different standards are utilized for configuration control, applying to item advancement measures. These can be alluding to technical or aesthetical parts of the watch or its components. For example, developments should be finely completed and beautified to get the Geneva Seal or the Fleurier Quality Foundation. Models are submitted and tried to support the general plan and quality of an item. Past inward requirements, the generally utilized Chronofiable certification centers around sturdiness and dependability of watches, recreating a while of wear. Such testing strategies harm watches, they can’t be done in general production.
After the advancement stage, quality administration frameworks target guaranteeing that the compliance with each brand’s requirements. Various quality viewpoints are tried and ultimately affirmed for each single watch delivered. These remember for specific, exactness, water opposition, power hold and elements of the watches.
COSC and other chronometric certifications
COSC is the most popular watch guaranteeing association, with well more than 1 million units inspected each year (knowing that the whole Rolex creation and practically all the Omega watches experience the interaction… That’s now over 1.5 millions watches analyzed, with these two brands only). The COSC is trying the precision of non-cased developments, conveying a chronometer certificate having a place extraordinarily with the development tried. The system keeps going 16 days, enduring the accompanying deviations for mechanical movements.
The COSC hence ensures that a development (and not a watch) worked inside a characterized precision range at a given a great time. What happens thereafter, specifically when the development is cased, isn’t guaranteed.
Other chronometric certificates test cased developments, as the activities did after the developments are tried at COSC may adjust their exhibitions. This is the situation for the Besançon or Glasshütte Observatories certificates.
COSC chronometric tolerances will be viewed as an industry standard. Regardless of whether they are not in every case authoritatively ensured, trusted and broadly utilized developments like the ETA2892 or ETA7750 can undoubtedly be directed to COSC level. This is a motivation behind why top of the line Haute Horlogerie marks once in a while utilize the COSC accreditation, conceivably imparted to brands at a way-lower value point. By chance, a few brands, for example, Seiko, Richard Mille or Ulysse Nardin have made their own chronometric certificates – stricter than COSC – on a portion of their watches.
Geneva Seal (Poinçon de Genève)
The Hallmark of Geneva (poinçon de Genève) confirms compliance with the practices of Genevan workmanship. Its office is today important for TIMELAB – the Geneva Laboratory of Horology and Microengineering. To be granted the confirmation, the competitor company must be enrolled in the Canton of Geneva, where should likewise have been completed the get together, change and packaging up of the development and any extra mechanical modules, just as the review of the cased-up watch.
Strict assembling and completing particulars apply to every component, to ensure high-grade completes and long-term unwavering quality. The development, extra modules and the outside pieces of the watch must be endorsed by a technical committee. In 2012, the Geneva Seal developed essentially, with prominent increments. Specifically, all the cased-up watches need to comply with characterized rules. These new requirements incorporate testing the water-obstruction, the rate, the capacities and the force hold of the watch.
This changes came a couple of years after Patek Philippe reported it would set up its own quality imprint, consolidating the most amazing aspect the Geneva Seal adding models very like those additional by the 2012 update.
Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF)
The Fleurier Quality certification was made in 2001 by Chopard, Parmigiani and Bovet, later joined by Vaucher Manufacture (an outer assembling working for a few brands). Its advantage lies in the way that it encompasses comprehensive models and phases of testing, to ensure simultaneously a technical origination, a top notch completing and a control of the accuracy and heartiness of each watch. The Qualité Fleurier tests were really the most comprehensive tests back in 2001 and have propelled other quality tests and certificates, which have now ascended to comparable degrees of rigourousness.
To get the Fleurier Quality confirmation a watch should be fabricated 100% in Switzerland. For the item improvement stage, the quality of its completions are approved by the Fleurier Quality Foundation while its technical origination is tried with a Chronofiable test. On the assembling side, each development and each watch should effectively pass the COSC and Fleuritest trials.
METAS & Master Chronometer
In 2014, Omega worked with the Swiss Federal Institute for Metrology (METAS) to build up another, free accreditation for mechanical watches further the presentation of the Master Chronometer . To procure the name Master Chronometer, the completed watch, whose development is a COSC chronometer, breezes through assessments that imitate genuine wearing conditions and exhibit protection from water and attractive fields. Specifically, the capacity of every development and each watch is tried for attractive fields more noteworthy than 15’000 Gauss. The normal every day exactness should be somewhere in the range of 0 and +5 seconds per day when the openness to attractive fields.
To underline their quality guidelines while standing apart from the group, a few brands have built up their own accreditation. While it is hard to name every single existing mark, we are introducing here a couple of them.
The Patek Philippe Seal (read our article about it here ) was made in 2009. The brand needed to characterize its own guidelines of greatness. While Patek Philippe had been one of the greatest client and advertiser of the Geneva Seal for quite a long time, the brand likely felt it was deficient with regards to some exhibition requirements. Newcomers to the ‘Poinçon de Genève’ may likewise have been an inspiration to venture out. Last, Patek Philippe’s new creation offices outside Geneva were incompatible with the limitation on the provenance. While consolidating the most awesome aspect the Geneva Seal like guidelines of finish, the Patek Philippe Seal encompasses the entire watch and not simply its development (something that the Geneva Seal currently additionally joins.) It likewise incorporates a few exhibition tests, for example, rate accuracy.
Created in 2004, the Jaeger-Lecoultre 1000 hours includes a battery of test enduring almost a month and a half. Timekeeping exactness is tried in various situations, at various temperatures. The force save and the water obstruction of the watch are tried. Among different preliminaries, a machine reproduces every day wear and ensures that all parts are safely fixed. Likewise, Montblanc has executed a 500-hours quality certificate on piece of its production.
‘Quality isn’t a demonstration, it is a habit‘ – Aristotle
Naturally, quality certificate includes an advertising measurement. In any case, presenting its creation to 1000 hours of control or to the guidelines of the FQF or Geneva Seal is certifiably not a simple way. What’s more, quality administration pays off. Affirmation keeps up the climate to guarantee compliance with requirements. It proves that a brand follows a formalized, predictable quality administration system.
The Superlative Chronometer green seal accompanying each Rolex watch bear witness to it has effectively gone through a progression of controls by Rolex as indicated by its own measures (water obstruction, power save, and so on) notwithstanding the authority COSC affirmation of its movement. Beyond the wax seal, their profound, durable commitment to quality has made Rolex a benchmark for dependability, permitting the brand to now offer an industry driving 5-year guarantee on all models. Quality administration pays off.