Since its founding in 1848, Swiss manufacture Omega has been known to create timepieces that showcase technical excellence — from the world’s first minute repeater in 1892 to the more recent anti-magnetic mechanical movement from 2013, which was introduced on a large-scale in its Master Co-Axial watches earlier this year.
Never one for complacency when it comes to achieving new standards in fine watchmaking, Omega announced its collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) on a new watch certification process earlier this week. This improved method will be used on all its Master Co-Axial pieces starting 2015. But unlike its predecessors (such as the current COSC chronometer certification), it will test the finished watch instead of just the movement.
Highly rigorous in nature, the new certification will require each Master Co-Axial watch to be tested for its precision during and after exposure to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss (it needs to display a tolerance of between zero to +5 seconds per day to be conferred an “Officially Certified” title), autonomy (which is measured in hours and refers to the timepiece’s ability to function without winding) and water resistance.
Additionally, METAS has commented that it has no exclusivity agreement with Omega and that other clients would have access to the same certification, marking a new milestone in world of haute horlogerie. “This would benefit the entire industry – not only in Switzerland but in China and Japan and in other countries with a history of innovative watchmaking,” says Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group. “More importantly, it would also benefit the consumers and that has to be a good thing.”