Omega And Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology Announce New Watch Testing And Certification Standard

Omega and the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) have jointly developed a new testing and certification process for timepieces, that includes functional testing under massive magnetic fields. Clearly aimed at the dominant COSC standard, the new certification will be applied to Master Co-Axial watches in 2015, though other watch brands are welcome to partake.
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Earlier this year Omega its new Master Co-Axial movements with magnetism resistance of over 15,000 Gauss. But the lax standards of COSC, the biggest player in the watch certification sphere, has driven Omega to collaborate with METAS to create a new testing standard. Though Omega and METAS developed the standard together, METAS is an independent government body, and the certification will be open to other watch brands.

According to Omega, “[Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek] suggested that in recent years it has become obvious that the COSC chronometer certification, long the industry norm, needs to be strengthened.” To obtain certification that is strong enough, Omega has turned to the new METAS certification, unveiled just today at a press conference in Geneva. METAS is an independent body administered by the Swiss federal government which deals with everything related to measuring and measurements, as well as being the country’s national metrological institute.

The new METAS certification is the second newly developed testing and certification standard unveiled in 2014, after Chronometric+, conceived by the body that oversees the Geneva Seal. Like Chronometric+, the METAS watch certification process will be comprehensive, testing the completed, cased up timepiece (COSC only tests finished movements).  And for Omega’s Master Co-Axial movements testing will include timing tests during and after exposure to magnetic fields exceeding 15,000 Gauss, which the calibres are designed to withstand. METAS will demand an average daily rate of 0 and +5 seconds, compared with the -4 and +6 seconds of COSC. Beyond magnetism resistance and timekeeping METAS will also test for the power reserve. Interestingly, owners of METAS certified Co-Axial watches, which will hit the market in mid-2015, will be able to access test results and procedures on online or via a smartphone.

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