For the past few decades, COSC – or Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute – certification has been the gold standard for extremely accurate timepieces. One of the criteria for a watch to be COSC-certified, for instance, is an accuracy of -4 to +6 seconds a day. There are, however, alternative affirmations of excellence, and the latest is a certificate that was recently announced by Omega and the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (Metas).
Unlike COSC testing, Metas certification focuses on the watch as a whole instead of its movement, and requires a less forgiving average daily precision of 0 to +5 seconds. As susceptibility to magnetism can affect the workings of a watch, the new Metas tests will also focus on the function of each movement and watch during, and after, exposure to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss (an extremely high level of magnetism on a par with that of an MRI machine).
From the middle of this year, Omega will be producing its first watches bearing the Master Co-Axial Officially Certified designation – following the introduction of its anti-magnetic Master Co-Axial watches last year. That said, this certification is not just for Omega watches. Other brands will be able to submit their timepieces for testing by Metas, which is an independent federal body. Of the new set of standards, Nick Hayek, the CEO of Swatch Group (which owns Omega), said at a press conference: “This would benefit the entire industry… and also the consumers.”