This year, Omega will be introducing a new methodology of watch certification which will be done in-house and in the collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). The novel process will mostly be focused on the tests of the watch’s performance when it is subjected to strong magnetic fields. The entire procedure was devised in order to check the properties of the brand’s movements with Master Co-Axial escapements in a more accurate manner.
As it has been disclosed at the press conference organized by Swatch Group which owns Omega, the watchmaker will be replacing the currently used COSC certification with a new one. Instead of obtaining the proof of quality of performance through independent COSC organization, Omega will be doing the task on its own from now on. The reason for changing the process is the fact that the current procedures are inadequate for testing the qualities of the timepieces when they are subjected to strong magnetic fields. This is especially important to the watchmaker which produces its renowned Master Co-Axial movements. These watches include components made of silicon, or other non-magnetic materials. Due to the properties, these Omega watches are able to withstand magnetic fields that are even greater than 15,000 gauss. Prior to their launch, it was common to refer to watches as magnetic resistant when they were able to cope with the fields that were as much as 15 times weaker.
Since the anti-magnetic properties of the movements with Master Co-Axial escapements are absolutely uncommon, it is not so unexpected that there were really no adequate instruments or procedures which will accurately test the magnetic resistance. That is why Omega will be abandoning COSC certification. Instead of the independent COSC certification, the brand will be conducting the accuracy test in its own facilities. In order to guarantee that these tests are punctual, all of the instruments, including the gigantic magnet in the brand’s possession, will be initially certified by METAS. The federal institute is the Swiss official body for metrology and it is even responsible for the official time in the country.
The COSC chronometric procedure which checks whether the watch is a chronometer measures if it is able to function with the accuracy within -5/+5 seconds in different temperatures and positions. The new certification that is to be implemented by Omega will do the same thing after exposing the timekeeper to magnetic fields both under and over 15,000 gauss. In addition, the new procedure will be testing the complete watch and not just its movement. As Nick Hayek, the CEO of the Swatch Group, explained at the press conference in Geneva, these testing procedures and the novel stamp of quality will be also offered to other watch manufacturers.