Chronometer Certification - worth it?
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  1. #1
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    Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    For some time now I’ve been under the assumption that chronometer certification (or more stringent equivalent) was THE ultimate in functional wristwatch classification. I believed that if a watch could taut chronometer status then it was legit - the rest, they could take a hike.
    But as I’ve read up on it, I’ve found testing is only offered in three four countries around the world and 3/4 will only test watches built on their native soil by native companies.
    Well, that gave me pause. What would preclude a company from another country from producing a watch of exceptional characteristics? Marketing of course!
    The question I want to pose to the forum is this, does chronometer certification have any worth or bearing to you and your watch collecting?
    And one follow up question, if we took the national marketing out of the equation, and an international chronometer organization were formed, one in which anyone could achieve chronometer certification, would that change anything?
    Looking forward to your thoughts.
    Pmnealhsd likes this.

  2. #2
    Member deweyfong's Avatar
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    It wouldn’t change anything. Once watches get certified, they don’t stay certified meaning it was only at the time of testing. Additionally many popular watches aren’t certified chronometer status, ex. Speedmaster. So it’s a NBD for me.


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  3. #3
    Member MediumRB's Avatar
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    It's a marketing tool (or ploy).

    Does a being 4.0 GPA student mean you have a high IQ? Does having a high IQ mean that you are actually brilliant? Does being brilliant mean that you actually accomplish something of universal merit?

    Short answer, NO. Omega's new certification standards are higher than COSC. Seiko does their own thing, as do the Germans. Don't believe the hype.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    Not really, looks nice on the dial for bragging rights, the first doorknob will reclassify.
    U5512, Bucks, u2bdet and 5 others like this.

  6. #5
    Member phydaux's Avatar
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    Even if the watch is chronometer certified, you're still going to need to reset it every other month or so. And that's ONLY if you keep it wound. If you let your watch run down on weekends then the accuracy matters a lot less.

    UNLESS you're actually using your wristwatch for navigation purposes.
    deweyfong and Sebast975 like this.

  7. #6
    Member Triton9's Avatar
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by mzinski View Post
    For some time now I’ve been under the assumption that chronometer certification (or more stringent equivalent) was THE ultimate in functional wristwatch classification. I believed that if a watch could taut chronometer status then it was legit - the rest, they could take a hike.
    But as I’ve read up on it, I’ve found testing is only offered in three four countries around the world and 3/4 will only test watches built on their native soil by native companies.
    Well, that gave me pause. What would preclude a company from another country from producing a watch of exceptional characteristics? Marketing of course!
    The question I want to pose to the forum is this, does chronometer certification have any worth or bearing to you and your watch collecting?
    And one follow up question, if we took the national marketing out of the equation, and an international chronometer organization were formed, one in which anyone could achieve chronometer certification, would that change anything?
    Looking forward to your thoughts.
    Every luxury watch companies claim their QC check or their quality is the best(which watch companies will claim their QC is shabby?). Nothing beats a third party testing and verification who will likely be partial in testing out their movement and watches.
    cuthbert and 707mm2 like this.
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  8. #7
    Member TwentiethCenturyFox's Avatar
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    Has no relevance overall for me. I have it on several watches and my seiko's keep up just fine.

  9. #8
    Member frozenotter's Avatar
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    If I want the detailed time accuracy I'll look at my phone. If I want to know the time I'll look at my watch. Horological art is not about absolute miniscule time keeping. Quartz has long since had this beat. To me it's not the point.
    G550driver, whineboy and Sebast975 like this.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Chronometer Certification - worth it?

    The various Chronometer certifications do have significance. They indicate that the movement is designed, constructed, and finished to a level that *allows* it to be certified. That's no small thing and I think it unwise to dismiss it. Whether such a watch will maintain the Chronometer specs many years down the track depends on many things, but the qualities that enabled it to be certified do not change, (assuming competent periodic servicing). The certifications may or may not hold much significance with people but that doesn't change the fact that these movements have had the effort put into them to be able to meet or exceed the specifications. Also, you'll see people stating that their non-certified watch runs within COSC specs. In most cases they mean that it falls within the COSC daily rate +/- variations. That is hardly "COSC specs", which include a raft of other requirements a movement must meet, as below:

    Mean variation in rates: 2 secs/day
    Greatest variation in rates: 5 secs/day
    Difference between rates in H & V positions: -6/+8 secs/day
    Rate stability: 0.05 sec/day
    Largest variation in rates: 10 secs/day
    Thermal variation: ± 0.6 sec/day
    Rate resumption: ± 5 secs/day

    Simply returning a certain daily rate on the wrist is fine but it could well be a matter of quite wide variations, falling outside of the COSC specs, cancelling themselves out in wearing to return a decent average daily rate. In fact, that's very likely just what is happening with many non-certified watches. It shouldn't be confused with actual certification specifications being met, not without having actually tested the watches. It's quite likely that many such watches could *not* meet the full specs.

    A non-certified watch that runs well and delivers good average daily rates on the wrist might be all many people need or desire, but I think it worthwhile to acknowledge the actual issues involved with certification. The quest for positional rate stability and control over effects of temperature and isochronism have underpinned watchmaking throughout history.
    skuzapo, Sir-Guy, Camguy and 10 others like this.

  11. #10
    Member Fordham-NY's Avatar
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    You can take a watch and test it and get it to mimic COSCs publically available standards, true. Its a certification of accuracy the movement was able to achieve, and is assumed to maintain going forward. I think it was worth more back before quartz watches and modern manufacturing machines. Still its a prestigious certification formally testing accuracy, from a reputable independent organization.
    To add some fuel to the fire, I believe a watch which is allowed to be made in Geneve/have Geneve on it, such as Frank Mueller or Patek actually exceeds COSC specs and requirements. I believe the movement must have additional decoration and engraving, etc.
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