In 1886, more than a century ago, the Geneva Seal (Poinçon de Genève) was passed down with the creation of the Geneva Law. This ‘eagle and spoon’ shield badge was originally a superb technique and clock Proof of quality later became an effective anti-counterfeiting mark.
Seal of Geneva (Poinçon de Genève)
Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (known as the COSC Swiss Official Observatory Testing Agency) was developed in 1973 to issue certificates for watches that meet its accuracy standards. For a long time, the Seal of Geneva and the Swiss Official Observatory’s certification have set strict standards for Swiss watchmaking and have also become a reliable symbol of high-quality timepieces. However, some recent facts show that there is still much room for improvement in quality inspection forms and standards.
COSC Swiss Official Observatory Testing Agency Certification
Qualité Fleurier was founded 10 years ago and is derived from Chopard’s co-presidents Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and Michel Parmigiani. Parmigiani was named after the highly acclaimed watchmaker), and Pascal Raffy, the boss behind the show, joined them. This is the most stringent and difficult quality certification in the industry. The watch movements involved in this extreme challenge need to be 100% made in Switzerland. Today, only 3,000 watches have passed certification tests.
Headquarters of Fleurier Quality Certification Agency in Fleurier City Hall
As if this was not enough, Omega brought Master Co-Axial Officially Certified to the team last year. This is a new certification standard launched by Omega in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Institute for Metrology, which contains strict requirements for the magnetic resistance of the movement.
Omega and Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology launch new watch certification
For outsiders, the plethora of testing and certification standards is deeply confusing. But in fact, it’s not. According to Franco Cologni, who heads the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Cultural Council, two things can be determined. One is historical. Various initiatives over the past few decades have shown that the certification standards will be further improved, which can be seen in the latest certification rules introduced by the Poinçon de Genève. Of course, different certification systems can take different approaches. No matter which route you choose to climb Everest, the purpose is to ensure the excellent quality of the watch.
The second is openness. In these certification organizations, independent watchmakers are responsible for testing the certification process to ensure fairness and impartiality, and this is essential, otherwise consumers’ trust will be lost. In view of this, it is inevitable to mention the Patek Philippe Seal again. This is not to say that we are skeptical of the superior quality of the brand’s timepieces, but neutral certifications provided by independent organizations rather than the brand itself are not better. After all, other more open and democratic certification systems are enough to seduce any watchmaking brand. Patek Philippe is keen to self-evaluate with an exclusive attitude, but also closed the door to dialogue with the industry.