Press Releases

Master Chronometer Certification
SWITZERLAND
AUGUST 2018
 
 
 
 
RAISING STANDARDS
 
 
A QUEST FOR PRECISION
 
In watchmaking, the margins of precision can be measured by seconds. That may seem small to most people, but for OMEGA, those seconds represent a lifetime’s work.
 
Even in 1848, when Louis Brandt sat down to create the company’s very first watches, his ambition was to produce the most accurate movements possible. This dedication led to the 19-ligne “OMEGA” calibre in 1894, which was so admired and revolutionary within the industry, it would soon become the company’s title.
 
Indeed, OMEGA is perhaps the only watchmaker in the world to be named after the excellence of a calibre.
 
But this was only a starting point. The 20th century followed with numerous first-place awards at observatory trials and a reputation for precision that flourished with continuous success – perhaps demonstrated best by OMEGA’s selection as the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games in 1932. After all, when timing the world’s best athletes, only the most accurate and trusted watches will do!
 
But Why is Precision so Important Today?
 
For OMEGA, precision is still the truest mark of mechanical watchmaking quality. For someone investing in a watch, those few extra seconds are a testament to superior craftsmanship, a determination for perfection, more technical investment, more research, more development and an infinite passion for achieving better innovation.
 
That’s why, in recent times, OMEGA has still not stopped in its quest for precision. In 1999, the brand showed again that it was not afraid to break with tradition. The Co-Axial escapement was the first new practical watch escapement in 250 years and it was a giant leap forward in mechanical excellence.
 
Since 2015, OMEGA’s Master Chronometer testing for each individual timepiece has provided customers with total transparency and a proven precision and performance they can trust.
 
How is Master Chronometer Raising Standards?
 
Throughout the Swiss watch industry, a COSC “chronometer” certification is the desired end result. For OMEGA, it’s only the beginning.
 
COSC testing only demonstrates the precision of a movement (-4/+6 seconds per day, tested in 5 positions). It remains an integral part of the OMEGA process, but since 2015, the brand has used this highly-respected standard as a starting point.
 
Now, OMEGA also subjects its movements as well as its completed watches to 8 Master Chronometer tests over 10 days, including water resistance, temperature fluctuation and exposure to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss. The accuracy criteria (0/+5 seconds per day tested in 6 positions, depending on the category) proves that the watches are performing at peak precision.
 
The Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) has officially ensured that Master Chronometer testing leaves no room for doubt. Only perfectlyfunctioning timepieces with extraordinary levels of magnetic resistance earn the Master Chronometer certification.
 
So if it’s written on the dial, you know that OMEGA has gone beyond the normal benchmark to guarantee you have the highest standard of watch.
 
What is METAS?
 
Master Chronometer certification is delivered by METAS - Switzerland’s official government authority on all issues related to measurement and measuring equipment and procedures. As a completely independent institute, METAS stands at the cutting-edge of measurement accuracy in Switzerland and is able to determine the exact unbiased criteria for what precision really means.
 
What makes the Difference?
 
OMEGA watches are able to achieve the Master Chronometer standard thanks to numerous innovations within the movement.
 
The Co-Axial Escapement
 
For the watch, this means less friction within the movement, greater mechanical efficiency and outstanding chronometric performance over time.
 
For the customer, this means that precision lasts longer and that you will have much longer intervals between getting your watch serviced.
 
Non-Ferrous Materials
 
For the watch, this means overcoming magnetism, one of the most complex issues in watchmaking. Magnetism can compromise or completely stop a watch’s performance, but by using OMEGA’s Nivagauss™ alloy and other non-ferromagnetic materials, the Master Chronometer calibres can resist magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss.
 
For the customer, this means that precision is not affected by everyday items like phones, tablets or electrical equipment. Magnetism is all around us today, but non-ferrous materials mean that your Master Chronometer won’t miss a beat.
 
The Silicon Balance Spring
 
For the watch, this non-ferrous material ensures that the exact geometry of the spring is reproduced every time and remains in shape indefinitely. It is three times finer than a human hair yet has the endurance to maintain superior precision.
 
For the customer, this again means that the precision of your watch is completely unaffected by magnetic fields, but also that it can resist sudden sharp shocks.
 
What does 15,000 Gauss mean?
 
Magnetism is all around us in everyday life, from mobile phones to the metal clasps on handbags. Magnetic fields are disruptive to a mechanical watch and must be resisted: but just how great a force is 15,000 gauss?
 
As a comparison, a smart phone generates 380 gauss.
 
A hairdryer generates 400 gauss.
 
A laptop generates 1,200 gauss.
 
An iPad cover generates 1,400 gauss.
 
And a typical MRI scanner for humans generates more than 15,000 gauss.
 
Our commitment to precision
 
In 2018, OMEGA welcomed the arrival of its 12th and 13th new Master Chronometer calibres. It clearly shows that almost every new mechanical OMEGA watch is being rethought and modelled around the strength of its movement. And thanks to the new OMEGA factory that was opened last year, the efficiency and capacity of testing and certification will only get better.
 
Importantly, OMEGA’s new factory at the HQ site in Bienne has been created to house OMEGA’s production assembly line, as well as its quality and technical control processes, including the METAS testing for Master Chronometer certification. All technology for the 8 METAS tests can be found on the 3rd floor, including the two permanent magnets that subject each watch to a field of 15,000 gauss.
 
The testing machines work 24/7 in perfect automated harmony with a 283-step process to complete a full examination. METAS houses its own offices on site to oversee the certification processes and ensure that all watches reach the industry’s highest standard for precision, performance and magnetic resistance.
 
8 Tests over 10 Days
 
Any watch that doesn’t reach the Master Chronometer pass mark will never reach a customer’s wrist.
 
But when they do, watch buyers can view the unique test results of their very own personal Master Chronometer through OMEGA’s dedicated online page and app. This will show the exact precision and performance of your OMEGA when it left the factory.
 
One more little way that Master Chronometer is raising standards.
 
1. Function of COSC-approved movement during exposure to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss.

This test examines the movement of the watch, placing it in two different positions and subjecting it to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss. The functioning of the movement is audibly checked using a microphone.
 
 
2. Function of watch during exposure to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss

In this test, the watch is subjected to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss. While exposed to this field, the functioning of the watch is audibly checked using a microphone.
 
 
3. Deviation of daily chronometric precision after exposure to 15,000 gauss

In this test, the watch is subjected to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss and its chronometric precision is calculated after 24 hours. The next day, the watch is demagnetised and the chronometric precision is calculated after another 24 hours. We show the minimal deviation between the two days.
 
 
4. Average daily chronometric precision of the watch

This test is carried out over four days. During these days, the watch is placed in six different positions and two alternating temperature zones. It is also exposed to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss. Chronometric precision is recorded each day. At the end of the four days, the results are used to calculate a daily average.
 
 
5. Power reserve

This test checks the power reserve of the watch by proving that it continues to function at the limit of its expected capacity.
 
 
 
6. Deviation of chronometric precision in six positions

In this test, the watch is placed in six different positions and its chronometric precision is recorded in each one. Out of these six results, we show the deviation between the two most extreme results known as the Delta.
 
 
7. Deviation of chronometric precision between 100% and 33% of power reserve

In this test, the watch is placed in six different positions and its chronometric precision is recorded at 100% power reserve in each one. This process is repeated when the power reserve of the watch reaches 33%. We then take the average results of the six measures during both states of the power reserve and give the deviation between the two.
 
 
8. Water resistance

This test submerges the watch underwater, gradually applying more pressure up to the point of the stated water resistance. This ensures that each watch is properly tested for underwater conditions.
 
 
 
It all started with one watch: THE WORLD’S FIRST MASTER CHRONOMETER.
 
When OMEGA introduced its METAS-approved testing in 2015, the Globemaster was the first watch to emerge. Since then, the brand has subjected more and more of its mechanical timepieces to the stringent 10-day process.
 
 
THE WATCH THAT MARKED THE START OF A NEW ERA.
 
Driven by the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8901, this 18K Sedna™ gold model includes a fluted bezel and opaline silvery “Pie Pan” dial: a classic feature inspired by the first 1952 Constellation model.
 
MORE PRECISION-TESTED MODELS
 
 
PETITE YET TOUGH ENOUGH TO PASS THE STRICTEST TESTS
 
The beating heart of this elegant timepiece is the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Small Seconds Calibre 8704. With its mother-of-pearl dial, 10 diamond indexes and small seconds feature with 4 diamond markers, it may look fragile – but don’t be fooled.
 
 
TEAK INSPIRED AND TESTED AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL
 
Though the horizontal teak pattern on the silvery dial is inspired by the wooden decks of luxury sailboats, this 41 mm watch in 18K Sedna™ gold and stainless steel requires no sail to power it forward, thanks to the OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 8900.
 
 
DIAMOND - SET ELEGANCE - DRIVEN BY EXCELLENCE
 
Encircled by diamonds, this 34 mm case stainless steel and 18K Sedna™ gold model features a diamond-set bezel and integrated stainless steel and 18K Sedna™ gold bracelet. The OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 keeps this irresistible watch resistant to magnetism.
 
 
AN EYE-CATCHING WATCH WITH VISIBLE PRECISION
 
This 39.5 mm model in stainless steel and 18K Sedna™ gold features a white leather strap, ceramic dial and bezel ring. OMEGA Ceragold™ has been used for the diving scale. The sapphire crystal caseback allows a clear view of the OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 in action.
 
 
 
THOROUGHLY TESTED AND READY FOR THE FAST LANE
 
Driven by the OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 9900, this 44.25 mm stainless steel model features a black ceramic ring with the Speedmaster’s famous tachymeter scale, and the distinctive racing style minute-track which gives the watch its name..
 
 
 
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
 
OMEGA International Press Office
Rue Jakob-Stämpfli 96
2500 Bienne 4, Switzerland
Tel. +41 32 343 9211 | Fax +41 32 343 9715
press@omega.ch | www.omegawatches.com
 
OMEGA is a company of the Swatch Group, the largest manufacturer and distributor of watches and jewellery in the world.

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