OMEGA MOVE TO METAS
The Swatch Group have raised eyebrows with the news that Omega, one of their many brands, will forsake COSC certification in favour of being “Officially Certified” by METAS – the Federal Office of Metrology, instead. The Swiss government controlled METAS agency is engaged in many sciences that need precise measurements, dealing in everything from electricity and optics through to frequency and, of course, time. Interestingly, METAS is responsible for the dissemination of the official time in Switzerland – so, in the land of high horology, that’s a pretty impressive organisation to be aligned with.
METAS is a larger and broader organisation than the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (or Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres - COSC), but COSC is embedded in the watch industry as a byword or symbol for superlative quality. The move will mean that Omega can save time in the production process, and a COSC certified watch requires testing twice, as once before being submitted to check if it will pass, and once to actually pass. This will ultimately equate to substantial cost savings, especially as Omega are expanding the use of their Master CoAxial technology, distinct in the use of unique escapements and anti-magnetic properties. The clear difference between METAS certification and COSC is that METAS conduct more specifically designed tests for magnetic resistance. For everyday watch wearers, the long-term accuracy of a mechanical watch might be improved by being METAS certified, but only to a level that you would never need nor notice – unless you are subjected to the extraordinarily powerful magnetic fields on a daily basis.