At a press conference held at Omega’s HQ in Biel, Switzerland, the world’s first Master Chronometer has been made official. Not only does this represent a momentous occasion for the brand, it also sets a new standard of watchmaking for the entire industry.
In 2014, Omega and the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (Metas) announced their collaboration on a new watch certification, whereby precision and performance would be tested and approved like never before. A year on, and the entire process is now fully active. With a new Metas Lab housed at the heart of Omega’s operations, the Globemaster has officially become the first watch to achieve the “Master Chronometer” rating.
On stage, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek was joined by Dr Christian Bock, Director of Metas, as well as Stephen Urquhart, President of Omega, and Andreas Hobmeier, Omega’s Vice President of Production and Procurement.
Opening the press conference, Nick Hayek described the importance of the moment.
“We all know about the importance of beautiful products, history and innovation. But one other thing is so important. That’s trust. Trust for our consumers. By working with an independent organisation such as Metas, we can be transparent for the consumer, and reconfirm that the Swiss watch industry is the leader in precision and innovation.”
Metas has of course been a critical partner in creating the new Master Chronometer certification. Speaking on stage, Dr Bock described the importance of their role and reconfirmed the message of trust.
“Trust is the core of our business at Metas. We are a government agency, the leading centre for all measurements in Switzerland. And above all, we are consumer and client driven. That’s why it was important to ensure that this new standard for mechanical watches is open to every brand.”
While industry-standard COSC certification remains an integral part of Omega’s process, the new Metas testing will effectively double the certification of each watch, giving Omega and other Swiss watchmakers the opportunity to demonstrate the quality and timekeeping performance of their watches to a greater extent than has previously been possible. With 8 tests carried out over 10 days, each watch must pass a range of criteria that replicate real-life wearing conditions, including exposure to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss.
After explaining each individual test, Mr Hobmeier proudly displayed the world’s first Master Chronometer, the Globemaster, while briefly describing the effort involved in its creation.
“Trust is something you can only gain if you walk the talk. Our team has been working very hard with Metas to perfect the details. It is an honour to present the first watch that has passed these tests.”
The test results of the watch were also shown, demonstrating how customers can now check the individual results of their own watch by going online.
Having achieved this milestone, Omega has signalled the future of the brand. As a renowned watchmaking pioneer, this occasion will certainly rank as one of its most defining moments.