Swiss watch brand Omega and the director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) announced their collaboration on a new watch certification process, at a press conference at Geneva’s Cité du Temps. Omega will start using this new watch certification process in 2015 to test each of its Master Co-Axial watches.
Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek was joined by Dr Christian Bock, the Director of METAS, Stephen Urquhart, President of Omega and Omega Vice Presidents Raynald Aeschlimann and Andreas Hobmeier. Stephen Urquhart recalled some of the technological milestones in Omega’s long history, including its launch in 2013 of a mechanical movement resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. He explained that the increasing number of magnets in our daily lives can affect the performance of watches and showed a short film explaining how Omega had overcome one of watchmaking’s greatest challenges.
Nick Hayek said that the Swatch Group has long been a leader in its promotion of the Swiss watch industry and the “Swiss made” label and he expressed his satisfaction with the innovations that have made it so robust.Dr Christian Bock, the Director of METAS, was introduced and explained the role that his organization plays in the Swiss federal government. The Institute, he said, is the centre of competence for the Swiss government for all matters involving measurement and measuring procedures.
Raynald Aeschlimann, Omega’s Vice President and Head of International Sales, said that the certification of the watches by an independent institution that is part of the Swiss Federal Government made as bold a statement about Omega as its monobrand boutiques and the transparent casebacks that reveal the movements inside. “All of these define our brand. The boutiques place our watches close to the consumers where they can explore them in detail. The casebacks allow the examination of the movements that are such an important part of our story. And this new, completely independent ‘Swiss Made’ certification confirms the quality of each watch that earns it. It’s an important milestone for both our brand and the industry.”
Andreas Hobmeier, Omega Vice President of Production and Procurement, spoke in detail about the tests each Master Co-Axial watch will have to pass in order to earn the “Officially Certified” distinction.