HOW THE ACCURACY OF WATCHES IS OFFICIALLY MEASURED
Many times we talk about characteristics of parts that have little to do with their precision, however, when we choose a model it is necessary to know to what extent its movement is or is not exact.
Knowing how the accuracy of watches is measured and which bodies are in charge of ensuring watchmaking precision will allow us to know which are the most accurate Swiss watches, and which brands have developed truly specific mechanical devices.
This week we are going to review how the accuracy of watches is measured, what criteria are taken into account and which bodies are in charge of measuring the precision of a watch.
The origin of precision measurement in watches
From the beginning of Swiss watch chain manufacture, it became essential to measure the precision of watchmaking machinery.
What the brands tried was to replicate the same mechanism over and over again, so that it always had a certain precision, over time it was achieved, giving rise to the Swiss watch industry as we know it today.
However, the precision of the watches ceased to be an exclusively useful criterion for the brand, to become a criterion used by the public when acquiring a piece. Whoever bought a high-end watch, was looking for a punctual mechanism, without delays, therefore, it was the brands themselves who began, for the first time, to certify their most finished and precise mechanisms.
However, the certifications granted by the brands themselves became a fraud in some cases. Some certificates had no basis, so it became necessary to create an independent body, capable of standardizing the precision measurement of all types of watches.
How accurate should a mechanical watch be?
This question is one of the great questions of Swiss mechanical watchmaking. How much slower or early can a mechanical watch be considered accurate? There are all kinds of opinions.
The most demanding people barely grant two seconds of delay per day, however, the conventional is to grant between 4 and 6 seconds per day.
A watch that loses 6 seconds per day, that is, one minute approximately every 10 days, is considered accurate. If it loses more than 6 seconds a day compared to the official time, it is advisable that you take it for repair to readjust its movement.
As for setting the time, it is advisable that, at a minimum, you adjust the time of your mechanical watch at least once a week.
COSC, certificates of accuracy
We said that, originally, it was the brands themselves that certified their own pieces, however, this caused fraud. In 1973 the COSC was founded, by its French acronym, Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, that is, the official control of Swiss chronometers.
What COSC tried from the beginning was to evaluate Swiss mechanical watches, to issue independent certificates of precision.
COSC has three laboratories in Switzerland, where all the new models from the main manufacturers arrive. It is true that some brands have their own standards, usually more demanding than those of the COSC, however, all the designs of Swiss manufactures go through the COSC laboratories to obtain their certificate.
The method consists of testing the movement without a box for fifteen days. During this period, the movement works in five different positions with various temperature changes.
The COSC takes into account the daily variation, which it establishes at 6 seconds, but also takes into account the average variation, the maximum variation, the difference between the different positions and the variation by temperature. If the movement conforms to the standards, it is approved as a Swiss chronometer.
Hour measurement clamp
There are several methods to check to what extent your mechanical watch is or is not accurate. The easiest way to set your clock? There are web pages that give the exact time based on atomic clock data, if every week you compare the time of your clock with that of a web (the same weekly), you will be able to know very roughly the variations of your watch.
But if you really want to know how your watch works and what its level of accuracy is, Frédérique Constant has the perfect complement for you, it is a caliper capable of measuring the oscillations of a mechanical part, and connected to a mobile App, you It provides all the data about the progress of your watch in the most precise way.
The influence of wear on the movement of a watch
If you've ever wondered why high-end watches incorporate precious stones into their mechanism, the answer has more to do with precision than luxury.
The pieces of traditional materials suffer, little by little, a wear that causes that the precision diminishes. Therefore, a watch considered accurate, over time may cease to be so.
The jewels hardly suffer wear with friction for many years that pass, that is the reason why the mechanisms incorporate rubies and other precious stones that, in the long term, ensure their correct operation without losing precision.
The best watches from Swiss manufactures
The main Swiss manufacturers have COSC precision certification for most of their models. Some, such as Breitling or Rolex, send each of their models to precision laboratories, so that all their movements are examined and obtained the certificate, others, only send some of the movements they produce, those that they consider to be of higher quality, suitable. to pass the 6 seconds daily test.
At Pawn Shop we have the best COSC certified watches, precise chronographs that meet the basic premise of watchmaking, offering an extremely precise piece, capable of measuring times accurately for years.
If you are looking for a Swiss luxury watch and your main criteria is precision, come to the Pawn Shop and we will advise you to help you find the perfect piece.