‘Spectacular Rise’ in Quartz Chronometer Submissions

There was a “spectacular rise of quartz chronometers” submitted in 2005 for testing and certification by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), the Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, says an August COSC report. While those with mechanical movements—the traditional type of the highly precise timepieces—increased 5.7 percent over 2004 figures (1,168,046), those with quartz movements rose 64.6 percent (to 54,350). The sizable increase was “probably due in large part to a catch-up effect to the previous financial year,” suggests COSC.

COSC issued 1,174,227 official chronometer certificates, or 7.7 percent more than in 2004. (Of the 53,329 for quartz chronometers, almost all—52,740—went to Breitling timepieces.)

Among manufacturers whose watches were certified, the top three, again, were Rolex (667,080 certified timepieces), Omega (220,244), and Breitling (180,351). They were followed by Panerai (28,742), Chopard (17,639), Ulysse Nardin (9,836), Chanel (8,824), Mido (4,700), Bulgari (3,966), Chronoswiss (3,882), Ebel (3,009), Tiffany (2,866), TAG Heuer (2,395), Paul Picot (1,856), Montblanc (1,372), Mühle Glashütte (1,271), Graham (1,132), and Rado (1,000). All other applicants obtained fewer than 1,000 certificates.

COSC was founded in 1973 by the Swiss watchmaking cantons of Bern, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Solothurn, and Vaud and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. Its laboratories rigorously test movements submitted by watchmakers to certify whether they qualify as chronometers. Each COSC- certified chronometer gets a serial number engraved on its movement and a COSC certification number.