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Hi, can someone explain me more about CSOC? What does it mean for the watch? I know it means that it being tested for a longer time and need to keep accurate time of +8 or -6, but what more?
and also, why does it cost so much? why does the same watch with CSOC can cost up to 1000$ more? what is so expnsive there?
and also, Is it worth it these days? does it make any different for the watch?
 

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I will probably get it all wrong, but IMO COSC certification does not mean much. A decent mid-end movement can perform to within the COSC spec. as the tolerances are not that high.

Over 1 million watches are tested each year, and one manufacturer - Rolex - submits almost two thirds of the watches that achieve COS certification:

http://www.timezone.com/library/wbore/wbore631733384647656250

My opinion, right or wrong, is that it is largely a marketing exercise. The COSC certification is a very visible way for Rolex to prove to Joe Public that they produce 'superlative chronometers'.

I also remember reading statements from Patek Phillippe about how much time they spend making sure that a tourbillon is within COSC spec.

From what I have read, a decent watchmaker can regulate most watches to attain good accuracy, assuming a decent movement.
 

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So, why does the CSOC is still avalible today? and why is it so expensive?
it's not neccessarily that the CSOC is expensive, it is that with CSOC a watch manufacturer can charge a premium.

it's part "certification", part "authentication" and a healthy dose of "marketing hype".

it is something for which a watch manufacturer can point to and say "we have this" and "these other watches/brands/models don't!" and "that's why ours are more expensive, because we have what they don't"

it also has to do with demand and the consumer. only a small percentage of the total is CSOC and so, for those that demand CSOC, they are at a disadvantage... if the consumer were not willing to pay a premium for CSOC, then first you'd see prices drop on CSOC and then you'd see less CSOC certificates issued overall, because it would cease to add-value from the consumer perspective. although, i hold no illusions that this would happen anytime soon. there are plenty of people with the money and the passion to keep CSOC alive for quite some time. :)
 

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A decent mid-end movement can perform to within the COSC spec. as the tolerances are not that high.
Not true.

The positional variation are tighter for COSC certified movements. Most middle-grade movements still cannot reliably hold these tolerances on a production run. The rate and temperature requirements can be held by most mid-grade movements.

The time and manpower requirements to test the movements accounts for some of the additional cost.

My opinion, right or wrong, is that it is largely a marketing exercise.
My opinion also, a middle-grade movement, even with its poorer positional performance, is sufficient for 98% of the people that need to know what time it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What I don't understand is why do we need this ?
Why can't each brand has its own tests and then publish them and tell us how much accurate it is? and if they want a standard then maybe they should make like ISO 9000 or whatever
I just think that for the more price it is, it isn't well worth it - maybe it is all come down to Swis vs Japan and other watch brands
 

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What I don't understand is why do we need this ?
Why can't each brand has its own tests and then publish them and tell us how much accurate it is? and if they want a standard then maybe they should make like ISO 9000 or whatever
I just think that for the more price it is, it isn't well worth it - maybe it is all come down to Swis vs Japan and other watch brands
i guess i don't really understand the question. you don't need this. millions of watches are sold to satisfied customers every day that have no CSOC rating.

but people want it.

that is the difference.
 

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i guess i don't really understand the question. you don't need this. millions of watches are sold to satisfied customers every day that have no CSOC rating.

but people want it.

that is the difference.
Yep that what I meant !
So why is the watch industry go by this? why not let people choose what best for them with out the COSC standard ? Why don't the make a new standard that each company can test on their own with less cost?
 

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Yep that what I meant !
So why is the watch industry go by this? why not let people choose what best for them with out the COSC standard ? Why don't the make a new standard that each company can test on their own with less cost?
if each company were to sponsor their own standard - then it's no longer a standard. so that's one thing.

the other is that by using CSOC, many watch manufacturers are able to charge a higher price for their goods, which is good for them - so why would they want to deviate?

"swiss made" is kind of like this in some ways - there's real value there, and there is false value there. the false value is the marketing machine behind swiss made that artifically inflates the price of the watch despite objective measures... people assign a "worth" to swiss made without consideration for any other factor. and again - timepieces are available that are not swiss made that still perform to a very high standard for all but the purists.

but part of being a collector of anything is in assigning worth and value to seemingly-intangible qualities. that's where the whole "passion" for collecting comes in. delving into the minutae and evaluating the value of one component against another, one maker against another, one factory against another, one owner against another and whether it was made during a prime-numbered year or whether it's a limited edition and therefore, the one you are passionate about is priceless in your eyes and you're content with your purchase and you're now looking for the next one and so on and so on......

to put it another way - CSOC is something that allows many watchmakers to set themselves apart from the mass quantities and associate themselves favorably with their competitors as something that is "betterer" than the avg watch in some way that may only be meaningful to a very small percentage of the marketplace - but a very influential part nonetheless...

CSOC also has validity and is a legitimate "stamp of approval" which is very important in the larger scheme of things for many brands from a brand presentation, heritage, validity, accountability point of view.

it's like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval or the Underwriters Laboratories UL listing - they're all part marketing, part science - mutually-beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
if each company were to sponsor their own standard - then it's no longer a standard. so that's one thing.

the other is that by using CSOC, many watch manufacturers are able to charge a higher price for their goods, which is good for them - so why would they want to deviate?

"swiss made" is kind of like this in some ways - there's real value there, and there is false value there. the false value is the marketing machine behind swiss made that artifically inflates the price of the watch despite objective measures... people assign a "worth" to swiss made without consideration for any other factor. and again - timepieces are available that are not swiss made that still perform to a very high standard for all but the purists.

but part of being a collector of anything is in assigning worth and value to seemingly-intangible qualities. that's where the whole "passion" for collecting comes in. delving into the minutae and evaluating the value of one component against another, one maker against another, one factory against another, one owner against another and whether it was made during a prime-numbered year or whether it's a limited edition and therefore, the one you are passionate about is priceless in your eyes and you're content with your purchase and you're now looking for the next one and so on and so on......

to put it another way - CSOC is something that allows many watchmakers to set themselves apart from the mass quantities and associate themselves favorably with their competitors as something that is "betterer" than the avg watch in some way that may only be meaningful to a very small percentage of the marketplace - but a very influential part nonetheless...

CSOC also has validity and is a legitimate "stamp of approval" which is very important in the larger scheme of things for many brands from a brand presentation, heritage, validity, accountability point of view.

it's like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval or the Underwriters Laboratories UL listing - they're all part marketing, part science - mutually-beneficial.
Ok, but once I thought that Germann watches like Sinn worth nothing vs swis made watches, now days I know it is nonsense <|
But, people still belive this way, espically people that don't know of watches too much
So isn't it time to reval the "true" world of watches? where qulity matter and not COSC and swis made and so on?
 

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quote"where qulity matter and not COSC and swis made and so on"quote

As much as I have tried to ingore this post all together, the above statement makes it all but impossiable. To say that the COSC standards mean nothing is absurd, to say the very least. It also becomes painful
obvious that you did not read the link XTrooper prodived for you. "pity"

I for one enjoy owner Chronometers and knowing that the best movement
the brand has to offer has been used, along with a host of tuning procedures to ensure that it is well within the standards set forth by COSC.

Now if you belive that the COSC is BS or not worth your money and is little more than a marketing scheme, then by all means advoid any and all
Chronometers. Pretty simple no? I could on I suppose but I feel that it would best if you did indeed read over the website http://www.cosc.ch/portrait.php?lang=en before you make such bold claims as "we should do away" with this long standing traditionset forth by
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

Kind Regards
 
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Some posts from the past

A)
This isn´t the first time cosc certified movements (! movements, not watches) are discussed here on WUS, the decision to go for a COSC certified movement or not comes near to a very personal decision.

COSC:
A chronometer is a high-precision watch capable of displaying the seconds and housing a movement that has been tested over several days, in different positions and at different temperatures, by an official neutral body (COSC).

Each chronometer is unique, identified by a number engraved on its movement and a certification number given by the COSC.

Each movement is individually tested for several consecutive days, in 5 positions and at 3 temperatures.

Each movement is individually measured. Any watch with the denomination "chronometer" is provided with a certified movement.

For more info: COSC FAQ at www.cosc.ch

One of the essential questions is (question and answer taken from COSC site):How long is a chronometer title valid ?
The title of chronometer can be compared to a diploma from a specialized school. At a given time of his life, a candidate has proven, thanks to an exam, that he had met with the performances criteria providing him with that title.
In the same way as for a graduate, this title has been granted to him for his entire life, although his performances may slightly get altered within the years.

It´s up to you to decide wether to go with a COSC certificate or not. I do own some watches with COSC (Breitling, Rolex) but I couldn´t find the gain/loss of a non COSC certificated movement (e.g.: Damasko, Sinn, Stowa Seatime, Airman) that disturbing to go for COSC certificated watches only.

B)
COSC says:

Why is a chronometer more expensive than a non certified watch ?
The control itself charged by the COSC is moderate. However, as for the driving licence, it is not the exam itself which proves to be expensive but all what was invested in it to success.

Concerning the chronometer, production, movement assembly to meet with the prerequisite precision criteria require more care and time. Therefore the quality itself of the product justifies its price.

Can a non-certified watch meet the precision criteria of a chronometer ?

No, as the components of a chronometer are of a better quality and the care granted to its assembly and its setting cannot be compared.

Here´s a link to ETA (you may see how different an ETA 2824-2 can be:
http://www.eta.ch/d/produkte/Mecalin...ETA_2824_2.pdf

C)
One thing to remember is that

1. ANY movement can be certified by C.O.S.C. as a chronometer movement.
2. On the other hand, this should not be confused with the four grades of the ETA 2842-2 movment, the highest of which is called "Chronomètre". That grade, and the one below it (Élaboré), have mechanical differences in materials and fixtures that are superior to those found in the bottom two grades. Watches with the top-grade "Chronomètre" movement are not, in my experience, necessarily C.O.S.C.- certified. Something of a terminological and consumer nightmare.

You may also use our forum search function and you`ll find plenty of threads/posts dealing with COSC.
__________________
 

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a) The certificate does not say how stable the instrument is over extended time periods. So a movement could stray over a few years. As to whether or not that is likely, I know not.

b)

"Can a non-certified watch meet the precision criteria of a chronometer ? No, as the components of a chronometer are of a better quality and the care granted to its assembly and its setting cannot be compared."

I am surprised by that. So you seem to be saying that all non-COSC certified watches are of inferior quality. Grand Seiko are not certified, but I presume they would pass were they to be tested. (That is a guess incidentally. The accuracy they give is in the right ball park, but I have not seen actual tests in various positions and temperatures.) My assumption is that many watches are made to sufficient standards to pass, but they are not submitted for whatever reason.

c) Now I was wondering about that. Are the top two grades of the ETA 2842-2 of sufficient quality to pass COSC? And which watches use them?
 

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Not true.

The positional variation are tighter for COSC certified movements. Most middle-grade movements still cannot reliably hold these tolerances on a production run. The rate and temperature requirements can be held by most mid-grade movements.

What do you regard as a mid end watch? I am thinking of Nomos (Tangente etc), the non-co-axial Omega and the like i.e. ~£1000 in UK money.
 

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Hello EAD,

What standard do you choose for your car oil?
What standard do you choose for your electrical goods?
What standard do you choose for your food?
What standard do you choose for your drugs?
What standard do you choose for your aircraft engineers?
What standard do you choose for your car tires?
What standard do you choose for your movies?
What standard do you choose for your wall paint?
What standard do you choose for your lighting?
What standard do you choose for your sound system?
What standard do you choose for your car's breaks?
What standard do you choose for your exhaust emissions?
What standard do you choose for your batteries?
What standard do you choose for your caviar?
What standard do you choose for your coffee?
What standard do you choose for your clothing?
What standard do you choose for your scotch whiskey?
What standard do you choose for your wine, white, red, sparkling?
What standard do you choose for your surgeon, brain, heart, bone?
What standard do you choose for your education?

Please discuss.
 

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four grades of the ETA 2842-2 movment, the highest of which is called "Chronomètre". That grade, and the one below it (Élaboré),
The grade immediately below "Chronometre" is "Top" which uses most if not all the same high grade parts same as the "Chronometre" but is not held to as tight a variation as the certified chronometers.

"Elabore" is basically a fancied up standard grade.

What do you regard as a mid end watch? I am thinking of Nomos (Tangente etc), the non-co-axial Omega and the like i.e. ~£1000 in UK money.
I would say that most US$1000 to $2000 watches (that are not chronometer certified, I add that because you can get a COSC certified watch for just over US$ 2000) would not meet COSC performance.
  • Average daily rate: -4 +6 This one's no problem, many, even lower end, can do it.
  • Mean variation in rates: 2 sec This one
  • Greatest variation in rates: 5 sec And this one
  • Difference between rates in H & V positions: -6 +8 sec/day And this one
  • Largest variation in rates: 10 sec And this one, are the one that require special attention.
  • Thermal variation: +-0.6 sec
  • Rate resumption: +-5 sec
The key phrase is "on a production run." That means the the fat middle two thirds of the bell curve needs to be well inside the COSC requirements, because if you have to hand tweak each movement to get to pass test you are not going to produce a high volume of COSC movements a year.

(There are approximately 2000 man-hours a year, if each technician had to spent 1 hour tweaking a movement to get to pass test, you would need 250 technicians just tweaking movements to get 500,000 movements a year. I leave it to you to recalculate for the given annual production numbers for any one company. You need to have the production machinery set up so that level of hand fitting is not necessary.)
 
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a) The certificate does not say how stable the instrument is over extended time periods. So a movement could stray over a few years. As to whether or not that is likely, I know not.
Right, see COSC validity.



am surprised by that. So you seem to be saying that all non-COSC certified watches are of inferior quality.
It's not me it's COSC stating this.

Grand Seiko are not certified, but I presume they would pass were they to be tested. (That is a guess incidentally. The accuracy they give is in the right ball park, but I have not seen actual tests in various positions and temperatures.) My assumption is that many watches are made to sufficient standards to pass, but they are not submitted for whatever reason.
Seiko movements couldn't pass the COSC tests because COSC only certifies swiss movements. That's why Wempe took the advantage to buy the Glashütte observatory where german movements are tested know.

BTW: A) B) and C) have been quotes from former posts of the WUS community just to show EAD what the results of a search on WUS fora would/could have been. Therefore I had chosen for the tilte: some posts from the past :)
 

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Thanks Mike.

Having read in detail your COSC link (should have done so before) I see what you mean. I am not impressed by the way these people think.

Quote -----------------------------------------------------
A chronometer is a high-precision watch capable of displaying the seconds and housing a movement that has been tested over several days, in different positions and at different temperatures, by an official neutral body (COSC).
End Quote -------------------------------------------------

That suggests that only a COSC certified watch can be called a chronometer.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica definition:

"Mechanical timekeeping device of great accuracy, particularly one used for determining longitude (see latitude and longitude) at sea."

Other sources give similar definitions. Apparently the term chronometer was first used in 1715 by an English clockmaker Jeremy Thacker who used it to describe his marine clock. So the word was in use well before COSC certification.

And as you quoted:

Quote -----------------------------------------------------
Can a non-certified watch meet the precision criteria of a chronometer ?
No, as the components of a chronometer are of a better quality and the care granted to its assembly and its setting cannot be compared.
End Quote -------------------------------------------------


I suspect these people could be done under UK law if they were UK based. They are basically saying that watches not passed by them are inferior which is nonsense. All it means is that the watch has not been tested by them. However, a watch passed by them is guaranteed to have been accurate when it was tested, which is not the same thing.

I thought this might be a language issue resulting from poor translation into English but the French text is to all intents and purposes identical.

It all sounds rather self serving.

Incidentally I can't see any mention of the watch needing to be Swiss made to obtain COSC certification.
 
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