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Discussion Starter #1
So I've seen the guys debating about COSC in the "Luxury Divers" thread, which got me thinking..

Is COSC overrated in your eyes?
Is it just another way for companies like Rolex, Omega & Breitling or even Tissot and Mido to charge a premium to watches that possess this additional piece of paper?

I mean come on.. I've heard tons of people saying that their non-COSC watches(including my Nomos) run well within COSC standards.
At the same time, I've also heard tons of people complain their "I-paid-more-because-it's-COSC-certified" watches not run within the certified range.

Now tell me.. is "Officially Chronometer Certified" really worthy of the big hoo-haa it gets?
 

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I think so. Better components, better average accurancy. Yes, some forumers claim their low grade movement runs better than COSC, but that is an observation of the average.
If a movement does +-30 seconds/day, then the average under optimal conditions is Zero secs/day.

For me, COSC on a modern watch should be the minimum.

Not that I ever need such accurancy, but I like to know it is accurate.
 

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COSC was formed because in the 1960's Seiko sent watches to Switzerland to get chronometer certifications, and their accuracy was so superior that it embarrassed the Swiss because they had nothing that could compare. Their solution, exclude the non-Swiss companies by creating a chronometer regulations body (COSC) that excluded non-Swiss watches from ever getting the chronometer certification.

COSC is overrated. Your standard ETA Elabore and ETA Top Grade movements pretty much almost always fall within COSC standards. In most cases, the difference between your $5,000 certified watch and my $900 Swiss watch is that yours has a certificate from COSC while mine doesn't, but chances are good that both pretty much have the same movement inside (a mid or high grade ETA movement) and keep time just as equally good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Should being within COSC standards be the minimum OR should coming with a COSC certification be the minimum?

I think so. Better components, better average accurancy. Yes, some forumers claim their low grade movement runs better than COSC, but that is an observation of the average.
If a movement does +-30 seconds/day, then the average under optimal conditions is Zero secs/day.

For me, COSC on a modern watch should be the minimum.

Not that I ever need such accurancy, but I like to know it is accurate.
 
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COSC is only overrated when a nonCOSC watch/movement is properly adjusted to similar specs (ex. Nomos and Seiko).

Unfortunately the majority of companies that do not seek COSC will be lazy and drop a off the shelf movement into a case with very little timing and adjustment.
 

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Should being within COSC standards be the minimum OR should coming with a COSC certification be the minimum?
COSC certificate would be nice, if it doesn't add too much to the MSRP. The certificate is not a true guarantee that a watch would run accurately, but in this respect it is merely a starting point.
 

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I don't think it is overrated - it simply is what it is - a representation that the movement was tested by an independent party and found to operate within defined criteria. I don't routinely come across people saying they are willing to pay significantly more for a watch because it is certified.

What I like about the certification is the implicit guarantee (by virtue of slapping "chronometer" on the dial) that the movement will still perform within those defined criteria at the point of sale. If your non-COSC watch arrives running at +12 - and you find that unsattisfactory - the manufacturer may or may not be inclined to adjust the timing at their expense.
 

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Waldoh, yes...I suspect most automatic and mechanical movements can be made to run within COSC standards if properly adjusted...but they do have to get adjusted (as you mentioned.) Though I will add that I've had some good experiences with unadjusted movements too (and find nothing wrong with them.)

However, in the case of ETA movements (which most Swiss watchmakers use) most of them are adjusted. I find that the ETA Elabore (which are adjusted to 3 positions) almost always run within COSC standards (even if most are never sent to get COSC certification,) and there are companies that use the ETA Top Grade movements, and don't get them certified even though they pretty much all run within COSC standards. Therefore, I do not see COSC as being a plus if you are buying a watch with an ETA Elabore or Top Grade movement. You are most likely paying extra for a sales gimmick (the certification) at that point as there is probably no difference in accuracy between your extremely expensive COSC certified watch and a much cheaper alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Fact is it does add quite a significant bit to the MSRP. Also, COSC only tests the movement before it gets assembled into the case. Which means it still has to be shipped back to it's manufacturer and be subjected to further steps of watch assembly. With that, how sure are you that the COSC certification will still be accurate after all that?

BUT if we're talking about the German's way of COSC certification with a fully assembled watch.. now that's a different story altogether.

COSC certificate would be nice, if it doesn't add too much to the MSRP. The certificate is not a true guarantee that a watch would run accurately, but in this respect it is merely a starting point.
 

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The only way to get a watch that is guaranteed by the manufacturer to be within COSC specs is to one that is COSC certified. I do not believe it is "overrated" despite the chance occurrence that a non-COSC movt happens to run very accurately. I don't think I would pay extra for COSC though, since it is so easy to regulate an ETA movement.
 

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Now tell me.. is "Officially Chronometer Certified" really worthy of the big hoo-haa it gets?
(IMHO) COSC is overrated. Nobody can guarantee that a movement will keep performing within COSC specs.

For example, I own a TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M (TAG Heuer calibre 5 movement, Sellita based) which is, out of the box, 3 seconds per day fast.
I wore it daily for 7 months, left it in the safe for 2½ months, picked it up last week again and.. still 3 spd.

My COSC certified Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (Omega 2500D movement, ETA based), which I started wearing about 8 weeks ago, started at +8 spd.
After 4 weeks of daily wear it went back to + 6spd (which is within COSC specs). After another 2 weeks, it went to +7 spd.
So much for a certified movement..

Cheers,
Rob
 
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Fact is it does add quite a significant bit to the MSRP.
What do you figure it adds to the price of a Rolex? Doesn't the test cost a couple hundred bucks? Drop in the bucket for a $7-10k watch. It's not like Rolex would charge less if the watch wasn't certified, IMO. Not that we'll ever find out - it is a key element of their marketing strategy.

It probably adds an appreciable amount (in terms of percentage of MSRP) to something like a Tissot. But not to Rolex / Breitling / Omega which account collectively for the majority of certificates issued each year.
 

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So I've seen the guys debating about COSC in the "Luxury Divers" thread, which got me thinking..

Is COSC overrated in your eyes?
Is it just another way for companies like Rolex, Omega & Breitling or even Tissot and Mido to charge a premium to watches that possess this additional piece of paper?

I mean come on.. I've heard tons of people saying that their non-COSC watches(including my Nomos) run well within COSC standards.
At the same time, I've also heard tons of people complain their "I-paid-more-because-it's-COSC-certified" watches not run within the certified range.

Now tell me.. is "Officially Chronometer Certified" really worthy of the big hoo-haa it gets?
I have three watches that are COSC from Rolex. Only one keeps time within COSC specs, which would be the Submariner. The other two are just a bit outside the COSC window. Meanwhile an Invicta I have runs at +2 seconds.
 

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I like the analogy Lysander used here:
The whole point of chronometer certification is to test the positional and temperature variation of the watch....

And, likening the chronometer certification to a test is not very accurate. It is more like a college degree; it shows the movement has the ability to maintain good positional and temperature variations, these qualities are not lost unless parts are changed or damage incurred.

If you want a movement that will show very good accuracy (+/- 5 s/d) over a thirty fifty year period, after several services, with a minimum of fuss, get a chronometer certified watch....
Is it worth it to me? Possibly, we'll see. Recently my Eterna-matic, COSC certified in the 90s, was sent to get serviced. I'm hoping this means, as said above, they can easily regulate it back to performing within those standards.


Sent from my cm_tenderloin
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm guessing by proudly printing "Chronometer Certified" on their dials, they're giving themselves yet another marketing gimmick to justify their premiums over other brands/models.
Which comes to another question.. By permanently imprinting "COSC Certified" onto their dials.. it's like them garunteeing their watches will ALWAYS be within specs.
But is it REALLY so?

I believe without regulation, it will go outta range. And likewise for a watch without COSC certification.. with the correct regulation, it can definitely run as accurately.
So based on this, IMO "Officially Chronometer Certified" is overrated.

What do you figure it adds to the price of a Rolex? Doesn't the test cost a couple hundred bucks? Drop in the bucket for a $7-10k watch. It's not like Rolex would charge less if the watch wasn't certified, IMO. Not that we'll ever find out - it is a key element of their marketing strategy.

It probably adds an appreciable amount (in terms of percentage of MSRP) to something like a Tissot. But not to Rolex / Breitling / Omega which account collectively for the majority of certificates issued each year.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Does it mean that COSC certified watches are more easily regulated towards good accuracy than non-COSC ones?

I like the analogy Lysander used here:


Is it worth it to me? Possibly, we'll see. Recently my Eterna-matic, COSC certified in the 90s, was sent to get serviced. I'm hoping this means, as said above, they can easily regulate it back to performing within those standards.


Sent from my cm_tenderloin
 

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It is not necessarily overrated but you need to understand what you are getting. Yes, an ETA movement that is properly regulated can keep time within COSC specs. I have one that does and two others that do not but are close. It's luck the draw and depends on the grade of the movement and how much attention the makers were paying on the day your watch was made.

But with my COSC chronometer I know that someone independent of the manufacturer has put the movement through its paces and it has met a standard of accuracy.

You can pay to have your non-COSC movement regulated to within specs or you pay more for a chronometer and know that it's there already or at the very least was there once. Either way you pay.
 

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I'm guessing by proudly printing "Chronometer Certified" on their dials, they're giving themselves yet another marketing gimmick to justify their premiums over other brands/models.
Which comes to another question.. By permanently imprinting "COSC Certified" onto their dials.. it's like them garunteeing their watches will ALWAYS be within specs.
But is it REALLY so?

I believe without regulation, it will go outta range. And likewise for a watch without COSC certification.. with the correct regulation, it can definitely run as accurately.
So based on this, IMO "Officially Chronometer Certified" is overrated.
It's certainly a marketing tool, but I don't know that it's fair to call it a "gimmick". It does reflect actual testing and certification by a third party. I have never heard ANY manufcturer suggest that COSC certification is a guarantee that the watch will run within spec for life - so that seems like something of a red herring to me. Surely the buyer bears some obligation to understand what certification means - it's not like it's a great big secret.

And again, I'm not sure where I see a significant retail premium attached to certification. Many seem to assume this is the case but can point to little if anything in support the so-called "fact".
 

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The current average daily rate requirement for COSC specifications is -4/+6s. That's -28/+42s per week, and under laboratory conditions.

100 years ago, watches in service on American railroads were required to maintain a rate of +/-30s/week while in service(i.e. in the pocket of the fireman shoveling coal while in a bouncy locomotive cab going 70+mph), and watches were regularly checked to insure that they continued to meet this standard as peoples' lives depended on the crew having the correct time. Most watches designed to meet this standard were regularly able to great exceed it.

So, to me, COSC really isn't even all that high of a standard considering how far watchmaking has come in the past 100 years.
 
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