1. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Dec 9, 2014

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    You may have seen the news overnight that Omega has announced that it will be working with METAS (Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology) on a new certification standard that will replace the COSC standard.

    Some of the differences between COSC and METAS standards are reasonably small, albeit important (instead of -4/ +6 seconds for COSC, the METAS standard is 0/+5), but the key difference is the requirement that these movements must be able to withstand magnetic forces of up to 15,000 gaus, (the "Master" part of the Omega naming protocol).

    Happily for Omega, they already have movements that will achieve this level of magnetic protection- it's debatable whether anyone else in the market (even Rolex) can without major changes.

    While I think this is a very clever move from Omega, it should be looked at for what it is: a marketing initiative where you develop a standard that you already meet and then seek to have a third-party endorse that standard. Oh, and if other brands want to meet those standards too, they are very welcome! Of course, none of the big players outside of Swatch Group will, but Omega can appear magnanimous by offering something they know won't be accepted.

    Unlike COSC, which tests the movements (not the watches) themselves off site over 15 days, Omega will perform the testing inhouse with procedures and equipment approved by METAS. The cost savings will be significant. It's a shame that many brands have sought to move away from industry-wide standards, such as COSC and Poinçon de Genève (Geneva Seal) and develop their own standards, which simply suit them better. Why argue on improving standards with an independent body, when you can bring in your own and argue with no-one. And now you have a marketing tool, which in the end will simply confuse consumers.

    None of this is to take away from the importance of anti-magnetic watches, but don't confuse the news with being anything more than Omega wanting to lower its costs of certification and control the standards applied to suit itself. METAS will be the name used in the publicity, but this is Omega's way of bringing in its own standard dressed up as a third-party Government-backed certification.
     
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  2. drunken monkey

    drunken monkey Dec 10, 2014

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    as I said elsewhere, self serving exercise.
     
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  3. Richerson

    Richerson Dec 13, 2014

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    Omèga has always been about its own image, it's swatch groups leading brand and self promotion will always be important
     
  4. Kuby

    Kuby Jan 13, 2015

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    I totally agree with the above and would add that I doubt whether Omega will not pass on any 'savings' to customers. I'm thinking that an inhouse certificate with the METAS logo will add to the cost.
     
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