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In Depth

Behind OMEGA's Master Chronometer Movement

By Amanda Evans | 5 minute read

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Since 1894 OMEGA has been committed to creating timepieces that set the highest standards when it comes to performance and precision. Not only a pioneer in design, OMEGA also recognised the increasing global demand for high quality timepieces and had become popular with both watchmakers and customers on a global scale as early as 1909, thanks to its innovative series-produced calibres that excelled in their accuracy.

After setting records in precision in 1931 at the Geneva Observatory, when the OMEGA chronometer kept time more accurately than any other watch before, it was clear that OMEGA was engineering watches to the highest standards. OMEGA’s commitment to record-setting precision remains to this day, bolstered by reliability and strength and a strive for excellence.

When this luxury Swiss brand realised that existing watch movements certifications were no longer equal to the excellence of OMEGA watch movements, OMEGA established a new watch certification process, approved by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). Consequently, the Master Chronometer became the new quality standard.

What is a Master Chronometer?

A Master Chronometer means that a timepiece has been certified not only by COSC (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) but also by METAS (Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology), a Swiss government-controlled centre considered to be the height of measuring excellence with stringent and comprehensive certification standards. Essentially a Master Chronometer is twice as precise as an officially certified chronometer

How to achieve Master Chronometer Certification

To certify as a Master Chronometer, watch movements must firstly be certified by the COSC and subsequently undergo a series of 8 independent tests by METAS.

1. Function of movement during magnetic exposure

To ensure that your watch movement isn’t affected by magnetic fields from everyday items such as mobile phones, metal clasps on handbags, laptops, induction hobs and automatic doors.

2. Function of complete watch during magnetic exposure

To ensure that your watch in its entirety is unaffected by magnetic exposure

3. Chronometric performance in a magnetised and demagnetised state

To analyse performance in the real world by subjecting the watch to multiple everyday simulations whilst magnetised to 15,000 gauss, and then demagnetised to check there is no impact on precision. This test takes place over the duration of two 24-hour periods.

4. Chronometric precision, day-to-day

To assess performance under simulated daily conditions to include temperature, extreme magnetism, and positioning. This test takes place over the duration of four 24-hour periods

5. Deviation of chronometric precision in 6 positions

We live in a dynamic world where we are constantly on the move. This test is to ensure that your watch stays accurate at any angle.

6. Isochronism

To examine performance when a watch is operating on low power after being set aside for a while. If your watch stops for a period of time, this can sometimes affect its precision. The watch is tested acoustically in 6 different positions at 100% power reserve and 33% power reserve.

7. Power reserve

To test that the watch will continue to function at the very best of its expected capacity, even when it has been left unworn for a period of time.

8. Water resistance

Does the watch comply with its stated water resistance?

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Master Chronometer certification is all about raising standards. Owning an OMEGA timepiece with Master Chronometer certification gives peace of mind, a quality assurance unlike no other and OMEGA’s 5 Year Guarantee. The OMEGA Master Chronometer range ensures superior precision, anti-magnetism, shock-resistance, water resistance, durability, and less servicing. Behind the elegance of every OMEGA Master Chronometer is the most complex and stringently tested piece of engineering, designed for life’s everyday challenges. Discover our buyer’s highlights from the OMEGA Master Chronometer range.

OMEGA Constellation Manhattan Co-Axial 29mm

For someone seeking precision and sophistication

This 29mm 18K gold and stainless-steel model has a diamond-paved bezel, mother-of-pearl dial and diamond hour markers. The date window features at the 6 o’clock position and the hands, OMEGA logo, Constellation star and diamond holders are also in 18K yellow gold. Powered by the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8700.

OMEGA New 2021 Speedmaster Professional Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm

For someone seeking out of this world precision

The Speedmaster Moonwatch is one of the world’s most iconic timepieces, having been part of all six moon landings. This 42mm stainless steel case is presented on a polished-brushed five-arched-links-per-row bracelet and features a black step dial with the famous dot over 90 on the anodised bezel ring. Powered by the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 and housing revolutionary components such as the Co-Axial escapement for long-lasting precision and the silicon balance spring for superior anti-magnetism. This timepiece is built for challenges in this world and the next.

OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300 Co-Axial

For someone seeking an OMEGA icon inspired by precision

the Seamaster 300 has a legendary following since 1993 and has embraced its ocean heritage whilst harnessing innovation and design. This 42mm stainless steel model has a black ceramic bezel with white enamel diving scale and features laser-engraved waves on the dial. The skeleton hands and raised indexes are rhodium-plated and filled with white Super-LumiNova for enhanced visibility. Presented on a stainless-steel bracelet and powered by OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 8800.

Discover more from OMEGA here at Watches of Switzerland.

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