The term chronometer should not be confused with chronograph which instead applies to timekeeping instruments fitted with an additional mechanism that may be set in motion by push buttons to enable measurement of the duration of an event. A chronograph can be chronometer-certified, provided it meets the criteria set for the standard.
The COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) is the Swiss non-profit organization - created by five watchmaking cantons (Bern, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Solothurn and Vaud) as well as the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry - which certifies movements by individually testing them tested for 14 days and nights, in 5 positions and at 3 temperatures.
As recently announced by TIMELAB - the Swiss foundation operating under the authority of the State of Geneva which is also responsible for awarding the prestigious Poinçon de Genève certificate - a new chronometric certification is now open to all mechanical watches made in Switzerland: the Observatoire Chronometric+ or, in English, the Chronometric+ Observatory.
The new Chronometric+ Observatory Certification will act as a guarantee issued by TIMELAB certifying that a watch complies with the requirements drawn up by the laboratory and authorises it to bear the prestigious and official title of "chronometer watch" in accordance with the ISO/CEI 3159 standard.
The guarantee will cover the finished watch, not just the movement, and will extend to other aspects relating to its reliability such as water resistance, magnetic resistance, power reserve and performance on the wrist, in conditions representative of modern life.
Taking into account the accreditation and the certified test protocols, the certification process will be carried out in the watch factories on each individual piece (100% tested), overseen by authorised TIMELAB auditors who will carry out regular inspections.