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What is a METAS certified watch?

As a watch fan, you probably know all about the COSC (Controle Official Suisse de Chronometers) certification (if not, don’t worry we will have another blog explaining the COSC certification coming soon) but you may not be too familiar with the METAS (the Federal Institute of Metrology) certification. Well, luckily for you we’ve got it all covered so you can understand what it all really means.

So, if a watch has achieved the METAS certification it will be called a ‘Master Chronometer’ which is a term you’ve probably seen quite a few times on luxury watches. METAS was first established in 2015 by the Swatch Group in Switzerland as a super strict certification, to award watches which were the best of the best. The METAS Master Chronometer certification is much more strict than the COSC certification, in fact a watch must have already been awarded the COSC certification before it can be eligible for the METAS Master Chronometer certification. So how does a watch achieve the Master Chronometer status? Let’s find out.

The tests

To qualify, a watch must undergo 8 brutal tests over the course of 10 days. Think of it as SAS selection but for watches. The tests are as follows:

1. Magnetic exposure testing (movement only) – The movement of the watch alone must withstand a dosage of 15,000-gauss to make sure the movement will be unaffected by everyday objects such as phones, laptops, metal clips, & automatic doors.

2. Magnetic exposure testing (whole watch) – Just like the previous test, but this time the whole watch will be tested.

3. Chronometric performance (magnetised & demagnetised) – For 24 hours the watch will be exposed to 15,000-gauss and spend 30 seconds in each of the 6 following positions: dial up, dial down, crown up, crown down, crown right, crown left. For the next 24 hours, the test will be repeated but instead the watch will be demagnetised. After the 48 hours the watch must not have deviated from a 0 +5 accuracy which will be checked against METAS atomic clock.

4. Chronometric precision day-to-day – This test also occurs over a 48 hour period. For the first 24 hours, the watch will spend 14 hours at 33 degrees and turned to 1 of the 6 positions (mentioned in test 3) every 3 hours and the next 10 hours at 23 degrees and turned. This is then repeated for another 24 hours. Again, the watch must not have deviated from a 0 +5 accuracy.

5. Deviation of chronometric precision in 6 positions – Every 60 seconds the watch is turned into 1 of the 6 positions to ensure the watch is accurate in any position. This is checked by tiny microphones which register the ticking of the movements.

6. Isochronism – This test is the same as above but the watch is tested at 100% power and 33% power to ensure that the watch is still as precise at low power.

7. Power reserve testing – This tests to see if the watch works accurately up until it runs out of power at the power reserve (e.g. 60 hours) specified by manufacturer.

8. Water resistance testing – This tests that the watch is water resistant to the amount specified by manufacturer +25% for added safety for divers. It exposes the watch to the specific water resistance, depending on the watch, then heats it up to 40°C. A drop of cold water is added to the glass of the watch and if condensation appears, it means the watch was unsuccessful.

After being introduced in 2015, the Omega Globemaster was the first watch to achieve the METAS Master Chronometer certification and many watches have followed since.


As you can see it’s a pretty tough criteria which is why only the best of the best can gain the achievement. If a watch has received METAS Master Chronometer status its guaranteed that it is amongst some of the most accurate, precise, reliable, and durable watches on the market. We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog and maybe even learnt a thing or two. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out on the next one. Have a good day :)


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