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Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

It was less than a year ago, at last year’s BaselWorld event in March, 2015 that Rolex introduced the updated Rolex Day-Date 40 (that we debuted hands-on here) – and with it, the new Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification. While it was no news that Rolex submitted its watches to stringent in-house tests, the Day-Date 40 marked the start of a new in-house certification process, as Rolex said it would test the new Day-Date watches and their 3255 movements to an unprecedented and indeed very impressive accuracy rating of just -2/+2 seconds per day. Now, Rolex has quietly extended its Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification to its entire production, meaning that all Rolex Oyster and Cellini watches will be tested by Rolex to meet its stringent -2/+2 seconds accuracy ratings. Here’s how it all works.

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

For ages (some more about history further below), Rolex has been submitting its movements to the independent COSC chronometer certification tests – and that will not change, as Rolex will continue to send all its movements to COSC. This means that the uncased movements are sent over to COSC’s facilities in Biel and Saint-Imier, where each uncased movement is individually tested for a total of fifteen days, in five different positions, at three different temperatures. During these tests, the watches are checked to run within a maximum average deviation of -4/+6 seconds per day. The movements that pass the test will get their COSC Officially Certified Chronometer marking and then are transferred back to Rolex.

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

Automated stocking system in Rolex’s Bienne facility

Until recently, Rolex has been casing up these COSC certified movements and been submitting them for internal certification, complementing that of COSC. For Rolex it was this additional testing that conferred the title of Superlative Chronometer on Rolex watches – thus far authenticated by the red Rolex seal that came attached to Rolex timepieces.

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

Machines used to test chronometric performance while simulating wrist movements

What is news, though, is how this in-house testing is conveyed and how strict its criteria have become. In practice, Rolex has developed and re-designed its own state-of-the-art testing facilities and its proprietary methodology that is built around testing fully cased up watches – part of this methodology includes the simulation of the conditions in which a watch is actually worn – hence, Rolex say, imitating circumstances that are much more like the “real-life experience” of the watch.

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

Rolex workshop at the Chêne-Bourg site, in the canton of Geneva.

Rolex also say that they have “entirely automated the process of how the waterproofness, self-winding capacity and power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches” are tested. All this is done to ensure the watches’ reliability, robustness and even their resistance to magnetism and shocks. Automating such series of complex tasks and tests must have been one immense challenge to overcome, but then again, while watchmakers still play a major role in the manufacturing of a Rolex timepiece, there hardly is any other watch manufacture in Switzerland that would compare to Rolex’s know-how in automatic processes while ensuring extremely high quality of execution. Learn more about 10 things to know about how Rolex makes watches here.

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

The “Superlative” designation on the dial of a Rolex Submariner 114060

During these in-house tests of cased watches, Rolex checks all its watches – that is 100% of Rolex Oyster watches as well as the new self-winding Cellini watches – for their accuracy. Precisely, that means that over the course of these tests, all watches must perform within an average of -2/+2 seconds per day. It is this stricter-than-COSC process that makes Rolex add the “Superlative” term to its Chronometer designations on the dials of its Oyster collection watches.

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

Archive image showing watchmakers working at Rolex’s Haute Route, Bienne facility

As promised, a bit of history: in the past, watches were designated as chronometers by their own manufacturer to highlight timepieces with especially accurate movements. Needless to say, this self-appointed use of the term led to some cases of fraudulent abuse by some watch makers, which in turn ultimately necessitated official certification. Rolex started to have its watches officially certified as early as the late 1930s, and it was at this time that it started marking its dials not with the term “Chronometer” but with “Officially Certified Chronometer.” And when in 1951 official certification became obligatory for everyone, Rolex sought ways to further distinguish itself from the rest, by obtaining “certificates avec mention,” where movements whose precision proved superior received a certificate noting “particularly good results.”

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

The Rolex Calibre 3255 of the Day-Date 40, the first watch that Rolex submitted to its new Superlative Chronometer Tests

It was because of these superior certification results that Rolex originally started marking its watches with the “Superlative Chronometer” designation – and while the COSC certification’s -4/+6 criteria is still commendable, Rolex today, apparently, possesses the manufacturing capabilities to push that limit even further, hence justifying once again the “Superlative” term on the dials.

As for the competition? Most notably, Omega has introduced its own new in-house testing procedures for the Co-Axial Master Chronometer line of movements, which are available for a much more limited, albeit constantly expanding, range of models – like the Globemaster (hands-on and more details on the movement here). Omega has its in-house testing methodology certified by the independent federal agency METAS, and through these processes tests said Co-Axial Master Chronometer movements for an accuracy rating of 0 to +5 seconds per day. This does mean some considerable competition, but again, Omega is still in the process of introducing its “Master Chronometer” designated movements to more models in its product range.

Rolex Extends Stringent -2/+2 Second In-House Watch Accuracy Tests To Entire Production Watch Industry News

The green Rolex Superlative Certified seals that confirm that the Rolex timepiece has been submitted to the updated Rolex Superlative Chronometer Tests

The updated Superlative Chronometer “status” is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee. Given the scale of the operation – while Rolex production numbers will never be public, Rolex is known to have submitted around 800,000 movements to COSC in 2013 – and the strict chronometric performance criteria, Rolex watches are more than likely the most accurate Swiss-Made mechanical watches produced in such mass-produced quantities.



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  • word-merchant

    This is great news. Rolex watches do certainly keep very good time (and I’ve had experience of four models), unlike the IWC Port Auto and BP I owned, that were bad timekeepers and got even worse after an IWC service.

  • Husbardo

    How does this correlate or compare to the METAS standard that Omega is now using?

    • Chaz

      It’s Omega, so who cares other than Omega?

    • GW

      Timing aspect of METAS is 0 and +5 seconds per day

    • Korz

      METAS is far more comprehensive. 8 tests are involved in METAS and it’s done by a third party, involving chronometric performance under heavy magnetism, as well as testing chronometric performance over the power reserve of the watch, a test that Rolex watches would fail more times than not.

  • Spangles

    This and the acknowledgement of the 10 year typical service interval really speaks to the quality of the 3135 movement and 31xx line generally. That the 3235 and 3255 improve on that is fantastic, but the real story is that they didn’t have to wait until the 31xx movements were replaced.

  • Luciano

    Some might not love the brand (I like it and have a Submariner), but you cannot really say bad things about their quality. With the 5 years warranty, 10 years typical service interval and excellent resale value, Rolex becomes the “peace of mind” brand on its price range.

  • I_G

    Like anybody cares.

  • Beefalope

    This is excellent news. Now I can buy the Rolex I’ve never wanted and stop showing up two seconds late or two seconds early for all of my important meetings.

    • iamcalledryan

      Superlatively harsh! How can you deny the charm of the GMT Master II Batman??

      • Beefalope

        It’s … fine. It’d be better if it didn’t have the stupid date magnifier.

        • iamcalledryan

          *quiet agreement*

        • john coleman

          Say that when your eyes go down hill !!

          • Beefalope

            When I’m that old, I won’t care what the date or time is.

    • Spangles

      Somebody’s grumpy!

  • funNactive

    “Rolex watches are more than likely the most accurate mass produced, Swiss-Made mechanical watches on the market today.” – great to have insight on what watch companies are doing.
    I like the movement shot up above – it would be nice if Rolex had some display case backs.

    • Korz

      Rolex won’t do display case backs as they can’t actually finish a watch worth a damn.

  • Ulysses31

    This is a good move all round. The “superlative” claim will mean something again. I’m no Rolex fan, but this is the sort of thing every watch company should be doing; trying to produce a better time-keeping instrument since that is the primary function of any watch.

  • TrevorXM

    I have to give Rolex credit for this one. Finally one can look at that “superlative chronometer” text on the dial and it will actually mean something. So what if they were retesting them when cased before — that’s just standard German chronometer standard testing and there’s nothing superlative about it.

    Now I just have to get over thinking “Burger King” whenever I see that crown.

    • Julian Guitron

      The “Mercedes association” comes from the need to add support to the luminova application. It’s a pasty mixture that otherwise wouldn’t reliably stay in place and shape. It happens to be a symmetrical shape that you can find in many other places completely unrelated to MB like the the aortic valve and may others.

      Credibility… I’d say they’ve got it and for a long while. Much of the text has historical value which shouldn’t be put strictly to today’s standards. After all rolex has many firsts in the history of horology and they deserve the credit.

      An example of outdated yet relevant names or text is Bancpain’s fifty fathoms… used to be the deepest measure to which a human could go down to and therefore the resistance that watches needed back in the 50s. Now depths go much deeper but the FF remains one of the most iconic diver watches of all time, even preceding the submariner.

      • Korz

        What are Rolexes firsts? Perpetual rotor belongs to Gruen, dive watch belongs to Omega or Blancpain, Gruen made waterproof watches before Rolex, GMT belongs to Glycine, etc.

        Rolex is a master at branding their “achievements” as firsts, but pay attention to their wording of those “firsts”.

        • TrevorXM

          You are completely correct. However Rolex does deserve credit for:
          A date on a watch. A day of the week on a watch. The use of 901 steel which is softer and more scratch prone than 316, is a little more corrosion resistant and has a nice color to it. But I can’t be sure of those, as they have “appropriated” most everything else from other manufacturers and claimed them as firsts, so maybe others have done these before?

          • Julian Guitron

            Very nice summary! Now I’ll have to go read more about the 901 steel…

            I’ll leave the “true firsts” to the many peeps that know horological history way better than I do but what it comes down to is your own personal experience with the watches. Like many enthusiasts before me, I wasn’t attracted to Rolex because “it’s so common” and “traditional”. However, as I got more involved with watchmaking I’ve come around appreciating what they stand for. It truly is the master of mass-production of high-end watches. A lot of the appreciation comes from working with lower-end pieces and then holding and examining a Rolex. They are the true marriage of quality watches and mass production.

            I agree, BP was the first one presenting the diver watch as we know it today (and BTW the history of the FF is fascinating! Highly recommend a youtube video on it) but the unquestionable winner when it comes to recognition and volume is the Submariner whether we like it or not and Rolex deserve the credit for making it all turn out that way.

          • TrevorXM

            You’ll have a hard time finding anything about 901 because it’s a typo on my part and is 904. But you’ve already figured that one out, no doubt.

      • TrevorXM

        Yes, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms really makes the point I’ve made on A Blog To Watch for me: 100m, 300 feet, 50 fathoms is all any recreational diver really needs in a dive watch as it’s as far as a human diver can naturally go down! Hey, wasn’t the Fifty Fathoms the original dive watch and the Submariner came out later on as Rolex’s copy/take on the concept? Yes, it was.

  • Bruno Benevolo

    Rolex -2/+2 & Omega 0/+5…pretty much equivalent range in terms of precision and both doing testing in-house with cased watches and not just relying on the COSC pure calibre testing.

    I own both brands and I think they both deserve praise for raising the bar on internal quality controls and procedures. I do not agree with the last statement by David Bredan that Rolex are probably the most accurate mass produced Swiss-made mechanical watches available today. I simply do not see that clear lead over the new Metas certified Omega watches to justify such an outright win for Rolex.

    Omega can claim to maintain their accuracy across any sort of electromagnetic interference…is that worth +1s over Rolex? Who really cares? I would personally never choose a given Rolex watch versus Omega or vice versa just based on calibre technology. Design, watch functionality, wrist comfort…will be the key differentials for me choosing between either brand for a given watch. I do think it would be fair to say that both Omega and Rolex have a clear upper hand on IWC, Breitling in terms of technology and accuracy and that is something that I do take into account. I personally think IWC overcharge on their in-house mechanisms, without any technical justification at all.

    From a sales/marketing perspective I think Rolex realized that some potential clients might be holding back and waiting for the roll-out of the new 3255 derived calibre (currently available only within the the new Day-Date 40) across the rest of the Oyster range to benefit from the new +2/-2 accuracy rating…looks like the new 3255 calibre only brings to the table an upgraded 70h power reserve after all. Accuracy of the 31XX, warranty and service interval are the same. Just goes to show how much watch performance today is actually based on regulation and not any further significant gains in calibre technology.

    Any watchmakers out there, please correct me if I am wrong, but all I think Rolex and Omega are really doing is improving their real world use case testing procedures and have incorporated a more stringent feedback loop from their quality control to further regulate watches that do not meet the -2/+2 (Rolex) or 0/+5 (Omega) criteria.

    Only some radical departure from current mechanical technology such as the Spring Drive from Seiko will effectively offer any significant further gain in precision. I am pretty sure if Rolex had proposed Spring Drive technology instead of Seiko, the US media would be hyping it up to astronomical levels. Cheers.

    • Korz

      Omega testing is actually more stringent. Omega standards for in-house are technically -1/+3, though tolerances allow for -1/+5 for metas, -1/+6 for regular in-house, but that’s just the start.

      Either way, metas goes way beyond what Rolex does. Really shameful that the article is incorrectly praising Rolexes manufacturing when Omega does much more impressive finishes and case shapes, along with more impressive materials (ceramics, two proprietary golds alloyed and smelted in-house, Liquidmetal/NIVACHOC, etc).

      • iamcalledryan

        How does METAS objectively surpass Rolex?

        Finishing, case shape and materials is a separate topic so where has this article been incorrect?

        • Bruno Benevolo

          It doesn´t and neither does Rolex surpass METAS. I would call it a draw and move on.

          • iamcalledryan

            I would call it a joint-win and buy from both!

        • Korz

          Rolex testing is just chronometric performance in wearing situations as well as two additional temperatures while cased, tested internally.

          METAS exceeds that as it also tests magnetism, as well as chronometric performance over the entire power reserve of the watch. Rolex does not test that a watch will run at 1% power and maintain accuracy within spec.

          • iamcalledryan

            Thanks for sharing. I am pleased about Omega broadening the anti-magnetism because it’s a surprisingly common phenomenon with car speakers and other daily devices that can magnetize a watch.

            Nevertheless, this article is quite simply saying what Rolex do, not holding them above METAS, so I don’t think they owe a duty to talk about other brands, certainly to stay on topic is not a shameful thing. And in any case, the differences we are talking about here have almost no perceivable value to the average wearer of the watch. Both great brands, both going over and above, to that effect I agree with Bruno’s original comment.

          • Bruno Benevolo

            I think what Korz objected to (and so did I) was the last line in the article: “Rolex watches are more than likely THE MOST accurate mass produced, Swiss-Made mechanical watches on the market today”.

            If David Bredan had written “Rolex watches are ONE of the most accurate mass produced, Swiss-Made mechanical watches on the market today”, I would have kept quiet:)

          • David Bredan

            @brunobenevolo:disqus @disqus_korz:disqus Thanks for your feedback, and I have now clarified my point in the article. My point was not just the sheer accuracy but that matched with the scale of the operation: Rolex tests all 800,000 (or so) of their movements for this strict criteria on chronometric performance – and while Omega’s METAS 0 to +5 seconds is equally impressive, it is performed on a much, much smaller quantity of Co-Axial Master Chronometer movements (which represent a smaller, but continuously increasing, percentage of Co-Axial movements).
            Either way, the direction for both Rolex and Omega is fantastic, as both are pushing themselves and their in-house calibers to be super accurate timekeepers.

          • Korz

            Rolex has not done this for 800,000 movements yet, nor will they immediately. It will take some time before all of these movements make it to market, as famously “it takes one year to make a Rolex”.

            Meanwhile, Omega has been testing to -1/+3 since in-house movements were re-launched in the Omega collection in 2007. Tolerances are of course a little looser for the entire power reserve, but Rolex doesn’t test precision over the entire power reserve as Omega does.

          • GW

            Hard to say really. But the system has been in place.

            Got a Daytona three weeks ago and it came with the new certification, even though it was weeks before this announcement.

            I like that Omega has had their own tight standards for years but as you implied the actual results will vary, as with just about any test. Of the four Omegas I bought since 2007, half were in that spec and the others weren’t (as tested at an Omega boutique).

          • Bruno Benevolo

            Thanks David, I do believe that the article now presents a more balanced view. The fact that both you and Ariel have been so quick to respond is a clear demonstration of editorial tolerance, willing to take on board comments and constructive criticism from your readers.

            I would just note that I have heard a rumor that during Basel 2016, Omega will be announcing several METAS certified watches and that many are already in production. It is not clear from your article during what time frame the new Rolex standard will effectively be applied across its full production range of 800k watches per year. I would guess that by 2017 both brands would have their individual certification programs fully active across their main watch ranges. I share your view that the current healthy technical competition between the two brands can only benefit the consumer in terms of improved product and post sales service.

          • Ariel Adams

            Thank you Bruno. We are always eager to re-examine our sentiments and
            correct errors when our valued audience offers constructive feedback and

          • Korz

            It’s just shameful that the author says “there hardly is any other watch manufacture in Switzerland that would compare to Rolex’s know-how in automatic processes while ensuring extremely high quality of execution”.

          • Ariel Adams

            There are only a scant few who can even remotely compare when it comes to the volumes Rolex is able to achieve with such quality consistence. This was not an incorrect statement, but if you feel otherwise please do share. Of course some other houses offer great quality, but mostly not at these production volumes.

      • Bruno Benevolo

        I agree that the article did seem a bit of a publicity piece for Rolex. Surprised that Ariel Adams would allow it to be posted without further editorial review.

        Some additional points:
        Within my collection Omega watches also have more precise hand to indices, but Rolex does do bracelets much, much better…something Omega needs to improve on urgently. Some of Omega´s calibres are much too thick…I can´t wear a Planet Ocean, for example!

        I am passionate about my Rolex Polar EXP II 216570 and there is nothing in the Omega range that competes with it as a true exploration outdoors watch. I also love my Omega Tresor which wins hands down over the Cellini from my point of view. Let us celebrate both brands…they are both worthy contenders for our pockets $$$:)

        • GW

          You cite a common misconception: Calibre thickness. Omega’s 8500 calibre is actually thinner than Rolex’s 3135 (5.5mm vs 6.0mm).

          Omega just loves thick cases for some reason. Planet Ocean which has the 8500 in it, is the perfect example.

          • Bruno Benevolo

            Sorry, you are absolutely right on the 8500..I also have an Orbis Deville Hours Vision and the AT 15000 Gauss and neither are at all thick. I think the PO thickness might have something to do with using a display caseback for a diver. Not sure about the Omega 9300 though versus the Dayton 4130 in terms of thickness. Do you have those numbers?

          • Korz

            100% correct, display back on a 600m diver adds to the thickness quite a bit. One reason I stick with my gen 1 PO.

          • GW

            Net sources say:

            Omega 9300 : 7.6mm
            ETA 7750 : 7.9mm
            Rolex 4130: 6.5mm

          • outremer

            “Wrist presence” is the key word here. I always smile when the salesman tries to convince me, that a three-hander has a 13mm+ case because of the caliber:D

        • Ariel Adams

          We feel that any watch maker that focuses on performance and reliability should be celebrated. Today the front runners for this both Rolex & Omega and we continue to discuss their testing and standards are length. None of this is marketing. Any excess enthusiasm simple from our own sentiments because we’ve been wanting watch makers to make the best “time telling watches possible,” and get discouraged when brands like to pretend consumers don’t care about accuracy. It isn’t necessarily Rolex that we are promoting here, but rather the notion that as an industry leader they are telling other watch makers “this is a big deal and it matters to us,” which tends to have a trickle-down effect.

          • Bruno Benevolo

            Thanks for clearing that up Ariel, but to be fair to Omega I do believe that Rolex might have taken the initiative to extend the new testing/standard beyond the 3255 calibre as a counterpoint to Omega´s METAS certification announced last year. It is nevertheless an impressive achievement for Rolex and I do agree that both brands are setting the “European” (Swiss and German made) industry benchmarks for performance and reliability.

          • Ariel Adams

            The competition between Omega and Rolex is in my opinion healthy. This industry only innovates when there is market competition and I really hope that more brands are able to enter into this fight. I wonder if down the road Seiko will introduce its own types of certification and promises to back up the amazing performance many people experience from their higher-end Grand Seiko and other watches.

          • Bruno Benevolo

            I will be visiting the new Seiko New York boutique mid-March for my first Grand Seiko encounter! AblogToWatch has always given Grand Seiko extensive coverage, even when the brand was still taking its first baby steps outside of Japan. I think if they created a new prestige logo for Grand Seiko, took of the “SEIKO” brand text off the dial + adopt some new groundbreaking testing/performance certification…they could double their sales internationally.

          • outremer

            +Slimmer cases to the purely mechanical line, and free-spung balance.

      • WolverBilly

        The interesting thing is how accurate the watches are in the real world. The co-Axial movement has not proven to be more accurate, more reliable, or more durable than conventional movements, but it is known to be much more tricky to service. But considering Omega comes out with a new moon watch SE every + 5 seconds or so, and the whole Bond nonsense, and the fact that nobody else Daniels approached wanted the movement, it does look like it’s all about the marketing. Time will tell, of course.

        • Korz

          The reason no one wanted the coaxial escapement was due to industrialization costs. No one thought it was feasible.

          There are already demonstrable benefits of the coaxial escapement. Omega’s coaxial isn’t even the best one on the market (Roger Smith has an improved version in his watches, albeit not industrialized).

          But you should check your sources. Watchmakers that work on the movements every day have told me unequivocally that they are an improvement over any Swiss lever escapement on the market, and the simple fact that other brands lack the resources and R&D to produce the coaxial escapement as Omega does shouldn’t color your impression of why other brands passed on it. JCB passed as head of Omega until Nicholas Hayek basically said that Omega could do it regardless of the incredible monetary cost that would be involved.

          Escapements, btw, don’t have a function of accuracy anywhere in their description. You’re thinking of the balance for chronometric performance. Escapements will maintain performance, which the coaxial escapement does do better than the Swiss lever, but it will not improve on accuracy.

        • Bruno Benevolo

          I think that if Omega are certifying 0/+5 with METAS they are indeed aiming for higher precision than standard COSC and putting the cards on the table using an independent authority to audit/verify.

          I have heard from some watchmakers that the Co-axial movement can indeed be tricky to service in certain specific aspects such as the micro amount of oil needed for the escapement. I think the Omega marketing with Bond is getting a bit dated, but the Moonwatch pedigree is still awesome.

          I do think there is a real “non-marketing improvement” in their internal testing procedures with METAS.

    • outremer

      The 10-year service interval applies only to cal. 3255 as far as I know.

    • Dimitris Athanasiou

      I dont think Rolex would be interested, had the FAN watch in the 70s but let it go, also the Constant escapement GP now has.

  • frustin

    when will they be available?

  • My new Sub I bought a few months ago was +8s/day for about a week then all of a sudden, it was +1s/A WEEK! Crazy accuracy!

    • Shinytoys

      been known to happen, call it a celebratory break in!

    • Dimitris Athanasiou

      I had one would gain 2 secs every third day.

  • Korz

    It would have been nice if you and your editors could have added in context for those not in the industry, comparing Rolex chronometric test with JLC, Omega, et al.

    ABTW is, for better or worse, the most read watch blog in the world. You have neophytes to the watch industry reading your blog every day, and the neophyte will think that Rolex is one of, if not the best manufacture around.

    The truth is that even in their own market segment, they’re not on top: it’s a much more unclear picture, especially when Omega, JLC, and others are doing such amazing work in the $5000-15,000 market.

    • Ariel Adams

      I think most people would agree that while Rolex is by no means the only good mechanical watch maker around – buying almost any of their products is a “safe bet” in terms of both quality and performance. I don’t know that I could make that statement for most other brands as things depends on product to product. JLC, Omega, and others are brands we frequently praise. Omega is doing amazing things with METAS, but as you know the certification only covers a handful of their production (for now).

      We take the responsibility of educating novices seriously. While we haven’t yet been able to imagine a single article to properly train people new to watches, we feel that over time with a lot of exposure people can get a solid watch education. We also continue our own education and our hope is that people keen to expand their knowledge of watches will look over the larger body of our work, follow our new articles, and talk to other watch lovers to hear about their own experiences. There is no one watch to rule them all nor are there specific models that will make everyone happy. Rolex sets the bar in a lot places but they don’t encompass the entire market for sure. I think we can all agree that a well-rounded watch collection includes models from a range of brands.

    • iamcalledryan

      While I agree that it would have been nice to put this in context with 1000 hrs and METAS this is an article about Rolex and if someone were to infer that Rolex might be one of the best manufacturers in the world when if comes to in-house movements and performance they would be absolutely correct.

      There is not a single brand on the planet that can generate the capital that Rolex does each year and very clearly channels into R&D and fixed assets. It’s not really about fluffy sentiments, it’s a numbers game, and Rolex have the brain and the brawn to get to the top. Sure, METAS have magnetism, 1000hrs is more rigorous, and the Geneva seal ensures eye candy. It’s all context but doesn’t take away a news-worthy piece like this. Want a negative slant on it, the neophyte can just read some of these comments and draw their own conclusion.

      • Bruno Benevolo

        This is indeed newsworthy stuff and we should praise Rolex for their initiative.

        I would not affirm categorically that Rolex has significantly more financial and R&D clout than the Swatch group, where Omega is the flagship brand.

        I do agree with this: “if someone were to infer that Rolex might be one of the best manufacturers in the world when if comes to in-house movements and performance they would be absolutely correct.”

        Based on what they have recently achieved since 2013, I would put Omega on the same level as Rolex in terms of calibre technology and dial/case finishing.

        As many other posters (me included) have mentioned…bracelets so far are a clear Rolex win but when it comes to leather straps & depolyants I think Omega are just as good. The Oysterflex is a great new “niche” strap from Rolex, in a category of its own.

        I don´t think any other brand right now apart from Seiko can offer similar performance chops compared to the most modern offerings from Rolex / Omega. I have not seen convincing performance stats from JLC, even with their 1000h Master Control.

        JLC, VC, PP and AP are probably more focused on finishing and aesthetics, which is also valid for a certain type of customer.

        • iamcalledryan

          Hello sir, I used the word brand, rather than group because you are right that Omega are a very significant brand with the benefits of Swatch Groups wider vertical integration. Nevertheless. Rolex is still top of the list in my opinion.

          Not only does Rolex produce more watches than Omegaa but it’s at a higher average price per unit. The two combined give it a material lead. In addition, there is no need to pay dividends to the Group to support other enterprises.

          Then there is real estate, yes real estate! Rolex make millions each year in rent. They own whole blocks where they base their manufacturing, corporate, and regional offices, and there are other tenants paying them for premium space.

          The facilities at Omega and the other Group suppliers are impressive to say the least, but since the last few years when Rolex has actually opened it’s doors there is no doubt that they are operating on an unprecedented level of combined quality and quantity.

          • Bruno Benevolo

            I would have to take a closer look at the balance sheets, but I still think they (Omega & Rolex) are pretty much equivalent on their R&D spend. I do believe that Rolex spend much more on marketing than Omega to maintain their brand´s No1. aspirational watch perception for the general public. In terms of paying dividends to the rest of the group don´t forget that Longines are absurdly competitive in the mid-tier segment, so I don´t see Omega having to function as a financial locomotive for the Swatch group. If you want to be truly impressed with full/complete in-house capabilities you should take a look at what Seiko are doing, even growing their own in-house quartz crystals for the Grand Seiko range.

          • iamcalledryan

            You won’t get to look at the Rolex balance sheet!

            It’s common place for excess funds to be transfered to group holding, but that is not to say that Omega “pay” for other brands, they just have less autonomy.

            As for Seiko, I am already a fan!

      • Korz

        Rolex has nowhere near Omega’s R&D budget, or at least, they have very little to show for it.

        Ask Rolex to make a tourbillon watch, or even to put a high end finish on their movement like Omega’s Geneva waves in arabesque and they won’t have the facilities for that level of finish work.

        They make great workhorse movements, but there’s very little high end work and R&D done by Rolex compared to Omega.

        Rolex couldn’t even produce a DSOTM, much less a central tourbillon.

        • iamcalledryan

          Wait a minute there. You mistake them not building a tourbillon or using Geneva stripes for having a smaller R&D budget. The decision to build a tourbillon, and investing in fine finishing machines and expertise is admirable, but has nothing to do with Rolex core business.

          I assume you have not been to the Rolex facilities – they speak just as much, if not more for R&D spend than a tourbillon and some polishing. There is more than enough evidence that they R&D right up, if not beyond, the level of Omega, and despite their sedentary design evolution, there is more than enough going on under the hood to demonstrate that.

          Omega no doubt have a large R&D budget, but I fail to understand how you can back up the statement that Rolex has “nowhere near Omega’s R&D budget” when they are private and do not release their financial results. It’s misguided to say the least to assume that they “can’t” do what they choose not to do for good reason.

          • Korz

            They can’t, or they would. In watchmaking, you make high end complications to show what your brand is capable of.

            Nothing Rolex has done speaks to high end R&D. They don’t even have a proper silicon balance that they can manufacture at a rate to replace parachrom, which is a dated technology at best. They don’t even have a twin barrel movement, which has a dramatic effect on the accuracy of their movements over the life of the power reserve.

            And that’s in direct contrast to Omega, who not only can do everything Rolex does (they have made two proprietary versions of gold, Sedna and Canopus), but can do things that Rolex cannot, like ceramic watch cases, tourbillons, antimagnetic movements, etc.

            Regardless of personal views, quantitatively Omega is kicking Rolex’s ass in technology at this point, and that probably won’t change while Rolex still focuses so much effort on marketing and advertising.

          • iamcalledryan

            Why do you slip in the term “high end”? This article is about accuracy and this discussion was about R&D. Rolex do not aim to make the most luxurious product, they never have.

            “quantitatively Omega is kicking Rolex’s ass in technology at this point”

            Please quantify! You are being more subjective than you think. It is easy to list out all of Omega’s acheivements, Rolexes too. Honestly, I love Omega, I have two, but I am open to the realities of what other brands bring to the table.

          • Korz

            So in the last five years, here is what each brand has brought out in terms of technology:


            – ceramic cased watches

            – antimagnetic movements

            – new shock absorber technology that can actually reposition the balance staff after a shock

            – an in-house chronograph movement with two barrels, a vertical clutch, and column wheel

            – a clasp that has a micro adjuster as a push button

            – two new gold alloys


            – one new gold alloy

            – a silicon balance that is used in one movement

            – a watch that can go to challenger deep

            – a rubber strap

            – an annual calendar GMT watch

            I say high end because like it or not, Rolex and Omega are the entry into the high end of the market, and need to develop movements to match that position. Omega just got a patent approved for a perpetual calendar, and they have a 29.5 day moonphase/chrono that’s completely antimagnetic coming. They also make tourbillion watch, the only central tourbillon in the world.

            Omega gets that at their price point, there needs to be more to the watches. Rolex still doesn’t understand that while they undoubtedly have a great name, they’re falling behind in R&D. They’re still using parachrom balances, they’re still using soft iron cages to protect against magnetism, and they’re still just making longer mainsprings to increase power reserve, rather than making twin barrel movements.

            Rolex’s insistence on sticking with parachrom over silicon is a massive mistake. The Breguet overcoil isn’t a significant enough feature to ignore the practical applications of silicon, which more and more watchmakers are going to.

            The reason Rolex won’t make the change is that Swatch Group essentially controls silicon hairspring a right now via Nivarox. If Rolex had the great R&D facilities, they’d have production capabilities to do photolithography, and wouldn’t still be relying on tech from the middle of the last decade, when the rest of the watch industry has moved on. Hell, even Tudor uses silicon now.

          • iamcalledryan

            All plenty of evidence that they are both doing great, if you extend the timeline and look a little deeper it all evens out. Silicon is great, and perhaps Rolex are behind the curve on that, but the parachrom hairspring hardly tells me they are at the beck and call of Nivarox.

            You neglected to mention the lithography-galvanoplasty that Rolex use to make playless gears. Wind the clock even further back and you get a large list of innovation and some ‘firsts’ – but more importantly Rolex clearly makes little effort to be the ‘first’ at anything, in fact the more you learn about the brand the more you come to appreciate what at first feels painfully slow. They move at a different pace than most, and likely generate a lower proportion of old-to-new stock than most brands. The brand has made an empire specifically on moving at a slower pace, making lots of good watches and not immediately serving a fad. Do they make mistakes? Of course, for every pink side of the moon there is a leopard print jewel-encrusted monster, but people come to Rolex for reliability, low depreciation, and accuracy.

            But to add their slow pace to their avoidance of superfluity to get to ‘no R&D’ is a false assumption. Omega R&D spend is relatively transparent in that the material spend is itemized in the group reports. Rolex alternatively could spend 80% of it’s profit after tax on R&D and not tell a soul about it. For all you and I know they have been running movements with silicon escapement components for a decade and will not release a movement with them for another 10 years. Bottom line, they have the capital to invest as much as a group-level spend.

            Producing a tourbillon, chamfering bridges, grand complications – these are very visual and public statements of your watch-making prowess. But many see it as superfluous. The tourbillon has no measurable benefits in a wristwatch beyond a well-adjusted Swiss lever, excessive finishing serves the vanity of a crystal caseback, which may well become an embarrassing fad in time, certainly it is quite laughable (to some) that a brand can invest so much in aesthetics but not back up performance. Personally I love both, but that’s because I have no partisan favoritism or fundamentalism in my appreciation of the watch.

            Back to the original point, this article owed nothing to the reader beyond what they shared. This is as newsworthy as METAS and both brands deserve the recognition, both brands are amongst very few that make such a large volume of fantastic watches.

          • Korz

            I hope you’re right and that Rolex announces this year that every movement they make going forward will have silicon, but somehow I doubt there will be any advancements of note for them this Baselworld.

          • iamcalledryan

            I am not concerned about that. Silicon serves to mitigate lubrication deterioration, and although if it can go the distance that will extend service intervals there is no consensus that it has beaten amagnetic alloy. I hope they scale back on the bling of the Daytona, make a no-date Master II, and keep on doing what they do.

            On a separate note, I am amazed and highly impressed at how early Patek adopted silicon, and it is further proof that conservatism is not always the right approach.

          • Korz

            IMO Breguet is one of the most impressive manufactures anywhere, what they’ve done with silicon is nothing short of amazing. Same with their double mainspring movements. Much more so than Patek, though Patek is to be praised for their willingness to adopt tech and rely on those outside of the company for parts. 100% in-house is not always a good thing.

          • iamcalledryan

            In terms of heritage, aesthetic, technique, Breguet are exceptional. They look and feel much like you might expect them to if A-L B himself were immortal.

          • Ulysee Nardin will be shocked to hear that Swatch Group controls silicon hairspring production. Guess they will figure that their factory has been stormed by the troops from Bienne.

          • Coert Welman

            You do realise that Phillipe Dufour (arguably one of the best, if not THE best watchmaker in the world) doesn’t make a tourbillon? Does that make him non-innovative? Producing a tourbillon is no longer the big deal it was a century ago. One can purchase tourbillons for under US$1000.
            Rolex makes relatively luxurious workhorse watches, with the emphasis on workhorse. They are made to be worn every day.

          • Korz

            DuFour is considered a master of finishing, not a preeminent watchmaker, as those are measured by complications. For that, you’re talking about FP Journe. And guess what? Journe has a line of tourbillons.

          • iamcalledryan

            Um, the duality is not a solitary exercise in finishing. If you can execute a double escapement with differential you can build a tourbillon. Where is FPJ’s extra thin grand complication? Using such basic metrics, the tourbillon is entry level for fine watchmaking, where is Omega’s cathedral carillon minute repeater?

            Brands have different mandates, the tool watch brand has no use for chamfered bridges, cases that shatter, Victorian chimes, etc etc. It is flat out wrong to look for a tourbillon, find none, and conclude incompetence.

          • Coert Welman

            Not a pre-eminent watchmaker? Pull the other one, son. It has bells on.
            So you consider those Chinese rip-offs to be better watchmakers than Dufour because they can make tourbillons? There is more to horology than a spinning escapement.

          • Dimitris Athanasiou

            True, Rolex also had the Constant Force Escapment that GP now uses but didnt made use of it. They are not interested to create a super specific watch costing 100000, but the most reliable, accurate possible movements that would also be easy to service everywhere in the world.

          • Dimitris Athanasiou

            Rolex already had more technology before these last five years. Ceramic cased watches??? Rado has it decades now! Would you buy a Ceramic watch that can shutter in thousand pieces? I wouldn’t.

          • Dimitris Athanasiou

            Rolex was one of the companies that developed the silicon balance. The properties of a mineral vs a metal makes it not the element of choise. Metal has much higher fatigue than a mineral, and having a paramagnetic metal alloy why not use it? How we know how does Silicon will feature after ageing? Parachrome Blu is the best and most reliable choice over the two. Niobium is a super alloy with temp. stability and superconductivity!

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Off the shelf, out of the box, onto one’s wrist and into one’s heart.
    ROLEX does it again…B-)

  • Evan Cohn

    Will this cover stock that is already produced?

    • Korz

      It requires new testing procedures, so no.

  • I have zero issues with the accuracy and testing that Rolex does (good on the BTW). But I have to wonder if some other brand also conformed to the same standards and also used the words “Superlative Chronometer” on their dials if Rolex would be upset or flattered. My gut feeling is upset as if they own the adjective (which seems pretentious to me, but whatever). Like “Superlacxitive” is a recognized level of accuracy. Despite it sounding like Rolex wrote half of the post, I enjoyed it. Thanks David.

    • David Bredan

      @markcarson:disqus haha, well, it did require a fair bit of research and back and forth communication to get all the info fact-checked and into this post – a lot of it was news from and about Rolex, which should explain the “bias”, if any.

  • Korz

    Emphasis on mass production, as other companies will make just as many watches with more complicated finishes and just as much, if not more testing performed on their watches.

    The only area where Rolex is head and shoulders above their competition is in bracelet quality, but they still fall short of AP.

  • Marius

    The Omega Metas certification and the Rolex in-house tests are all superlatively superlative and exceptionally exceptional, but at the end of the day, both brands are essentially producing overpriced, mass-produced watches, with a decent fit&finish and a relatively poor movement finish.

    If Rolex and Omega want to prove how accurate they are, why not participate at the Swiss Chronometric Contests and clearly win them?

    I agree that accuracy is important, but it’s not the only crucial aspect. In the $7,000-14,000 range you also have brands such as JLC, Glashutte Original, Girard Perregaux, etc. which offer interesting watches, with a better fit&finish, better finished movements, and which also have stringent test procedures, such ad the JLC 1000hr test.

    • outremer

      Fit and finish plays a less important role in a daily-wear watch than accuracy, shock-resistance and built quality in my books.

      • iamcalledryan

        Agreed, Rolex make no effort to superfluosly finish their movements. If the wearer does what Rolex recommend, they will never see the movement. It’s all about performance and there are literally hundreds of thousands of watch lovers that put that well above paying for a bridge to be chamfered.

        • Bruno Benevolo

          I think Rolex not doing exhibition case backs for sports watches makes perfect sense.

          I do think that they could be doing some more sophisticated finishing for their Cellini dress watch range and showing that off with an exhibition case back as Omega, JLC and others do at that price point. It would also make them more competitive in terms of pricing by not having to have a full precious metal case:)

          Again this is all about personal values: I value technology, brand pedigree, design….and finishing specifically for more dressy watches.

      • Marius

        I agree with you, but today’s manufacturing methods and materials make most watches, even high end dress watches, cope easily with everyday wear. I mean, the Oyster Case had a competitive advantage many years ago, nowadays you can take even a high end watch and wear it daily. I have a colleague in Dresden who, for the past seven years, wears a Lange1 every day, and never had one issue with it.

        Moreover, if a mechanical movement is subjected to frequent shocks it will break down, no matter how good the case and shock absorption systems are. For instance, last summer, a friend of mine had the idea to play rugby wearing his brand new Rolex DeepSea. At the end of the first half the watch stopped working and the bracelet fell apart. For very good accuracy and shock protection the best idea is the G Shock.

        • outremer

          I didn’t think of such extreme case as playing rugby, and probably your friend takes great care of his watch. I want to use mine living an everday life, but not “babysitting” it too much.

    • Bruno Benevolo

      The Swiss Chronometer Tests are increasingly won based on the regulation of a specific watch for the event. It has been won by Tissot recently, which is hardly breaking new ground in terms of technology.

      What Omega and Rolex want to achieve are new standards in accuracy, performance and reliability for hundreds of thousands of watches and not just one watch. I own a JLC UT Reverso Duoface so I do appreciate what you say about about finish at US$10K range, however, I also own a Omega YG Tresor which I think has outstanding finish & technology and is unsurpassed at its price range for a YG watch. I think most will agree that in the US$7k-US14k range IWC are the main “overpricing” offender.

      • Marius

        You are absolutely right, the Tresor and the Rolex Cellini Prince, I might add, offer very good value. However, in my opinion, the vast majority of Rolex and Omega sports watches (their bread and butter) are highly overpriced given that they produce almost one million each year (1.2 mil. in the case of Omega).

        For instance, I love the Submariner, but $9,000 is a huge price for such a simple watch, equipped with a meat&potatoes movement. By comparison, a JLC Deepsea Chronograph costs around $10,000 and will offer you a much better finished watch, equipped with a column wheel/vertical clutch chronograph and an indicator for when the chrono is in use.

        • Bruno Benevolo

          Marius, good catch on the Prince. Fully agree with you on the US$9K price absurdity for a Sub, which is one of the reasons I bought the new Polar Exp II (cheaper than the Sub and has GMT function) + a Seamaster MCoaxial 300:)

          The new Oyster Perpetuals at US$5k are pretty unbeatable at that price range. JLC bang for buck are extremely competitive in the US$7K-15K range. But I do think this latest chronograph offering from Omega has loads of technology (when compared to the JLC) and is competitively priced at CHF 9400:

          Just goes to show the competition between Omega, Rolex and JLC will give us lots of alternatives in the coming years, especially with the deflated Chinese bubble impacting the luxury watch market.

          It should be noted that Montblanc is also doing great stuff with their entry level complications strategy (modular, but quite cool) as well as some interesting in-house offerings such as the Twinfly Chrono 4810 edition offering below:

          • Marius

            Actually, the Rolex Explorer II (with the black dial) is my favourite Rolex watch, alongside the Prince.

            I have to agree with you, the Chinese situation has affected the whole industry. I mean, IWC lowered their prices (for some models by as much as 25%), Patek did the same, and JLC essentially decimated their catalogue. I recently visited the Geneva boutique and was told that the Reverso Squadra line is gone, the Amvox line is gone, the Master Compressor is almost gone (only 3 models left), and JLC will focus mostly on the Reverso and Master Control. I believe that brands have produced far too many watches, and have priced them too aggressively, and now they are left with very few buyers. The good news is that the buyers will benefit from this situation.

    • TrevorXM

      Yes, but how are Rolex and Omega going to pay for all that mass advertising if they don’t charge twice what the watches are worth?

  • DR

    This week in watch news!

    – Rolex and Omega continue to dedicate vast efforts and resources to improving the accuracy of their timepieces.

    – Hublot announces a 45mm illegible see-through insult for $60k.

  • beardedman

    Lots of good comments here. I’m pretty new to all this so I appreciate a lively discussion after seeing a great article. I admit, I didn’t used to think I would get a Rolex as they seemed a bit of a cliché but now that I have one, I get it. It’s a TT Datejust 16233 and is pretty much my everyday watch now. I also have a stainless JLC “MUT Moon” for dressier occasions. Comparing the two on accuracy would be hard, as the JLC spends a lot of time on a winder, but the 25 year old Rolex is fantastic. I’m never going to have a huge collection, but I know someday I want a Reverso and a Day-Date-40 in yellow gold. No Hublot’s (or their like) for this kid. Cheers!

  • Shinytoys

    Enjoyed reading the article and the comments. Excellent coverage Mr. Bredan. And for my 2 cents, I think that it’s not an unfair request that -2-+2 rules should apply. I think it should be mandatory for all high end watches, be them manual winds, automatic or steam powered. The damn things expensive, and it irks me that my Pro-Trek Casio is a more accurate time piece than some of my other investments…

    • Korz

      That’s an asinine request, if you know anything about micromechanics vs quartz tech. There simply isn’t a way to achieve quartz timekeeping when you’re making a mechanical movement.

      • Shinytoys

        Thanks for the ass reference. When you say there isn’t a way to be as accurate as a quartz movement, this is where you and I will agree to simply disagree. I’m good and tired of making allowances for a very expensive piece of horology masterpiece “because they are mechanical” . It’s a weak excuse, and companies should be held accountable. Now…Stop touching my ass…:)

  • Techie

    Good article, many thanks.
    For those that are interested I checked 2 of my Rolex’s out. The first an Explorer 2 which was bought in July 2014 was set at 23.20 on 5th of this month using the Watchville app clock. It was checked tonight at the same time and had lost 19 seconds since then that makes a loss of 2.37 secs per day.
    The GMT Master 2 bought in December 2013 was set at 23.55 last night (12th) and was checked tonight at the same time and it had gained 4 seconds.
    I have not checked the Daytona or the other 2.
    The results on the Explorer are in my opinion for a mechanical watch, superb.
    The GMT is not so good but still ok for a mechanical watch.
    For those of you bemused by the setting times I live in the UK

  • Bruno Benevolo

    My replies and posts are all over the place in this excellent discussion so I have decided to post my consolidated viewpoint below:

    1. Rolex should receive praise for improving their internal accuracy controls to +2/-2 seconds across their product range.

    2. The latest achievement from Rolex does not justify IMHO David Brendan´s closing statement: “Rolex watches are more than likely the most accurate Swiss-Made mechanical watches produced in such mass-produced quantities.” As David and Ariel graciously acknowledged, revising the content of the article after a series of reader comments: Omega is also doing excellent work with their METAS certification.

    3. As Korz pointed out METAS is a more stringent level of accuracy certification over the Rolex standard, even though the range of precision is 1s smaller (0/+5s):

    – includes anti-magnetism test

    – accuracy is checked to within 1% of power reserve (I think this is indeed a significant point especially for users that several watches in rotation)

    – tests are validated by an independent authority (METAS) and you can consult your individual watch tests online with your METAS Card no.

    A final note is that Omega has already been testing internally for the -1/+3s across its product range since 2007.

    4. I personally do not think it is that relevant that Rolex have started doing this for all watches produced sometime +2015 whilst Omega is only doing METAS for specific products. It is obvious that the Omega process, which involves a significant degree of increased transparency and information for the end user, as well as third-party involvement, will take longer to roll-out across its complete product range. The key point here is that a given customer can choose to buy or not a METAS certified watch or wait for that model to be METAS certified at a later date.

    5. I am looking forward to Basel 2016 to see what Omega and Rolex are going to announce. Right now Omega has thrown down the gauntlet with the new Omega Speedmaster Moonphase release and I honestly am not aware of anything equivalent from Rolex, JLC, or any other watchmaker that offers this level of technology in one package any price range, and certainly not 9400CHF:

    – Metas certification

    – 15000 gauss anti-magnetic capability

    – New 29.5 lunar month moonphase indication capable of 10yr precision

    – Date complication

    – Liquidmetal bezel insert

    – Twin barrel with column wheel and vertical clutch

    – Quick hour set independent of seconds hands

    • Chaz

      When I get a huge bonus or promoted to CEO, I’m going to look for the Rolex. Not the Omega with METAS cert and whatever amount of Gauss protection. Simple as that 😉

      • Bruno Benevolo

        Really Chaz? I had already purchased Rolex, JLC and Omega when I was only earning US$200K net per year. Why wait so long for your first Rolex?

        If you do make “CEO” (which, I am sorry to say, I do find to be quite unlikely based on your rather simplistic analysis above) and perhaps need (for whatever psychological reason) to communicate your “success” to the general public with a Rolex…do purchase a Rolex Day-Date 40 Platinum and not a blingy yellow gold version…to at least demonstrate you have some sophistication and restraint…or even better I would suggest taking the “discretion with confidence theme” a little further, why not purchase a Lange 1, Patek or the lovely new VC Overseas just launched circa SIHH 2016?

        Wishing you all the best, mate. Cheers.

        • Chaz

          My “simplistic analysis” is simply relating the simple reality of the average simple guy that simply achieves something and does not care a bit nor is even simply aware of such marques as Patek Philippe, Vacheron, or Lange.
          SO I wasn’t really writing about myself, per se, but maybe I was being too simple for your comprehension?
          Not having your sophistication or tastes, I defer to your raffinement.
          I’ll bet you own a Mercedes, no?

          • Bruno Benevolo

            Ok Chaz, thanks for clearing that up.

            I do apologize for my rant, I had assumed (incorrectly) that you might be a certain type of irritating Rolex “fanantic/fanboy” , often found in internet forums, who puts down other brands such as Omega, just based on an ill judged perception that Rolex is the only worthwhile luxury watch brand in the world to own based on the limited viewpoint that it conveys a certain degree of “status” to the general public.

            I agree with you that it is really up to Omega to have the right marketing capability to make someone of the profile you mention (“simple guy who achieves something”) to aspire to owning one of their excellent watches and not a Rolex.

          • Chaz


    • arequo

      I wonder, if Omega are testing for -1/+3 accuracy – why do the results of my Metas certified Constellation/Globemaster show that it runs +4.1 secs per day?

      • Bruno Benevolo

        Good point…I would wait until the watch “settles in”, before determining final accuracy, but +4.1 is still within Metas certification standards (0/+5).

        In the past Omega could have been testing just the calibre for -1/+3 (not cased within the watch) + less positions + not across the full power reserve. If you get a consistent +4.5s/day for example, it would be quite simple for any watchmaker to regulate the calibre to something in the +1/+2 range.

  • Dimitris Athanasiou

    No matter the technology, the properties of an element remain the same. Rolex uses a metal alloy balance spring and anchor and ? uses a silicone one. Metal has much higher fatigue than a mineral. Try wearing a modern ? 10 years without servicing and share with us the results and the joy of the service bill.

    • Bruno Benevolo

      I really think that other factors such as how each brand invests in post-sales service and training of qualified service centers + keeping cost of service “honest” in the coming years will be more important than “To Si or not To Si”. In my current location I get much better service from my Omega boutique than my Rolex AD.

  • frustin

    i wonder if the 3255 will be available in some of the GMT master II’s.

    in 2007 as the 3186 (it had a newer hairspring) came into being, some of the pepsi models (16710) started appearing with that movement. the tell was in the II (stick) as opposed to the roman numerals. Some had the older 3185 and some had the newer movement.

  • Impressive ! Love to see how Omega and Rolex are taking watch accuracy seriously. On my side, my 14060M from 2010 is within the COSC tolerance as tested with

  • peter_byford

    I bought my first Rolex chronometer in 1972. I think COSC tolerance for time-keeping at that time was – 8 – + 15 seconds a day. It easily met that, & let’s not forget there was a Class 1 & a Class 2 certificate awarded depending on the movement’s tighter timekeeping performance. An IWC Yacht Club chronometer, almost identical to said Rolex, could have been in the running, but @ 33% more expense, I couldn’t afford it. No Rolexspeak ( & poor English usage on the dial ) ,
    so no reference to COSC certification, but IWC at that time GUARANTEED timekeeping to + 2 seconds a day so COSC not an issue, & they used compressor technology in their watch cases, not Rolex rigid but hermetically sealed cases. So Rolex with their latest movement haven’t bought to market anything revolutionary in terms of timekeeping IMHO , & I thing a Green tag is
    just as useless as the red one has become… a vintage Rolex anchor….that’s another matter lol !

    • Jun Jie Yap

      I have been using a Tissot powermatic 80 without certificated by COSC, also running at -2/+2 seconds a day when was wear on my hand everyday.If no wear on the hand everyday ,the watch only can run -3/+6 seconds a day..

      • peter_byford

        Hi !
        I have owned several chronometres ( 4 x Rolex, 3 x Omega & a Zenith el primero Chronomaster T chronograph ) Some I still own, but added a Tag Heuer S/el chronometre recently. My Omega SMP ( Bond ) used the same ETA 2892-A2 movement….Tag refer to it as Calibre 5. The Omega was serviced regularly & was good for +1 second a day…….& so is the Tag after regulation. …….A good part of COSC certification is indeed to do with strict timekeeping…….tested in 5 positions , at 3 temperatures, & over 15 days. But the important measurement is the ‘average mean daily deviation’ in all conditions. My Zenith gained exactly 3 seconds a day, today, tomorrow, every day of the week, every week. ….a perfectly adjusted movement, one John Harrison strived for. Non COSC certified watches can appear to keep as good as, or better, daily time………but try wearing one on the beach in 100 + degree heat, then jumping into a cold swimming pool & splashing about for a while, then returning to the heat again……it’s timekeeping will drift dramatically…..a chronometre will vary imperceptibly through the experience.
        That’s why you pays your money for a chronometre.

  • Fatnot

    I suspect that the Rolex movements (as well as a significant number of others) are capable
    of substantially higher accuracy than the 4 or so seconds a day. My first Rolex,, bought
    decades ago, maintained accuracy of a few seconds after several months. My current Sub (perhaps 20 years old) was within a few seconds a day when first purchased, and also
    after its first service. Its second service was a couple of months ago, and it has been with
    -1/+1 seconds since this service. This, of course, is accuracy that would be expected of a
    Marine Chronometer, not a wristwatch…It seems that the cleaning and regulation of the movement is surprisingly important.

  • Mike Smith

    I know this is hard to believe but I have been using a Constantin Weisz watch with twin oversized balance wheels and 42 jewels which I never have to reset. It’s normally running at + or minus 2 seconds a day or less. Because of a power reserve feature I never run out of power, and I can wear it for a whole week and never be 5 seconds out of sync to my radio controlled clock. If it starts to run slightly fast I place it crown down overnight and in the morning it is as near as damn it spot on. Conversely if it’s running slightly fast, I leave it face up overnight and again it is virtually spot on the next morning. I hate watches that are continually having to be reset in the morning to get an accurate time which is then 5 to 10 seconds fast that evening. Even that would be more than acceptable to most people at the price point, with typical examples running up to 30 seconds a day fast for budget watches, but when you get one that is a second or two out after a days use then it needs to be prized and not ridiculed just because it doesn’t have a premium manufacturer. It looks sumptuous too so if accuracy is the main objective rather than a high price tag, and you get lucky .. cherish it as much as you would if it was a Rolex or an Omega. After all they all do the same job except some do it better than others.

    • Jun Jie Yap

      I have been using a Tissot powermatic 80 without certificated by COSC, also running at -2/+2 seconds a day when was wear on my hand everyday.If no wear on the hand everyday ,the watch only can run -3/+6 seconds a day.

  • Jun Jie Yap

    I have been using a Tissot powermatic 80 without certificated by COSC, also running at -2/+2 seconds a day when was wear on my hand everyday.If no wear on the hand everyday ,the watch only can run -3/+6 seconds a day.

  • Kayemtee

    My 23 year old James Bond Omega Quartz is off by less than one second every few months, and my Citizen EcoDrive Radio Controlled watch is always perfectly accurate. You folks need to get Into the 21st Century.

  • Michael Trager

    My 15 year old CASIO G-Shock is still working along with a new Casio wave-ceptor tough solar watch. Both have never needed battery replacement and are accurate to the second every single day. They also automatically adjust for the date and time through atomic standard signal. They were just over $100.00!

    I purchased a more expensive Seiko watch for my wife from Japan also with atomic time.

    Yes Rolex you are far behind the times with your expensive inaccurate watches!

    • Philip Bosworth

      Returning to work one Monday morning, a colleague told me he’d spent the weekend fly-fishing on the Spey. “Did you catch much?” I asked him.

      “Good God! No. Of course I didn’t.”

      You see, it turned out I knew almost as much about fly-fishing as you appear to know about fine watches.

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