— There are three certification bodies available to Swiss omega replica watchmakers. Chopard is the only brand to use all three, and more besides.
Watchmaking brands tend to be self-validated. Calling upon either history, craft or technique, they rely on their reputation, claiming it is sufficient proof that their products are of value. And we are expected to take their word for it. But there is a logic to having certain aspects certified by third parties. Three institutions are known to certify the broader and finer points of watchmaking quality. Many brands pick just one of these. But only one of them uses all three, sometimes in combination: Chopard.
The Geneva-based brand has manufacturing facilities in Fleurier. This double nationality so to speak gives it access to the two most sophisticated certification processes the watch industry has to offer. The first is the Hallmark of Geneva. It is a quality control process aimed at making sure that both case and movement are of superior quality. The criteria include aesthetics, finishes, technical demands such as the shape of springs and the accuracy of the encased movement. Chopard assembles and regulates some of its finer L.U.C timepieces, for which is masters the development and manufacturing process in-house, in its Geneva workshops. And for nearly twenty years, the L.U.C collection has been of the utmost refinement. These three facts combined make Chopard an avid and worthy user of the Hallmark of Geneva.
Only a handful of brands are based in Fleurier, and they are united in creating and running the Fondation Qualité Fleurier (or FQF). It is the most demanding certification a watch can obtain. This difficulty comes from the fact that the Qualité Fleurier label is only awarded after an encased movement has gone through a process that recreates the reality of being worn on one’s wrist among other ordeals. As a founder and promoter of the FQF, Chopard regularly offers watches that have proved worthy of that certification too. Actually, it is the brand that uses it the most.
As for the third certification available, Chopard is by far not its biggest user, although most of its mechanical timepieces are certified to be chronometers by the COSC. A very Swiss institution, the COSC is the largest certification body in watchmaking. It certifies that a movement stays within a certain margin of accuracy even when fully or half wound, in 5 different positions and 3 temperatures over 15 days. For example, all of Chopard’s Mille Miglia watches are certified chronometers.
Chopard is the only brand to use all three certifications. They sometimes even use several together for the same watch. They went as far as using all three in the L.U.C. Triple Certification. More recently, the L.U.C 1963 Tourbillon was both stamped with the Geneva Seal and the COSC.
The question remains as to why Chopard behaves that way. Its president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele answers thus: “The external certifications our watches or movements undergo confirm and guarantee the credibility of our manufacturing process. They bring an outside and independent look on our production. They guarantee our clients the great care that went into the movement finishes (Geneva Hallmark and QF), as well as the chronometric precision (COSC) or the overall reliability of our products (QF)”. No need to take their word for it, someone else guarantees that Chopard’s watches are of superior quality, even if your eyes or experience tell you so anyway. There is an added benefit to submitting timepieces to such judgement. “Doing so has largely contributed to making our products better and more reliable over the years, and has helped our R&D, for instance with the results from the FQF’s simulated wearing tests,” adds Mr. Scheufele.
Yet, that still wasn’t enough for Chopard. So in late 2014, the brand released its first Fairmined gold watch, the L.U.C Tourbillon Qualité Fleurier Fairmined. One of their new watches for 2015 is the L.U.C XPS Fairmined. Its case is made of Colombian gold mined according to a specific set of rules regarding the living conditions of the miners, environmental demands and fair-trade conditions. That gold is also used for jewellery purposes, but more and more Chopard watches will have an added ethical benefit on top of their proof of watchmaking quality replica watches UK.