4 Things To Know About The Geneva Seal

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What is the Geneva Seal? Discover the virtues of one of the most sought-after quality control checks in high-end watchmaking.

IT IS SUPER RARE

Of 30 million watches produced in Switzerland each year, only a fraction – 24,000 – bear the prestigious Geneva Hallmark. We delve into what it takes for brands to earn this quality benchmark. That amounts to only 0.008% of Swiss watches produced annually.

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IT HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE

The Geneva Hallmark’s origins dates to 6 November 1886, when the Grand Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva set up a control centre for watches at the behest of the Geneva Watchmaking Society. The Hallmark’s original goal was to guarantee the quality and origin of the timepieces, as well as to protect against competition (and potential abuse of the Geneva name) from watchmakers in the surrounding cantons.

 

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ONLY THE BEST HAVE IT

For the record, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Chopard, Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta are some illustrious brands with timepieces that bear the Seal. Notably, Roger Dubuis is the only brand with 100% of its timepieces certified by the Geneva Hallmark.

IT HAS EVOLVED

On November 9, 2011, the Geneva Hallmark’s governing body, Timelab, announced refinements to the (then) 125-year-old seal. The quality checks no longer covered movement finishing; the criteria would be applied to the entire watch. Under the new ruling, parts connecting the movement with the case and dial, such as clamps, pivoting levers and pushpiece extensions, must be finished in accordance with the criteria that govern movement components. The new Geneva Hallmark criteria came into force on 1 June 2012, while earlier criteria remained valid in parallel until 1 June 2013 to allow manufacturers time to adapt to the changes. Here is a brief overview of the two main criteria.

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Published in How It Works
Alvin Wong

Editor-in-Chief

Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.  

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