Those familiar with the watch industry are aware that America has had a long and storied past in the world of watchmaking. Centuries ago, top brands like Hamilton, Elgin, Waltham, Bulova and others began making watches in various cities across the country. Unfortunately, most of the businesses eventually closed their doors or were sold to larger conglomerates who moved watchmaking out of America. Throughout the past decades, though, a number of small, independent watch brands have been cropping up. Additionally, the number of watchmaking schools in America, though small, is also on the upswing. Similarly, the Horological Society of New York, America’s oldest guild, is also experiencing growth, with more members and more participants taking part in its educational courses. Now, HSNY steps up its game even further, unveiling America’s first USA Chronometer Certification Program open to watch brands and watchmakers anywhere in the world.
Essentially, a chronometer watch is certified by these outside companies who take the movements and test them for weeks at a time, all the while exposing them to various test for temperatures, humidity, water resistance, shock resistance and so much more. The deviation tolerances in precision are so stringent that many brands don’t subject their watches to the tests. Those that do, and pass, received certification attesting to their precision. While a handful of brands certify their own watches for chronometer status, currently, the top chronometer certification observatories are in Switzerland and Europe.
The new HSNY Chronometer Certification Program, which was years in the making, exerts such rigorous testing protocols that they actually exceed the international standards (currently outlined in ISO 3159). “Testing will be conducted in a range of temperatures and positions over a 15-day period. Only a visual rate testing procedure is used. Traditional watch timing machines use microphones to listen to a watch as it is running and quickly give a rate. A visual rate testing procedure takes longer to complete but gives more reliable results.” HSNY’s Chronometer Certification Program is available to all watchmakers and watch manufacturers wishing to submit new, cased-up mechanical watches with a spring balance oscillator for testing
The first brand to offer an HSNY Certified Chronometer watch is Massena Lab with its Habring2 x Massena Lab Erwin LAB03 hand-wound timepiece whose movement was entirely developed, manufactured and assembled in-house by Habring.
HSNY’s Chronometer Certification Program is available to all watchmakers and watch manufacturers worldwide. Only new, cased-up mechanical watches with a spring balance oscillator are eligible for testing.