Top 20 Swiss Chronometer Watch Brands: Rolex Leads the Pack


Here, we examine data from COSC that reveals the top 20 Swiss watch brands by number of COSC chronometer certificates issued to them in 2012. An interesting list for fans of swiss made watches.

In 2012, COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), the official chronometer certification agency of Switzerland, issued 1.73 million chronometer certificates for swiss made watches. This marks a record high, up 6 percent over chronometer production in 2011. The 6-percent rise comes on top of a giant jump in 2011, when chronometer certificates increased by 28 percent. According to COSC’s data, which WatchTime obtained from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, an additional 87,911 timepieces were submitted to COSC that did not pass the certification process for swiss made watches.

In order for a watch to bear COSC’s official title of chronometer, its movement must pass an extensive battery of tests. Although COSC does not test finished watches, it measures the accuracy of a movement in multiple positions and at different temperatures over 16 days. Each year, COSC publishes the list of all the brands that received more than 1,000 chronometer certificates. Typically, the three watch producers at the top have been consistent: Rolex, Omega and Breitling.

Rolex Submariner

Rolex has dominated the COSC list for years. In 2012, it received its second highest number ever: 798,935 certificates,
up 6.3 percent from the year before. (Rolex hit its all-time high in 2002, when it received 814,720 chronometer certificates.) In 2012, Rolex’s chronometers made up 46.1 percent of all certificates that COSC issued.

16 Responses to “Top 20 Swiss Chronometer Watch Brands: Rolex Leads the Pack”

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  1. shane kirby

    Before placing the COSC certification on its owm pedestal, take a moment to identify the autonomy of the Association. As I recall, the COSC was tasked with certifying water meters and the integrity of pre WW I water systems and pipes. BEFORE YOU CONCLUDE THE ROLEX WATCHES THAT CARRY THE SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER DESIGNATION, TAKE ANY ROLEX AND SEE HOW MANY MINUTES ANY ROLEX LOSES (OR GAINS) IN 24 HOURS. I OWN SEVERAL COSC CERTIFIED ROLEX CHRONOGRAPHS, SEVERAL GMT’S AND 4 DIFFERENT SUBMARINERS AND A BRAND NEW EXPLORER AND NOT ONE KEEPS ACCURATE TIME. THE FACT IS WE DONT PURCHASE NOR OWN A ROLEX FOR THE COSC RUBBER STAMP. WE OWN A ROLEX BECAUSE IT TELLS US THE TIME, BUT IT TELLS EVERYONE ELSE THE WEARER HAS STYLE EVEN WHEN HE IS RUNNING LATE

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  2. Henry Hannah

    If Rolex has a significantly higher pass rate at one testing facility than others it would appear all is not on the level. Rolex is also using chronometer certification as a advertising ploy and being the largest seller seems to place them in a manner of control of COSC. I have noticed that Rolex lists some watches as “Superlative Officially Certified Chronometer”, but there is only a pass/fail test on chronometers, so Rolex does not have a “superlative” certification, but merely a certification by COSC. It appears Rolex is “puffing” their watch without giving any value for the “puffing.”

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    • GradyPhilpott

      Nothing in your post is anywhere near the truth. Talk about puffing. Will I correct you? No. Do your own research, but I suspect you’d rather lie.

      Reply
  3. Emmanuel Omale

    Where is Eliz brand of watches produced?
    Is Eliz watch a Swiss made watch?

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  4. Wayne Binfield

    I have poly-arthritis and cannot wear a wrist watch anymore. Who makes a good waterproof, shockproof, day date chronograph in a pocket watch? Can anyone help?

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  5. I must say, my favorite brand is omega, not only because is the “james bond watch” (it was rolex in the past), but because of the style that comes with it. I also like rado for it’s simplicity.

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  6. Dean Grant Baker

    cosc means NOTHING.

    rolex has admitted in print, in your own magazine in the past, that they see it as NOTHING but a marketing ploy [for suckers.]

    a $125USD Timex with a Chinese Seagull BEATS cosc standards.
    Easily.
    [and shall we talk about the ‘new’ laser timed $30USD SWATCH ebauches?]
    especially when a manufacture adds about 250USD+ to the msrp for a cosc cert.

    ANYBODY that gives ANY credence to a cosc certificate knows NOTHING about horology and that’s a FACT.

    P.S.
    just how many of those 700K+ ebauches that Rollie sends to cosc are new old stock being sent for testing for the second and third time or more.

    P.P.S.
    can you explain why Rolex has such a high ‘PASS’ rate at one cosc centre, the canton in which Rolex presides; whilst they have spectacular ‘FAIL/RETURN’ rates from the other two testing centres, which are located OUTSIDE of the forementioned canton?? [as reported, in the past, in your own magazine]

    Reply
    • GradyPhilpott

      Anyone who calls a Rolex a “Rollie” knows nothing of Rolex. Yes, Rolex uses COSC certification for marketing and why shouldn’t they, but Rolex has always held their watches to a higher standard that COSC standards and now after the movements have been certified by COSC, Rolex certifies the housed movements to a +2/-2 standard. You need to do some research to correct your blather.

      Reply
  7. Art Imhoff

    Rolex is far and away in a league of its own! Omega and Breitling are just an afterthought.

    Reply
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