Timelab launched!

You may recall our spirited discussions regarding the new Patek Philippe Seal and its impact upon the Geneva Seal here: click here to see the post.  Alex alerted us that the Genevan response was coming and I happened to stumble upon an announcement of the June launch of that initiative, called Timelab.  They have given themselves a year to develop new Geneva Seal criteria which will apply to the entire watch rather than just the movement.  COSC is a partner so hopefully we can look forward to mandatory timing requirements as well.

Given the motivation to reinvent themselves, I'm impressed that six of the nine governing council representatives are from the State of Geneva education, economy, finance sectors with the remaining three being from industry.  

It would be even more impressive if the COSC standards were enhanced for GS movements to place them above the million other chronometers passed every year Timelab launched!.
The Geneva Seal is prestigious even though VC finish is
10/19/2010 - 12:07
far FAR supperior to its requirements, however COSC seems to be just a minumum and the criteria have not changed in the past 40 years but with new modern technilogy a watch can be made more accurate. With the arrival of competing Observatories especially the one in Besancon (in France) who tests the complete watch (and not just the movement for COSC) for 14 days (instead of 7) the COSC will need to become more exclusive and not just Rolex's accuracy testing office!!
Amen, brother! nt
10/20/2010 - 01:00


Re: Timelab launched!
10/20/2010 - 18:17
This is certainly an interesting situation. VC needs to make sure it isn't outflanked by PP - as we have seen in the past, simply creating great watches isn't quite enough, you need to market them cleverly too and the PP seal was clearly a marketing ploy. TimeLab sounds like it could be the answer IF VC and associated brands market the idea and make it seem irresistible. Could VC get other non-Richemont Geneva-based brands on board?  I saw Philippe Dufour comments saying it was pointless limiting a seal to only Geneva, as it excluded other great brands e.g. A. Lange und Sohne. I'm not sure I agree, as Geneva does still have real cachet to it as the home of watchmaking. Following what Alex said, I recently saw a Cartier 9452 movement in the flesh and, though it was good, it wasn't VC standard (and yes, I know Cartier are Richemont!!)
I'm not sure an inhouse like the PP seal really makes sense as the
10/20/2010 - 19:11
name on the dial should be enough to guarantee the buyer that the brand they are buying is delivering what it has promised! A seal from an independent authority such as the Geneva Seal makes more sens. There has been a lot of discussions and some attemps in creating an international seal (such as the Qualité Fleurier) but it never really picked up.  I'm not sure that extending the Geneva Seal outside of Geneva would be a good idea as it could lead to a certain standardization. The problem today with the Geneva Seal is that its too expensive for many of the Geneva based brands and those who have the know how and expertise to comply don't want to such as Journe or Laurent Ferrier. Chopard however uses the Geneva Seal on its LUC movements
Eagerly awaited and overdue !
10/21/2010 - 01:05
Lets be honest,this subject is long overdue,but with respect,needs to meet so many criteria - its bound not to satify everyone,but if they are considerate we may arrive at a new criteria that enhances the GS standards.My worry is that enough premium brands support this,or we go off like PP and brands develop their own (non independant and subjective) seal.This will be most confusing to customers.Yes - we know,as many members have highlighted here before - the brand name should be the benchmark - but most industries ie) automotive etc use such quality benchmarks that provide a comparable and easily accessed and understandable quality benchmark - we wait with bated breath,but I hope VC support it - you cannot blame PP if they got fed up of waiting and if it served their commercial interests to get off the fence. Dr Strangelove
Thanks for the FYI Dean!
10/21/2010 - 16:00
I'm finally getting some free time from work and you know where I go - THL of course! I'm really glad to see follow up to the previous discussion about this, now know as TimeLab.  Looking forward to seeing a higher standard, one that can combine an elevation of the Geneva Seal and a more stringent time keeping std. than the current COSC. With Mr. Haefeli (MD of VC) as a member of Timelab's Council, I expect VC will be heavily invested in the direction and standards that will be developed and in part, be reflected in VCs future products.
A small clarification
10/21/2010 - 16:02
Mr. Haefeli's title is Manufacturing Director.  (Afraid that some may misinterpret my use of MD to mean Managing Director).  BR, Dan