The so-called Geneva Seal or Poinçon de Genève, in today’s marketing terms, can be said to be a quality assurance mark like ‘AMG nameplate’ or ‘Hand Made’. In that year, the watchmaking industry in Geneva in order to protect the watches and clocks produced in the Geneva area, to avoid watches made in other places or countries, and sold them with inferior products engraved with the name ‘Made in Geneva’, so in 1886 The Geneva Watch Association has established the “Geneva Law” (Ecole d’Horologerie et d’Electronique et d’informatique Section Poinçon de Genève rte du Pont-Butin 43 1213 Petit-Lancy Geneva Switzerland). After verification, the Geneva badge of the ‘Eagle and Key’ shield can be engraved on the movement’s splint. At present, there are twelve ‘Geneva Laws’, which have been revised many times so far to match the changing times.
Last year coincided with the 125th anniversary of its birth, the ‘Mark of Geneva’ has further improved its standards in response to the rapid development of watchmaking technology and the continuous innovation of materials. Since 2012, the ‘Geneva Mark’ is no longer only applicable to the movement, but also to the certification of the entire watch. The production of watch components, the watch production process and the inspection of finished watches will also form a systematic requirement. The standards are more stringent and must be performed by an independent agency in Geneva. After the movement has passed the test of the ‘Geneva Mark’ standard and obtained official certification, the authorities will still conduct regular surprise inspections of the company to ensure that the entire production process meets the requirements. The inspection will specifically check whether the assembly, adjustment and casing of the watch is actually carried out in Geneva, and also evaluate the quality of the production parts and assembly movement.
In addition to the movement, the new standard will be applied to the entire watch, so the case will be printed with the ‘Geneva mark’. The outer layer of the watch must also be inspected, especially for the components that connect the movement and the case, that is, the casing ring, plywood, tie rods and set screws, etc. to ensure that all parts must conform to the production process, and the finished product can be engraved with ‘Geneva Imprint ‘. But no matter how the standard changes, those twelve firm rules will never change. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
1. The edges of all steel parts must be chamfered, sanded, and polished to make it as bright as a mirror. The edges and notches of all screw caps must be chamfered and polished. The screws must be polished flat or spherical.
2. The central hole of the ruby must have an oil storage groove in the bell mouth, and be highly polished to prevent the oil from diffusing and losing, and the outer periphery of the ruby must be concave and polished.
3. The balance head on the balance wheel must be fixed with a single head with a round neck, which can be freely slidable with a movable metal pressure plate, or an adjustable support screw is acceptable.
4. The fast and slow needles must be fixed and can be fine-tuned.
5. Mechanisms and parts such as pendulum splint, adjusting isochronous structure, fast and slow needles must meet the requirements of Rule 1.
6. The edges of the gear drive rings of all gear trains and their supporting beams must be chamfered, and the joints with the small teeth must be polished.
7. The steel tooth lobes of all gear trains, their cross sections, the ends of all axles, and their posts must be mirror polished.
8. The part where the escapement wheel locks the ruby of the pallet fork must be polished, and the tip of the ruby that pushes the pallet fork must be polished.
9. The positioning mechanism to stop the pallet fork must be restricted by the fixed splint.
10. All movements must be equipped with anti-vibration devices.
11. The ratchet and crown wheels of the above system structure must be made in accordance with the special regulations of the registered model, and the engagement between the small steel wheel and the large steel wheel must be polished.
12. Do not use springs bent by wire. The springs used for its parts must be cut and carved from the entire steel plate, polished and polished to make parts with elasticity and beautiful lines.
There are five guarantees for currently certified watches:
First, the exclusive guarantee, Switzerland produces 20 million watches every year, only 24,000 will only pass the ‘Geneva mark’ certification.
Second, performance guarantee. Each watch is individually inspected to ensure that its functionality, water resistance and accuracy meet certification standards.
Third, the guarantee of origin, the mechanical movement of watches certified by the ‘Geneva Seal’ must be manufactured, assembled and adjusted in the Canton of Geneva.
Fourth, the process guarantees that every part of the movement is manually polished and decorated by people, adhering to the traditional watchmaking process of Geneva.
Fifth: durability guarantee. After careful polishing, each part of the movement is extremely smooth, thus reducing friction and ensuring the durability of the watch.
Although this mark is strongly criticized for its regional exclusivity, most experts believe that this is the rigorous specification that can ensure that every watch is made with the best craftsmanship, technology and materials!