the Neuchâtel Observatory Chronometer Database

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the Neuchâtel Observatory Chronometer Database

Postby koimaster » December 7th 2017, 11:33am

Introducing the Neuchâtel Observatory Chronometer Database
Documenting every watch that competed in the time trials.

Put together by Dr Christian Müller, the Observatory Chronometer Database (OCD) is a comprehensive compilation of all 3356 wristwatch movements ever submitted to the Neuchâtel Observatory for testing between the years 1945 to 1967 – the golden age of mechanical wristwatch chronometry.

Then known as the Observatoire Astronomique et Chronometrique de Neuchatel, as it was described on historical chronometer certificates, the Neuchâtel Observatory conducted annual contests for various classes of timekeepers, from pocket watches to wristwatches, both mechanical and quartz (the OCD only covers mechanical wristwatches). Comprised of a series of timing tests, the test took place over several days and resulted in an individual score for watches that passed, which were then certified as observatory chronometers, receiving a bulletin de marche. ... abase.html

Actual database is located here -


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Re: the Neuchâtel Observatory Chronometer Database

Postby Hawk » December 7th 2017, 2:31pm

The link within the link to an earlier article suggests the competition was resurrected in 2009.

I'm not sure if this is / was the case but the new rules would make the new trials of little interest anyway due to their incestuous nature - Seiko, or anyone outside Europe for that matter, is excluded. The best of a tiny part of the world is of scant interest except to perhaps the dedicated Swiss connoisseur. It'd have the same tepid reception as an MLB season and world series not allowing any team east of the Rockies to compete. ... meter.html

But in 2009 the Swiss chronometer contest returned.

Organised by the great and the good of Swiss watchmaking, including the Neuchâtel cantonal government, COSC and the Besançon Observatory, the biennial Concours International de Chronométrie, or International Chronometry Competition, professed a noble aim. It wanted to continue the tradition of the chronometer contests of the 19th and 20th century, not just for movements, but for finished watches destined for the purchase by consumers.

But amongst the rules of the contest, one governing the provenance of the timepiece stands out. It reads: “All parts used to build the movement must be made within Europe.”

Fuck 'em I say.

Except that the database is fascinating from a historical perspective. Any new results aren't worth the powder to blow 'em to hell.
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