Sunday, September 23, 2012

How Do Breitling make their watches?

Quality Watch Made by Breitling

COSC aka C.O.S.C. is Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which is an independent institute responsible for certifying the accuracy and precision of wristwatches in Switzerland.

There are 26,000,000 watch made by Switzerland a year made by about 600 Swiss Watch Companies.
Rolex submit by far the largest number of movements about 600,000 units a year to COSC followed by Omega SA, Breitling, TAG Heuer.
Note that Breitling submits 100% of their movements for certification but other manufacturers only submit certain models.

So how do Breitling made them?
A Prototype Breitling takes 14 months to complete, it was made by 2,000 drawings and assemble plans for such a watch. They need test prototypes watch running for 12 months, after that, Breitling Engineer dismantles 350 tiny parts for inspection in a forensic way, many of the parts have to gone through SEM (Scanning Electronics Microscope) that can magnify the parts to 14,000 times for securitization.
They will look for minor wear and tear, or any micro crack, or any damages, thence to improve the design or part fabrication. They may release a new version of watch with new parts of revised version, or change the types or amount of lubricants, tightening the specification for assembly.

The base plate of the watch is made of brass alloy , a material best for machining, and having proper for the watch. All parts are made at +/- 5 microns dimension and some even smaller.  They will go though certain QC check points by visual inspection for AOI ( automatic inspection machine) for zero human error.
They clean all the pasts by submerging in a Ultrasonic cleaning bath, rinse it and dry it by air.

Those 346 parts will be ready to be assembled to a number of 71 pre-assemblies.
These 71 pre-assemblies will go through a Central High Way with 36 operations for final assembly. Then pass to Casing Up stage, pointers, hands and dial will be assembled, clean by purges of clean compressed air before the final casing with crystal and crown.

Then the assembled watch will gone through a 90 minutes self winding test on a Auto winder.
The insert the watch into a pressure chamber to see if there is any drop or pressure, to ensure the case is water tight. The movement will be tested for accuracy, functional check and final cosmetic inspection.
From the up stream process to final packing, the watch would have gone through 1,000 test and check before it leave from the factory to your hands.

This is a time consuming process to keep your Breitling time accurate all the time.

HK Snob


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