Any young watch brand constantly has to make choices about designs, costs, quality, and many other aspects that affect the organization every day. In the case of Serica, a young Parisian brand founded in 2019, elegance, reliability, and accuracy steer the decision-making process. In terms of elegance, I don’t think there was anyone who thought that Serica wasn’t on the right track. However, when it comes to accuracy and reliability, there have been some bumps in the road. That’s why, going forward, the brand will have every movement certified by COSC as a chronometer. Not only that but, after final assembly, each watch will also undergo further tests to ensure optimal performance.

Here at Fratello, we’ve always been fans of Serica’s thoughtful and elegant designs. I even bought a 5303-3 blue diver simply because I think it’s such a good-looking watch. But a watch is more than just its looks. It should also function well and be accurate. I have to say that I haven’t experienced any problems with my 5303-3 on that front. However, many people complained online about the Soprod Newton movements not functioning well. That hurts, especially for an up-and-coming brand. That’s why Serica switched to a different Soprod movement, has each one certified by COSC, and then has all of its assembled watches rigorously tested again before they land on customers’ wrists.

COSC certification Serica

Rigorous testing and regulation

For the 5303 and 6190 references, Serica now uses the Soprod M100 instead of the Newton. Apparently, this M100 movement uses Seiko architecture and is more reliable. In addition to this change, each caliber goes through rigorous testing and regulation.

If you’re unfamiliar with the COSC certification, make sure to read Dave’s article to learn exactly what it entails. In short, it means that uncased movements are regulated to run between +6/-4 seconds a day in various positions and different temperatures. After that, they go off to the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) for testing and certification according to these standards. In Serica’s case, once the Soprod movements are certified, they are moved by truck from the COSC testing lab in Saint-Imier back to the Soprod manufacture. There, they are fitted with dials and the right set of hands and put into Serica watch cases. Now, of course, the movements experience some vibrations and shocks during their trip back from COSC’s labs. That’s why the fully assembled watches are once again tested.

Serica COSC certified

For the Serica 5303 and 8315, this means that the accuracy is tested over four days in five different positions. To complete the test successfully, the accuracy shouldn’t exceed the COSC standard (+6/-4 seconds/day) in any of those five positions. In addition, Soprod will check the power reserve and the performance of the automatic winding. If the watches don’t meet the set parameters, they’ll be regulated to do so once more. When the desired accuracy rates are achieved, the watches undergo a pressure test to check their water resistance.

See it with your own eyes

To give you an idea of how all this testing is done, Serica visited the Soprod manufacture and published a little video about it. Of course, it’s another one of those stylish, visually pleasing films that we know Serica can produce very well. I especially like how Serica’s team chose to use one of Erik Satie’s Gnossiennes as a soundtrack for it. Satie is known for his “free time” style of music. This means there’s no consistent beat or time signature, which stands in great contrast to the theme at hand. It’s a nice little Easter egg if you ask me.

There aren’t too many watch manufacturers out there who COSC certify every single one of their watches. Breitling is a proud and famous example of a brand that does. Now Serica, although on a much smaller scale, can say the same about its watches. I think this emphasis on quality control shows that the French brand takes concerns from the watch community very seriously. Serica could’ve just continued to launch a few more stylish watches, but instead, its team paused and decided to focus on accuracy and reliability. Together with its great knack for vintage-inspired design, I feel that Serica now has a strong foundation for its future releases.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of Serica’s focus on quality control and the video.