THE ORIGINS OF
THE HALLMARK OF GENEVA
A history of excellence that began in the 19th
By around 1850, the international reputation of Geneva watchmaking led to an increase in counterfeiting and other abuses by dishonest manufacturers. To protect the Geneva label and the skills that made the city’s reputation, the Society of Watchmakers (founded in 1878) asked the parliament of the Republic and Canton of Geneva to pass a law setting out strict conditions for the Geneva-made watch.
On November 6, 1886, it established the Hallmark of Geneva as an independent label of quality. An office for the voluntary inspection of watches was set up to stamp the Canton’s official hallmark on watches and movements submitted by local watchmakers and which met a number of specific requirements.
Since it was established, the Hallmark of Geneva has evolved over time, adapting its requirements to the increasing expectations of customers and watchmaking enthusiasts.
The most significant evolution has taken place at the occasion of the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the Hallmark of Geneva. It now extends the certification to the whole watch and verifies 100% of the production “Hallmark of Geneva”.
The Hallmark of Geneva was, until 2009, under the auspices of the Geneva watchmaking school. Today it’s the responsibility of Timelab, the Geneva L aboratory of Horology and Microengineering, a foundation under cantonal control. Its board of trustees consist of six senior civil servants and three representatives of the Geneva watchmaking industry.