Fleurier Quality Foundation

Haute horlogerie quality certification

Rules for obtaining the FQF Quality seal

The Fleurier Quality Foundation, founded on 5 June 2001, has the following objectives:

1) to establish criteria for technical and aesthetic quality in watchmaking, in accordance with the highest principles of fine watchmaking;

2) to supply, with full independence, a quality label in the form of a written certificate and a logo on the timepiece examined, stating that it corresponds to the criteria defined, and without identifying the origin of the piece in question;

3) to contribute, within the limits of its resources, towards providing training in fine watchmaking.

The purpose of these rules is to provide details concerning the conditions for obtaining the "QUALITE FLEURIER" quality label for a watchmaking mechanism in accordance with the technical criteria defined by the Fleurier Quality Foundation in the annexed document entitled "Technical criteria of the Fleurier Quality Foundation". This can be consulted at the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (hereinafter IGE / IFPI) and at the Foundation's headquarters in Fleurier.

These rules were first adopted by the Foundation Council on 5 June 2001.

I. PROCEDURE

Article 1 - General aspects

The "QUALITE FLEURIER" quality label applies to mechanical watches and finished watches, whether or not these form part of an item of jewellery, that are produced in series in Switzerland.

To be awarded the "QUALITE FLEURIER" quality label, a watch must have passed the following stages of control:

1) Its reliability must be tested by means of a Chronofiable® ageing test carried out at the Dubois SA laboratory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, and confirmed by a certificate issued by the aforementioned company. The costs of this process are borne by the applicant;

2) The movement must have passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Control test (hereinafter COSC), be issued with a certificate to confirm this, and must be numbered;

3) The watch head must comply with the quality standards issued by the Foundation and defined in the section “Definition of technical and aesthetic criteria”, which can be viewed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, at the Foundation's registered office, and on its website: www.fqf.ch. The case must bear an individual number. When the certification has been carried out on an unfinished model, the finished parts must undergo specific testing, namely, the "Certification process for finished watch heads” at the Laboratoire Dubois SA;

4) All operations involved in the design, manufacture, assembly and quality control of the watch head and its components must be carried out in Switzerland, with the exception of raw materials.

5) The watch in its final form must have passed the 24-hour test programme on the Fleuritest simulator, in accordance with the criteria defined in the section “Final control on the Fleuritest simulator”.

Article 2 - Verification of technical and aesthetic criteria

The Fleurier Quality Foundation’s Technical Committee receives the application for certification of conformity from an applicant requesting the right to use the quality label (hereafter “the applicant”). It checks the Chronofiable® documents, then examines the movement in accordance with the criteria defined in the section “Definition of the technical and aesthetic criteria”.

This control is carried out at the Foundation's head office in Fleurier, or at any other place licensed by the Foundation, under the responsibility of the Chair of the Technical Committee, or its Vice Chair, an assessor chosen from the list of certified assessors, and a control technician approved by the Foundation.

A conformity test is carried out on the model, presented in the form of a kit not loose parts, with an assembled movement or blueprints of the assembled movement, in order to ascertain whether the parts are visible.

Article 3 - Verification of Swiss manufacture

A group of experts, consisting of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Technical Committee, as well as the Foundation’s technical operations manager, verify that the watch head is manufactured entirely in Switzerland in accordance with the criteria defined in the section “Manufactured 100% in Switzerland”. This control is carried out on the basis of documents provided by the applicant, and may be supplemented by audits carried out at the premises of the applicant and its subcontractors.

Article 4 - Test procedure

The applicant deposits all pieces for which the quality label is required at the offices of the Foundation, under the responsibility of the later. The pieces must be in working order and the movement permanently installed in the case. Provisional or temporary watch cases are not permitted.

During this stage, the following processes are carried out:

1) examination of whether the watches comply with the criteria stated in the annexed document;

2) a test of whether the watches are in working order by a simulation of conditions to which it is subject when in use by the wearer. This test can be carried out on a statistical sampling basis.

Article 5 - Result

If the results are positive, the Technical Committee issues a decision that is communicated to the Foundation Council and registers the numbers of the movements and cases corresponding to the series tested.

Article 6 - Certification

The document confirming certified compliance with the criteria defined by the Fleurier Quality Foundation ("QUALITE FLEURIER" quality label) is signed by the President of the Foundation and the Chairman of the Technical Committee. This signature may take electronic form. It permits the use of the "QUALITE FLEURIER" trademark on the certified watch and the public use of this fact, under the conditions stated in Article 11 of the present document.

Article 7 - Appeals

In the case of contesting a decision to refuse the quality label, the applicant may appeal to the Foundation Council. The Council hears both parties (Technical Committee and applicant) prior to taking a decision.

The Council's decision may be appealed against by means of an arbitration process before a single judge, i.e. the arbitration body foreseen at the end of Article 10 of the Foundation's statutes.

The decision of the arbitration judge is not open to appeal.

The applicant may at all times present a new request for certification once the defaults that caused the refusal of certification have been corrected.

The fees and expenses incurred for the first procedure cannot be transferred to the new application.

Article 8 - Archiving

The tests that are carried out prior to the certification process, i.e. the COSC test and the Chronofiable® tests, as well as the results of the test regarding compliance with the criteria contained in the annexed document "Technical criteria of the Fleurier Quality Foundation" are consigned to a file containing the test results and the number of pieces that have been awarded the quality label and logo.

These archives may be consulted by the company whose watches have been certified.

Any person who acquires a piece that is numbered and has been controlled may request, against payment, an extract certifying that the watch that he owns has obtained certification.

Article 9 - Trademark

The "QUALITE FLEURIER" trademark is marked in an indelible manner and one that is at least visible on the exterior of the watch. It is mandatory for the logo to be marked on the movement, and it may also be marked on another element that constitutes part of the watch, with the exclusion of the bracelet or strap.

The trademark is placed under the responsibility of the applicant, and at the applicant's expense, but under the control of the Technical Committee.

Article 10 - Follow-up and control

The Technical Committee may at all times proceed to an additional analysis, at random, in the form of an unannounced sample selected during the control. The applicant must however be notified of the process and must delegate a representative to be present during the analysis.

Article 11 - Use of the quality label

The applicant who has obtained the quality label for one or several models may only use the label in communications concerning the models that have been certified as complying with the "QUALITE FLEURIER" trademark. He may under no circumstances make use of it for a brand in general, to promote all his products or those products that have not successfully undergone the control procedure entitling them to the "QUALITE FLEURIER" trademark. Any failure to comply will be subject to sanctions foreseen in Article 13 of this document.

II. COSTS AND PROCEDURE

Article 12 - Fees and costs

The applicant must pay the following:

1) a basic annual fee of CH 10,000.- (ten thousand francs), independently of the quantity of pieces or models controlled, for a twelve-month period during which he presents watches for certification;

2) a fee of CHF 120.- (one hundred twenty francs) per certified watch, even if the certification is based on random sampling;

3) the costs of additional analysis (Art. 11).

Article 13 - Sanctions

In the case of abuse of the quality label in the sense of Article 11 of this document, the applicant is subject to sanctions. Depending on the gravity of the infringements, these range from a simple warning to a maximum fine of CHF 100,000.-, with rights expressly observed to claim for additional damages and interest.

For serious cases, notably for repeated infringements of Article 11 and failure to take action following warnings, a decision may be taken to withdraw the right to use the quality label. Withdrawal of the right to use the quality label may also be cumulated with the fine that is levied.

When the abuse of the quality label concerns takes the form of publicity that is not in compliance with the rules, the person who infringes the rules may also be required to publish rectification notices in the same media, using the same dimensions as the publicity in question.

The Foundation Council is free to decide on the gravity of the infringement.

Article 14 - Procedure for revising the rules

These rules may be revised upon proposals by the Technical Committee or the Foundation Council. They can only be modified if both bodies ratify proposals by a majority vote.

Article 15 - Adoption and validity

These rules were adopted during the constitution of the Foundations. They were revised this day and become valid immediately.

Fleurier, June 2012.

Regulations

Conditions for obtaining the FQF certification Download Regulations