A carefully controlled label

1. GOVERNANCE OF THE Poinçon de Genève

The Poinçon de Genève, the certification label for fine watchmaking, is only of value if the application of all its criteria is controlled.

The organisations responsible for overseeing the application of these rules comprise an independently operated legislative body, executive body and judicial body.

The supreme entity authorised by the Geneva Council of State is the Foundation Council of the Geneva Laboratory of Horology and Microengineering. It is the legal body and only guarantor of the Poinçon de Genève.

The Poinçon de Genève Technical Commission serves as its legislative body. Its mission is to define the criteria and update the rules to reflect technological innovations.

The Poinçon de Genève Office fulfils the role of the executive body. Through its approval, certification and audit units, it constantly oversees the application of the Poinçon de Genève criteria throughout every stage in the manufacture of a timepiece.


1.1 Council of State

The executive and administrative functions of the Canton are the responsibility of a Council of State made up of seven members.

The State administration is divided into departments, each headed by a State councillor (minister).

1.2 Founding Council

The Laboratory is set up as a Swiss private-law foundation under the aegis of the State. The Founding Council is made up of nine members appointed by the Council of State, including:

a) three representatives proposed by the Department of Public Instruction, Culture and Sport, including at least one proposed by the School of Horology at the technical professional training centre, and one proposed by the Haute Ecole de Genève;

b) two representatives proposed by the Department of Regional Affairs, the Economy and Health;

c) one representative proposed by the Department of Finance;

d) three representatives from the field of Geneva watchmaking proposed by the Union of Watchmakers of Geneva, Vaud and Valais.

The headquarters is in the Canton of Geneva and the role of President is fulfilled by one of the representatives proposed by the Department of Public Instruction, Culture and Sport.

The Foundation Council submits the organisation’s rules and the general working conditions of qualified personnel for approval by the Council of State.

1.3 Technical Commission

Poinçon de Genève activities are placed under the technical supervision of a Commission made up of seven members, appointed every four years by the Foundation Council for their skills and knowledge.

The Commission is led by the director of the technical training centre (Ecole d'Horlogerie de Genève) who may delegate this role to another member of the management team.

The Poinçon de Genève Commission is charged with determining the level of quality of craftsmanship required for the different technical parts of the watch.

In addition, it is charged with identifying the part of the movement to be marked with the Poinçon.

1.4. Poinçon de Genève Office

 The Poinçon de Genève Office fulfils the role of the executive body. Through its quality organisation and its approval, certification and audit units, it constantly oversees the application of the Poinçon de Genève criteria throughout every stage in the manufacture of a timepiece.

2. Quality organisation

The Poinçon de Genève, the certification label for fine watchmaking, is only of value if the application of all its criteria is controlled.

The organisations responsible for overseeing the application of these rules comprise an independently operated legislative body, executive body and judicial body.

The Poinçon de Genève Office fulfils the role of the executive body. Through its approval, certification and audit units, it constantly oversees the application of the Poinçon de Genève criteria throughout every stage in the manufacture of a timepiece.