Because of the importance of metallic paints particularly in the automobile industry, there is a need for colour measurement techniques which show a high correlation with visual judgments. The present study uses recently developed spectrophotometers with variable geometries to optimize this correlation. Visual and instrumental data have been analyzed by means of statistical techniques. The investigations have led to the conclusion that three different geometries are sufficient to describe the optical behaviour of metallic paint films, provided that the geometries are well distributed with respect to the angle between the direction of observation and the direction of the specular component. In addition to this measurement technique a calculation procedure has been developed that yields judgments that highly correlate with visual judgments.