Expensive watches with off the shelf movements
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  1. #1
    Member gagnello's Avatar
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    Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Can someone explain to me why one would pay upwards of 1-2K for a watch with an off the shelf ETA movement in it (non-chrono)? I'm sorry, but it just seems ridiculous to me to pay 5000 dollars for something with a 100 dollar movement in it that I could buy myself and put in a nice case . I personally have more respect for a 100 dollar Orient with an in house simple and affordable movement than a 5000 dollar Bell and Ross with an off the shelf item. SOmeone explain to me why I'm wrong.
    Swiss: ​Omega Speedmaster Professional (3573.50), Rolex Air King (114200)
    Russian: Vostok Amphibian
    German: Nomos Club Automat, Nomos Tangente Datum, Damasko DA45
    Japanese: Grand Seiko (SBGR051), Seiko Presage Urushi (SARW013), Seiko Orange Monster




  2. #2
    Member SwedishElite22's Avatar
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Just to play devil's advocate, why did you pay what you did for your quartz Breitling? It's just a quartz and the Casio Atomic Solar line can do what it does and receive radio updates daily for accuracy and is powered by the sun for far less.

    Why do any of us buy watches beyond the $5 Walmart special?

    It is also my understanding that a vast majority of companies are buying base movements from ETA and adding their own changes to fairly heavily modify them to meet said companies specs. The ETA base model isn't what is in the Hamilton which is different than the Omega which is different than the IWC.
    Last edited by SwedishElite22; September 29th, 2012 at 04:06.
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Would that include Thomas Prescher, since most of his watches use a 2824?

  4. #4
    Member gagnello's Avatar
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Quote Originally Posted by SwedishElite22 View Post
    Just to play devil's advocate, why did you pay what you did for your quartz Breitling? It's just a quartz and the Casio Atomic Solar line can do what it does and receive radio updates daily for accuracy and is powered by the sun for far less.

    Why do any of us buy watches beyond the $5 Walmart special?

    It is also my understanding that a vast majority of companies are buying base movements from ETA and adding their own changes to fairly heavily modify them to meet said companies specs. The ETA base model isn't what is in the Hamilton which is different than the Omega which is different than the IWC.
    I know you had no way of knowing this, but my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly 5 months ago from a stroke. My Breitling was his watch. I wouldn't buy it myself, but for obvious reasons I cherish it.
    Swiss: ​Omega Speedmaster Professional (3573.50), Rolex Air King (114200)
    Russian: Vostok Amphibian
    German: Nomos Club Automat, Nomos Tangente Datum, Damasko DA45
    Japanese: Grand Seiko (SBGR051), Seiko Presage Urushi (SARW013), Seiko Orange Monster




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    Member SwedishElite22's Avatar
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Now I feel like an ass... I'm sorry to hear about your Father.
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  6. #6
    Member gagnello's Avatar
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Please don't feel like an ass. It was a completely valid question seeing my collection and there is no way that you could have known that. I totally agree that the particular watch is a rip off actually. I will have it forever though.
    Swiss: ​Omega Speedmaster Professional (3573.50), Rolex Air King (114200)
    Russian: Vostok Amphibian
    German: Nomos Club Automat, Nomos Tangente Datum, Damasko DA45
    Japanese: Grand Seiko (SBGR051), Seiko Presage Urushi (SARW013), Seiko Orange Monster




  7. #7
    Member Donut's Avatar
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Quote Originally Posted by gagnello View Post
    I totally agree that the particular watch is a rip off actually. I will have it forever though.
    No the watch isn't a rip off, your father liked it and he loved you. You will likely never own a more special watch. I'm very sorry for your loss.

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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    I'll let others chime in with comments about marketing and brand, etc. If I like the way the watch looks, an off the shelf movement can be perceived as a bonus. It's probably accurate, robust, and easy/cheap to service. I've tried to care deeply about having an interesting movement, but in the long run, if it runs accurately and robustly, I'm happy.
    drhr and gagnello like this.
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  9. #9
    Member cedargrove's Avatar
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Quote Originally Posted by gagnello View Post
    Can someone explain to me why one would pay upwards of 1-2K for a watch with an off the shelf ETA movement in it (non-chrono)? I'm sorry, but it just seems ridiculous to me to pay 5000 dollars for something with a 100 dollar movement in it that I could buy myself and put in a nice case . I personally have more respect for a 100 dollar Orient with an in house simple and affordable movement than a 5000 dollar Bell and Ross with an off the shelf item. SOmeone explain to me why I'm wrong.
    I tend to agree with you.

    I have a Marathon with a stock ETA that I love, but would never have paid over $1000 for it.

    I also understand that some companies modify the ETA movements but this is done in varying degrees. Some just add some decorations and possibly engrave the plate or rotor, but again I wouldn't pay much more for this.

    However others modify the movement so much it is unrecognizable when finished, for example Dornbluth.

    Dornbluth uses a Unitas 6498 as the base, but this is so heavily modified that the only parts that remain original are the escapement and gear train. Dornbluth completely replaces the plates (to three quarter plates) and hand engraves them, hand makes things like the ratchet wheels, gold chatons, fine adjustment screws, adds things like a swan neck fine adjustment, modifies the location of the sub seconds just to get the dial layout perfect, created their own hacking mechanism whereby the seconds will stop at the next 15 second interval. Screws and hands are heat blued and hand polished, and decorations such as Geneva striping, gold plated plates, hand engraved balance cock. Dornbluth will also customize your watch, including dial colour, numeral type and colour, hand colour, bracelet or strap, strap colour, stitching colour, deployant or buckle, personal engraving in the movement plate. They even offer an enamel dial option. All this on their least complicated model (99.1), and for under $5k it was a bargain I couldn't pass up.

  10. #10
    Member gagnello's Avatar
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    Re: Expensive watches with off the shelf movements

    Quote Originally Posted by Caraptor View Post
    I'll let others chime in with comments about marketing and brand, etc. If I like the way the watch looks, an off the shelf movement can be perceived as a bonus. It's probably accurate, robust, and easy/cheap to service. I've tried to care deeply about having an interesting movement, but in the long run, if it runs accurately and robustly, I'm happy.
    This is a good explanation I think. But in the price range I specified a unique and special movement that will run extremely accurately can be had for the same price as an off the shelf one. That's the issue: price. I 100% agree with you when it's a less expensive piece that is every bit as good. It's that when you get into the higher price range, the gap in quality becomes less where as it doesn't make sense to have a generic movement as opposed to a unique one.
    Swiss: ​Omega Speedmaster Professional (3573.50), Rolex Air King (114200)
    Russian: Vostok Amphibian
    German: Nomos Club Automat, Nomos Tangente Datum, Damasko DA45
    Japanese: Grand Seiko (SBGR051), Seiko Presage Urushi (SARW013), Seiko Orange Monster




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