How to know details about a watch movement?
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  1. #1
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    How to know details about a watch movement?

    Hello,

    New member here, I've been visiting this site a lot for the past year and a half to know and get educated about watches since I started taking a liking into the horology world. I have bought two watches since then, an original Speedy Pro and a JLC master chrono.

    Now I have bought both based on how beautiful they are and the history of each. But the more I get into and read about watches there is one aspect that I can't seem to understand how to know about it and that is the watch movement. I basically understand the different movements and how they exactly work.

    But I keep reading in forums people saying this certain watch has a beautiful movement, I can't still figure out how was that concluded? I checked many references on my JLC chronograph and can't find any detailed information about it's movement other than the description on the JLC website which is brief and broad. I believe that since JLC makes it's own in house movements I should know every specific detail about it since one of the factors that made me buy the watch is that they make their movements in house.

    Bottom line, Anyone has any reference or somewhere where I can get details of different specific watch movements for different mechanical watches? because this information is importants and I feel I'm missing something here.

    Regards
    mhn

  2. #2
    lvt
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    I think you bought the wrong watches.
    Ball - Casio (G-shock) - HMT - Longines - Parnis - Seagull - Tissot - Victorinox - Yema

  3. #3
    Member ShaggyDog's Avatar
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    Have you tried actually looking at the movement or a picture of it yet?

  4. #4
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    I used to use a website called "google.com" to search for information about watch-related topics.

  5. #5
    Administrator CMSgt Bo's Avatar
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    First of all welcome to WatchUSeek!

    Beauty is subjective. Some find beauty and elegance in the design of the movement, others in its finishing, and others are just happy they don't have to change the battery once a year.

    The real question is, what do you find beautiful?

    Since you're a Speedmaster owner look up movement calibers 1861 and 1863, that may be a good starting point.
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  6. #6
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    Research, research, research. The watch hobby can be sustained for a lifetime on the basis that things about them are hard to understand and require study and research to fully understand and appreciate.

    I went to the JLC website. No, they don't talk about the movement in any obvious way on the page for the Master Chronograph (and, yes, they should). So, I downloaded the PDF of the fact sheet, and on that PDF, is states that the movement is the caliber 751A/1.

    So, I Googled that, and found a Europa Star article about the introduction of that movement, published in 2005.

    The next link I followed went here:

    Jaeger-LeCoultre Discussion Forum: calibre 751

    And that led me to this review, showing a number of pictures of the 752, which is the same movement but for a feature or two:

    Jaeger-LeCoultre Discussion Forum:

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    Personally, I do not think this movement is beautiful in the traditional chronograph sense. It has a vertical clutch, which is hard to see and appreciate visually, and it's hard to watch it operate and understand how it works. And, as with all automatics, the rotor and winding bridge obscures some of the movement. The finish is excellent in this category, and even the chronograph levers are finished well.

    Compare it to a Zenith El Primero chronograph, which is an and older and more traditional design, in this tear-down article:

    Teardown + Service: Zenith El Primero Defy calibre 400 | Watch Guy

    Or this Walt Odets article from the Horlogium about the Zenith 410, an El Primero with a full calendar:

    Zenith Chronograph Cal. 410 - Part 1 - TimeZone

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    To my eyes, the Zenith movement is more visually appealing than the JLC, though this as much about me as about the movements.

    All of the above is the result of ten minutes of Googling, though I had already read both of the articles about the Zenith movement in the past.

    Now, for homework: On what movement is the Omega 1861 based? I'll give you a hint. It is an update of the Omega 861, and both were based on the Lemania 872/1872. Lemania was the movement-making arm of SSIH, the conglomerate of Omega and Tissot from the 30's until the formation of SMH in the early 80's (SMH became Swatch), at which time Lemania was spun off. This movement's roots go back to the Lemania CH27, and even before that to the three-hand S27. But the 872/1872 used a lever actuation system instead of the column wheel used by the CH27 (which was also the basis for the Omega 321, the original Speedmaster chronograph movement). The automatic-winding version of the 1872 was the Lemania 1340, also known as the Omega 1040. After Lemania separated from SMH, they became Nouvelle Lemania until 1994 when they were bought by Investcorp. In 1990, Ebel bought the design rights to the Lemania 1340, and redesigned the autowinder and other details to become the Ebel caliber 137, which used some specialty parts made by Lemania (and later by Dubois Depraz), which were then assembled in Ebel workshops. They installed that movement in watches from the 1994 Le Modulor to the 2011 Tekton. They were jointly owned with Lemania and Breguet from 1994 until 1999, and thus Breguet was able to use the movement in their Type XX and XXI, calling it the Breguet caliber 582. In 2012, Ebel sold the rights to the movement to Ulysse Nardin, who redesigned the balance bridge and turned it into UN150 chronograph, where it lives on. Now, figuring all this out took a lot more than ten minutes of Googling. But the whole history is out there to be mined.


    Lemania 1872 (from the Ranfft database, which is where many vintage, and some no-so-vintage, movement are pictured and described)

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    Omega 860 (which preceded the 1860 and 1861)


    Omega 1040 (automatic version of the 1860, Lemania 1340 base)

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    Breguet 582


    Ebel 137

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    Ulysse Nardin UN150

    In terms of beauty, the Ebel version of this movement may be the prettiest. The decoration goes all the way to the hidden parts of the plate, and they were the first to design a rotor for this movement that was unique to them. Notice even that, unlike all the others (including the Breguet and the UN), the chronograph intermediate wheel cock is decorated with anglage. A Lange Datograph would have anglage on every part, including the levers, but then it's in a watch that costs multiples of the watches shown here.

    Chronograph movements are more challenging to study and appreciate because of their complexity. But it's not hard to trace the history of most of them simply because designing them is very expensive and challenging, and thus designs get bought and sold, and then reused.

    Rick "who managed to map out the history of the Ebel 137 in an afternoon" Denney
    Zenith: Captain Chronograph 03.2110.400*; Cartier: Santos 100 XL Concord: Mariner, C1 Big-Date, C1 v.2 Chronograph; Ebel: Chronosport 1134901, Tekton 9137L83*, Type E 9137C41* (*=COSC)
    Ebel: 1911 BTR 9137L73* and 9139L71*, 1911 1120L41*, 1911 Senior 9080241, Brasilias 9120M41 (2), Aquatica 500 9120K61, Classic Hexagon GMT 9301F61, Classic 100 LE 9120R41; Baume & Mercier: Capeland World-Timer
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    Vintage: JLC: ref. 2953, ca. 1946; Longines: Flagship cal 285; Zodiac: SST cal. 86, Aerospace GMT cal. 72; Favre-Leuba: cal. 253; Tianjin: Dong Feng cal. ST5; Elgin: Gr. 152 (1898), Gr. 384 (1919); Ebel: ca. 1962 ref. 9214955
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  7. #7
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    i really hope you're not another make believe noob and i'm gonna find you're half a** researched article in a newspaper/magazine sometime soon....
    Rdenney and ShaggyDog like this.

  8. #8
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    Do some digging on Google. You'd be amazed what's on it.

  9. #9
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    Regarding beautiful movements, I love them all. High end, low end, whatever. The more jewels, blue screws and and colors the better. I even bought a throwaway watch just so I could take off the back and look at the movement up close and personal. Of course, I also find beauty in the microscopic appearance of a squamous cell carcinoma. As a pathologist, I do spend the better part of my day looking down tubes at round complex patterns.Name:  scc1490.jpg
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    easyP likes this.
    No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow. Mad Hatter Alice in Wonderland

  10. #10
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    Re: How to know details about a watch movement?

    Thanks for the everyone's reply especially Rick, as now I understand the thought process of digging searching about a movement. I think the beauty I look for is not mainly in the looks of the movement but in the whole details and thought process of making the movement and where it came from.

    I guess now I know what I will be spending my weekend morning doing. I'll try to report back with findings of my own about one of the watches I like.
    Last edited by xmhnx; May 13th, 2015 at 09:47.

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